The Best Winter Hiking Gear

The Best Winter Hiking Gear


While summer hikes are incredible, they are usually associated with extremely hot temperatures, crowded trails, and tons of bugs. Hiking in the winter, on the other hand, is peaceful, serene, and scenic.

*Related: The 15 Best Winter Boots

However, winter hiking does call for extreme weather conditions. But the good news is that there is amazing gear designed just for this purpose. If you want to embark on a safe and comfortable hike, you’re going to need the correct essentials.

The Best Winter Hiking Gear


While summer hikes are incredible, they are usually associated with extremely hot temperatures, crowded trails, and tons of bugs. Hiking in the winter, on the other hand, is peaceful, serene, and scenic.

*Related: The 15 Best Winter Boots

However, winter hiking does call for extreme weather conditions. But the good news is that there is amazing gear designed just for this purpose. If you want to embark on a safe and comfortable hike, you’re going to need the correct essentials.

REI- Julbo Colorado Glacier Glasses

Eyewear is essential, especially when hiking in harsh weather conditions. These Julbo Colorado Glacier Glasses provide protection from sun and snow glare. They feature a vented leather side that helps block peripheral light, non-slop temples that you can mold for a comfortable fit, and Brown Spectron 4 lenses with anti-glare coating for true color transmission.

Hestra- Ergo Grip Active

The Ergo Grip Active is an exclusive outdoor glove. It’s made with Ergo Grip construction that creates pre-curved fingers for optimal grip. The palm is made of durable goat leather and the upper is made of waterproof, windproof, and breathable Gore WINDSTOPPER© Breeze. They feature a Velcro closure and reinforcement at index finger.

Granite Gear- Lutsen 45 Backpack

This highly technical, multi-day pack features Granite Gear's newest innovative and fully adjustable Re-Fit System technology, making it easy to customize torso length and hip belt to your personal fit. The Lutsen 45 comes equipped with a dual-density shoulder harness, a zippered stretch mesh hip belt pocket, hydration port and internal hydration sleeve, a stretch mesh front pocket, and tool loops to store your essentials.

Sierra Designs- Women’s Elite DriDownTM Hoody

This is one of warmest, lightweight, versatile down jackets on the market. The Elite DriDown Hoody is insulated with 850 Fill Power Duck DriDown. It features an over-stuffed hood for protection and a longer length for complete coverage. Its thin PU coating in the exterior shell prevents down leaks and provides water and wind protection while increasing warmth.

Kelty- Redwing 50 Backpack

This is the perfect backpack for organizing and quickly accessing gear on brisk backcountry treks. The Redwing 50 features dual side pockets, front and top stash pockets, side compression straps, water bottle pockets, trekking pole and ice axe loops, a removable waist belt, and a sternum strap. Don’t forget your Rain Cover for added protection; it’s lightweight, durable, waterproof, and easily storable.

Muck Boots- Peak Hardcore Hiking Boots

These are one of the most advanced versatile cold weather hiking boots on the market. The Peak Hardcore provides exceptional comfort, support, and protection against all outdoor elements. They are 100-percent waterproof, lightweight, and durable. These boots feature an aggressive outsole, fleece lining, tow and heel rubber guards, and a cushioned EVA midsole. They are rated at negative 40 degrees

Patagonia- Men's Nano Puff® Vest

This warm, water-resistant, windproof vest is just what you need in winter’s harsh weather conditions. The Men's Nano Puff® Vest is lightweight and highly compressible. It’s wrapped in 100-percent recycled polyester shell and liner, and features two zippered handwarmers, a drawcord-adjustable drop-tail hem, and a center-front zipper with a wicking interior storm flap.

High Sierra- Women’s Lynn Insulated Vest

It’s important to layer up, especially on those cold winter hikes. The Lynn Insulated Vest provides you with another layer of protection; the insulation keeps you warm by trapping in heat. The vest features a four-way stretching technology for comfort, handwarmer pockets, an extended collar to protect you from wind, and an interior storm flap with chin guard.

Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon Beanie

Keep your head warm with the luxurious, soft fleece Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon Beanie. It features full ear coverage, stretch fleece back panel, and a Windbloc treatment which shields against icy winds and keeps your head warm through a variety of other harsh conditions.

REI- Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew Neck Long Underwear Top

This is a breathable midweight layer that will keep you dry and comfortable during your long winter hikes. The Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew Neck long underwear top features grid backing that eliminates sweat and traps warmth, full underarm gussets for range of motion, elastic thumb loops for secure hand coverage, and offset shoulder seams that fit smoothly under pack straps.

REI- SmartWool Midweight Long Underwear Bottoms

Put these bottoms on before your snow pants for added warmth and protection on your cold winter hikes. The SmartWool Midweight Long Underwear Bottoms are made with merino wool, which helps maintain comfort in cold climates. They feature a chafe-free flatlock and a wide, soft waistband that helps enhance fit.

