The Best Women’s Travel Gear for Multi Day Hikes

Travel gear for multi day hikes must be light, sturdy and multi-functional. 

Below are the travel gear for multi day hikes that have proven their worth over numerous trips and multi day hikes both in Australia and overseas. These are all items I have purchased myself, based on my own research and the reviews are an honest opinion based on personal experience.

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Travel gear for multi day hikes

Travel gear for multi day hikes… and at home

Over the past few years when an item I own needs replacing I’ve been trying to make more conscious decisions. I’ve tried to upgrade wherever possible, to items that are well made, long lasting and easily repairable.

I discovered the brand Patagonia in South America when hiking in Chilean Patagonia. Then noticed their name kept coming up in reviews and discussion boards that value sustainability. Patagonia doesn’t have a retail store where I live so I was late to the party with the company. Their catalogue has several bestsellers I’m yet to try, but I love the Baggies shorts.

backpack day 2 Atlas Introspective

Patagonia Baggies

Before hiking the Cape to Cape hike in Western Australia, I needed a new pair of hiking shorts. They needed to be comfortable, quick drying and double as swimwear. My online research brought me to the Patagonia baggies. They seem to be a big deal in the US, but I hadn’t come across them here. So I took the plunge and ordered a pair online to see what all the fuss was about.

Baggies vs Barely Baggies

I bought the regular style for my trip but there is also a slightly shorter style called the Barely Baggies that I hope to trial next. The regular Baggies gave the perfect amount of coverage for hiking & sitting in the dirt. The fabric is dense and of high quality, but they were light and cool even on hot days.

Baggies Atlas Introspective

I hiked through daily rain for a week and they dried quickly. The pockets are substantial (they can fit a smart phone) and the elastic waist is sewn through, so there was no twisting with movement. They also have an internal drawstring in case you lose weight on your trip. I should be so lucky.

There’s no stretch to these shorts so they’re meant to be worn baggy, hence the name. Baggies are available in mens and woman’s styles in a variety of colours and patterns.

Cost per wear

I’m happy to pay a higher price if I think a garment will serve a dual purpose. Im looking forward to wearing Patagonia Baggies on and off the hiking trail as we head into an Australian Summer.

UPDATE: I’ve owned the Patagonia Baggies for a few years now and two years ago bought a pair of Barely Baggies. They’re amazing hiking shorts and as outdoor apparel, particularly for water sports like boating.

You may also be interested in a sponsored review on Kuhl hiking shorts.

Icebreaker

Icebreaker Atlas Introspective

I’m an Icebreaker customer from way back & and I have Icebreaker clothing that’s over 10 years old and still going strong.

Most Icebreaker garments are made of New Zealand merino wool. Their clothing breathes well and helps to regulate body temperature both in warm and cool climates. Icebreaker merino clothing doesn’t hold odour even after several days wear. As travel gear for multi day hikes this is where Icebreaker really stands out.

On days that you can’t launder your clothes, they are easily refreshed by an overnight airing, and after being hand-washed, they dry quickly. This translates to significantly reducing how much travel gear for multi day hikes you need to pack.

Cost per wear

I wear Icebreaker year round both in my daily life and when travelling. At home the base layers are wonderful thermals under knits and nothing is softer or warmer than Icebreaker socks. I have a variety of Icebreaker garments in various thicknesses and weights to suit different climates. No matter the climate, conditions or activity, there’s an Icebreaker garment to suit it.

Things to consider

This is in no way a criticism of the company, but just something to consider with all merino or woollen garments. If there are moths or silverfish in your home, merino wool items will be a target.

Silverfish once got into my wardrobe & the damage totalled well over a grand in lost clothing. But of the items I lost, Icebreaker garments held up the best, perhaps because unlike my every day clothing, when it comes to outdoor apparel the focus is on function not aesthetic. So while most Winter knits were only fit for the bin, I hung onto my Icebreakers. The small holes that appeared in all my Icebreaker garments did not compromise functionality of the garments, were easily mended and did not run or get bigger over time.

