Top 20 hiking apparel brands
top hiking apparels

This reserach for the best 20 hiking apparel brands will help the hiker to determine what type of hiking clothing is right for them by assessing their most important functional needs and consumer criteria. It will also help the hiker make informative brand choices within the spectrum of a given apparel type by identifying which brand excels at meeting that type’s most important functional requirements and which offers the best value in terms of the consumer’s selection criteria.

Exploring the great outdoors requires the use of specialized equipment. There is nothing more frustrating than having blisters on your feet because you are wearing the wrong footwear or becoming cold on a high mountain trail because you neglected to bring an insulated jacket with you. Hikers are the ones who know this better than most people. There is a clothing brand that caters to your needs, regardless of whether you are an experienced trail enthusiast or a trekker who is just starting out and wants to take a stroll through the woods. While some hiking clothing is designed to be used on mountain climbs during the winter months, other decent hiking clothing is designed to be worn throughout the summer months in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. A good number of the most popular brands of hiking apparel also produce excellent footwear. Can you name some of the firms that are included on this list of the greatest brands of hiking clothing? Winter treks are inextricably linked to the brand name “The North Face.” Hikers benefit from the company’s streamlined designs, which allow for considerable movement, while the company’s warm materials prevent freezing winds from blowing. The apparel company Marmot is yet another excellent option for hikers. When it comes to hiking, socks are among the most essential items of clothing, and SmartWool is known for producing some of the best socks available. Mountain Hardwear, REI, and Columbia are some of the other reputable brands that are included on this list of the best hiking gear brands. Which of the following companies that sells hiking apparel do you believe should be at the top of our list? You can move your favorites closer to the top of the list by giving them a thumbs up, and you can also add any important businesses that are listed below.

  1. Patagonia: Known for its commitment to environmental sustainability, Patagonia offers a wide range of outdoor clothing and gear designed for durability and performance in various outdoor activities, including hiking, climbing, and skiing.
    Patagonia logo
  2. The North Face: A well-established brand renowned for its innovative designs and high-quality outdoor apparel and equipment, The North Face caters to hikers, climbers, and adventurers with durable and versatile clothing and gear.
    The North Face is an American outdoor product company that specializes in outerwear, fleece, coats, shirts, and footwear. Ever since it was founded in 1966 to the present day, its popularity has grown and has become a well-known brand in and around the world. The company’s popularity has increased so much from the 90s to the present day. The company splits its products into a collection of ranges – each with different styles and aims. The Black Label Range is a collection of high-end products. For example, their down-filled coat, the Himalayan Parka, is designed for extreme cold. The Black Label Fine Hoodie is a two-layer hooded top that is designed for durable outdoor use. The Black Label Mountain Light jacket is a lightweight, two-layer jacket that is perfect for any kind of outdoor use. Created in 1992, The North Face range is an exclusive line of premium gear. Every equipment is said to be a combination of a modern, stylish design along with the highest quality outdoor equipment technology. An example of this is The Double-track guide, which is the marksman of trail shoes with a neutral pronation midsole for off-road performance and stability. The Summit Series Range is a range of equipment designed for the most extreme conditions. Each summit series product is hand-selected and includes the most advanced materials. From the warmest and most durable down jackets for expeditions to the most technical and breathable shells available, Summit series is often the choice of alpine professionals. Finally, the outdoor collection is a collection of equipment with classic TNF style, with comfort and durability in mind. This is the most popular range out of the 3 and includes footwear and outdoor clothing.
    The North face Logo transparent
  3. Columbia: Columbia Sportswear Company specializes in outdoor apparel and footwear, offering a diverse range of products suitable for hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits. Known for its functional designs and affordability.

    Columbia Sportswear has been ranked the third brand in an outdoor retailer survey.
    Product Range: Columbia manufactures a range of outdoor equipment including apparel, footwear, backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. The general consensus will assume that our focus is directed to the apparel range. Brand Strength: Columbia’s strength lies in its development of cutting-edge products and designs. This is achieved through the use of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals in the design process.
    Brand Image: Their professional design methodology has developed a strong technical brand image. This image is supported through sponsorships of professional athletes and outdoor teams. Their current sponsorship of the Australian Olympic team will further promote this image. Target Consumers: Columbia aims its products towards consumers from all outdoor sports and activities. With a strong presence in winter and water sports, the company has developed a broad range specifically targeting surf and snow markets.

