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Looking for recommendations for hiking clothing

Hi there,

I'm looking for the following:

1. socks for hiking, that very comfortable and dry fast.

2. sock for hiking in cold weather, like thermo socks. (32 farenheit)

3. t-shirt long-sleev, fast dry 

4. t-shirt long-sleev, thermo for hiking in cold weather (32 farenheit), fast dry

5. second layer protection sweater, light, for hiking in cold weather (32 farenheit)


thank you!



33 Replies

@jplopez Without digging through my closet searching for the names of clothing items, here are a couple recommendations I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Socks for hiking: Personally I love Wrightsocks. They dry quickly, are very comfortable, are very durable/long-lasting, and have a fabric that really does help prevent blisters!

3. T-shirt, long-sleeve, fast dry: Here are a couple of shirts that I use and love - 

4. T-shirt, long-sleeve, thermo, fast dry: Patagonia's Capilene Thermal Weight Long Underwear Crew Top is my go-to shirt for this category.

Hope this helps!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

thanks a lot, i forgot to say im a man, not woman jajaja but anyways, it helps a lot!

@jplopez My apologies! 

Here are the links for the men's versions. I am also adding a couple of others that I use (I use the women's version) that were not part of my original post.

1. Socks for hiking: Personally I love Wrightsocks. They dry quickly, are very comfortable, are very durable/long-lasting, and have a fabric that really does help prevent blisters!

3. T-shirt, long-sleeve, fast dry: Here are a couple of shirts that I use and love - 

4. T-shirt, long-sleeve, thermo, fast dry: Patagonia's Capilene Thermal Weight Long Underwear Crew Top is my go-to shirt for this category. THIS IS STILL THE LINK TO THE WOMEN'S. PERHAPS SOMEONE AT REI KNOWS IF THERE IS A MEN'S VERSION OF THIS SHIRT? @REI-JohnJ

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hey @jplopez!

What you wear is driven by personal taste and how hot/cold you tend to be. I am a man, 6' and around 200 lbs, and I tend to stay very warm when I hike. That said, here is what I use:

Socks - I am a big fan of boots (bad left ankle) so I wear Fox Creek liners and a thin wool (Danish Wool) sock. If you wear trail runners/hikers, forget the two sock layers and go with a close-fitting single sock. Socks and trail runners do dry much faster than boots. 

Sock for cold weather - What is your sho/boot? If you are serious about keeping your feet warm, start with the shoe or boot. Likewise, consider gaiters to keep the snow and cold out of your shoe/boot.

T-shirt long-sleev, fast dry - Honestly, I use any all polyester, long sleeve shirt that you can pick-up at Walmart.  

T-shirt long-sleev, thermo for hiking in cold weather - Here too, as part of my layering system (long-sleeve on first, then this shirt, then mid-layer, then shell), I go with something like World Wide Sportsman Nylon Angler Shirt. I have found these shirts to be as good as the same type made by Columbia and much bettered priced. 

Second layer protection sweater, light, for hiking in cold weather - I like the Patagonia Mid layer, with the hood. It is light and worn over my long-sleeve and Angler shirt keeps me warm.

OK, hope this helps. BTW, if you are hiking at a good pace or carrying a pack, 32 F is not that cold. Consider wearing a water-proof shell over all of your layers. The wind will move heat away from your body at a tremendous rate. Also, try not to over-heat under all those layers. The sweat that you work-up will soak you from the inside out, and you will be colder as a result. Lastly, an old hiking hack is to start the hike slightly cold (not too many layers) - That way as you warm up do not over-heat and do not need to stop and peel off layers.

Cheers -


thanks my friend!


@jplopez What I wear for hiking backpacking as a middle aged male/hiking nerd.

Columbia Silver Ridge long sleeve hiking shirt (white or light colored) gets dirty and that won't come out but who cares. Dark colors are too hot in summer.

Columbia Silver Ridge long hiking pants light colored (not a fan of convertibles which are bad pants and bad shorts combined imo or stretch fabrics which are heavier, hot and dry slower) Seems REI only sells the convertible version currently but you can get the regular pants elsewhere.

