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Stylish hiking gear - does it exist?

Kaplan

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Warning: Not really a MC or SW&D subject, but posting to see if any of you good people have any insights on this.



Does functional, yet stylish hiking gear exist?

I'm planning to do the West Highland Way trek in Scotland this spring. It's a 100 mile hike with a planned climb of Ben Nevis at the end. About 20 miles daily, only carrying what's needed on that particular day, with a hot meal, a cold scotch and a warm bed waiting at the end each night.

I have looked at some of Nigel Cabourn's stuff (some of which is inspired by Mallory and the boys in the pic above), but I suspect it's more for casual pursuits than true hiking (even though I don't doubt it's well made).

On a similar note, my own experience with Barbour's waxed coats are that they don't breathe that well and at the same time aren't truely watertight.

Obviously, on activities like these functionality is key but pretty much all the functional hiking gear I know of is rather unattractive. Does anybody make functional gear that doesn't end up with you either being dressed in all black or in bright primal colours plastered in logos?
 

Geezer

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Can't be arsed to find links this time of night, but really stylish serious outdoor kit is a challenge.

Check out, in the UK:

Extreme Outdoor Gear.

Buffalo Special Six shirt (great bit of kit).

Filson. Not the "lodge" or whatever it is called casualwear but the old school stuff. Ditto Woolrich. Both US brands.

If they still do them (I have one, in green), ventile smocks from Special Air Sea Services (SASS) are great.

All of the above, not particularly stylish, but not gore-tex, not bright orange, very good and last forever.

And, internationally, Arcteryx (sp?).
 

jrd617

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Have you ever seen Apolis? I've read that they road test all of their gear. They don't hike with it, but it's supposed to be durable.

Barbour? Belstaff? Orvis? Filson? Deadstock Abercrombie and Fitch?
 

JLibourel

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Wouldn't a good, durable, fairly heavy tweed suit be the classic choice for this?
 

gsugsu

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Heritage Research, nonnative & White Mountaineering are several of many companies like Cabourn re-interpreting the past. They all have done interesting pieces. F/W 2010 was more like what you are looking for (maybe) as compared to Spring/Summer 2011. Interesting looks and fabrics. I've liked the products I've bought from all of the above but I just don't know if they will have the bulletproof quality of say Filson to function for 20 years.

www.heritageresearch.co.uk

www.nonnative.com

www.whitemountaineering.com
 

RedRaider

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Ah, you dress for the conditions, not for looks when hiking in my opinion. Too many variables to chance it, although it doesn't seem you're going to have to carry a pack, camping gear or food, so you may be able to get by with more 'stylish' stuff.

The one thing I would not judge by looks in your socks and boots. Those will make or break your enjoyment of the hike - buy for comfort and utility, not looks.
 

westinghouse

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PTWilliams

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I ski in my Holland and Holland breeks and my Geiger and Willis tweeds.

It would actually be a lot of fun to going hiking in them.
 

jrd617

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Originally Posted by PTWilliams
I ski in my Holland and Holland breeks and my Geiger and Willis tweeds.

No Ferrari jacket?
 

Marcellionheart

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I wonder how a pair of Trickers would fare on this excursion. I've been wanting to do the Great Glen Way myself for many years. I think next year might be the year finally.
 

Metlin

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Jesus H.

As a dilettante mountaineer, I will say that when it comes to outdoorsy activities, it is much better for you to just worry about safety and comfort over style.
 

wEstSidE

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Raf Simons x Eastpak

Bernard Willhelm (roy boot)
also Bernhard Willhelm x Camper

Final Home by Issey Miyake
 

Kaplan

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Thanks for the replies.

Originally Posted by JLibourel
Wouldn't a good, durable, fairly heavy tweed suit be the classic choice for this?
Going to Scotland, something in Harris Tweed does seem appropriate

Originally Posted by RedRaider
Ah, you dress for the conditions, not for looks when hiking in my opinion.
Like I said in the OP, functionality is key.

Originally Posted by RedRaider
Too many variables to chance it, although it doesn't seem you're going to have to carry a pack, camping gear or food, so you may be able to get by with more 'stylish' stuff.
Exactly. As I won't be requiring overly technical gear for this, I might as well pay attention to the aesthetics. Would be nice if what I find could be used elsewhere as well.

Originally Posted by RedRaider
The one thing I would not judge by looks in your socks and boots. Those will make or break your enjoyment of the hike - buy for comfort and utility, not looks.
Agreed.

What I'm looking for doesn't have to be vintage looking like the stuff in the OP pic. The idea is to find something functional, without having the full-on overly logo'ed polyester look.

I've looked into Arcteryx, and while their quality and functionality is highly regarded, most of their stuff have the problems mentioned above.

Fjällräven have som subdued pieces that are appropriate for hiking, like their Greenland jacket:



And the Cabourn Mandalay coat looks like it might be a nice outer shell in a 3-layer get up:



Other ideas?

***

I'm also looking for a light backpack, something under 20 liters. These seem nice, but are both too large:





Does anyone know of similarly styled, smaller packs?
 

Nicola

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You're hiking over 100km and you're worried about backpack style? http://www.gregorypacks.com/home I'm guessing after the first day you'd rather a good pack then a stylish one. www.mec.ca stocks a full range of stuff. They aren't allowed to sell the full range into the US but you can at least browse.
 

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