Maintaining and mending merino

I now wash my merino wool garments after wear and and store them in either a vacuum-sealed or a zip lock bag. In my efforts to be more sustainable, I asked my Mum for some sewing tips. We spent a day mending all the small holes and they’re now good as new for another few years. For larger holes darning may be necessary, but I was able to mend everything using a simple ladder stitch.

Icebreaker products are easy care items and can be machine washed. Even just an overnight airing will refresh them. But avoid washing them with other clothes that have zippers or studs and don’t put them in the dryer.

My favourite items from Icebreaker are:

Merino Crush pants

Possibly the most expensive pair of trackies on the market. But I wear them constantly. The Crush pants are great for daily use, travel, as well as sports.

The merino wool keeps you the perfect temperature and they look amazing on. The cut is really flattering & can be elevated for streetwear. They’re my camp and pyjama pants when I’m packing travel gear for multi day hikes and they double as a backup pair of day pants. They’re my everyday track pants at home and my go-to lounge wear when I want to be comfortable without wearing pyjamas. I recently had to spend the night in hospital with my son and these were the pants I wore.

I’ve been wearing the same pair for 5 years now and they look exactly the same as when I first bought them. No colour fade, no stretched out baggy knees. Aside from a silverfish attack (see above) that I was able to repair, these have been worth every penny. When they eventually wear out, I’ll definitely purchase again. Investment piece isn’t often a term associated with track pants, but it applies here.

Fiona on the trail Atlas Introspective

Cool-Lite short sleeve crewe

Icebreaker releases different colours and designs of their basic tees each year. I find the cut and weight of the Cool-Lite short sleeve, scooped neck crewe t-shirts work best for both every day use and as travel gear for multi day hikes. Some may think it’s over-kill when a basic cotton tee will do the job. But it’s rare to get more than a season out of a cotton shirt before it either stretches or fades. I’ve purchased Icebreaker t-shirts for over ten years and have yet to wear one out. They are an expensive purchase, yes, but a long-term one.

Merino Siren Long Sleeve Sweetheart Top

I have two of these in the ultralight weight. They are great as a pyjama top during transitional seasons and thin enough to serve as as thermals in daily life. They’re technically an undergarment and slightly too thin to wear on their own. But I like wearing layers when I travel and hike so they’re perfect travel gear for multi day hikes. I often wear them underneath a Cool-Lite t-shirt when hiking on cool days.

Fiona holding iceberg Atlas Introspective

200 Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe Thermal

A slightly thicker, long sleeve thermal base layer, I wear the 200 Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe Thermal instead of a fleece during transitional seasons in moderate climates. Alone, it offers sun protection and added warmth when layered with another icebreaker shirt or vest. I find two lighter merino layers is more comfortable than a bulky fleece.

Other Icebreaker memorable mentions: merino hiking crew socks; Merino unisex pocket beanie.

LuminAID PackLite Halo Solar Inflatable Lantern

My husband discovered the LuminAID before we took a trip to South America. Our trip included two multi day hikes and we found the LuminAID perfect travel gear for multi day hikes and camping. One side has a solar panel & it collapses flat to be attached to the outside of your pack to charge during transit. I always travel with a head torch but it’s useful having at least one light source that isn’t reliant on batteries. We’ve since used it on several hikes and family camping trips and it’s won us over with it’s innovative design.

Luminaid Atlas Introspective

The LuminAID packLite Halo lantern is an inflatable solar lantern. It weighs next to nothing and the LED light doesn’t heat up so it’s safe when travelling with kids. Waterproof, dust proof, lightweight. It’s an amazing piece of travel gear for multi day hikes, camping, fishing and backpacking. You can even chuck it in the pool! This is a real all-rounder and ticks the box for function and multi-purpose.