Salomon- Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots

This sturdy hiking boot is made for women who enjoy trekking. The Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots are waterproof, lightweight, and extremely cushioned. They feature rubber toe caps and feel slings, wicking polyester lining, dual-density EVA midsoles ,and contagrip rubber outsoles. One reviewer wrote: “I have been wearing these for over 4 months now on my hikes and am so glad I bought them!”

LifeStraw- LifeStraw Go with 2-Stage Filtration

It’s extremely important to stay hydrated, especially when embarking on a strenuous hike. Some hikes will take you to unexpected places and you may feel like you have been climbing in the middle of nowhere for hours. What do you do when you run out of water? The LifeStraw Go with 2-Stage Filtration is just what you need. It helps filter out most waterborne bacteria and protozoa, reduces bad taste, chorine and organic chemical matter, and reduces turbidity, filtering down to 0.2 microns.

SmartWool Medium Weight Hiking Socks

You will feel like you are walking on a cloud. The SmartWool Hiking Sock features a flat knit toe seam and an arch brace that holds the sock in places and adds additional support. One reviewer said: “Love these socks! Went hiking in WV with them the day after I purchased for my husband and myself. We both loved them! Soft and perfect weight.”

Feetures!- Elite Merino + Cushion Crew Socks

If you’re looking for an enhanced fit, maximum comfort, and foot protection from blisters, look no further than the Elite Merino+ Cushion Crew Socks. They feature a Patented Sock-Lock Technology, which provides targeted compression, high-density cushioning, and Merino+ fibers that help keep feet dry and odor-free. One reviewer said: “My husband loves these socks. He said they are the most comfortable socks he's ever had.”

High Sierra- Women’s Lizzie Pullover

The Women’s Lizzie Pullover is the perfect lightweight, stretchy under layer. It contains 245 gm polyester space-dyed stretch fleece, four-way stretching technology for extreme comfort, an oversized comfort collar with a hood, and thumbhole cuffs that help to seal out the cold.

Gaiters- Men’s Crocodiles

Outdoor Research describes the Men’s CrocodilesTM as “simply the best gaiters on the market.” They are breathable, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant. These gaiters feature a double stitched front closure and reinforced boot lace hooks. One reviewer said: “These Gaiters are stellar. They provide protection from the elements where it is most necessary and will keep everything out of your boots.”

High Sierra- Piranha 10L Hydration Pack

As mentioned earlier, staying hydrated is extremely important when embarking on your winter hikes. The Piranha 10L Hydration Pack features an insulted hose cover that prevents water from freezing in the tube. It also contains a large compartment to hold gear, side compression straps, a stretch-mesh front pocket, and a removable waist belt.

REI- Insulated Waterproof Hat

When it’s cold, the wind is harsh, and it’s snowing outside, reach for your Insulated Waterproof Hat. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and breathable. The hat features a soft brim, stretchy fabric, and ear flaps with fleece lining to protect your ears from the cold. One reviewer said: “Just what is needed! Insulated with primaloft so good even when wet, flip up/down front cap part and ear pieces, and waterproof outer layer! Beautiful!”

Icebreaker- Men's Original Long Sleeve Half Zip

Made of 100-percent Merino wool, the Men's Original Long Sleeve Half Zip makes for the perfect mid layer. It’s breathable, naturally anti-bacterial, controls body temperature, and provides UV protection. “I wore this hiking for 2 weeks and no Smell COULDNT ask for better,” one reviewer wrote.

Icebreaker- Women's Oasis Leggings

These warm, soft, and breathable leggings are the perfect base layer for your chilly winter hikes. The Women's Oasis Leggings are made of 100-percent Merino wool. They will keep you warm in cold weather, protect you against the suns harmful rays, and they help to prevent overheating. One reviewer wrote: “Very nice base layer. Super good for hiking. Breathes well and fits well.”

Vasque- Snowburban Ultradry Winter Hiking Boots

These boots were designed for hiking in freezing temperatures. The Snowburban UltradryTM boots are insulated, waterproof, and extremely durable, and they have incredible traction. They feature a fleece collar lining, molded rubber heal kick, rubber toe rand, and a gaiter D-Ring. One reviewer said: “I like this boot so much that I have a second brand new pair in the closet for when my original pair eventually wears out. They keep my feet comfortable, warm and dry while hiking the mountains in Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.”

Mountain Khakis- Men’s Maverick LT Softshell Jacket

This lightweight, performance stretch softshell jacket is just what you need to layer under your warm winter jacket. The Men’s Maverick LT Softshell Jacket features an angled chest pocket, two hand pockets, an internal windflap with rollover chinguard, and drawcord hem.

