Hiking in the shoulder season can be a game of chance. Hot one minute, cold the next. Temperature regulation is vital on those crisp Fall days. It's so easy to get chilled: your clothes get damp from slogging up that hill, but it's when you stop to enjoy the view, that you feel it.

A hiking vest is a great way to keep warm without overheating.

How We Uncover The Best For You

We read many, many reviews to find the best products for you. We know what we like, but it's also really important to see what other hikers think too. We want you to have the best time on your adventure and not to be delayed searching for gear. We do the research, so you can spend your time on the fun stuff. We find some brilliant gear and this time was no different - got some cracking vests to show you!


Best Hiking Shoulder Season Down Vest

Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest (WOMEN)

A Cracking Choice For 

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Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest (MEN)

A Cracking Choice For 

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Things We Love

The Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest is a great choice for spring and autumn weather. The vest has a 650 down fill for warmth, and the down is ethically sourced and has the RDS stamp of approval. The vest is also well-designed with a metallic dot heating system that is durable and provides a great insulation spread. The metallic dots are also arranged in a baffled design to provide flexibility, comfort and warmth. Overall, the Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest is a great choice for those who want a high-quality, durable vest that is ethically sourced and provides great insulation.

Things To Know

The Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest is a stylish and practical choice for chilly weather. The longer length is great for cold days, and the two zippered pockets are perfect for keeping your hands warm. The vest is also feather light and packs small, making it ideal for carrying in a backpack. Plus, the breathable fabric and water resistant finish make this vest a great choice for outdoor activities. Whether you're hiking, camping, or just enjoying a day out in the cold, the Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest will help you stay comfortable and dry.


Best Down Eco-Friendly Vest

Rab Down Vest (MEN)

A Cracking Choice For Eco Friendly Hikers

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Rab Down Vest (WOMEN)

A Cracking Choice For Eco Friendly Hikers

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Things We Love

The Rab Down Vest is an excellent quality, comfortable and lightweight down vest. It is made with recycled materials and RDS ethically sourced down. It is stylish with three zippable pockets, two of which are ideal for hand warmers. It is a super comfortable option whether on the hiking trail, skiing or out for a walk. The vest is super eco friendly with Rab aiming to be a leader in sustainable manufacturing practices. This desk comes highly recommended!

Things To Know

Staying warm on colder days just got a lot easier with the Rab Down Vest. With its Nikwax Hydrophobic finish, this lightweight vest is perfect to warm up your heart without weighing you down. The water repellent treated down is quick to dry and retains warmth and shape when wet, so you'll never have to sacrifice comfort for style again. The vest is also wind resistant and with its water repellent qualities protects your warmth and comfort even in the most blustery of conditions. And for added cozy factor, the down is constructed in baffles enabling even area distribution and warmth. So whether you're hitting the town or hitting the trails, do it in style and comfort with the Rab Down Vest.


Best Hiking Vest For Those On The Go

Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest (WOMEN)

A Cracking Choice For Active Hikers

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Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest (MEN)

A Cracking Choice For Active Hikers

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Things We Love

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest is a great choice for those looking for a lightweight and comfortable vest. The vest is thin enough to be part of a layering system, but still provides good coverage. The stretch side panels allow for movement and a great fit, making it an ideal choice for active users. The Atom LT Vest is also surprisingly hardy, making it an excellent choice for those who need a vest that can withstand rough use. Overall, the Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest is an excellent choice for those in need of a versatile and lightweight vest.

Things To Know

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest is a great choice for those who are looking for a vest that is easy to wash and quick to dry. The vest is made of nylon Coreloft, which is a breathable and lightweight material that is also weather resistant. The dwr treated shell will keep you warm and dry, and the zippered pockets are perfect for storing your essentials. The vest also has a comfortable fit that allows you to move freely, and the adjustable hem ensures that you can find the perfect fit. Overall, the Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a light, breathable, and weather resistant vest.