LifeStraw Go Bottle

A great item on the trail and in cities where the tap water isn’t drinkable. LifeStraw Go is a water bottle with a difference. The internal straw operates as a 2-stage filtration system, removing chlorine, organic chemical matter and waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites. The filtration straw is replaceable. This is great travel gear for multi day hikes: simply fill up in a stream and drink. No need for time consuming water boiling or waiting for purification tablets to work. The company claims you can stick the straw directly into the toilet and safely drink. Whether or not you feel the need to test this out for yourself, I’ll leave up to you.

Lifestraw Atlas Introspective

The LifeStraw is not only convenient but reduces waste as it replaces the ongoing need to buy bottled water. As we strive to limit single use plastics; I can see the popularity of the LifeStraw gaining a following amongst backpackers.

Pacsafe

From Europe to South-East Asia to South America. I’ve travelled the world with my Pacsafe. In my teens I was robbed in Rome, while surrounded by a group of nuns, after a visit to the Vatican. The incident left me shaken and soon after I stumbled upon Pacsafe. I have been using the same one for 15 years and it’s still going strong.

Pacsafe have a range of anti-theft travel bags which offer peace of mind while carrying valuables. Your risk of being robbed is much higher when travelling. The Pacsafe helps keep your money and passport safe from light hands.

Anti-theft

Pacsafe features a detachable shoulder strap which can be threaded through your belt to prevent a bag snatch; mesh sewn between the fabric prevents from your bag being slashed; lockable zips and hidden zippered pockets deter pickpockets. All to help keep your valuables secure.

Jetboil

We invested in a Jetboil about ten years ago and we haven’t hiked without it since. Out on the trail, you see them everywhere and there’s good reason. They’re light and do their single job quickly making them essential travel gear for multi day hikes. The Jetboil only boils water, so it’s not a substitute for a camp cooker. But as travel gear for multi day hikes when all you need is boiling water to add to dehydrated meals, it’s perfect.

This year we even splashed out on the coffee plunger attachment so we could make decent stove coffee from pre-ground beans. It’s a small luxury that doesn’t add much weight or take up a lot of space.

We still bring the Jetboil on camping trips even when space and weight isn’t a consideration because it’s so convenient for making tea and coffee.

refugio campsite day 4 Atlas Introspective

Marmot Tungsten 2 person tent

A tent is likely the most expensive travel gear for multi day hikes that you’ll buy. When we first started doing multi day hikes we made do with a basic tent. From memory it cost about $20 and weighed a few kgs. It was cheap and cheerful, and served us well for a few years. But when the zipper broke we decided to upgrade to the Marmot.

It’s roomy enough to comfortably fit two adults and your packs, and the fly offers just enough coverage outside to keep your boots out of the weather. I like that it has two doors so you’re not climbing over one another to get in and out. Pitching the tent is quick and effortless, which is a blessing when we’ve had to pitch it after dark or in poor weather.

Jarrad tent Atlas Introspective

Light vs Ultralight

Generally speaking with hiking and ultralight hiking gear, the lighter you get, the higher the price point. So it’s a personal decision whether you prioritise weight vs cost. The ultralight version is 1546g, as opposed to our tent which is 2381g.

Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

This was another upgrade item. In the early days I used a small stuffed pillow. It weighed next to nothing but even when squished into its compression sack it was still fairly bulky. I was hesitant to replace it, and it seemed a bit indulgent when I already had one that could do the trick.

But I have no regrets. In terms of comfort the experience between the two is night and day. Not only does this inflatable pillow reduce down to roughly the size of a fist, the outside fabric is soft and cosy and you can adjust the level of firmness. After a long day on the trail, it’s nice not to have to compromise on comfort.

sea to summit size Atlas Introspective

The Sea to Summit camp pillow would make an ideal gift or Christmas stocking stuffer.

Buff Multifunctional Neckwear / neck gaiter

My husband was a convert first and spent years persuading me to get on the bandwagon. But I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Ultimately he gave up and bought me one for Christmas. Now I never hike without one.

