This light-weight out of doors gear is nice for climbing and tenting in the summertime warmth

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The best equipment for summer outdoor activities

Long days, strong sunshine and dry weather make summer the most popular season for a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking, camping and backpacking are especially fun when the weather is nice because you can cover longer distances with less equipment – ​​plus the scenery tends to look better in full sun.

While you don’t need bulky sleeping bags or thermal clothing in summer, there are some types of gear that are essential to staying comfortable and safe as temperatures rise. Lightweight, breathable clothing and shoes that don’t suffocate your feet make a world of difference on long rides in hot weather.

Best clothing for summer hiking and camping

Gildan softstyle cotton t-shirts for men

Being relatively thin and made entirely of cotton, these basic t-shirts offer the best evaporative properties and give your body the best chance to beat the heat. There are multiple sizes and a variety of colors to choose from. Sold by Amazon

Gildan women’s softstyle cotton t-shirts

These share the same effective, minimalist design and low price as the men’s version. Do note, however, that they run almost two sizes smaller, so order accordingly. Sold by Amazon

Columbia Men's Bonehead Long Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Men’s Bonehead Long Sleeve Shirt

Plenty of ventilation, a baggy fit, multiple front pockets and adjustable sleeves make this one of the most versatile hiking shirts on the market. It’s also 100% cotton, so sweat and other moisture get the most out of hot days. Sold by Amazon

Women's ExOfficio Nomad 7 Inch Shorts

ExOfficio Nomad women’s shorts

Not only do they offer excellent protection against overheating, but they are also moderately water-resistant in case you get caught in a downpour. They have handy zipped pockets and are available in light grey, dark gray and tan. Sold by Amazon

Men's Free Soldier Cargo Shorts

Men’s Free Soldier Cargo Shorts

They’re either 10 or 12 inches long and come in a choice of muted colors, but the key parts of these versatile shorts are their lightweight, durable construction and low price point. This includes a belt made of ultra-lightweight nylon fabric. Sold by Amazon

Men's ExOfficio Give-N-Go boxer shorts

Men’s ExOfficio Give-N-Go boxer shorts

Men’s underwear doesn’t get much lighter or better at wicking moisture while still providing as much support. While not cheap, these are some of the best boxer shorts out there. Sold by Amazon

Ruby River Women's Long Sleeve Shirt

Ruby River Women’s Long Sleeve Shirt

This stylish long sleeve shirt comes in two checked patterns and is made from a cotton and polyester blend that’s great for keeping you cool and comfortable. There are two front pockets and it uses convenient snaps instead of traditional buttons, making it easy to put on in a hurry. Sold by Backland

Venture tank for stoic women

Venture tank for stoic women

This simple, plain and cute top offers comfort and durability at a great price. It’s perfect for staying cool in direct sun while preventing your upper back from chafing due to your backpack. Sold by Backland

Outdoor Research Echo women's tank top

Outdoor Research Echo women’s tank top

This full length tank top is as light as a shirt can get. It’s great at minimizing heat build-up because, despite being so thin, it’s made from a breathable polyester fabric that’s more durable than cotton. Sold by Backland

Outdoor Research Echo Men's T-Shirt

Outdoor Research Echo Men’s T-Shirt

While cotton does a great job of maximizing the effectiveness of sweat, an ultra-thin polyester shirt offers better airflow and lets you feel the wind right on your skin. This synthetic men’s t-shirt fits that bill and comes in multiple colors and sizes. Sold by Backland

Ferrosi convertible pants

Ferrosi convertible pants

At dawn and dusk, they are effective polyester pants that regulate temperature and protect you from mosquitoes and thorns. When the sun is up, zip off the legs and you’ve got a pair of super cool shorts. We’ve highlighted the relatively form-fitting women’s version, but it also comes in a men’s cut. Sold by Backland

Men's ExOfficio Sol Cool Shorts

Men’s ExOfficio Sol Cool Shorts

These are some of the lightest hiking shorts you can buy. Although they’re made of polyester, which isn’t always very comfortable against the skin, they’re actually quite soft. Sold by Amazon

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Vent Hiking Shoe Women

Moab 2 Mid Vent Hiking Shoe

The mid-angle design and impressive ventilation make these the most rugged boots for navigating rough terrain in the hotter months. They are also available in a men’s model. Sold by Backland

ExOfficio Give-N-Go Bikini Bottoms

ExOfficio Give-N-Go Bikini Bottoms

Comfortable and dependable with just the right amount of stretch, this two-piece set minimizes chafing and keeps everything in place on long hikes. Sold by Amazon

Vayager cotton cargo shorts

Vayager cotton cargo shorts

Relatively light for cargo shorts, they’re made from tough cotton that’s built to withstand the great outdoors. There are six pockets in total, in addition to 5 muted color options. Sold by Amazon

Little Donkey Andy women's convertible pants

Little Donkey Andy women’s convertible pants

The stretch fabric these are made of feels a lot more premium than the price would suggest. These are the women’s cut, and the men’s version is just as worthwhile. Sold by Amazon

Columbia Bora Bora Booney

Columbia Bora Bora Booney

This wide brimmed hat is perfect for keeping your face in the shade. It is generously ventilated and designed to wick unpleasant sweat away from the forehead. Sold by Amazon

Camptrace bucket hat

Camptrace bucket hat

It comes in a wide range of colors and is made from waterproof material that’s perfect for staying comfortable during sudden summer storms. Sold by Amazon

Keen Arroyo II hiking sandals

Keen Arroyo II hiking sandals

Nothing offers the same combination of ventilation, comfort and durability as these premium sandals. We highlighted the men’s version, but the Arroyo II women’s version are just as great. Sold by Amazon

Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoe

Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoe

These low-top hiking shoes come from one of the most respected names in outdoor footwear. Whether you need men’s or women’s sizing, you can’t go wrong with these well-ventilated shoes. Sold by Amazon and Backland

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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