Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Guide to choosing women’s outdoor active wear

Written by Fiona

July 21 2023

Spending a day in nature is an invigorating experience that offers countless benefits for physical and mental well-being. Outdoor activities such as hiking on trails, cycling along scenic routes, or simply enjoying a leisurely walk in the park provide many people with an escape from the confines of their daily routines. It takes more than stepping outside the comfort of your home, however, to enjoy your time surrounded by nature. It’s a must to dress well and gear up for outdoor activities because your choice of clothes can greatly contribute to your safety and comfort while exposed to the elements. What you wear can also factor into your level of enjoyment of your planned activities. 

If you’re keen to simplify your decision-making process for choosing activewear for outdoor activities, read on.

Walking with friends.

What is the activity?

It’s crucial to consider the specific demands of your chosen activity when choosing clothing. Different activities require different clothing choices to ensure optimal comfort and performance. For instance, if you’re planning to spend a day hiking, you need to choose a fully waterproof, windproof and breathable jacket for protection form the weather. Footwear needs to be fit for purpose, such as waterproof and with good sole grip. Look for comfortable and practical hiking pants, shorts or skorts, or shop leggings that are designed for working out. If cycling is your passion, opt for lightweight and moisture-wicking jerseys, padded cycling shorts and cycling-specific shoes. By tailoring your outfit to the activity, you’ll be equipped with the right gear to enhance your experience.

What’s the weather forecast?

The weather can greatly impact your outdoor adventure, so it’s essential to stay informed about the forecast. Before heading out, check the temperature, humidity, wind speed and the possibility of rain or sun in the area where you’ll be spending most of your time. Knowing these details will guide your clothing choices.

For warm and sunny days, opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics that offer UV protection. Moisture-wicking shorts and shirts and sun hats are excellent choices for these days as well. In colder temperatures, consider dressing in layers to retain heat. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add insulating mid-layers like fleece or down jackets, and top it off with a water and wind-resistant outer shell. Don’t forget to wear a beanie and thermal gloves for added warmth.

Think about choice of fabric

Choosing the right fabric is vital when picking garments for outdoor activities. If you’re anticipating demanding physical activities, moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon blends are a good choice. These will help sweat to evaporate away from your body and will give you a better chance of staying dry and comfortable. This will prevent you from feeling clammy or chilly.

Consider garments with breathable mesh panels or vents to enhance airflow. Additionally, there are fabrics like merino wool that offer natural moisture-wicking and odour-resistant properties. These qualities make them ideal for activities that involve long hours or multi-day trips. 

Comfort and mobility

Comfort and mobility should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing outdoor attire. Opt for clothing that fits well and allows for a full range of motion.

Look for designs with stretch or articulated features. For example, hiking pants with a gusseted crotch and articulated knees offer increased mobility on uneven terrains.

Make it a point to choose tops and bottoms that are neither too tight nor too loose, as overly tight clothing can restrict movement, while excessively loose garments may snag on foliage or impede your progress. Remember, when you feel comfortable and unrestricted, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your chosen activity.

Protection from the elements

Shielding yourself from the elements is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. If you’re anticipating a lot of sunlight while you’re out, opt for clothing that provides UV protection, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) ratings.

Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection will safeguard your face and eyes.

In wet conditions, prioritise waterproof and breathable outer layers, including rain jackets and pants. These garments prevent moisture from seeping in while allowing perspiration to escape, which makes them an ideal choice for rainy or stormy days.

Choose the layering system

The layering system is a versatile approach to dressing for outdoor activities. Layering your clothes will allow you to adapt to changing weather conditions and activity levels. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to regulate your body temperature and keep you dry.

Add insulating mid-layers like fleece or synthetic jackets to trap warmth. Then, use an outer shell layer that provides protection against wind, rain, or snow. This three-layer system allows you to add or remove clothing as needed, ensuring your comfort throughout the day. Experiment with different layering combinations to find the perfect balance for each activity and weather scenario.

God quality outdoors footwear

Proper footwear is paramount in any outdoor activity. Choose footwear that suits the demands of the activity that you have in mind and provides adequate support, protection, and traction.

For hiking or trekking, invest in hiking boots or shoes with sturdy soles, ankle support, and waterproof capabilities. Trail running shoes are ideal for those who enjoy running or fast-paced hikes on uneven terrain.

If you’ll be near water, consider water shoes or sandals with non-slip soles and quick-drying properties. Always ensure that your footwear is comfortable, properly fitted, and broken in to prevent blisters or foot fatigue. 

Don’t forget the accessories

Accessories can greatly enhance your outdoor experience by providing additional safety and comfort. Sunglasses with UV protection shield your eyes from harmful sun rays and glare. Gloves protect your hands during cold weather activities and provide a better grip, while hats offer shade from the sun and protect your face and scalp.

Don’t forget to wear moisture-wicking socks to prevent blisters and choose appropriate backpacks or waist packs for carrying essentials. For activities during low-light conditions, choose to wear reflective clothing so that you can be more visible to others. By utilising accessories wisely, you can elevate both your safety and comfort levels.

When you feel comfortable, protected and confident in your attire, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings and push your limits. So, make it a priority to dress appropriately, and use the tips mentioned above to simplify the process of putting your workout or outdoor clothing together. 

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