    Columbia Sportswear: Design and innovation make this company a front runner in functional outdoor gear.
    Columbia Sportswear logo transparent

  4. Mammut: A Swiss brand with a focus on mountaineering and outdoor sports, Mammut offers technical clothing and gear for hiking, climbing, and skiing, known for its high-quality materials and innovative designs.
    Mammut logo transparent
  5. Marmot: Marmot is known for its outdoor clothing and equipment designed for performance and durability in extreme conditions. The brand offers a range of apparel suitable for hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering.
    Marmot logo transparent
  6. Mountain Hardwear: Mountain Hardwear specializes in outdoor clothing and gear designed for adventurers seeking technical performance and durability. The brand’s products are engineered for challenging outdoor environments.
    Mountain Hard Wear logo
  7. REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.): REI is a cooperative retailer offering a wide selection of outdoor gear and apparel, including hiking clothing, footwear, and equipment. Known for its commitment to sustainability and outdoor education.
    REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is a renowned brand in the outdoor industry, known for its commitment to providing high-quality hiking apparel and gear for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. With a focus on sustainability, innovation, and performance, REI offers a diverse range of clothing and equipment designed to enhance comfort and protection during outdoor adventures. From technical outerwear and footwear to moisture-wicking base layers and durable accessories, REI’s hiking apparel caters to hikers, backpackers, and adventurers seeking reliable gear for their outdoor pursuits. With a reputation for excellence and a dedication to environmental stewardship, REI continues to be a trusted choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to gear up for their next hiking adventure.
    Rei logo
  8. Helly Hansen: Helly Hansen produces technical outdoor clothing and gear for hiking, sailing, skiing, and other outdoor activities. The brand is known for its innovative designs and use of advanced materials.
    Helly Hansen logo
  9. SmartWool: SmartWool specializes in merino wool apparel and accessories, including socks, base layers, and outerwear. The brand’s products offer natural moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating properties, ideal for hiking and outdoor activities.
    smartwool logo
  10. Outdoor Research: Outdoor Research designs and manufactures outdoor clothing and gear for hiking, climbing, skiing, and mountaineering. The brand’s products focus on functionality, versatility, and durability.
    Outdoor Clothing is a company which creates clothing for almost any outdoor activity. It promises a reliable service and a product that will last you a lifetime. This is a significant feature for any hiker – knowing that the garment you are wearing will last the journey no matter what you put it through, it will survive at the end. Products sold by Outdoor Clothing are the Technowool, Odlings Jacket and Odlings Trousers. Technowool is a smart piece of kit; combining 30% corn fibre (that is the stuff usually thrown away when crops are grown!) and 70% wool to make a high quality fleece with a waterproof layer. Wool has the property that when it gets wet it stays warm, therefore the fleece is maintaining a good level of warmth even in high humidity conditions.
    Outdoor Research logo
  11. Merrell: Merrell offers a range of footwear and apparel for hiking, trail running, and outdoor exploration. Known for its comfortable and durable hiking shoes and boots.
    Merrell is an outdoor company that provides products for a wide range of outdoor activities. While their company promotes hiking specifically, we will focus on their boots and the technology built into them to make them one of the best hiking boots among all brands. The Chameleon is a light and nimble shoe that requires no breaking in. Because of its no-nonsense simplicity, it is great for a casual hiker. For the serious backpacker, the Wilderness boot provides a lot of ankle support. Both of these boots have a Vibram sole and a Basia lasting board in the midsole. Vibram soles are widely renowned for being durable and high quality. The lasting board provides enough stiffness to absorb the shock on the trail, eliminating foot fatigue. All of the boots have a rubber rand which acts as a bumper to protect the foot. For my long-time readers, you know how much I love technological integration in products. The Chameleon has an air cushion in the heel to absorb shock and add stability; it also has a stone bruise plate to keep those sharp rocks from breaking your foot. The Wilderness boot uses a bit more advanced technology. It has a grade 5 nylon insole to add support and provide protection from the crampons in the upper level hiking. G5 nylon will maintain its rigidity in all temperature ranges. The Wilderness boot has a waterproof Gore-Tex lining to keep your foot dry. Keep in mind that any membrane such as Gore-Tex will eventually fail in a hiking boot due to the excessive folding and repetition of movement in the upper. But, it’s definitely better than a non-waterproof boot. Lastly, the Wilderness boot has a sole with Merrell’s TC5+ rubber compound. This is Merrell’s most durable running compound, for a sure-footed grip on various terrains. Overall, these two boots fit the needs of many hikers and backpackers and are great choices for your next hiking footwear. Overall, Merrell’s extensive line of moderate to high price range boots puts it in a very competitive position. Though their high-end boots are a bit pricey for the regular hiker, the technology and quality used provide a great choice for a retail investment costing significantly less than the long-term benefits of healthy and happy feet. Being a previous owner of several pairs of Merrell boots, I can attest to the validity of these words.
    Merell logo
  12. Fjällräven: Fjällräven specializes in outdoor clothing and gear inspired by the Swedish wilderness. The brand’s products are known for their durability, functionality, and timeless design.
    Fjällräven logo
  13. Jack Wolfskin: Jack Wolfskin offers a range of outdoor apparel and equipment for hiking, trekking, and camping. The brand focuses on sustainability and environmental responsibility in its product design and manufacturing.
    Jack Wolfskin logo
  14. Black Diamond: Black Diamond produces technical outdoor equipment and apparel for climbing, skiing, and hiking. The brand’s products are known for their quality, innovation, and performance.
    Black Diamond logo
  15. KUHL: KUHL offers outdoor clothing and apparel inspired by the mountain lifestyle, combining performance, style, and durability. The brand’s products are designed for adventurers seeking comfort and functionality.
    KUHL logo
  16. Darn Tough: Darn Tough specializes in premium performance socks for hiking, skiing, and outdoor activities. The brand’s socks are made in Vermont, USA, using high-quality merino wool for durability and comfort.
    Darn Tough logo
  17. Icebreaker: Icebreaker is known for its merino wool clothing and apparel, including base layers, mid layers, and outerwear. The brand’s products offer natural temperature regulation and moisture-wicking properties, ideal for hiking and outdoor activities.
    icebreaker logo
  18. Millet: Millet is a French brand specializing in mountaineering and outdoor equipment. The brand offers technical clothing and gear for hiking, climbing, and skiing, known for its performance and durability.
    millet logo
  19. prAna: prAna offers sustainable outdoor clothing and apparel for yoga, climbing, and hiking. The brand focuses on using organic, recycled, and Fair Trade Certified materials in its products.
    Prana is a lifestyle clothing company that makes sustainable apparel for yoga, travel, and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. It was started in 1992 when the company’s designers created clothing and accessories that reflected their own vibrant experiences and interest in different activities. A few years later, in 1995, the outdoor pant collection was launched. At that time, the climbing and yoga communities were thriving and looking for a fashionable alternative to the already existing sportswear brands. The key feature that makes Prana stand out is their use of organic cotton. This has proved very popular with climbers, who are known for their environmental awareness due to the rock conservation efforts of organizations such as the BMC and the Access Fund. Organic cotton is a great selling point because it greatly reduces the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides in the production of the clothing. Not only does it prevent the contamination of groundwater, but it is also much safer for farmers in Third World countries. These farmers are often growing non-organic cotton for big-name clothing manufacturers and are subject to dangerous conditions. By using organic cotton, Prana is supporting these farmers as well as promoting an environmentally friendly ideal. This is an excellent tactic as it can be used as a marketing angle. Organic cotton is softer and more durable than conventional cotton. This means Prana’s cotton clothing lasts longer and feels nicer.
    Prana logo
  20. Under Armour: Under Armour produces a range of performance apparel and footwear for various sports and outdoor activities, including hiking and trail running. The brand’s products feature innovative technologies for comfort and performance.

