The travel kit list: the best gear for winter hiking

Head for the hills this season, whatever the weather, with our pick of the best winter walking gear.

By Amelia Duggan
Published 13 Nov 2022, 06:03 GMT
Clockwise from top left: The  Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Mountain Range Socks, Arc’teryx Beta SV Jacket, Osprey Archeon 25 Daypack, and the  Shackleton Docker ...

Clockwise from top left: The  Smartwool Hike Light Cushion Mountain Range Socks, Arc’teryx Beta SV Jacket, Osprey Archeon 25 Daypack, and the  Shackleton Docker Merino Sweater.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

When the terrain gets rough, you’ll be glad you opted for a specially engineered hiking sock made from moisture-wicking merino wool. Smartwool designed its durable, breathable mountain range to help hikers go the extra mile, from extra sole cushioning to flexible panelling around the ankle. £22.99. 

2.Arc’teryx Beta SV Jacket 

Gore-Tex technology is part of what makes this waterproof from Arc’teryx top of the line. The designers had Alpine climbers in mind, so each feature has been engineered to keep the wearer safe and dry in the most adverse conditions. The tall collar and sculpted hood keep your head protected in storms, too. £600. 

3. Osprey Archeon 25 Daypack

This backpack is sturdy with an environmentally friendly spec. A foam-ridged back panel, padded hip fins and a removable hip belt ensure comfort even with heavier loads, while the sternum strap features an emergency whistle as standard. The roll-top closure is fully waterproof, and there are a number of handy external pockets. £140. 

4. Shackleton Docker Merino Sweater

A luxurious choice for a mid-layer, expedition outfitter Shackleton’s thermo-regulating docker sweater is made with 100% merino wool. It’s lightweight, fast-drying and designed with ribbing at the shoulders to help cushion a backpack. With a high collar and quarter zip for ventilation, this piece performs in tough climates, from Pembrokeshire to the South Pole. £195. 

Clockwise from top left: the Montane Anti-Freeze XT Hooded Down Jacket, Jack Wolfskin Holdsteig Trousers, TwoThirds Jidda Jacket and the Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip Boots.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

Put through its paces by Montane’s team of extreme athletes, this down jacket is exceptionally lightweight and seriously warm. It easily packs away into a small stuff sack, and has strong sustainability credentials, with recycled outer fabric and down lining. Clever features include adjustable cuffs, hem and hood to minimise heat loss. £250.

6. Jack Wolfskin Holdsteig Trousers

Available in regular, short and tall models, these lined, softshell trousers are both wind resistant and water repellent, making them perfect for changeable weather conditions. Cut to maximise movement, the trousers have been developed with innovative fabric technologies. If you’re looking for a stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking garment, this pair does it all. £120. 

7. TwoThirds Jidda Jacket

Planet-friendly Spanish brand TwoThirds is on a mission to tackle the fashion industry’s role in ocean pollution, and this cosy corduroy coat uses recycled padding, pesticide-free cotton and a low water waste process to reduce its footprint. Currently available in blue, the stylish and eco-savvy Jidda model is versatile across country walks and coastal hikes. £244. 

8. Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip Boots

Billed as ‘the answer to winter adventures’, these sturdy, rubber-soled boots from US brand Danner will provide all the traction necessary should conditions turn icy. Staying dry won’t be an issue, either: the stylish suede outer layers have been enhanced with insulation and a ‘100%’ waterproof barrier. They’re still breathable, too. £230.  

Published in the December 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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