Our recommendations for the best hiking gear guarantee you’ll feel ready to face the great outdoors.
In this article:
- Best Hiking Backpack
- Best Hiking Boots
- Best Hiking Map/GPS Devices
- Best Hiking Water Bottle
- Best Hiking Cooking Ware
- Hiking Clothes Recommendations
- Safety Items
Complete Your Hiking Gear Checklist With These 25 Items
Best Hiking Backpack
Backpacks make multiday hikes possible, and allow hikers to provision themselves with must-have supplies for every contingency. You simply can’t leave home without one strapped behind your back.
1. Osprey Atmos AG 65
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is a clear winner among the backpacks that came out in 2018. Its design combines durability, great fit, and even greater ventilation for a cooler carrying experience during a trek on a hot day.
2. Mammut Trion Zip 42
Multiday hikes can be challenging because of the overall stress a backpack puts on your body. Good thing there’s the Mammut Trion Zip 42 equipped with Mammut’s patented V frame design, which distributes the load on your hips while giving your upper body greater freedom and flexibility.
3. Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40
The Gossamer Gear Gorilla is a favorite among hikers for its comfortable fit and good ventilation. This backpack easily beats the competition in the lightweight to medium category.
Best Hiking Boots
Several professional hiking organizations list footwear as the most important piece of equipment for trekking. It’s simply one of the items you need to invest in, as the outdoors will punish less-than-sturdy shoes at every twist and turn.
4. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Some hiking boots feel like you’re wearing armor on your feet — they are that uncomfortable and cumbersome. The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof model outpaces other hiking boots in terms of comfort and breathability. They’re so good, a lot of hikers own extra pairs for backups.
5. Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot
This pair of boots from Timberland offers a comfortable experience for light- to medium-distance hikers. The White Ledge Boots break-in easily and provide good insulation in cold temperatures.
6. The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
The best hiking shoes provide their owners with consistent stability and support across all kinds of rugged terrain. This pair from The North Face provides those in spades, thanks to its good fit, durable material, and strong traction on various uneven surfaces.
Best Hiking Map/GPS Devices
Thanks to GPS technology, you won’t be walking around in circles. Most GPS devices come in tough form factors and pack features that enrich outdoor navigation.
7. Garmin eTREX 10
The Garmin eTREX 10 is a hardworking GPS device despite being small enough to fit snugly in your palm. Its basic black and white visuals run for 25 hours straight on a single set of batteries and work with both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems.
8. Garmin Oregon 600t
This GPS from Garmin gives hikers the convenience and modern feel of a touchscreen interface while providing the toughness and durability outdoor use requires. The Oregon may feel like a fancy gadget, but it does its job efficiently, providing your positions even in remote canyons and high elevations.
9. Suunto Traverse
In case you favor watches over handheld devices, the Suunto Traverse gives you navigation directions while resting tight and snug on your wrist. The Traverse graphs your journey by giving you information on your ascent speed, distance, vertical speed, and altitude. It’s a hiker and runner’s best friend.
Best Hiking Water Bottle
10. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth
You don’t need much from a water flask, but the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth gives you the best features in a water canteen. It’s durable, easy to clean, well insulated, and highly-resistant to left-over flavors from previous beverages.
11. Salomon Hydro Handset
— Robert Spiced (@DhumidifierGuru) December 11, 2018
When you’re up for some running, not just hiking, the Salomon Hydro Hand straps nicely in your hand while maximizing comfort and levity.
12. Thermos Intak
Thermos has been a trusted brand for generations, and its Intak product line exemplifies the qualities that people have come to expect from the company. The Intak comes in a lightweight, ergonomic design with an easy push-button sipping lid and a dial which updates you on your water intake. You can expect the Intak to survive wear and tear thanks to its impact-resistant Eastman Tritan copolyester material.
Best Hiking Cooking Ware
13. MSR Pocket Rocket
You can cook on the fly with your MSR Pocket Rocket. This little stove can boil water in just 3.5 minutes for fast outdoor cooking. Its serrated supports can hold most average-sized pots and pans in case you’re cooking for more than just yourself.
