Tools of Summer: 6 Summer Hiking Essentials

Odin Fastpack

Odin Fastpack    Photo: Courtesy of Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen Odin Fastpack

Most ultralight waterproof-breathable jackets sacrifice functionality to keep weight down. Not Helly Hansen’s 8.5-ounce Odin Fastpack. Because the proprietary fabric is so light, you get huge vented front pockets and a fully adjustable hood with none of the bulk.

Keen M Zip Hyperlite

M Zip Hyperlite
M Zip Hyperlite 1/4 crew socks   Photo: Courtesy of Keen

There’s a reason why Keen’s M Zip Hyperlite  1/4 crew socks feel so great on the trail. Two, actually: merino wool underfoot supplies the cushioning, and airy, mostly nylon uppers wick away moisture.

The North Face S/S Spring Canyon

S/S Spring Canyon shirt
S/S Spring Canyon shirt   Photo: Courtesy of The North Face

Snaps and a subtle western design give the quick-drying North Face S/S Spring Canyon shirt just enough panache for around-town wear. Highly breathable poly-blend fabric and underarm vents keep things just as cool when you head for the hill.

Salomon Synapse Mids

Synapse Mids
Synapse Mids   Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

Salomon’s Synapse Mids are built for speed. A rounded heel and rockered sole create a rebound effect that subtly boosts your stride. Nimble and light (13 ounces), these midcuts also have enough ankle support and cushioning to double as light backpacking shoes.

Garmin GTU 10 GPS Tracker

GTU 10 GPS tracker
GTU 10 GPS tracker   Photo: Courtesy of Garmin

Most folks use Garmin’s lighter-size GTU 10 GPS tracker to keep tabs on stuff, pets, or kids. But you can also carry it yourself, like a Spot device, to allow loved ones to monitor your progress over mountain passes.

Merrell Durmitors

Durmitor shorts
Durmitor shorts   Photo: Courtesy of Merrell

They look like basic shorts. But Merrell got the details right on the Durmitors. The ultralight, quick-drying ripstop nylon is as light as it is tough, while six pockets (including two cargo) keep trail necessities nearby.

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