Your choice of head wear is very much dependant on the climate in which you will be hiking. For summer conditions and hikes with a lot of UV exposure (eg outback Australia, desert walks, beach walking etc) it is important to focus on sun protection like a cap, wide brim hat or visor preferably with UPF technology.
- We recommend the ThermaTech UPF50 Cap that features ventilate mesh for enhanced breathability while providing superior sun protection.
For hikes where sun protection is still a priority however the exposure will not be as intense (eg bush and trail hiking) a visor with an open top is a good option for added ventilation during activity.
- The ThermaTech Visor is a great option that offers UPF50 protection with an adjustable Velcro strap.
For cooler climates head warmth and comfort is of priority. There is a wide range of beanies on the market for specific environments but ultimately it comes down to personal choice.
Acrylic beanies are generally the cheaper option and are extremely easy care. They hold dyes extremely well are thus are used for most patterned beanies. This means the colour of acrylic beanies are less like to fade and the most vibrant patterns will last. These beanies tend to be very strong and durable and will keep their shape. Acrylic does not breathe well, so wearing a hat made from this material in warmer environments may make you sweat. However, acrylic is lightweight and considered a viable option for people with allergic reactions to wool or sensitive skin.
- Chokpa – Simple classical style beanie with Sherpa logo.
Fleece beanies provide equal warmth with less material, cutting weight and fitting tighter to the scalp. As they tend to be extremely lightweight these beanies are perfect for travel. Fleece beanies offer superior insulation for extreme warmth. Unlike natural fabrics, fleece beanie will loose thermal value when wet and do not dry as easily.
- Kalzang – 100% Fleece available in plain bottle green or berry (red)
While noticeably more expensive, merinos blend the function of natural materials with the comfort of synthetics. Merino is extremely effective in moisture control and provide extreme softness against the head. Wool is water-resistant as well as moisture-wicking, which means the fibre breathes well and can eliminate perspiration. With a close contoured fit these beanies are popular for cycling, climbing, paddling and other sports involving helmets.
- Dawa – 100% Natural Australian Merino Wool, available in reversible colour options.
At Sherpa we have many mixed fabric beanies that offer the best of 2 or more fibres for enhanced comfort and performance.
- Chongba – 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic
- Lhamu – 50% Wool, 50% Acyrlic
- Tenzing – Acrylic outer, thinsulate insulation and fleece lining
When buying base layers it is important to get the correct size for a snug fit, close to the skin. This in effect will provide better insulation and enhance body heat retention. There are a few different options based on material …
Polypro is an inexpensive option great for lightweight travel and body heat retention. Polypro does not absorb water and wicks away perspiration. It offers the lowest thermal conductivity of any traditional fabric and the product are extremely fast drying and easy care. Sherpa polypro thermals use PCD II polypropylene which is significantly softer than other polypro’s on the market without loosing any of its thermal qualities.
Merino Wool base layers provide an irresistible soft finish against the skin and superb temperature regulation. Perfect for hiking and outdoor activity these thermals are odour resistant and wick away any moisture and perspiration to keep you warm and dry in extreme conditions.
When going for long hikes it is important to have breathable quick dry clothing that stays lightweight and dry all day. Investing in good quality SpeedDri active wear is a great option, especially for hiking during summer and in warm climates. Even during the winter months it is a good idea to pack a lightweight tee-shirt to change into if you get to hot in base layers. Our sister brand ThermaTech offers a comprehensive technical range of thermoregulating outdoor apparel designed for performance. Made with SpeedDri technology the active wear range is extremely quick dry and remains lightweight for multi day use.
Shop ThermaTech Active Wear
When buying fleece outer wear it is important to look at the climate you will be in and the warmth you require. It is also vital to consider the thickness you need/want. For example you would want a heavyweight fleece for visiting the snow and a lightweight for around the house comfort. Remember to consider what other layers you will be wearing as this will influence this decision (eg. a mid weight fleece may be more appropriate than a heavyweight for layering under a ski jacket.)
Things to consider:
- Style (Jacket, vests and/or pants)
- Features (zips, pockets, wind flaps etc)
- Packing space (if travelling or carrying hiking pack – weight of garments)
For rain wear it is important to consider your specific needs and to determine what features you desire. This includes the weight of the product, breathability, ventilation and most importantly the amount of rain protection it provides. There are different ways this is measure but in general terms rainwear can be either water resistant, water repellent or waterproof.
- Water-resistant: able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely
- Water-repellent: not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating
- Waterproof: impervious to water
What to consider when buying rain wear:
- Level of rain protection
- Weight and size
- Special features (pockets, zips, hood etc)
To get the right sock for you it is important to keep in mind the length of your hike and how long you’ll be on your feet for. For day hikes and short walks it is appropriate to wear low and mid-cut thinner socks where as for more extreme hikes there are specialised socks available with thicker padding for long lasting comfort. It is also important to consider what footwear you will be wearing. If wearing hiking boots it is important to buy proper hiking socks to eliminate risk of rubbing and blisters.