• hikers in the Cariboo Mountains

    Hikers traverse a rocky slope in eastern British Columbia's Cariboo Mountains. (Photo: Javier Frutos/Can Geo)

An easy hike in beautiful spring or summer weather can quickly turn into an uncomfortable marathon if you’re not wearing the right gear. Forget appreciating sweeping vistas or spotting wildlife when your rain jacket is stuck to your sweaty skin and your hiking boots have rubbed your heel raw. Thankfully, the companies featured here are constantly introducing new technologies to make gear lighter, more breathable and strong enough to stand up to just about anything that crosses your path.

Photo: Christian Lalonde (photoluxstudio.com/commercial)/Can Geo
  1. Men’s Tech Trail V-neck shirt: This silky soft shirt is constructed with Columbia’s Omni-Wick (moisture-wicking) and Omni-Shade (sun protection) technologies perfect for hot and sweaty hikes and trail runs. $39.99, atmosphere.ca
  2. Men’s Ember Jacket: Breezy walks and chilly morning hikes require warm layers. Enter this jacket made with soft-brushed, heavyweight polyester fleece, a high stand-up collar and a longer back hem for maximum coverage. $99, mec.ca
  3. Men’s Hydrofoil Jacket: A multi-purpose jacket is like the holy grail of hiking gear (second, maybe, to a good pair of boots). This waterproof nylon jacket has underarm zips for ventilation, an adjustable hood with a reinforced brim and it packs small. Bonus: The bright colour means helps you stay safe and visible in wilderness settings.$159, mec.ca
  4. Men’s Mica Pants: High-performance pants are a must for avid hikers. This style from MEC is a minimalist offering made with durable ripstop nylon and spandex, no buttons or zippers, an elastic waistband and a water repellant coating. $79, mec.ca
  5. Men’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid Hiker: This updated version of Keen’s award-winning waterproof men’s hiking boot features a durable leather mud shield, speed hooks for quick and easy lace adjustments and odor-control technology. $200, keenfootwear.com
  6. Hikers Hat: Tilley’s iconic hats are classics for a reason. This version, made specifically for hiking, offers the same protective wide brim, but is constructed with a breathable “HyperKewl” material that absorbs and evaporates sweat and is certified UPF 50+ for added sun protection. And, like all Tilley hats, this one is guaranteed for life. $110, tilley.com
  7. Flyair Matte Black Sunglasses: Take in those vistas without annoying smudges or dirt obstructing your view. The lenses of these Bollé rimless wraparound sunglasses are hydrophobic and oleophobic, meaning they stay smudge- and glare-free, and their polycarbonate construction means they’ll last for hikes to come. $109.99 USD, shop.bolle.com