The warmth is starting to show its face. Even here in the cold, flat Canadian prairies, it was +18 Celsius at the beginning of April—seriously unheard of. And with the warm weather comes a host of outdoor activities, including one of my favourites, long walks in nature. It’s where I get some of my best thinking done.
But heading out for an afternoon on the trail—whether it’s the mountains or riverbank—requires the right gear. So, I’ve decided to compile the best plus size hiking clothes that you can add to your wardrobe. From comfortable walking shoes to windbreakers, if you plan on doing some exploring in nature these are what you’re going to want to have.
Plus size hiking clothes
Plus size hiking pants
You want to aim for plus size hiking pants that keep your legs protected from natural bush if you’re planning on walking through the woods. But for warmer-weather hikes, you want to make sure you have breathable pants that you can move in. And, if you’re anything like me, you want copious amounts of pockets to keep your smaller things in.
Reviewers say that the Hanna Nikole jogger pants are actually built for plus-size women, they fit fantastically and look cute. The material is breathable and ideal for warmer weather. However, they’re not exactly built for women who are on the shorter end of things since the legs are built fairly long.
If you’re heading out during cooler weather or you want something that gives you more protection than a pair of hot summer day pants, then you might want to go for a more sturdy material. Boot cut pants are also good for hiking if you want something that goes right to your shoe, instead of the elastic bottom that can leave a small gap.
If you want a true hiking pant, go with something like the Columbia Saturday stretch pant. They feature a partial elastic waist that provides adjustable comfort, and have two side pockets and back pockets. There are 15 colour choices, and over 4,300 reviews on Amazon.
Plus size hiking top
When it comes to plus size hiking clothes, what top you wear depends on what type of weather there is and how long you’re going to be out for. It’s important to note that anytime you’re going to be out in the wilderness (of any type) you’ll want to bring extra clothing, water and other provisions just in case. Which means a long-sleeved shirt is not a bad idea.
The Vindery yoga shirt is a great pick for a hike. It’s made of lightweight material with moisture-wicking properties that can keep you dry and cool during your hike. The thumbholes can help you keep the wind off, and the 1/4 zip can turn it from a turtle neck to a v-neck in a moment.
Tank tops are a good choice when it comes to heading out for a hike on a hot summer’s day, though you’ll want to bring along an active jacket or hoodie with you as well. I think I’d take a tank top for a hot prairie walk and not a mountain hike, but that’s just me!
Vindery makes an exceptional yoga tank for just this occasion. It comes in a tank or t-shirt style, depending on what you’re going for. These shirts are easy to wash and wrinkle-free. Plus they are soft, lightweight and made of moisture-wicking material to keep you cool and dry.
Plus size hiking jacket
If you’re going out for a hike, I highly recommend that you also brink along a light jacket or a sweater—even if you’re headed out on a hot summer’s day. The weather can change in a moment’s notice and you want to make sure you’re well-prepared. I personally go with something lightweight that can break wind, the wind can be chilling.
The Columbia Arcadia II is light and packable, perfect for heading out on a light hike. It comes in 33 different colours of durable nylon material that can help keep off the rain but is still breathable. It has over 9,700 reviews on Amazon, and most love it.
You don’t have to go with a waterproof jacket, if you want something warmer but aren’t worried about rain then a fleece jacket could do. You simply want to have it on-hand if you find it’s getting a little chilly and you need to warm up a bit.
Columbia makes the Fast Trek II. This is a great addition to your plus size hiking clothes because of its soft fabric and high-collared neck. It makes for a great versatile item that you can layer if it gets chillier out—something like this is a great addition to your camping wardrobe.
Wide width hiking boots
A good hike is all about your shoes. If you head out for a long jaunt with an uncomfortable pair of shoes you’ll be headed back before you know it—regardless of whether you’re headed over flat land or rough terrain. If your feet start to hurt mid-hike you’re in big trouble, so it’s best to keep them appeased with a comfortable pair of shoes for hiking.
I’m a fan of a simple ankle boot over the runner-like hiking boot style. Something like the WZIKAI speaks way more to me and my fashion than a more traditional wide width hiking boot (though I have been known to head out in Skechers). I like these particular boots because they’re not only adorable, but they have a curved comfortable sole that works for the prairie riverside hikes I’m more familiar with.
When you’re looking for hiking boots that you want to wear on rougher terrain, you want to find something with support, a solid bottom and a comfortable fit. For that, a more structured wide width hiking boot is probably a better fit. You want something that’s secure and provides all-day comfort.
I like the lightweight, breathable comfort that the Foxelli provides. These wide width women’s hiking shoes have rubber soles that provide a durable and slip-free experience that works well for more challenging terrain. Plus they provide a solid support system that will keep you on your feet for hours.
Packing tips for your next hike
You don’t necessarily need to bring a backpack if you’re going for a shorter hike in an area that you know well—I’m not going to throw together a backpack of supplies to go hiking around the family campground. But if you’re hiking in an unfamiliar area or you’re going for a longer period of time, a backpack is a great idea.
The Teton Sports Oasis is a bit of a heavy-duty example, but I love the colour and like how versatile it is. It’s lightweight and comfortable, and comes with a 2L hydration bottle so you can keep water on hand. You can fit the arms to your comfort, and the full main pocket has a weather guard.
You’ll also want to make sure you have at least a bottle of water with you, even for a shorter hike, so you can stay hydrated. If you’re going to be going for a longer period of time, consider bringing along some snacks as well. A granola bar or crackers will do in a pinch.
I tend to go with a sports water bottle like the Shoke because it’s sturdy and can hold 32 ounces of water which is plenty. It’s made of non-toxic, BPA-free plastic, and it’s eco-friendly. I really like these types of water bottles because they’re easy to clean and the lids are hard to lose!
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