With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to prepare yourself for some post-hibernation outside activities. The days are getting longer, the sun a bit warmer, and those stir-crazy feelings are peaking in intensity. Our suggestion? Find some time in-between work or on the weekend to get out and burn off some of that pent-up energy on a day hike. Fresh air, blooming flora, a bit of solitude and peace; sounds like a recipe for success if you ask us. And while extended camping stays, off-roading, or adventure biking would certainly serve as a more adrenaline-infused way to reinvigorate that Spring mindset, hiking can be just as rewarding.
But with that lingering chill in the air during the morning and evenings, you could get blindsided by winter’s last stand if you’re unprepared. Early Spring is a finicky season; moody to say the least. So it’s definitely in your best interest to carry the proper gear with you if spending any amount of extended time outdoors is on the docket in the coming month. A great option in this regard is a hiking vest. They’re lightweight, keep your core warm, and are unrestrictive due to their sleeveless nature. But in a world full of options, choosing the right hiking vest can be difficult. Fortunately, we’ve outlined 10 of our favorite hiking vests to get you started this season. Onward and upward into Spring.
Carhartt Sherpa Vest
From the brand that makes some of the most reliable outdoor workwear around comes their Sherpa Lined vest made with 100 percent cotton. Carhartt knows quality. It’s why they’re trusted throughout the industry for their durable construction and warming capabilities. The Sherpa, for instance, features a heavy-duty antique-finish zipper, is Sherpa lined for extra warmth, machine washable and capable of handling just about any conditions thrown its way.
Iron & Resin Rogue Vest
If you’re looking for a warm and quilted vest with a bit of West Coast-inspired rustic flair then Iron & Resin’s Rogue Vest is an ideal offering from the California-based company. It features a polyfill insulation in conjunction with its quilted construction, side seam hand pockets, and a shell that’s made from 100 percent polyester.
As an all-around solid option, Marmot simply offers a quality hiking vest that’s void of any superfluous features. If you’re more of the minimalist type looking for function first, then this is the ticket. It’s made with Polartec Classic 100 Polyester, boasts a flat-lock construction, a chin guard, and wind flap for added protection. Carrying a bit of extra outdoor EDC won’t be an issue either thanks to a series of zippered pockets on the Reactor as well.
The North Face Apex Bionic 2
The North Face is an obvious choice for anyone looking to pick up a new hiking vest this season. It’s a classic vest utilizing their well-known composition for a lightweight wearable that will keep you warm during those chilly mornings. It features a WindWall fabric for wind and water resistance, a relaxed fit, cinch cord to help you find that perfect fit, and a set of zippered pockets for any extra carry items.
Smartwool Corbet 120 Vest
You simply just can’t go wrong a composition of polyester and wool. Take this SmartWool vest for example, boasting a merino wool backing and interior composition. Merino also lines the front panel and the collar of the 120 vest for sweat and odor management. You’ll also find two hand pockets, a secure zip chest pocket, and front zipper with draft flap for a bit of extra protection against that chilly breeze.
Arc’Teryx Atom LT
Arc’Teryx isn’t on to mess around when it comes to outdoor activewear. That’s why their Atom LT is one of their best-selling hiking vests around. It features a Tinthan shell with a DWR coating for water resistance, zippered hand pockets and an internal chest pocket, Coreloft synthetic insulation to help keep you toasty on those chilly mornings, and Polartec Power Stretch sides to keep your mobile and ready for anything.
Patagonia Ultralight Down Vest
Leave it to Patagonia to put together a stylish yet highly functional down vest that’s lightweight, will keep you warm of those chilly morning hikes, and work to block that nippy wind from penetrating to your core. It’s insulated with 800-fill-power and 100 percent traceable down, boasts a Pertex Quantum ripstop nylon fabric for a durable yet extremely lightweight feel and comes equipped with zippered hand warmer pockets for good measure.
Fjallraven Keb Vest
Ready to help you tackle the trails and set up camp miles away from the nearest service station, the Fjallraven Keb Vest boasts a set of shoulder pads to help protect your back against the shoulder straps on your pack. It’s also built with a quick drying fabric, G-1000 Eco reinforcements for increased longevity over time, and is made with organic cotton and recycled polyester, because if you have an appreciation for the outdoors, why not remain aware of your carbon footprint?
Filson Lined Cruiser Vest
As far as quality and class are concerned, Filson is honestly one of the best in the biz. Their Cruiser Vest, made from heavy duty, rugged and rain repellant Tin Cloth is a perfect option for both the trail and a weekend at the cabin. It’s lined with moisture-wicking virgin wool for enhanced warmth, features multiple pockets for storing that EDC gear, a snap closure, and two hand warmer pockets in case you left the gloves at home. It’s clearly a highly versatile, and well-made vest that works all sorts of environments and settings.
Aether Trace Vest
Aether specializes in technical outdoor apparel that’s both cutting edge and stylish without looking over-the-top. This piece, dubbed the Trace Vest, is a slim-fitting option that’s both wind and water resistant, designed as either a layering piece or can be worn on its own, and outfitted with 170 grams of Prima Loft for enhanced warmth in a slim and lightweight design. Trace also comes equipped with a zippered drop pocket, a media pocket with a headphone audio valve, and features a Schoeller nylon shell material resulting in unmatched durability.