Best Cold Weather Down

MARMOT Highlander Down Vest (MENS)

A Cracking Choice For 

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MARMOT Highlander Down Vest (WOMEN)

A Cracking Choice For 

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Things We Love

The MARMOT Highlander Down Vest is a warm vest that is perfect for cold weather. It is a well designed, well-made and light, making it comfortable to wear. The down vest has 700 fill power, making it very warm. The two zippered hand pockets will keep you warm and the internal pocket provides additional storage. The elasticised arms help keep the warmth in. In addition, the women's highlander vest has a hood for further protection and comfort.

Things To Know

The MARMOT Highlander Down Vest is a great option for those looking for a water and wind resistant down vest. The Pertex Quantum fabric is durable and the down fill is treated with a water repellent, which results in faster drying and better warmth than untreated down. The down is responsibly sourced (RDS) and the vest includes recycled material. This is a great vest for those looking for a durable, water and wind resistant down vest.


Best Budget Down Vest

Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest (WOMEN)

A Cracking Choice For 

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Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest (MEN)

A Cracking Choice For 

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Things We Love

Hiking in the mountains can be a chilly experience, even in the summer. That's why Eddie Bauer's CirrusLite Down Vest is such a handy piece of gear to have along on your hikes. It's ultra light and packs down super easily, so it won't take up much space in your backpack. But don't let its small size fool you - this vest is packed with 650 fill down, so it's incredibly soft, silky and warm. Plus, the storm repel DWR treatment means that it's designed to prevent moisture penetration, keeping you dry and comfortable no matter what the weather throws at you. Best of all, the down filling is ethically sourced with an RDS stamp of approval, so you can feel good about wearing it. Whether you're hiking in the mountains or just running around town, the CirrusLite Down Vest is a great choice for staying warm and comfortable.

Things To Know

A quality down vest is an essential piece of hiking gear, and the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest is a great option. The vest has a polyester lining and quality zippers, so it's durable and comfortable. It's also machine washable, which is a major plus. The vest has two zippered side pockets to keep your hands warm, and some inner pockets for storage. Overall, the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest is a great choice for any hiker looking for a durable, comfortable, and affordable vest.


The Best Hiking Vest - Your Questions Answered

You have seen our suggestions, but before you make your choice you just have that question you need answering. What we like to do is include some of the FAQs from other hikers. We hope that helps you make your choice with confidence.

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!

What's The Point Of A Puffer Vest?

A puffer vest is a garment that helps you insulate your core. The idea is to keep you chest and neck area warm and protected from cold wind, whilst having your arms free. The puffer vest is great because you can have the fluffy warmth on your body where it counts, but not on your arms where puffy insulation will make movement harder.

Is A Vest Good For Hiking Instead Of A Jacket?

A vest is great for temperature regulation. When the temperatures drop you focus on keeping your head, hands, feet and chest warm. So hat, gloves, socks and vest. In the shoulder season between hot days and freezing days, having your arms exposed might even be beneficial to the enjoyment of your hike. A vest keeps the important bits protected but you can still have freedom. Vests offer added mobility, since they don't restrict your arms the way a jacket does. A vest is lighter in weight than a jacket, and takes up less space, which is good if you are carrying it in your backpack for portions of your hike. Plus, a vest typically costs less than a jacket. So if you're looking for an efficient and cost-effective option for hiking, a vest is definitely the way to go.

What Do I Look For In A Hiking Vest?

It depends on quite a few factors.

The first thing to consider is the material of the shell.

A good vest should also be comfortable to wear, with breathable fabric that doesn't cause you to overheat.

The shell: When it comes to choosing the right down vest, one of the most important factors to consider is the shell fabric. The shell is the outer layer of material that protects the internal down, and it needs to be tough enough to withstand wear and tear. Ripstop nylon is a popular choice for vest shells because it's durable and lightweight. However, it's also important to choose a fabric that is breathable and moisture-wicking, since you'll be wearing the vest in all kinds of weather. A waterproof treatment can also be helpful in repelling rain and snow. With so many options on the market, it's important to take the time to find a vest with a shell that meets your needs.