14. Optimus Terra HE Cookset
The Optimus Terra HE Cookset provides hikers versatility when it comes to cooking as it allows you to fry, steam, and boil while out in the wild. When you’re done, you can easily stack the pots and pan together for easy storage in your backpack.
15. Minipresso GR Expresso Maker
If you can’t survive a day without coffee, you can always bring some beans and make a mean mug while out on a hike. The Minipresso GR Expresso Maker makes this possible because of its featherweight design. Since it’s hand-powered, you don’t have to worry about bringing batteries with you either.
Hiking Clothes Recommendations
Hiking is always a story of Man vs. Nature. The best way to face this kind of aggressor is to wear the right kind of armor. Hikers need the right kind of clothes to layer including jackets and parkas for better insulation against the cold or the heat.
16. Best Hiking Pants: CQR Tactical Pants
These hiking pants provide a good fit and enough storage options in the side pockets for that extra utility. The CQR Tactical Pants’ polyester cotton blend provides great insulation and comfort for cold weather hiking.
17. Best Hiking Shorts: Coleman Men’s Hiking Cargo Shorts
Hiking shorts provide comfort for journeying in warmer weather, and if you’re looking for a pair, this product from Coleman is a great buy. These hiking cargo shorts dry fast, so you can expect them to perform well in inclement weather. The ripstop constructed fabric guarantees durability against the elements.
18. Best Hiking Shirt: White Sierra Bug-Free Sanibel Long Sleeve Shirt
— Robert Spiced (@DhumidifierGuru) December 12, 2018
The Sanibel Shirt from White Sierra makes you look good across a long hike and its patented bug-free fabric staves off mosquitoes and bugs. Not only will you look fashionable, but also you’ll be bite-free.
19, Best Hiking Jacket: The North Face Venture 2 Rain Jacket For Men
Weather the storm, the rain, and the rough winds with this jacket from The North Face. Since it’s made with waterproof material, it’ll guard you against the rain while also providing breathability when the temperature becomes warmer.
Finally, hikers need a few tools to ensure safe hiking. Here are a some items you can find on most hiking checklist PDF lists across several reputable hiking sites.
20. Xtreme Bright Pro Series X55 Headlamp
— Sports Shop (@SportsT21) August 17, 2015
When night hiking spins your wheels, this headlamp from Xtreme will give you the illumination you need to navigate difficult terrain in the dark. The comfortable and adjustable nylon strap will keep the lamp from falling and free your hands in case you need to grip some handholds at night.
21. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus
Multi-day hiking requires you set up a survival shelter and the Co-op Half Dome will provide you something roomy and solid. It’s ideal for hiking in three seasons and easily competes with other products in its category for best in class. This product appears on a lot of camping checklists, and it’s no wonder why.
22. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm
This sleeping bag will keep you warm even if you’re sleeping on frigid ground. Its quilted fabric design also maximizes comfort, so you can have a good night’s sleep in the outdoors.
23. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
These trekking poles will provide you with the best support while negotiating rough terrain. The manufacturer designed the carbon fiber and aluminum shafts for durability and better angling, whether you’re hiking across deserts, rocky mountains, or glaciers.
24. Surviveware First Aid Kit
In case you need a very useful first aid kit, Surviveware will give you more bang for your buck thanks to its tough case, highly-organized interiors, and its multitude of first-aid solutions that address various injuries from wounds, traumas, and heart attacks.
25. Victorinox Alox Cadet Multipurpose Tool
When you need something done out in the wild, you can rely on this multi-function tool from Victorinox. It provides top-of-the-line value for something under $50 while giving you durability and utility while on your hike.
What are the best snacks to pack for the trail? Check out Darwin onthetrail’s suggestions here:
The items here are perfect, whether you’re building a hiking gear list for beginners or you have veteran hikers in mind. The outdoors will punish you and absolutely torture your equipment, but if you invest in the good stuff, you’ll only have to focus on forging ahead and not on the state of your gear.
Would you invest in any of this hiking gear? What other pieces of equipment do you recommend? Give us your answers in the comments section below.