Face it: you need to get out more. All that beautiful countryside out there, those rolling hills and snow-topped mountains, and the nearest you get to it is the Netflix screensaver. Lucky for you, leading brands and designers are now making it easier than ever to at least look like you’re going on a ramble (even if it’s only to the local pub).
Outdoor attire has been infiltrating mainstream fashion for the past couple of years. Everything from hiking boots and trail runners through to down parkas and even your dad’s favourite, fleece, is now on trend. It’s easy to see why: this is functional clothing that also looks good, making it the perfect addition to your everyday wardrobe.
With that in mind, these are the outdoors brands worth checking out if you want to stay dry, warm and looking your best.
A brand that not only wants to protect you from the elements but also protect the outdoor environments you want to explore. Patagonia make everything you could possibly need for a trek and thanks to their widely respected brand vision and values, they’re now a staple of many a woke sartorialist’s wardrobe. Investing in one of their insulated jackets or heavy fleeces is a smart move, and thanks to a pioneering refurb and repairs initiative their products will last you for many years to come.
As previously mentioned, hiking boots are currently en vogue and Danner have had a huge influence in popularising this particular silhouette. The best thing about Danner is they’ve almost been absorbed into fashion by accident; the root of the US company’s success is ultimately still just robust, well-built boots that can stand up to anything (and look good while doing so).
The North Face
Another brand that has conquered the high street but will still do the job in the wild. Beginning life as a climbing company, like many it shares the market with, The North Face has grown into a contemporary fashion label, rising to the summit of the streetwear and athleisure market. If you want to cop a coat that will serve its purpose just as well on a hike as down the pub, look for one of their GORE-TEX options in a bold colour or print.
If you’re looking for a true winter jacket, the sort of thing you can knock about the Arctic Circle in, think Canadian. And of the numerous Canadian outdoor brands plying their trade, we’ve been especially impressed by Moose Knuckles. They encompass all of the much-needed technical bells and whistles (duck down, water-repellent outershells, damp-proof linen linings) with just enough aesthetic variation. Offering mountain-ready parkas, down coats, lightweight shell jackets and classic bombers, each offers warmth and weather-proofing in abundance.
Another high-end outdoors brand courtesy of Canada. The Arc’teryx name and logo is inspired by the Archaeopteryx, one of the earliest known birds. We’re talking serious technical gear here, from classic wardrobe staples through to items grounded in climbing, hiking, trail running and snowsports. The label’s Alpine jackets collection offers sleeker silhouettes than their competitors and pack serious credentials for mountain climbing and alpine skiing. What might surprise you however is their Keppel trench coat, an advanced GORE-TEX take on a timeless silhouette that’s ideal for city cycling or braving an urban shower.
If you’re going to be outside, you’ll of course need something waterproof to carry all your gear in – so may we suggest Osprey? Their high-quality technical backpacks are ideal for a wide array of outdoor sports and adventures and thanks to superior build quality, they’ll last. Like many others on this list, at the core of the Osprey brand is an environment-driven mission statement. High-quality materials are married with timeless design to create products that will transcend fleeting fads and are built to last, promoting sustainability.
Think of Filson as an American Barbour of sorts. Founded in 1897 to kit out the hordes travelling through Seattle to the Klondike Gold Rush, the brand built its reputation on kitting out just about everyone, from hunters and fishermen to engineers and explorers. According to them: what worked then, still works now. The gateway garments to Filson these days? Their jackets and flannel shirts. Whether you’re after something specifically designed for hunting or fishing, or just a casual piece to throw on at the weekend, Filson is your best bet for high-quality outdoors items that channel a classic Americana workwear aesthetic.
Although this Japanese label is extremely fashion forward in its designs, there’s no denying the outdoor credentials of Nanamica’s technical fabrics. Everything in its collection – whether it’s a jumper, pair of trousers or piece of outerwear – is either optimised for cooling, heating or drying, leaving the wearer as comfortable as possible whilst retaining a cool contemporary aesthetic.
The brand behind everyone’s favourite Scandi rucksack also does a superb line in pretty much every other outdoor essential, from padded jackets to more technical hiking pieces. Sustainability is at the very heart of the brand, from the sourcing of materials through to production techniques and design. A wide array of bright and more subdued hues as well as differing fleece and technical fabrics means the brand caters to every taste.
The European leader in outdoor sports equipment, French brand Salomon have ventured far from their original snowsports origins, taking in a wide array of outdoors attire. The price of their outdoors sports jackets might shock you, but we’re talking serious technical prowess here: 360-degree patterning makes for a second-skin-like fit whilst 162g ripstop GORE-TEX fabric means they’ll take a beating and keep you dry. They don’t look half bad either.
You’ve got to give it to old Alfredo Cappello, he saw the outdoors-fashion crossover coming all the way back in 1908 when he was making bespoke boots for farmers. The trick was a design that could be worn in the mountains but also in town. With their notable military-style silhouette and beautiful polished leather uppers, Fracap’s now-iconic M120 Sacrponcino design brings to mind the classic monkey boot but in its own Italian way carries a unique character and charm.
The Skidoo jacket. You know the one: bright colours, big front pocket that’s perfect for supplies or a map, water-resistant outer, comfy padding on the inside but with a breathability that won’t leave all of the moisture running towards your elbow. That’s Napapijri’s bread and butter, but the brand also now produces a wide range of outdoor staples – notably fleece hoodies that are perfect for a weekend ramble but would also, funnily enough, garner kudos if you accidentally hiked into a London warehouse rave.
Outdoors, but make it with that classic New England aesthetic. That’s what Penfield is all about. Their founder was at the forefront of down-filled jackets back in the 1970s and seeing the potential in insulated apparel, bought an old factory in Hudson, Massachusetts and turned it into one of the few factories in the world able to produce said apparel. The brand became renowned for its high-quality, functional clothing with a preppy twist – a reputation that remains to this day.