The insulation: Insulation is an important factor to consider when choosing a hiking vest. Down is a popular choice for its great warmth-to-weight ratio and compactness. It is also durable and soft, making it comfortable to wear. However, down is not always ethically sourced, so be sure to check the origin of the down in your vest before purchasing. Another option is synthetic insulation, which is made from man-made fibers. Synthetic insulation is usually less expensive than down, and it retains its insulating properties even when wet. However, it is not as compact as down. 

Merino wool is known for its next-to-skin comfort, ability to regulate temperature, and moisture-wicking properties. Whether you're hiking in cool weather or spending a day on the slopes, merino wool will help you stay dry and comfortable. Fleece is another fabric that offers great next-to-skin comfort. It's also fairly warm, making it a good choice for cooler weather activities. Ultimately, the best type of insulation for your hiking vest depends on your needs and preferences.

When choosing a vest, pockets in the front are key for keeping your hands warm. You'll also want a full zipper - and not just any zipper, a good quality one that won't catch or break easily. A waist cinch is also important because it helps reduce cold drafts. And while we're on the topic of drafts, make sure the vest is comfortable and not restrictive. You don't want any cold air sneaking in with a draw-cord. As for the fit, a slimmer cut will fit nicely under a jacket whereas a looser fit will allow for more layers underneath the vest.

You could look for a vest with reflective strips or bright colors, so that you are visible to other hikers in low-light conditions.

What Should I Wear Hiking?

Start with considering where you will be hiking, how long you are out on the trail and what season you are hiking in.

Hiking in hot weather can be challenging, but with the right clothing, you can stay cool and comfortable. Start with a pair of shorts or lightweight pants made of a breathable fabric. A hiking shirt with long sleeves will protect you from the sun, but if you prefer a short sleeved hiking shirt or tank top remember suncream. A hat or sunglasses can help shield your eyes from glare. Choose a pair of hiking boots that offer good support and traction; they may be heavier than running shoes, but they'll be worth it on uneven terrain. Finally, pack a backpack or belt with all the essentials: water, snacks, a first-aid kit, and other hiking gear like binoculars and flashlights. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a summer hike without overheating or getting sunburned.

Hiking in winter can be a truly magical experience. With the right gear, you can enjoy all the beauty of nature without feeling cold or wet. However, choosing the right clothing for winter hiking can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you stay warm and dry on your next hike. First, always dress in layers. A base layer of wool or synthetic fabric will help to wick away sweat, while an insulating layer will provide extra warmth. A waterproof outer layer is also essential, as it will protect you from wind and snow. If you are hiking in the Fall you may prefer a vest rather than a jacket, but the layering principle still applies.

Make sure to wear warm socks and gloves, and choose a hat or hood that covers your ears. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy all the benefits of winter hiking without any of the discomfort.

What Is The Three Layer Clothing Principle In Hiking?

When going on a hike, it is important to dress appropriately for the conditions. One way to do this is to follow the three layer clothing principle. This principle states that you should wear three layers of clothing: an inner layer, a middle layer, and an outer layer. The inner layer is the layer that is in direct contact with your skin. It should be made of a material that wicks away moisture, such as wool or synthetic fabrics. The middle layer is designed to trap body heat, so it should be made of a insulating material such as down or fleece. The outer layer is the final line of defense against the elements. It should be made of a waterproof and breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex or nylon. You can boost your waterproofing by adding waterproofing spray. By following the three layer clothing principle, you can ensure that you are properly dressed for any hike, no matter what the weather conditions may be.

Should I Wear A Down Vest Hiking?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the right type of vest will vary depending on the weather conditions and your personal preferences. However, down vests are generally a good option for hiking, as they provide warmth without being too bulky or uncomfortable to wear. Additionally, down vests are typically quite breathable, so you won't have to worry about overheating even if you work up a sweat. Of course, you'll want to make sure that your down vest is properly waterproofed before heading out on the trail. Once your down vest gets wet, it's useless for keeping you warm. But overall, a down vest can be a valuable piece of gear for any hiker looking to stay warm and comfortable on their next adventure.

