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Arc’teryx

Design-Forward Hiking Clothes

And Wander

And Wander

Design-Forward Hiking Clothes

And Wander

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Launched in 2011 by two Issey Miyake alums, And Wander has pretty quickly become the darling of fashion outdoors types, and it’s because of the marriage of form and function. No matter how wild the concepts get—asymmetrical zippers, attachable pouches, etc.—they’re always born out of real functional needs. It’s all whimsical, but nothing is done for the sake of doing it. Also, the little poem tagline is better than any other brand manifesto:

to be rained upon

caught in wind

or simply trekking

the mountain is fun

Best Place to Buy a Mid Layer

The North Face

The North Face

Best Place to Buy a Mid Layer

The North Face

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Before terms like gorpcore and techwear existed, people just wore The North Face. No single brand can be credited for sending down puffers mass market, but The North Face comes as close as any. And to this day, that’s what we like to get there—whether it’s a classic Nuptse for the city or this Breithorn mid layer.

Best Place to Buy a Base Layer

Smartwool

Smartwool

Best Place to Buy a Base Layer

Smartwool

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This is the purchase that probably most differentiates real outdoorspeople from people that like outdoor clothing. If you’re doing any outdoor sport, your base layer is maybe your most important piece of clothing. It’s should keep you warm and dry—trapping body heat while wicking sweat. For that, there’s no better natural material than merino wool (often it’s even better than synthetics). And for wool base layers, we’re always going to go Smartwool.

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American Outdoor Royalty

Patagonia

Patagonia

American Outdoor Royalty

Patagonia

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There’s no way I couldn’t mention Patagonia. Not breaking any news here, but the brand has a pretty good hold on the American Outdoors look in 2023. Even if you don’t want to go full head-to-toe and look like a software developer in the Bay Area, there are jackets, tees, and, of course, Baggies that you deserve space in your closet.

The Everyman Outdoors Brand

Columbia

Columbia

The Everyman Outdoors Brand

Columbia

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If head-to-toe Patagonia makes you look like a Silicon Valley bro, head-to-toe Columbia makes you look like a Southern dad fishing off the Florida panhandle. Still! For affordable outdoor clothing, no one can really beat the brand. Look for performance shirts, hiking pants, hiking shorts, and a bunch of dirt-cheap favorites.

High Fashion Military Surplus

C.P. Company

C.P. Company

High Fashion Military Surplus

C.P. Company

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We love Stone Island around here, but C.P. Company—the older sibling of the Massimo Osti-founded brands—has remained more true to the visionary creator’s original designs. And now with his son Lorenzo Osti as president of the company, it seems that will remain the case. Though it’s more military-inspired fashion, not super tech-y outdoor clothing, C.P. Company makes plenty of outdoor ready products. Catch me on the trails rocking the classic goggle jacket.

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High(er) Fashion Military Surplus

Ten C

Ten C

High(er) Fashion Military Surplus

Ten C

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While we’re talking C.P. Company, we’ve gotta talk Ten C. Founded by former C.P. Company designer Alessandro Pungetti, Ten C makes even more elevated takes on old-school Italian military surplus outdoor clothing. We’re talking artisanal Japanese fabrics, hand-stamped garments, and the biggest fucking parkas you’ve ever seen. You might not want to wear a $2,000 jacket camping, but trust us: It’s the only way to pay respect to the craftsmanship.

Japanese Fly Fishing Favorites

South2 West8

South2 West8

Japanese Fly Fishing Favorites

South2 West8

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A Japanese fly-fishing brand from Hokkaido, South2 West8 is part of the Nepenthes family of brands, so it has been adopted by Japanese-influenced streetwear heads. But even without that associated hype, the brand should be at the top of your radar. The materials are killer. The jackets are sick. And, every piece has a shit ton of pockets for carrying fishing line and multi-tools.

Fishing Gear for Real Anglers

Grundéns

Grundéns

Fishing Gear for Real Anglers

Grundéns

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If you’re more concerned about catching fish than getting fits off, Grundéns is as high-performance as it comes. The brand is loved by working fishermen for its commercial-grade products. For part-time anglers, no one makes better waders, jackets, or fishing shirts.

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Minimalist Trail Favorites

Goldwin

Goldwin

Minimalist Trail Favorites

Goldwin

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A lot of outdoor gear is bright and garish, because if search and rescue is chasing after you, it’s safer to have something they can see from a mile away. But that doesn’t work for putting a fit together. So for hiking apparel in understated colors, we always go Goldwin.

Fashion’s Favorite Hiking Shoes

Salomon

Salomon

Fashion’s Favorite Hiking Shoes

Salomon

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Go to an artisanal coffee shop in any major city, and you’ll see a million pairs of XT-6’s. Fashion’s favorite sneaker has stayed relevant a lot longer than anyone expected. But dig a bit deeper into Salomon’s catalog, and you’ll find some of the best hiking boots, approach shoes, and trail runners on the market.

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But if you want to look like you really know what’s going on, Italian-brand ROA is making some of the best fashion hiking shoes on the market. Bonus: The brand is building out a nice apparel line to match.

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Best Leather Hiking Boots

Danner

Danner

Best Leather Hiking Boots

Danner

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Full leather construction has fallen out of fashion in hiking boots, but if you’re a “buy less, buy better” type, nothing is going to last you as long. Buy one pair of Danner Gore-Tex boots, and you’ll never have to buy another—only replace the Vibram soles when the time comes.

The Best Affordable Outdoor Footwear

Keen

Keen

The Best Affordable Outdoor Footwear

Keen

The Best Shells on Earth

Arc’teryx

Arc'teryx

The Best Shells on Earth

Arc’teryx

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Like Salomon shoes, Arc’teryx shells are inescapable. Though there’s a longer, cooler history of people wearing them, they’ve fallen into the same category of meme-wear. That shouldn’t be the case, though! Arc’teryx makes the best rain gear on the planet. If you need anything water-resistant, go to Arc’teryx.

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Streetwear-Focused Techwear

Arc’teryx System_A

Arc'teryx System_A

Streetwear-Focused Techwear

Arc’teryx System_A

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And while Veilance gets a lot of the hype from techwear minimalist dudes, I think System_A—the more streetwear-focused Arc’teryx line—has a better look. The baggy pants, bright colors, and weird cuts are a lot more trail-ready than Veilance’s slim, minimalist look.

Japanese Camping Classics

Snow Peak

Snow Peak

Japanese Camping Classics

Snow Peak

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Snow Peak is better known for its gear, but the brand has a lovely line of clothing. With generous unisex cuts and a bunch of calm neutrals, it’s a look that works for anyone.

Lettermark

Associate Commerce Editor

Luke Guillory is the Associate Commerce Editor at Esquire.

 

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By Amalia