    Under Armour has made a lot of noise in the sports attire world and is also a great selection for hikers. Their women’s UA Infil Hike Gore-Tex is often used by those who dwell in wet climates and are in need of a strong weather boot. Made of waterproof suede leather at the bottom and lightweight mesh above, it has a Gore-Tex membrane that’s assured for life to keep your feet dry. It also provides adequate support stitching around the upper, a comfortable Ortholite sockliner, and a TPU heel clip that holds your foot in place and adds to stability. At 16.75 oz, it’s light on the scale but not too light and lacking in much-needed strength like many lightweight boots out there today.
    under armour logo

    If you’re an urban woman out to purchase trekking shoes which double for downtown, then you may be interested in finding something that’s attractive, comfortable, and also has the built and benefit of a fine quality hiking boot. The North Face is gaining a great reputation for creating good-looking athletic footwear, and their Women’s Verbera can be a great match in a field mixed with the dated look or hues of men’s boots being squeezed into women’s sizes. This is a durable all-round boot that can take you from the city to the wild. It gives an embedded sneaker technology along with the best feature of a padded collar and a bearably lightweight feel, being one of the lightest on the list at 1lb 12oz. It’s a very great boot for long time on your feet with minimum blisters and soreness.

Summary of Findings

Looking at various companies, we also found contrasting information on the durability of the product their company. It would be interesting to use a research method such as product testing and creating comparisons of similar products from different companies to test this information. This could accurately confirm the findings of the product ratings and find what specific factors make the best products the best. This would be good for the consumer looking to purchase an item and for the companies that look to make improvements in their gear.

