There’s no denying that getting outdoors is probably the best thing ever. But with any outdoor adventuring comes the need for lots of gear, which isn’t good for your travel budget, your storage cupboard, or the environment. We’ve scoured the shops to find the best multi-use items for outdoorsy people that’ll see you through all your outside exploits, while being handy in day-to-day life at the same time.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
Looking for lightweight weather protection that won’t hotbox your sweat on rainy summer hikes? The Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket sets the benchmark for packability, breathability and storm protection, and it won’t break the bank compared to its Gore-Tex equivalents. Patagonia upgraded the Torrentshell last year, it’s now made with Bluesign-approved 100% recycled Nylon face fabric, which makes it much better for the planet. Plus the brand’s waterproof and breathable membrane, H2No Performance Standard, is one of the best in the industry, keeping you warm and dry, inside and out. Plenty of colour ways will keep even the pickiest of shoppers happy and it’s so light you can pack it into the hand pocket and stash it away in your pack until the rain comes.
Five Ten Æscent
Arguably one of the most well respected brands in outdoor footwear, Five Ten have managed to accomplish the impossible in creating functional outdoor shoes that don’t look like orthopaedic geriatric slippers. Our favourite is the Æscent, an all-round approach shoe that’ll tackle climbs, scrambles, technical hikes, downhill bike tracks and the subsequent trip to the pub afterwards, with ease. The sole is made from Five Ten’s proprietary rubber, Stealth Mi6, which will stick to any surface, rain or shine, while the breathable mesh upper is ideal for summer Alpine weather.
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry Backpack
We love multi-use items! Better for the planet and better for your storage cupboard, this stylish daypack has a generous thirty-litre volume that easily fits anything from a family picnic to everything you need for a night in a refuge. If you cycle to work, even better; thanks to Mountain Hardwear’s OutDry technology, the main compartment is totally waterproof, ensuring your gear stays nice and dry, even in heavy rain. Plus, the outer attachments can accommodate anything from a flask of water to a set of ice axes or ski poles.
Stance Hike Socks
There’s nothing better than the simple pleasure of a good pair of socks, especially when they’re kind to your feet. The merino wool, Nylon and poly/cotton knit provides the optimal blend of warmth, moisture transferral, durability and cosiness, plus the colourful patterning will look great with your hiking boots. Comfort-inducing extras include seamless toe construction to stave off blisters, as well as strategically placed compression zones and extra-breathable mesh. Regular socks will pale in comparison.
Passenger Turkish Towel
A far cry from the barely-there microfibre shammies we often associate with travel towels, the Turkish towel is the ultimate multi-use outdoor travel companion. Its uses range from picnic blanket to scarf, towel to shawl – you can even swaddle a baby with one. And when you’re not travelling, it doubles as a nice throw. This one from British surf brand, Passenger, is made from soft Turkish cotton (and is actually made in Turkey) and doesn’t include any single-use plastic packaging.