Hiking Gear Materials

Hiking gear differs from other types of gear in materials. As different types of materials will influence the performance and functionality of garments and equipment in various ways, it is important that you know their advantages and shortcomings. For example, Merino wool is great for base layers because it is moisture-wicking and odor-resistant but not suitable for insulation layers because insulation layers made of Merino wool are very heavy.

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Hiking Gear Guide

Advice on Materials


Sustainable outdoor clothing materials?

As hikers we all get to experience the negative impact of humans in the landscapes we spend our time in – whether it is the pollution of a local lake, an abundance of trash in nature, excessive logging or witnessing how the glacier in a national park gets smaller and smaller over the years. According… Read More »

Sustainable outdoor clothing materials

Fleece VS Synthetic Fill Jackets: What to choose?

Over the last couple of years, the popularity of fleece jackets has decreased, and many hikers have replaced their fleece apparel with jackets insulated with synthetic fill. While synthetic fill jackets are indeed warmer for the weight and pack smaller, fleece does have certain advantages over synthetic fill. I own a fleece jacket (Mountain Hardwear… Read More »

Fleece VS Synthetic Fill Jackets

How to repair Merino wool clothes?

It is no secret that we at Best Hiking are big fans of Merino wool base layers. But the kind of thin fine-knit Merino shirts and apparel which are great for all-year usage are unfortunately also very prone to durability issues in the form of small holes. These holes can be caused by anything from… Read More »

With the outside out, carefully connect the two healthy edges around the hole by sewing horizontally.

How to re-waterproof your rain jacket and other rainwear?

If you often have to wear a rain jacket, rain pants or other waterproof clothes, you have probably noticed that the performance of these garments decreases with time. While your new rain jacket kept you dry for hours, it can’t withstand more than half of an hour of rain after half a year of intensive… Read More »

Re-waterproofing rainwear with DWR spray

What are flatlock seams and when are they useful?

If you are buying new sports clothes such as a hiking shirt or underwear, it is very likely that you will sooner or later stumble upon the feature called flatlock seams. Clothing brands typically explain that flatlock seams eliminate chafing and increase the durability of the garment. But is this really true? In the last… Read More »

What are flatlock seams?

Experiment: Does Polyester Really Dry Faster Than Merino Wool?

High quality hiking base layers are these days made either of polyester or Merino wool and online you will find a lot of information about these two materials, especially pros and cons. Polyester is labeled as quick-drying, durable, light and cheap while Merino wool is considered breathable, pleasant to the touch and extremely moisture-wicking. Many… Read More »

Polyester vs Merino Drying Time - Experiment

Rainwear: Hydrostatic Head and Breathability (MVTR)

If you are buying a new rain jacket or any other waterproof garment, you may have come across terms like hydrostatic head and MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate). While clothing brands and online shops are usually great at listing the values of these two parameters for their products, they rarely explain what MVTR and hydrostatic… Read More »

Rainwear - Hydrostatic Head and Breathability

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?