Patagonia- Women's M10™ Jacket

This is the lightest 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell jacket from Patagonia. The Women's M10™ Jacket features an alpine helmet-compatible hood, two high handwarmer pockets, watertight zippers, a microfleece-lined neck and chin, and cuffs that can be adjusted with ultra-minimalist hook-and-loop closures.

Patagonia- Women's Levitation Hoody

This hoody is designed to protect you against icy snow and mixed conditions. The Women's Levitation Hoody is breathable, stretchy with a weather-resistant soft-shell fabric. It features a center-front zipper with an interior wind flap, a helmet compatible hood, two high handwarmer pockets, and a left-chest pocket that is secured with zippers.

Patagonia- Men's Thermal Speedwork Zip-Neck

This jacket is perfect for wearing next to the skin or over a base layer. The Men's Thermal Speedwork Zip-Neck is warm and stretchy. It features Speedwork fabric for smooth and durable face, and its inside is built for warmth and superior wicking. Store your small essentials in its zippered chest pocket and secure your hands with its overlapping thumb holes.

Sierra Designs- Eleanor Plus 700/30 Degree

If you’re embarking on an overnight hiking trip, you are obviously going to need to get some sleep. The Eleanor Plus 700/30 Degree by Sierra Designs is a mummy-shaped sleeping bag with quilt style closure for bed-like comfort. The shell is 30D Polyester Ripstop, the liner material is 30D Polyester Traffetta, and its insulation is made up of 700 Fill Duck DriDown.

Osprey- MANTA AG™ 28

Dual upper side compression straps, a trekking pole attachment, a stretch mesh front pocket, and a helmet attachment loop make the MANTA AG™ 28 the perfect winter hiking day pack. One reviewer wrote: “Wore it on 3 training hikes and for Whitney. The pack sat with perfect balance on my shoulders and hips. The side hip pockets were great for GU and other snacks.”

Lululemon- Speed Tight IV

Wear these as your base layer, right next to your skin for a comfortable and flexible hike. The Speed Tight IV features multiple pockets for you to store your essentials, a medium-rise for increased comfort and coverage, and reflective detail that helps keep you visible on your night hikes.

Lululemon Outrun 1/2 Zip

The Outrun 1/2 Zip was designed to keep you warm when the temperature drops. Its slim fit makes layering easy and helps to hold the heat close to your body. It features secure pockets to store your essentials, reflective details, and a locker loop. One reviewer said: “Very soft and comfy, the material is thick enough for the colder season.”

REI- Marmot PreCip Full-Zip Rain Pants

When the harsh weather kicks in, you will be happy you’re wearing your Marmot PreCip Full-Zip Rain Pants. These lightweight and reliable pants can be worn alone or over insulating layers. They feature NanoPro fabric that helps move moisture away from your skin, full-length side zippers, an elastic waist, and 100-percent taped seams to seal out the elements. One reviewer wrote: “Took these pants up kilimanjaro. The full-zip is a must. Waterproofing performed well and they provided great wind protection.”

REI- Nalgene Insulated Neoprene Bottle Clothing Sleeve

Keep your hot beverages hot and your cold beverages cold with the Nalgene Insulated Neoprene Bottle Clothing Sleeve. One reviewer wrote: “Worked as promised in near zero temps. Great solution to icing up on a winter hike.”

Garmin- fēnix® 3 HR

The fēnix® 3 HR has the power to track satellite reception in even the most challenging environments. It measures your heart rate, oxygen levels, and contains outdoor navigation features, including a three-axis compass, altimeter, and barometer. With its PVD-stainless steel bezel and buttons and reinforced housing, the watch provides extra durability and will stand up to the roughest conditions.

GoPro HERO5 Black Camera

Capture every breathtaking moment on your hike with the GoPro HERO5 Black Camera. Take 4K video and 12MP photos in single, burst, and time lapse modes. It’s waterproof, durable, and features voice control and touch-screen features for quick and easy use.

Hydro Flask 24oz Standard Mouth

Before you embark on your hike, make sure you fill up your Hydro Flask 24oz Standard Mouth. Keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours. It features double-wall vacuum insulation, TempShieldTM protection, and a durable sweat-free powder coat finish.

Black Diamond- Storm Headlamp

The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is a night hike essential. It delivers 250 lumens of power with both green and red night-vision modes. The headlamp is made of a waterproof housing and features touch-sensitive PowerTap technology. One reviewer wrote: “I hiked two miles in the night plus a 1.5 mile hike on the beach at night with this head lamp. The investment into this product is well worth it, even for new hikers / backpackers.”

Black Diamond- Distance Carbon Z-Pole Trekking Poles

The Distance Carbon Z-Pole Trekking Poles are the lightest folding poles from Black Diamond. They feature a nonslip EVA foam grip, a three-sectioned carbon fiber shaft and an innovative folding Z-Pole system for enhanced packability. Included with the poles are carbide and rubber tips.