Best Winter Hiking Gear

TheActiveTimes.com

While summer hikes are incredible, they are usually associated with extremely hot temperatures, crowded trails and tons of bugs. Hiking in the winter, on the other hand, is peaceful, serene and scenic. However, winter hiking does call for extreme weather conditions. But the good news is that there is amazing gear designed just for this purpose. If you want to embark on a safe and comfortable hike, you're going to need the correct essentials.

Start off by purchasing your base, middle and outer layers. According to REI, your base layer should be the layer right next to your skin. It will help regulate your body temperature and remove sweat. Your middle layer should be a lighter jacket/pullover with insulation; this will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Lastly, your outer layer should be a weather protection jacket that fights snow, wind, and rain.

Other necessary pieces of winter hiking gear include a warm and waterproof pair of hiking boots, a hat, gloves, goggles, gaiters, socks and a backpack.

Best Winter Hiking Gear

REI Julbo Colorado Glacier Glasses
 

REI Julbo Colorado Glacier Glasses

Eyewear is essential, especially when hiking in harsh weather conditions. These Julbo Colorado Glacier Glasses provide protection from sun and snow glare. They feature a vented leather side that helps block peripheral light, non-slop temples that you can mold for a comfortable fit, and Brown Spectron 4 lenses with anti-glare coating for true color transmission.

Patagonia Men's Nano Puff Vest
 

Patagonia Men's Nano Puff Vest

This warm, water-resistant, windproof vest is just what you need in winter's harsh weather conditions. The Men's Nano Puff® Vest is lightweight and highly compressible. It's wrapped in 100-percent recycled polyester shell and liner, and features two zippered handwarmers, a drawcord-adjustable drop-tail hem, and a center-front zipper with a wicking interior storm flap.

REI Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew Neck Long Underwear Top
 

REI Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew Neck Long Underwear Top

This is a breathable midweight layer that will keep you dry and comfortable during your long winter hikes. The Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew Neck long underwear top features grid backing that eliminates sweat and traps warmth, full underarm gussets for range of motion, elastic thumb loops for secure hand coverage, and offset shoulder seams that fit smoothly under pack straps.

Salomon - Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots
 

Salomon - Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots

This sturdy hiking boot is made for women who enjoy trekking. The Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boots are waterproof, lightweight and extremely cushioned. They feature rubber toe caps and feel slings, wicking polyester lining, dual-density EVA midsoles and contagrip rubber outsoles. One reviewer wrote: "I have been wearing these for over 4 months now on my hikes and am so glad I bought them!"

Feetures! - Elite Merino + Cushion Crew Socks
 

Feetures! - Elite Merino + Cushion Crew Socks

If you're looking for an enhanced fit, maximum comfort, and foot protection from blisters, look no further than the Elite Merino+ Cushion Crew Socks. They feature a Patented Sock-Lock Technology, which provides targeted compression, high-density cushioning and Merino+ fibers that help keep feet dry and odor-free. One reviewer said: "My husband loves these socks. He said they are the most comfortable socks he's ever had."

Gaiters - Men’s Crocodiles
 

Gaiters - Men’s Crocodiles

Outdoor Research describes the Men’s CrocodilesTM as "simply the best gaiters on the market." They are breathable, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant. These gaiters feature a double stitched front closure and reinforced boot lace hooks. One reviewer said: "These Gaiters are stellar. They provide protection from the elements where it is most necessary and will keep everything out of your boots."

Patagonia - Women's M10 Jacket
 

Patagonia - Women's M10 Jacket

This is the lightest three-layer waterproof/breathable shell jacket from Patagonia. The Women's M10™ Jacket features an alpine helmet-compatible hood, two high handwarmer pockets, watertight zippers, a microfleece-lined neck and chin, and cuffs that can be adjusted with ultra-minimalist hook-and-loop closures.

Osprey - MANTA AG 28
 

Osprey - MANTA AG 28

Dual upper side compression straps, a trekking pole attachment, a stretch mesh front pocket, and a helmet attachment loop make the MANTA AG™ 28 the perfect winter hiking day pack. One reviewer wrote: "Wore it on 3 training hikes and for Whitney. The pack sat with perfect balance on my shoulders and hips. The side hip pockets were great for GU and other snacks."

Lululemon - Speed Tight IV
 

Lululemon - Speed Tight IV

Wear these as your base layer, right next to your skin for a comfortable and flexible hike. The Speed Tight IV features multiple pockets for you to store your essentials, a medium-rise for increased comfort and coverage, and reflective detail that helps keep you visible on your night hikes.

Black Diamond - Storm Headlamp
 

Black Diamond - Storm Headlamp

The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is a night hike essential. It delivers 250 lumens of power with both green and red night-vision modes. The headlamp is made of a waterproof housing and features touch-sensitive PowerTap technology. One reviewer wrote: "I hiked two miles in the night plus a 1.5 mile hike on the beach at night with this head lamp. The investment into this product is well worth it, even for new hikers / backpackers."

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For the complete list of Best Winter Hiking Gear, go to TheActiveTimes.com.

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