British hikers walked further and more frequently last summer according to findings by the Ordnance Survey, on average wandering 12km (7.45 miles) on a typical hike. While the pandemic had a part to play, this reflected increased global interest in the sport, with the Hiking Gear & Equipment market, estimated at $4.4bn worldwide in 2020, expected to grow by 7.1 per cent between 2021 and 2026. The design focus is on adaptable, durable and easily portable kit. Here’s our selection:


Arc’teryx Gamma Quick Dry Men’s 11in shorts

Arc’teryx Gamma Quick Dry Men’s 11in shorts, £100
Arc’teryx Gamma Quick Dry Men’s 11in shorts, £100

These performance shorts are hard-wearing, breathable, quick-drying and lightweight. The cut is outstanding – the fit and length are just right (they’re slightly tailored yet sufficiently roomy with some stretch) – and the details well considered: from the buckle belt that can be fastened (and unfastened) with one hand to the provision of five zip-fastening pockets. £100, arcteryx.com


Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro II Adventure Sandals

Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro II Adventure Sandals, $130
Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro II Adventure Sandals, $130

These performance sandals can be used for long-distance hiking due to their clever strap-fastening system (with three adjustments) ensuring the soles – that have a sticky Vibram Megagrip outsole and supportive 3D moulded footbed – fit securely over all terrains. $130, bedrocksandals.com


Allbirds Natural Run Tee 

Allbirds Natural Run Tee, £58
Allbirds Natural Run Tee, £58

This T-shirt is outdoor-proof thanks to a special fabric made from a merino wool, recycled polyester and eucalyptus tree fibre that’s cooling, antibacterial and odour resistant. As an added incentive, it’s also carbon-neutral. £58, allbirds.co.uk


Patagonia Women’s Quandary 5in shorts

Patagonia Women’s Quandary 5in shorts, £55
Patagonia Women’s Quandary 5in shorts, £55

These lightweight women’s shorts are made from a water-repellent nylon-spandex-mix that has plenty of stretch for hiking. The hidden drawstring on the inside of the waistband also means they’re easily adjustable for comfort. £55, eu.patagonia.com


Buff CoolNet UV Neckwear

Buff CoolNet UV Neckwear, £16.95
Buff CoolNet UV Neckwear, £16.95

Worn around the neck, as a bandana or over the top of your head, this stretchy band is moisture wicking and UPF50+ UV rated, and is very effective at keeping the sun at bay, while soaking up perspiration. £16.95, buff.com


Rab Incline Light Pants

Rab Incline Light Pants, £75
Rab Incline Light Pants, £75

A pair of trousers that pack down to almost nothing for easy transportation. The stretchy nylon fabric allows for plenty of freedom of movement but is also hard-wearing with great breathability. £75, rab.equipment


Fjällräven Abisko Trekking short-sleeved shirt 

Fjällräven Abisko Trekking short-sleeved shirt, £100
Fjällräven Abisko Trekking short-sleeved shirt, £100

A smart shirt few would guess was designed for outdoor adventuring. The polyester-elastane-mix fabric has tiny perforations designed for ventilation and moisture wicking, and provides extra stretch for comfort. The pockets disguise a mesh lining with a zip that can be opened to create extra air flow against the body and the press-style buttons mean it slips on and off easily. £100, fjallraven.com


On Cloudridge

On Cloudridge, £170
On Cloudridge, £170

A lightweight summertime hiking boot that does away with superfluous details, such as waterproof membranes, replacing them with breathable materials such as the mesh tongue and liner, which not only deals with heat but creates a more trainer-like feel. The sole is slightly curved to maintain a natural walking motion, which is why these boots have become a popular choice for alpine walkers. £170, on-running.com


Arc’teryx Atom SL hoodie

Arc’teryx Atom SL hoodie, £180
Arc’teryx Atom SL hoodie, £180

It can be chilly hiking at dusk and dawn, which is why a good jacket should be part of your kit. This lightweight hoodie packs down impressively small for easy storage, and the synthetic insulation on the chest and back offers just the right level of warmth when worn. £180, arcteryx.com


Leki Makalu FX carbon walking poles

Leki Makalu FX carbon walking poles, £135.11
Leki Makalu FX carbon walking poles, £135.11

Walking with poles is often sniffed at but the benefits include improved posture and stability, plus they engage upper body muscles for a more complete workout. These new foldable poles (fitting neatly in a backpack) have extra long handles with straps for comfortable use and a strong, light carbon construction. £135.11, alpinetrek.co.uk


Melin A-Game Hydro cap

Melin A-Game Hydro cap, £55
Melin A-Game Hydro cap, £55

A cap that fits well – without leaving an imprint on your forehead – and looks good. It ticks all my boxes: it’s well-crafted, breathable and moisture wicking with SPF protection – plus the brim isn’t too long. £55, melinbrand.co.uk


Osprey Talon Pro 20 backpack

Osprey Talon Pro 20 backpack, £175
Osprey Talon Pro 20 backpack, £175

At 20 litres, this backpack houses a typical day’s hiking gear. It’s lightweight and has a cleverly designed back panel with mesh and foam that allow for airflow to cool the body, while a padded hip belt and sternum straps ensure a secure fit. The ample storage includes a main compartment that can carry a water reservoir and zip pockets for a phone or snacks. £175, ospreyeurope.com


Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat

Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat, £75
Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat, £75

This wide-brimmed sun hat is rated SPF50+ and has a water-repellent finish for use in all weathers. It’s made from nylon, ensuring it’s very durable and machine-washable, and has a moisture-wicking sweatband for a comfortable fit. £75, uk.tilley.com


Icebreaker Merino Hike+ Light Crew socks

Icebreaker Merino Hike+ Light Crew socks, £24
Icebreaker Merino Hike+ Light Crew socks, £24

These merino-wool synthetic blend socks maintain body temperature in hot weather yet still offer a nice level of cushioning underfoot. £24, icebreaker.com


Montane Pac Plus waterproof jacket

Montane Pac Plus waterproof jacket, £220
Montane Pac Plus waterproof jacket, £220

The weather will always be unpredictable, so a waterproof shell is good to have on hand, even on summer hikes. This one is made from Gore-Tex Paclite Plus: a durable, highly waterproof and breathable material that packs down well. As the jacket weights just 283g, it’s also ideal to stow in a backpack. £220, montane.com


Camelbak x LifeStraw Eddy+ bottle

Camelbak x LifeStraw Eddy+ bottle, £50
Camelbak x LifeStraw Eddy+ bottle, £50

A collaboration with filtration experts LifeStraw means that this life-saver can be filled from the nearest stream or pond and bacteria, parasites and microplastics are removed from the water before drinking. £50, camelbak.co.uk

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