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Hiking Gear Reviews & Buyers Guide

Hiking Gear Reviews & Buyers Guide

We love hitting the trails, taking a hike, and getting outdoors to stay active as much as you do. And we also know that having the right gear is crucial to make the most out of your outdoor experience. But how do you know what gear you should buy for your next hiking trip? In this article, we'll show you everything you need to know about hiking gear reviews, along with a buyer's guide for the most essential pieces of hiking gear.

Importance of Hiking Gear Reviews

Hiking your first fourteener, attempting your bucket-list thru-hike, or just spending a night in the mountains can be a life-changing experience. It allows us to connect with nature, explore new places and spend quality time with our friends and family. However, to truly enjoy your hiking experience, it's important that you have the right gear. That's where hiking gear reviews come in.

What are hiking gear reviews?

Hiking gear reviews are articles or videos that provide feedback from hikers who have tested various gear, including backpacks, shoes, tents, and more. No one knows better what gear will work for you than those who have put products through their paces. Hiking gear reviews have been written by those who have lived in, hiked in, sweated in, and truly tested each of the products they're reviewing. These reviews typically include information about the gear's quality, comfort, durability, and other relevant features.

Why are hiking gear reviews important?

Here are some key reasons why reading hiking gear reviews is crucial:

1. Saves you money: Investing in hiking gear can be expensive, and it can be tough to decide which product to purchase. By reading hiking gear reviews, you can get an idea of which products are worth investing in and which ones aren't. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.

2. Helps you make informed decisions: When you're purchasing hiking gear, it's essential to make informed decisions. You want gear that is comfortable, durable, and of high quality. Reviewers who are hitting the trails for miles in this hiking gear will know if it is comfortable, durable, and lasts, from trailhead to trail end. Hiking gear reviews can help you learn about the features of different products and decide which one is best for you.

3. Provides real-world information: When you're reading hiking gear reviews, you're getting information from people who have actually used the gear. This means that you're getting real-world information about how a product performs in different conditions, which can help you make a more informed purchase decision.

4. Helps you avoid mistakes: When you're new to hiking, it can be challenging to know which gear to purchase. By reading hiking gear reviews, you can learn from other hikers' mistakes, and find the hiking gear that works best for you. You can avoid making the same mistakes and ensure that your hiking experience is a positive one.

5. Stay current with new products and technology: The hiking gear industry is constantly evolving. New products are being introduced every year, and technology, materials, and quality is improving. Hiking gear reviews can help you stay current with the latest products and technology.

Hiking Gear Buyer’s Guide

From the thrill of discovering new trails or summiting peaks, to the joy of hiking with friends and family, hiking has something for everyone. But there’s nothing worse than being bogged down by bulky or hiking gear that makes every step, every climb, every moment you're on the trail, unenjoyable. So, to help you make the most of your hiking trips, we compiled a comprehensive hiking gear buyer’s guide packed with everything you need to know about hiking and the gear you need to have a fantastic experience.

Backpacks and Storage

A backpack is an essential item for any hiking expedition and getting the right one for you be the difference between enjoying a hike, or wishing you had never set foot on the trail. The type of backpack you need would depend on factors such as your gender, the length of your trip, and the weight of your gear. A backpack should be spacious, comfortable to carry, and have pockets or compartments to help you organize your gear. Choose backpacks made of lightweight, water-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester.

Hydration systems and Water Bottles

Keeping hydrated is crucial for any hike. The last thing you want is to have to turn around halfway through your hike because you aren't hydrating enough. Water bottles and hydration systems need to be easily accessible while you're moving on the trail. A hydration bladder is a great system for hiking, which you can use to drink water on the go. Investing in a hydration system with a large capacity will ensure you stay hydrated throughout your hike, even if you run out of water from your bottle. Ensure you choose a system with a high-quality bite valve, and an extra-large opening for adding ice. Your water bottle or hydration system must be made of durable plastic or metal.


Comfortable footwear is crucial for hiking. Choose lightweight boots or shoes with good tread that will offer the correct type of support you need for your trek. Consider your needs and the trail you will be taking. If you’re planning on taking a long-distance trek, you should invest in hiking boots with excellent ankle support to give you the support you need for steeper climbs and loose rocks. If you are taking a shorter hike, hiking shoes with a solid tread may be enough to get your miles in.. Make sure you invest in quality merino wool socks to reduce friction, and prevent chaffing and blisters. High-quality merino wool socks can even be worn for multiple days on your trip, reducing the amount of gear needed for your hiking trip.

Clothing Layers and Materials

Layering your clothing allows you to adjust your outfit for your comfort as the day heats up or cools down. When shopping for hiking gear, invest in clothing made of breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying materials. Avoid cotton, as it retains moisture, which could make you uncomfortable or lead to hypothermia on cold hiking days. Merino wool base layers and polyester base layers are the best choice, as they are durable, help you stay warm when wet, and assist in regulating your temperature on those hot, summer hikes.