These keep the sun off, give some wind protection and keep the mosquitoes and ticks at bey to some extent. You can treat them with permethrin for additional protection.

REI Paddler hat.  Wide brim ventilated folds up, quite light.  For more local hikes I wear a wide brim straw hat from the hardware store/garden shop.   In the evening or with a rain jacket hood a peaked light weight white Headsweats runners hat.  When it is very cold a wool and fleece beanie. I also have an original Buff which I have only ever used as a sweat band...I don't find it that useful but it might substitute for a wool scarf in the winter...they have a merino wool version.

I also wear sun gloves... I like Glacier Glove Ascension Bay Sun Gloves but REI doesn't sell them.

I have an OR Helium wind jacket but I never found a use for it with the above...It may work when combined with a hooded sun shirt.

Patagonia Capilene tee shirts... unlike most polyester these don't retain the stink at least for me. Bit expensive though.

ExOfficio underwear. I prefer briefs but they have boxers also. These wick, rinse out easily and dry fast.  I find the rise at the waist is a bit high on them but maybe I need to do more situps or eat less.

Darn Tough socks.. I like the medium weight wool blend hiker length for boots and the quarter length for shoes.

I add an inexpensive rain jacket for wind/rain (I think the current one is an Eddie Bauer Weather Edge from their outlet) and have used REI Ranier full zip rain pants for easy on-off...short length even though I'm not particularly...bit heavy but good for brush and the like. I have also used a rain skirt for 3 season since they are the most convenient for occasional showers and weigh very little...not the best for wind and brush though.

For cooler wet weather I add a fleece jacket..a synthetic puffy would also work but it is bit less breathable so I don't have one. If it is very cold (ie not generally wet) then a down puffy is preferred. A rain jacket and the full zip REI pants over the top for wind/rain/snow. Also REI 200 weight merino wool base layer top and bottom although I have used polyester base layers in the past.

Hi @jplopez, and welcome to the Community.

As mentioned by @JBG , I subscribe to the "Be bold.  Start cold." ethos.  I tend to get warmed up pretty quickly once I start moving.  At 32 F, I will typically wear long pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and no more than a fleece or sweatshirt over that, but will carry an insulated layer of some sort for when I take a break or come to the end of the hike.  Also, to fight the cold, don't underestimate the value of a good hat (or hood),

Some of my personal favorite articles of clothing:

Socks: Darn Tough or REI wool socks, silk sock liners, and alpaca wool socks.  You can vary the thickness to suit your needs and shoe fit. The wool works great at breathability and insulation.  The liners minimize friction.

Pants: My favorites are my Outdoor Research Ferrosi's, but I have REI Sahara, Columbia Silver Ridge, and Eddie Bauer Guide pants. The Ferrosi pants are lightweight, durable and slightly stretchy. 

Shirts: Like @bryndsharp , I like the Patagonia Capilene, along with Outdoor Research Echo, Columbia, and some Under Armour

Base Layers: I have both SmartWool and Under Armour.  I usually only need these if the temps drop into the low to mid 20's.  Both do a good job of insulating and transporting moisture.  The wool is more expensive, but the polyester (UA) tends to get smelly.

Insulating Layer: Patagonia R1 Fleece is my favorite for when I'm active.  I have a couple different puffies that I carry with.  Both down and synthetic, to suit individual conditions for when I'm sedentary.

This is only a sampling.  And, while I like my favorites, you need to consider your personal temperature tolerance, fit, activity needs.

I hope this helps.  I am happy to get more specific if you have more questions.

Good luck!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@jplopez Cannot go wrong with Darn Tough (preference) or other merino wool socks.  The weight of the sock really depends on how insulated your shoe/boot is, but medium cushion is probably best.  For that matter, all layers merino if you want to spend the cash, will give you nice thermal properties and fast dry.  I was shocked how much of a difference even the thinnest layers of merino will make for any cold weather activity.

@Rob6 is right on with starting cold.  Keep those extra layers and jackets in your pack.  Don't let your sweat freeze!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I love my Darn Tough socks.