Hiking Equipment Materials

Hiking clothing and equipment mainly differ from other types of gear by material. As different types of material will influence the performance and functionality of garments and equipment in various ways, it is important that you know the advantages and shortcomings of certain materials in relation to your needs. Durable materials are for example usually heavier than the less durable while a water-resistant fabric cannot be completely waterproof if it should also be breathable.

Also check out: 

Hiking Gear Guide

Advice on Materials


Down vs Synthetic Jackets – Which jacket is right for you?

A jacket keeps you warm in cold weather by trapping body-warmed air within its fibers. Insulated jackets typically use either down or synthetic insulation. While both insulations can provide good warmth, they do differ in weather resistance, drying time, durability, price and more. In the following we will explain what the differences between down and… Read More »

Down vs Synthetic Jackets

Polyester vs. Merino Wool: Which material is better for sportswear?

Polyester is the most widely used material for sportswear. However, Merino wool is due to its multiple benefits also becoming increasingly used for sports apparel. Therefore, many outdoor enthusiasts and athletes are in doubt which material to choose. It’s indeed hard to say which one is better as both materials have advantages and disadvantages. For… Read More »

Polyester Vs. Merino Wool: Left Icebreaker Merino t-shirt, right Under Armour polyester t-shirt

Why should you wear quick drying clothes for hiking?

Garments for hiking are often labeled as quick-drying. However, many hikers don’t know why they should use quick-drying clothing and what benefits such clothing brings. In the following I’ll explain why you should wear quick-drying clothes for hiking and factors for the drying time of different garments. As the drying time of garments depends on… Read More »

Why should you wear quick drying clothes for hiking?

Durability of Merino Wool – How Durable are Merino Garments?

Durability is often considered as the Achilles heel of Merino wool products. Nevertheless, Merino wool clothing is becoming increasingly popular among hikers, trekkers, mountaineers and other outdoor enthusiasts as it offers superb breathability and odor-control (Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial). Furthermore, it is also very comfortable to the touch and doesn’t cause any itching. Due… Read More »

Durability of Merino Wool

Sun Protective Clothing for Hiking

Hiking is the quintessential outdoor activity and even if the sun does not shine brightly from a clear blue sky, the majority of its harmful UV-radiation will still reach through the cloud cover. Besides weather conditions and cloud cover, UV-radiation levels are influenced by sun height (depends on time of day and season), latitude, ground… Read More »

Sun protective Clothing - UV protection depends on numerous factors, including the porosity of the fabric

Comparison of Shell Materials

A shell is the last (outer) layer of a layered clothing system and is thus worn over a base layer and a mid-layer. In warm weather a shell can also be worn directly over a base layer as insulation, normally provided by a mid-layer, is not required. The term “shell” is sometimes confusing to those… Read More »

Pertex Shield+

Comparison of Mid-Layer Materials

Mid-layers are an important part of a layered clothing system as they provide insulation and thus keep your warm in various conditions. The term “mid-layer” (also referred to as the insulation layer) is often confusing for those who are new to hiking as it can apply to various garments. Fleece jackets, woolen sweaters, down jackets… Read More »

Polartec Power Stretch

Comparison of Base Layer Materials

A layered clothing system is widely adopted by hikers and mountaineers and the base layer is probably the most important part of it as it is in direct contact with the skin. You can wear mid- and outer layers of the highest quality, but if you are wearing a poorly-performing base layer, you won’t be… Read More »

Merino Wool Base Layer

Why you should wear Merino wool clothing?

Hiking, trekking and mountaineering can be strenuous activities and thus they require high performance clothing which keeps you comfortable in various conditions. The performance of a garment greatly depends on the material it is made of. The most common materials found in clothing for hiking are polyester, Merino wool, down (for insulation), nylon and other synthetic materials. Merino wool… Read More »

Merino Wool

Why is cotton bad for hiking?

Cotton is one of the most used materials for clothing as it is highly appreciated for being soft, non-itchy, breathable and durable. However, when it comes to clothing for hiking, mountaineering and other aerobic activities, cotton clothing has too many shortcomings to be efficiently used. Clothing for hiking should offer great temperature regulation as well as… Read More »

Why is cotton bad for hiking?