A Buff is basically a tube of fabric which can serve multiple functions. A sweatband, headband, beanie, scarf, bandana and balaclava. It keeps your ears warm, the sun off your neck, disguise a bad hair-day or keep the bugs out of your nose. If you’re determined you can find 13 ways to wear it. I prefer to wear mine as a headband. Beanie’s don’t always work over a pony tail and they can be too warm when hiking. A buff keeps my ears warm and my hair out of my face. Of all the travel gear on multi day hikes that I own, I use it the most.

Fiona turquoise lake Atlas Introspective

A Buff is another great gift item or stocking stuffer.

North Face Aphrodite 2.0 hiking pants

So many hiking and outdoorsy clothes for women are bulky, shapeless and utilitarian in appearance. So I’m always on the lookout for hiking clothes that are functional but don’t compromise on style. I bought the North Face Aphrodite pants 5 years ago for my hiking trip to South America. I have since worn them on several multi-day hiking trips.

Perfect all-rounders

They’re lightweight, quick-dry, have a flattering cut and a comfortable waistband with an external adjustable drawstring. The fabric has plenty of give and they’re easy to move in. I’ve worn these pants in cool climates near snow and glaciers (Patagonia), as well as in warmer climates (Western Australia). To be honest there may be better pants on the market for colder places. But for the sake of flexibility, I just wear a thermal base layer underneath them.

Fee crossing bridge Atlas Introspective

These tick all the boxes for me. They don’t immediately stand out as travel clothes, so can pass for days spent in the city. They’re insanely comfortable without metal buttons or zippers, so they’re perfect for long plane trips.

These have an inseam of 32″ so they’re tall girl friendly. I’m short so I initially used the ankle draw string to keep them off the floor. I later took up the hem line. I lost the option of a tight fit around the ankle but this hasn’t been a problem as I usually wear gaiters.

After five years and several multi-day hiking trips, these pants have held up. The fabric and construction show no sign of wear or tear.

Montane Waterproof Jacket

I’ve owned this rain jacket for almost ten years and it looks as good as they day I bought it. It’s journeyed with me on all of my overseas holidays and hiking trips as well as being my rain shell in the city. It gets a decent workout on the school run during the Winter and keeps me dry on 5km runs.

JF forrest selfie Atlas Introspective

I’ve owned other brands that I won’t name, that just haven’t handled reasonable wear and tear. Too often rain jackets deteriorate when they’re crumpled and stored damp. Now I’m not advocating that you not to take decent care of your gear. But when you’re paying a few hundred dollars for a jacket at an outdoor retail store, I think it’s expected that you’re planning on hiking with it. When my last jacket literally fell apart at the seams after very minimal use, the hiking store assistant recommended this one. I haven’t looked back.

Mac-Pac gaiters

You can go cheap and cheerful, light and colourful or more sturdy when it comes to gaiters. There seems to be so many versions out there. These are the ones I use when I hike in the Australian bush. Anything thinner just isn’t going to stand up to the harsh scrub. They’ve kept my calves protected, the sand out of my boots on long beach walks and given me peace of mind during Summer months when there’s the possibility of snakes crossing my path.

The workmanship is sound and despite owning them for over five years, they look as good as when I originally purchased them. Despite wearing them all day on bare skin, I haven’t experienced any irritation or rubbing.

The best travel gear for multi day hikes is the gear that gets you there…

At the time of writing, these items were travel gear for multi day hikes that I’d purchase again. They reflect quality for money and have been sturdy enough for me to get significant use out of them. Where possible the design is innovative for the intended purpose but are useful both on and off the trail.

Travel gear for multi day hikes: Budget

backpack day 2 Atlas Introspective

But despite this, the best travel gear for multi day hikes is the kind that gets you outdoors today. Make smart decisions about how much you spend on gear. You don’t want to blow the budget before you’ve even left home. If you’re new to the game, beg, borrow, and get creative. Necessity is the mother of invention. Use your existing active wear, make compromises about the weight in your pack, or go second hand with bigger ticket items like tents. Like all hobbies, the amount you can spend setting up your gear needs to reflect your budget. So start basic and you can upgrade as you get more serious.

I’m always on the look-out for recommendations. What are your ride or die travel gear for multi day hikes?