Navigation Tools and Devices

A map and compass are essential navigation tools that should not be overlooked, even if you plan on using your cell phone or GPS device for navigation. Electronic devices may run out of battery, or service may not be available. A map and compass, however, will never run out of battery and don’t require an internet connection. If you prefer using an electronic device, carry a backup battery pack to keep your device charged throughout your hike.

Trekking Poles and Accessories

Trekking poles take the pressure off your ankles and knees and help you keep your balance when hiking through tricky terrain. When shopping for trekking poles, consider the weight, grip, and adjustability. A good pair of trekking poles will have anti-shock mechanisms to reduce the impact of your poles on the ground. If you need additional support and stability, invest in a pair of shoe spikes or walking crampons.

First Aid Kits and Personal Care Items

A first aid kit is crucial when hiking. You need a survival kit that has bandages, antiseptic wipes, medical tape and other supplies essential for treating injuries and illnesses. Other vital hiking gear includes sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, buff, insect repellant and a helmet. Consider your needs and the types of insects and weather you expect when packing personal care items.

Lighting Solutions and Fire Starters

Carrying a flashlight or headlamp is necessary for being safe at your campsite, or if your hike goes longer than expected, and you're hiking out in low light. Invest in lighting solutions with a powerful output to provide ample light for your hiking needs. A lighter, waterproof matches or other fire starter tools are essential for starting a fire for warmth, cooking food or distress signals when you get stranded.

Multitools and Knife Options

A multitool and a knife are incredibly useful when hiking. A good multitool should have pliers, scissors, a screwdriver, blades, and a can opener, among other tools. It comes in handy in various emergency situations and other tasks while on the hike. Invest in a lightweight, sturdy, and durable multitool made of high-quality materials.

Why You Should Invest in Quality Hiking Gear

Hiking can be an amazing experience that allows you to connect with nature, climb to new heights, and enjoy stunning views from your campsite at a high mountain lake. However, to have a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable hike, you need to invest in quality hiking gear.

Reason #1: Safety

Investing in hiking gear that is specifically designed for this activity will improve your safety by reducing the risk of injuries and accidents. High-quality hiking boots, for example, provide better traction and ankle support than regular tennis shoes, which helps prevent slips, falls, and twisted ankles. Similarly, a well-fitted backpack with a hip belt distributes the weight of your gear more evenly, reducing the strain on your shoulders, back and spine.

Reason #2: Comfort

Quality hiking gear can make or break your hiking experience when it comes to comfort. Hiking clothes made from moisture-wicking and breathable materials like merino wool or polyester keep you cool and dry in hot weather and warm and dry in cold weather. This prevents chafing, blisters, and other discomforts that can ruin your hike. Specific hiking clothes builds their clothes differently, making sure seams aren't chafing and causing pain on your hike. Likewise, a good hiking backpack distributes the weight of your gear evenly and comfortably, reducing pressure points and preventing back pain, so you can focus on the trail ahead, instead of your gear..

Reason #3: Durability

High-quality hiking gear not only ensures your safety and comfort but also saves you money in the long run. High-quality gear is generally more durable and long-lasting, which means you won't have to replace it frequently. For example, a good pair of hiking boots with quality construction and materials can last for several years, while a cheaper pair may only last for one season. Even though high-quality gear may be more expensive initially, it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

About Stio

Stio connects you with the outdoors through quality products infused with a mountain soul. Proudly operating from Jackson Hole, WY, we take inspiration from our natural surroundings and put it into every piece of apparel we make. From technical performance to aesthetics, Stio outfits you with exceptional products for unforgettable outdoor experiences.


Is expensive hiking gear worth it?

If you are an avid hiker and plan to spend a lot of time on the trails, investing in high-quality hiking gear can be worth it since high-quality gear tends to last longer. Additionally, expensive hiking gear may offer more features or better technology that can enhance your hiking experience. At Stio, we build high-quality performance hiking gear with a mountain-town flair, meaning you aren't just investing in hiking gear for the trail - you're buying gear you can wear on and off the hiking trail.

How can I find affordable hiking gear?

Remember that there is a difference between affordable hiking gear and cheap hiking gear. You want hiking products that are built with quality materials, designed by people who live and breathe the outdoors, and will keep you comfortable from first step, all the way to the summit. Products like Stio are meant to last season after season, so while the initial cost may be more than a cotton shirt, uncompromised comfort with Stio will guide you on the trail, year after year. There are several ways to find affordable hiking gear:

  • 1. Look for sales and clearance deals at outdoor gear retailers.
  • 2. Shop at secondhand stores or online marketplaces such as eBay or Craigslist.
  • 3. Join hiking groups or online communities and buy or exchange gear with other members.
  • 4. Rent gear for your hiking trips instead of buying it.
  • 5. Wait for seasonal sales, such as end-of-season clearance sales, to purchase gear.
  • 6. Consider purchasing off-brand gear, which can be less expensive but still high quality.

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