How Should An Insulated Vest Fit?

When shopping for an insulated vest, it is important to keep fit in mind. The vest should not be too loose or too tight. If it is too loose, cold air will be able to circulate around the body and the vest will not be as effective. If it is too tight, it will be uncomfortable and restrict movement. Instead, look for a vest that is fitted but not snug. It should allow you to move freely and breathe easily. 

Should Hiking Clothes Be Tight Or Loose?

Hiking clothes should never be so tight that they restrict movement. Freedom of mobility is key when you are on the trail as you need to be able react to what happens around you. So that doesn't change whatever the weather.

When you are hiking in the summer you have a choice. Wearing snug fitting clothing will stop your clothes getting snagged on bushes and rocks. It will also mean that the water wicking properties of hiking shirts can do their work. Moisture wicking fabric draws sweat away from the skin at the point of contact. The other option is to wear loose fitting clothing made of breathable fabric that allows circulating air to cool you down.

Hiking in the winter is about layers. You need your base layer snug to your skin. This is to wick away sweat efficiently. You insulation layer is about loft, so does not have to be too tight. The idea is to allow the insulation the space to do its work. The outer shell is about weather resistance. If your jacket is too tight it will impede movement, if its too loose you will lose dexterity and it will snag on things.

It's all about finding the right balance really.

Are Weighted Vests Good For Hiking?

There are a few different types of weighted vests on the market, but they all serve essentially the same purpose: to add weight to your body during workouts. This extra weight forces your body to work harder, burning more calories and helping you tone up faster. Many people find that using a weighted vest makes walking, running, and other cardio exercises much more effective.

So, in theory when hiking, wearing a weighted vest could improve strength and endurance. The difference between wearing a weighted vest in the gym and on the trail is that it's not that easy to stop and listen to your body if you start feeling pain or fatigue. You are out in the great outdoors, you can't take the weight off to try another day.

Remember you backpack weighs a lot too. The weight you carry shouldn't be more than 20% of your body weight and hiking with a weight of more than 35 pounds on a hike is not good for your body.

Consider the effect the added strain will have on your knees. Whether it's your pack or a weighted vest that does it, that extra weight will increase the wear and tear on your joints so be sure to carry trekking poles with you to mitigate this.

The vest may also get in the way of your backpack so plan carefully if you intend to wear your weighted vest hiking.

If you are not used to wearing a weighted vest, it can be very uncomfortable and cause muscle soreness. Before even considering using a weighted vest while hiking, it is important to experiment with different weights and intensities to see how your body reacts.

A far better option to wearing a weighted vest would be to find another way to make you body work harder when you are hiking. You can choose speed. If you are walk faster you will use more energy. You can choose a more strenuous ascent. Climbing uses more calories that walking along the flat does.

Best Hiking Vest For You

Insulated vests are great for hiking as they add that extra layer of warmth without sacrificing mobility. Whether you have a snug fit vest which you wear under a jacket, or a looser fit that you layer over a shirt or base layer, we have found some brilliant vests for you.

Our Choice For

Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest (WOMEN)

Columbia Delta Ridge Down Vest (MEN)

Our Choice For

Rab Down Vest (MEN)

Rab Down Vest (WOMEN)

Our Choice For

Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest (WOMEN)

Arc'teryx Atom LT Vest (MEN)

Our Choice For

MARMOT Highlander Down Vest (MEN)

MARMOT Highlander Down Vest (WOMEN)

Our Choice For

Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest (WOMEN)

Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Vest (MEN)

There is something really great about hiking in bracing air, arms swinging energetically without the restrictions of a summer coat. I was so happy to write this article for you, as I know how much you will love wearing a hiking vest when it's still too warm for a winter coat. We did the research so you can spend your time getting ready for your hike, fully invested in a good day out.

Keep Asking Questions And We Will Keep Finding Answers For You.

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

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