We rounded up some of the gear we have been loving this fall and early winter to share with you. If you’re looking for some gear to add to your collection for all of your adventures, this list is for you!
OUTerwear – jackets and vests
Funnel Neck Funnel Fleece. This jacket is relatively cheap but warm and a great option for layering. I’ve worn it with a vest, hats and some warm mittens. This would be comfortable for a hike on a warmer winter day and not too bulky. Katie (on the right) is wearing this jacket in the photo below and it is sold out, but a similar style by the same brand is linked here.
On Sara (left), is another jacket we recommend, the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite 2.0 Down Parka. Sara has had this coat for 2 years now. With a long torso, it can be hard to find jackets long enough, but this jacket does the trick. Not too long, not too short. It has been worn hiking, biking, and out for drinks 🙂
North Face Vest: This is a new purchase for Katie. I’ve worn it a couple times and love it. Highly recommend for the cooler months in the spring and fall. This vest is pretty warm and not as lightweight as this North Face one, which is also a practical layering piece. Even if you don’t buy one of these vests, I highly recommend a vest to add to your collection some day.
First, when talking about tops, let’s talk base layers. This is an important detail when staying warm when the temps are really cold. We prefer to layer up under jackets with a good quality baselayer, then add to it with sweatshirts, jackets, and/or vests. We like lightweight and thin options that still add warmth. You can find these at all price points (Old Navy and Target have some great budget options, as well as Athleta, Under Armour, and Eddie Bauer for some pricier but better quality choices).
Merino Wool Top: The top shown on Katie in the picture above is this one here. It is merino wool, making it an ideal option for a baselayer. It’s been worn several times and I can attest to it keeping me warm. This top is in on the pricier side, which is to be expected with merino wool.
Pros: soft, really warm, flattering fit, washes well, layers well
Cons: cost, limited color selection (not sure this is really a con, when its a baselayer?)
Hybrid Fleece Pullover: This pullover is lightweight and breathable, yet warm. It has a fun side zipper creating some interest. This pullover fits nicely over any baselayer and would keep you warm under a coat without being too bulky.
I think new bottoms are what we really focused on for this season. We both felt like we were lacking in the best bottoms for adventures with cooler weather. We have leggings for days, but we wanted to go a step beyond that.
Polar Fleece Lined Pants: Do these pants look a little dorky and like “mom” pants? Well, yes, a little. Do we care if it keeps us warm?… not really ;-). These pants are so warm and lined with fleece. We were skeptical about them and thought they might not be good for walking because they would be too rigid. We were wrong and they are very stretchy! These will be on repeat all winter!
- Polar-Fleece Lined Pull-on Pants from Eddie Bauer
Pull-on Joggers: we each have a few pairs of pull-on lightweight joggers that we like and they can easily be layered with some warmer fleece leggings or long underwear underneath.
- CRZ Yoga Lightweight Jogger Pant
- Eddie Bauer Sightscape Horizon Pull-on Jogger
- All in Motion Women’s Hike Pants
Fleece-Lined Leggings: we’ve each got a couple inexpensive pairs of fleece leggings, as they can be worn alone or underneath other pants for extra warmth
- A New Day Seamless High-Waisted Fleece Leggings from Target
- Altitude Tight in Polartec Fleece from Athleta
- We don’t have these…yet. But have heard very good things about them and they’re on our list.
footwear – shoes and boots
Another thing we’ve learned in our 30-some years of life is the importance of good footwear for the occasion. We spend our summers in comfortable sandals (Reef flip flops and Birkenstock sandals (Katie) and Sara’s) and hiking shoes and our winters in waterproof and warm boots! Here’s a few of our favorites over the years:
Hiking shoes: we both prefer hiking shoes that look like sneakers versus hiking boots. We aren’t crazy adventure hikers, so we just want a pair of shoes that keep our feet dry and comfortable but look okay when we stop somewhere for lunch or run errands. Katie’s had her shoes for almost 10 years and they’re still in great shape, so Sara went off Katie’s recommendation and got the most recent style of them:
- Merrell Siren Edge 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe – runs true to size
Winter boots: again, we need comfort, waterproof, and warmth. We’ve each got a few different pairs of boots that we wear, depending on the occasion. Here are a few of our favorites for outdoor adventures:
- SOREL Out ‘N About Plus (kids) – the big kid’s sizes are comparable to smaller women’s sizes (shown on left)
- SOREL Explorer 1964 – shown on right in “Graphite”, other color options
- SOREL Explorer Joan – another similar style that Katie has and likes
- Kamik Sienna 2 Mid – another out & about boot that Sara has and likes
accessories – hats, bags, and other
Just as important as the right outwear apparel is the right accessories. We have a variety of favorite hats, socks, mittens, and bags that we’ll link below:
- Smartwool – we love so many of their different styles depending on the use
- Darn Tough – again, many styles. And they’re guaranteed for life so you can replace them if they get holes in them
- Lululemon Sherpa Weave Mitten
- Fox River Double Ragg Mitten – Sara’s worn these since elementary school, back in her figure skating days at the rink 🙂
Bags: these bags come with us on every occassion
If you liked this post, you may enjoy some of our other shopping posts: