A thread for good alternative hiking clothing

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by tom, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Most clothing produced by “outdoor” labels seems of limited suitability for hiking and best described as “outdoor fashion” IMO. Even looking for clothing on sites like ULOG, the majority of products is quentionable in terms of weight and cut/comfort – e.g. an underwear range that looks extremely uncomfortable and is insanly heavy. Or most “hiking” pants and shorts have uncomfortably high cut crotch designs (presumably for looks..) - certainly don't look like pants designed to walk 20 or 30 miles in every day. Personally, I use mostly non-outdoor clothing these days and getting better at spotting things in unexpected places.

    Most of us do this with shoes already and hike in trail runners. Running shorts is also an common example of clothing better suited for hiking than the hiking shorts. So I thought I'd start a thread to share tips and finds here

    First up, the “Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Long Sleeve Sweater” by Uniqlo – currently on sale too… Same weights as light fleece tops (211gr in a generously cut S-size, 233gr for an generous M-size on my scale) but feels warmer than good quality fleece (and doesn’t get smelly). I’ve long stopped using any merino base or mid layer products (heavy, not all that warm and insanely expensive for what they offer) so I’m always on the lookout. Bought this Uniqlo for non-hiking use and quickly noticed that this is a superior piece of hiking kit actually...
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  2. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    By far the most comfortable undies I’ve found come from Marks & Spencer. I’m using their micro skin hipsters https://www.marksandspencer.com/2-p...T14_6062A_Y0_X_EC_90&color=BLACK&prevPage=plp

    I use them for every day use but also for backpacking. Much more comfortable than some Under Armour trunks I bought. Wick sweat away and are reasonably smell resistant. Hopefully they will be as hardwearing as my previous M&S undies that lasted for nearly 10 years.
    dovidola, tom and Chiseller like this.
  3. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I have to admit... I don't really agree, running gear crosses over well as do plenty of random clothing items. When I first started hiking, I wore polyester/nylon jogging trousers/tracksuit pants. They were perfectly suitable... I kept blowing out the crotches though because of the lower cut. I now prefer regular hiking pants with some stretch and proper articulation.

    That's not to say that a lot of gear isn't badly designed for hiking. It is, but as always what works for some doesn't necessarily work for others.
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  4. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Summit Camper

    Uniqlo Airism Mesh undies turned inside out - so the flat seam is on your skin.
    I also tried and liked the Uniqlo Merino crew neck listed and the Uniqlo merino polo with button neck but they were quickly surpassed by the White Sierra Baz As 1/4 zip off US Amazon-buy the colour no-one else wants and about $10-$15. Lighter, breathes better, warmer and with the Patagonia LW underneath -no smell. All from an Australian climate perspective though.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  5. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    I like my Montane Terra trousers for hiking, sizing is hit and miss depending on the year, but the vents work really well

    Still a fan of Nike Dri-Fit stuff for me tops and shorts
    Find it works really well for me, breathable, dries quickly, and offers a fair both of warmth
    Better still you can find older lines cheap at factory outlets here

    Not worn hiking shoes/boots in years, can't see me going back
    trail runners for everyday use, running, MTBing and hiking

    Socks, running socks

    Grundies, pricey but my ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh grundies are comfortable, dry really reaaalllyyyyyyyyyyy quick and last well.
    Not sure they're worth the price though, will look for cheaper alternatives when i replace them
    tom likes this.
  6. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    The M&S "no VPL" microfibre range are super light (10-15gr) and extremely comfortable as long as you don't mind wearing girls :oops: underwear... (some of us hate anything boxer type :D) Double up as swimwear too for the unexpected spa visit on a tru-hike :rolleyes:
  7. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Each to his (or her) own. I find hipsters are the best design for me. You could get away with them as swimming trunks too although I wouldn’t dive in them :biggrin:
  8. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Uniqlo heattech long johns - only 96g. Nothing in hike-world comes close for low weight warmth comfort ratio.

    Also had a Uniqlo airism t-shirt - only 50g. Admittedly sleeveless so I only use it for sleep as I need sun protection on shoulders and wear an Echo hoodie in the heat.

    Charity shop mesh sort of fabric printed shirt - around 100g. Much lighter, and if I may say so, more stylish, than any hiking shirt and more breathable too.
    WilliamC likes this.
  9. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Much love for Uniqlo here, it seems. Here's a little more - Uniqlo Airism underwear - the boxers are similar to Rohan Ultra Silver but much cheaper. The have briefs as well for those that prefer them.
  10. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Uniqlo do an Airism hoody, but I think it's in a heavier-weight material.
  11. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Yes, it's nice but rather heavy so doesn't quite cut the mustard. Also, what is it? It's heavier and less functional than a wind shirt and it's not as warm as a Berghaus hyperloft (I think I've forgotten the name of the thing, but you know what i mean), so it's not useful.
  12. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Summit Camper

    Most of the Uniqlo Airism and Airism Mesh stuff has elastane (as you would expect) and this makes drying time a real problem-especially in the cold, and the cold for me here in OZ would be less critical I think than over there in European cold? The Airism Mesh stuff is closest tho' to Patagonia LW stuff in drying time and weight but still significantly slower. The Patagonia LW stuff is close to perfect for me. Get it on sale but get it.
    Long sleeve in L 102gms. Light grid. Multiple washes still no smell 100%Poly.
    Long sleeve in Airism mesh about the same but full of holes-well mesh.
    The Uniqlo Nylon shorts are my choice of walking shorts if you take them up to about a 70mm inseam.
    I use the Uniqlo Light heatech also for PJs.
    As Clare said the Women's Airism Mesh UV hoodies (I think this might be the model you were referring to?) work but are heavy- tried to wash one on a four day summer walk-took forever to dry.
    I have some excellent UL fishing shirt (the shirt could count as everyday wear with one or two mods) and an UL cycling windshirt recommendations but not sure that's what you are after?
  13. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Army surplus isn't usually lightweight but there are a couple of nuggets:
    1. US Army ECWCS Gen III Level 2 fleece: this is the army's take on Patagonia's R1 pullover, it's a tad lighter than Patagucci, a lot cheaper and uses the same Polartech fleece but with half the eslatane content for faster drying.
    2. US Army PCU Level 1 long johns: 4 gr heavier than Uniqlo thin LJs, a lot warmer and far more breathable. [Edit: to clarify, at 136 gr, mine in size M are 4 gr heavier than my Uniqlo in size L].
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    gixer likes this.
  14. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    What are the sizes like?
    Usually a American large is like a Euro XL
  15. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    I tend to go one size down e.g. the size M LJs are the same size as European size Ls. But in the case of the pullover, I got a size M which is also the Patagnoia R1 size that would fit me.
    gixer likes this.

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