There’s ideal clothing for the outdoors and there’s the attire that you’d wear anywhere else. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can own outdoor items so hip and stylish that you’d happily, even eagerly, wear them in the big city. Here is the outdoor gear to gift yourself or a loved one who also cares about looking good.
We hope you love the outdoor gear we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to make a purchase.
1. On Running
The Swiss-made hiking and running shoes aren’t just all over mountain paths these days; you’ll find them equally on the streets of New York. In addition to coming in pleasing hues that will match with everything in your wardrobe for running, or running errands, they are feather light. They will, however, also lighten your wallet, as these highly specialized shoes — with designs for not just different activities but for diverse temperatures and distances — start at $130.
Price: From $130
2. Outerknown Blanket Shirt
Kelly Slater, the most decorated surfer of all time, also has a sustainable brand of outdoor wear. We’re talking Fair Trade Certified board shorts, sweaters made with 95 percent recycled cashmere, fishing nets turned into fibers, and ocean plastic turned into board shorts and buttons. The most casually chic Outerknown items are their flannel Blanket Shirts, perfect to warm up after a morning surf or to layer under a ski parka — allowing a seamless transition to a weekend brunch or an après afternoon. The Blanket Shirts come in a dizzying combination of colors for men and women, all at $148 for both men and women. Or check their extra sustainable pre-owned options for some nice deals.
3. Smartwool Hiking Skirt
Nothing makes a statement on a summer trail like a hiking skirt. It says you are both prepared for the mountains and ready to look good. And Smartwool, already a brand known for high-quality wear, makes a hiking skirt that is a lot sassier that some of the dowdier items out there. It’s got a fun, A-line cut in a mini-skirt with built-in boyshorts underneath.
4. Lululemon everywhere belt bag
Lululemon may well have been that brand that made leggings the all-day clothing that they’ve become. Now, the stylish yoga and running-wear brand is not breaking any ground with its belt bags — seeing as these have been repurposed from their 1980s days as ski “fanny packs” — but these Everywhere Belt Bags will definitely be a welcome present for a trendy friend. Coming in irresistible colors like Eton blue, golden apricot, or ripened raspberry, these $38 bags have clean lines, a wide belt, and just enough space for your phone, keys, cash, and sunscreen.
5. Arcteryx Hoodie
Arcteryx items are seriously warm and ridiculously durable, both explaining and justifying the price tag. The RHO LT Hoody is the perfect base layer for a fall hike, a day on the slopes, or even a springtime backpacking trip. It’s light, ultra-soft, moisture-wicking, and very versatile, as the neckline can be a hoodie out by the campfire, a balaclava on the slopes, or a casual cowl neck at the après ski table.
6. Herschel Coolers
You may not associate the trendy urban brand with the outdoors, but Herschel is very much a brand for a life lived outside, even if that’s more Central Park than national park. They make plenty of items to ensure you stay stylish outside — from backpacks to cozy toques. Now they’ve added insulated coolers to the list. They come in seven colors and in sizes that fit six, 12, or 30 cans — so you can be the refreshment-ready hero at the next camping trip.
7. Buff neck gaiter
Buff is the company that gave us this simply stylish accessory that is better known as a “buff” than a “neck gaiter.” Acting as protection against sun, wind, or even insects, buffs proved to be a lot more useful than anyone had anticipated — and that was before they turned out to double as an impromptu mask on a crowded hiking trail. And, best of all, they turn a hiking or ski outfit into something more sauve or sassy, depending on the pattern and how it’s worn. And coming in at under $20, you can give one to everyone who wants to personalize their outdoor look.
8. Patagonia Blackhole Backpacks
Sustainable is always fashionable. As such, Patagonia has always been one of the coolest outdoor brands out there. But it’s not just because of their path-breaking commitment to the planet, but because of their innovative and hip designs. Their Blackhole Backpacks, in 25 or 32 liter sizes, are a great example, made with recycled materials and coming in the grooviest color combinations.
9. Vikram atomizers
The perfect stocking stuffer helps to travel with all the essential toiletries in good-looking, reusable, and lightweight bottles. These Vikram atomizers are perfect for essential oils, hairspray, saline, and other liquids. Go ahead and use them for perfume on a ski trip, but skip the scents on a backpacking excursion. They come in an array of bright colors and have a clear window to see if it’s time for a refill. A pack of six costs $12.99.
10. Maui Jim’s sunglasses
Maui Jim’s are made for people who spend a lot of time by the water — whether sailing, fishing, or preparing to surf. Their UVA, UVB, and UVC protection guard against harmful rays not just from the sun, but also the extra blast that comes with rays reflecting off the water. They’re also polarized for maximum visibility in variable light conditions. Put all that together in a flattering aviator style lens, and you’ve got the perfect pair of shades.
Price: From $170
11. Raw elements
Looking good means taking care of your skin as much as your style. And Raw Elements lets you do that in a way that also takes care of the planet. Their sunscreens aren’t just made with all natural ingredients, but they are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins that actively nourish your skin while providing the full-spectrum sun protection you want.
Price: From $18.95
12. Suunto watches
If you want to give your bestie one of the best sports watches in the world without emptying your bank account, look no further than Finnish watchmaker Suunto. If you ski in Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, you’ll recognize Suunto clocks at all of the ski lift cabins — a testament to the watches’ mountain-worthiness. Suunto watches are precise and extremely durable (they’re made to withstand Finnish winters, after all). As important to your style-conscious loved one, they’re sleek and substantial, with a distinctively large watch face. While the Suunto 9 comes with 80 sports settings and GPS tracking that lasts nine hours, it’s also over $500. No matter. The Suunto Core watch, with an altimeter, barometer, and compass, is waterproof like all Suunto watches, and comes in at only $136.
Price: From $136.00