The gear testers at set out on a mission this spring. The goal was to find and report on the best gear for summer day hiking. Now, a light day hike might not sound as extreme or gear intensive as a day of skiing, but the wrong hiking gear can ruin your day on the trail just as fast as the wrong jacket can ruin your day on the slopes. So, get the right gear and hike happily!

Here’s a list of Active Junky’s Top Trail Tested Hiking Gear for this Summer:

Hiking Essentials: Blue and yellow keen lightweight hiking boots.

Keen VerdiMid WP Boot

No matter how long your hike may be, you’re going to need comfortable, durable boots… But you’re also going to need some cool-looking boots! A colorful, lightweight hiker, the Verdi Mid WP features high-traction outsole grips in all directions and a stability shank to provide the confidence you need to stay on even the most slippery of trails. Reliable and wet weather ready, the waterproof, breathable membrane means you’ll be ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw at your feet.  See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: Orange arcteryx day pack.

Arc’Teryx Sebring 25 Daypack

A versatile and lightweight daypack, the Arc’Teryx Sebring 25 is built with both alpine design and urban attitude in mind. Though on the smaller side, this streamlined 25 liter bag features a generous main compartment that unzips all the way down for full access to all your necessities. A hydration bladder sleeve and breathable, mesh back panel will keep you both cool and hydrated while you transition from day hike to daily commute in style. See the full review>


Hiking Essentials: Marmot quasar down jacket in black.

Marmot Quasar Down Jacket

Unpredictable weather is a given for many great hiking destinations. Be prepared with Marmot’s pack-friendly, 9-ounce Quasar Down Jacket.  Insulated by a light 900-fill goose down, which is stuffed into a thin, DWR-treated Pertex Quantum shell and liner, it packs down into one of its own hip pockets for maximum storage just in case things turn chilly.  See the full review>


Hiking Essentials: Dew istick

Dew iStick

The safety and convenience smartphones have provided the casual hiker has been integral in deterring all sorts of disasters. But, man, those things can be finicky. Avoid the risk of a phone-fumble with the new Dew iStick, a slim, flexible and waterproof watch that connects its wearer to their safely stowed smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0. A perfect companion for any hike, the user can change their tunes, track mileage or get updated trail directions with a click of a button. It can even enable hands-free audio voice commands via Siri to take and make calls through integrated speakers and a microphone while keeping your gadget safe from the elements.  See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: Gummy Energy snacks by clif and gu.

Gummy Energy Snacks

Getting a little extra pep in your step is always helpful when you want to get the most out of your day hike adventure. But instead of the usual gooey energy gels or boring trail mix, pocket some of these grown-up fruit snacks the next time you need a little boost. They’re rewarding and distracting like a candy fix, but the added benefit of electrolytes and caffeine can help you make it up those last few switchbacks. Gu Chomps, Shot Bloks, Honey Stinger Energy Chews – we like them all.  See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: Oakley twoface sunglasses in black.

Oakley TwoFace Sunglasses

Oakley’s TwoFace sunglasses utilize HDPolarized lenses to filter out glare when you hit that bright, shiny summit, but without obscuring your view with haze and distortion like many polarized shades. These glasses stay tech-savvy with an innovative mix of aluminum lower orbitals and O Matter (Oakley’s own lightweight and dependable material) on the upper. A three-point fit holds lenses in precise optical alignment so you can conquer any scramble around while still looking cool and mysterious in classic styling.  See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: Merrell Proterra Womens

Merrell Proterra for Women

Minimalist shoes are great at keeping you connected to your trail, but they can be kind of rough when you’re feeling every stone and root on the path. Enter Merrell’s Proterra Vim Sport lightweight hiking shoe, which gives the wearer the ground sensitivity and responsiveness of a minimalist shoe but with the protection of a heftier hiker. These lightweight kicks have a natural and durable fit that provides a close-to-the-ground feel without compromising the stability of chunkier shoes. See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: Osprey hydration pack in red.

Osprey Viper Hydration Pack

Keeping your water levels up is a must on any hike- especially in the warm summer months. Avoid the hassle of carrying an awkward water bottle with Osprey’s Viper series which delivers your hydration in a versatile, light, high-performance package. With a reservoir that conforms to the wearer’s back shape, even when full, the Viper has a precise, stable and comfortable fit and plenty of storage for all your other hiking essentials.  See the full review>

Hiking Essentials: North Face better than naked jacket for women.

TNF Better Than Naked Jacket for Women

Don’t worry if your hiking weather looks a little damp. Just stash this lightweight jacket in your pack and be ready for anything. At less than 5oz, The North Face Better Than Naked Jacket is not only comfortable and highly ventilated for durable performance, it’s also light enough to forget until you need it.  The water resistant finish helps light precipitation roll off while perforated ventilation areas vent warm air away when the sun comes back out. See full review>

Hiking Essentials: Darn Tough socks in black.

Darn Tough Socks

A day hike can be relaxing, exciting, even rejuvenating. But any hike without socks is going to turn into a sufferfest real quick. Keep your feet covered with Darn Tough’s No Show Ultra Light Socks, built from merino wool, nylon and Lycra Spandex to provide comfort and durability for even your longest day on the trail. Front and rear ankle panels keep them from slouching while light cushioning on the bottom produces a surprisingly-generous shock absorber. Not only do these last from sunup till sundown, they could even be the last pair of socks you ever need since Darn Tough also offers a lifetime guarantee.  See the full review>

One thing is for sure; even a light day hike brings a little adventure to the weekend. Even some of the most mellow day hikes can offer some of the most breath taking scenery.  So gear up right and keep the outdoor fun going all summer long. We know we will! Stay Active, Stay Addicted –

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Sub-Categories Camp & Hike / Clothing and Gear / Summer

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