Choosing the right clothing to wear when hiking (or doing any activities outdoors) is very important. It shouldn’t be difficult but the night before any long hike I stand there staring at my wardrobe trying to work out what will be the most suitable combination of layers to keep me cool, warm, comfortable, dry, and so on. The last thing you want when enjoying the outdoors is to be worrying about what you are wearing – it should be the last thing you are thinking about, and so choosing well in the first place will make your day out a lot nicer.
Knowing that I am planning the biggest hike of my life (so far!) in June, and having launched a new range of hiking apparel this season, I was sent couple of Odlo hiking layers to try out that would hopefully keep me happy.
Hiking in Lincolnshire, wearing the Odlo hiking layers I was sent to try out.
The Revolution X-Light Shirt is the summer version of the Revolution Warm Top I tried earlier in the year in the Alps. It’s a short sleeved feminine base layer made from a soft, natural material designed to keep you cool and dry when exercising in warm weather.
The Aeolus Hiking Midlayer Jacket is a Polartec zip up hoodie with a slim feminine fit, but thankfully not too slim, the medium fits my size 12 body just fine. Odlo have designed it to keep you just the right temperature so you don’t have to worry about the weather – the material allows perspiration to evaporate and regulates your heat, as well as keeping you warm.
The shirt and jacket got their first outing on my walk from Lincoln to Boston and I have to say I was really impressed. Once again it has been proven to me that you get what you pay for when buying premium athletic and outdoor gear. I was not to warm, not too cold, was kept free of sweat (yes, women sweat when hiking!), was comfortable, had no chaffing (VERY important!), and felt good in the clothing.
I’m actually surprised how much I like the lilac base layer. I mean, how technical can a shirt actually be? This one seems to have a number of well-thought-out features. The material is indeed very soft which helps eliminate chaffing, the fit is close but not tight giving you freedom of movement, the capped sleeves (rather than vest top style) help stop your pack straps rubbing on your shoulders, the lace type material is not scratchy (one of my worries) and placed to help keep you free from sweat. And when you’ve finished for the day, the shirt washes well and dries very quickly – which means you can wear it again the next day.
The bright red fleece midlayer has very quickly become one of my favourite warm tops. It’s just so useful! It looks good, is great quality, and keeps me warm without being bulky. I particularly like how it stretches and moves with my body when I’m being active, but is soft enough on the inside to feel snuggly when relaxing. The zip pockets are very handy, and the elasticated waste keeps the jacket in place around your butt when you’re taking big steps or moving quickly. The sleeves have thumb holes so you can keep your jacket sleeves in place, and the hood is close fitting so it goes underneath a waterproof jacket hood to keep you warm without getting wet itself (or under a helmet if you’re climbing/cycling). Oh and the fact that the label is sewn in to one side and not right in the middle at the back helps prevent that little annoying sore bit you get when your label rubs on your neck – a small detail but appreciated.
There is no doubt that this will be my top-half kit for the Lyke Wake Walk – these two simple layers plus a light waterproof outer should see me through (plus a down layer in my bag just in case). Now I just need a pair of trousers equally as comfortable and I’ll be all set.
Thank you to Odlo for sending me the shirt and jacket to try out. The shirt costs £50 and the jacket £120 direct from Odlo. View the full hiking range here.
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