The results of this research were quite surprising in some instances and as expected in others. The top 20 hiking apparel companies, while all providing the same types of apparel, at the end of the day they are all catering to different markets. A couple of the companies like Nike and Under Armour are brands targeted toward athletes and people more into outdoor sports. Then there are the camping and hiking companies whose target market is obviously people who participate in outdoor activities. And some companies just provide apparel at lower prices and with cheaper quality, such as the brands located at the bottom of the ratings. This can lead to implications toward the industry as a whole, from their brand recognition and brand equity to the type of consumer base they are targeting. Further discussion can entail the effect of marketing of different companies and how they differentiate the need of their product based on the consumer. Steps to the research in design and product quality are no doubt essential for the highest ranked companies, so the lower ranking companies will face further difficulties. This research was a good start as it offers a comparison and rating of companies, a sort of rarity in the academic realm, but its implications can target a wide variety of topics in business and the consumer base.

Our favourite Hiking Apparel Brands

Through extensive research, it is highly disputed that merino wool is the best fabric for hikers using the layer system. It is naturally antimicrobial, so it doesn’t smell bad. It’s soft and dries faster than cotton but doesn’t feel as clammy as polyester in cool, wet conditions. Wool fabric also has excellent thermal properties to keep you warm on cold days and cool on warm days. It absorbs large quantities of moisture, then moves it away from the skin so it evaporates into the atmosphere. This makes merino wool the best fabric known to hikers for base layer clothing. It also has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. Wool, however, isn’t the best fabric for outer shell clothing because it absorbs too much water and becomes heavy. Shell jackets and pants should be made of waterproof, breathable fabric. Usually, Gore-Tex or eVent. These types of rainwear are quite expensive but are very high quality. Gore-Tex and eVent are the lightest, most breathable, most packable, and most effective waterproof breathable materials on the market today. All outdoor apparel companies agree on this one.

The following section will explore the top 20 hiking apparel brands. Hiking clothing is vital for a comfortable and safe hiking experience. The layer clothing system is particularly effective for hikers. It has been observed that hikers find themselves enduring a variety of weather conditions depending on the season. The morning might start off with cool temperatures that require a jacket, but as the day progresses and the hiker gains elevation, the temperature might increase, warranting the removal of the jacket. However, the summit could be windy and require a jacket not to mention the sudden rainstorm known to occur in many locations. Clothing that keeps precipitation out yet still allows body moisture to escape is vital to hikers.


Salomon is a brand that is known for a lot of different types of sporting equipment. Hiking is a widely enjoyed sport and Salomon provides a number of different pieces of hiking apparel. Some of their best products are their hiking shoes. Salomon shoes are known for their quality and durability. They also offer a number of other good quality hiking apparel items and they are not overly expensive. This company is a good choice for anyone who likes Salomon brand products and those who want to get a good deal on some quality hiking gear.

Salomon logo Mountain Hardwear

This is hip and trendy. Mountain Hardwear (MH) is a California-based company that originally made only equipment and cordura products, but in recent years has begun manufacturing an extended line of sportswear. It is an up and coming company with very good products. They focus on clothing that looks good, is modern, sleek, and designed for climbers. Their line for climbers has succeeded in developing an image and carving a niche for itself in the outdoor world. Hardwear has a wide range of products including tents, sleeping bags, packs, and of course clothing. Their clothing line includes pants, shirts, and outerwear for men and women. MH makes the best technical and casual pants in the industry. Many people will attest that MH pants are the best that they have ever owned. They have stylish jeans that are comfortable and won’t restrict your movements, and are made of a rugged denim that will last. On the other end of the spectrum are their more technical pants. Made of a variety of different materials, these pants will perform in any conditions, and are very durable. An example is the Chockstone Pant, made of nylon and elastane. This pant has remarkable stretch, is very light, and is breathable, yet has a durable water-repellent finish that makes it excellent in inclement weather. MH makes different versions of this pant for men and women, as well as a convertible version. These have been the best selling climbing pants in the 2000s decade. The compulsion line has also been very popular amongst climbers and hikers. MH has made a varied selection of shorts/pants using many different materials to optimize performance. They make many types of nylon pants/shorts that are light, quick to dry, and packable, as well as all-weather pants that are waterproof and insulated, but are still comfortable. These MH pants and shorts combine style and function better than any other brand. MH pants and shorts are highly recommended and a great buy.

See also

  1. Best socks Brand for trekking
  2. Best brand of gaiters for trekking Kilimanjaro
  3.  Best down jacket brands for trekking Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Meru, Rwenzori
  4. Best duffel bag brands for Kilimanjaro
  5. Best brand for hiking boots


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