Gear up for an outdoor adventure

Essential kit to tackle the toughest challenges

Danner creates iconic hiking boots
Danner creates iconic hiking boots | Image: Corey Arnold

The most forward-thinking outdoor brands are now working with durable and innovative fabrics that will withstand all you can throw at them, from Dyneema, which is super light but extremely tough, to Cordura, a military-grade, abrasive-resistant material, and Graphene, a “super material” said to be 100 times stronger than steel. Then there’s more traditional materials such as heavyweight waxed cottons, which take on a wonderful lived-in feel over the years. Here’s our selection of outdoor apparel that will help you survive some of the toughest terrain.

Vollebak Indestructible Puffer, £795
Vollebak Indestructible Puffer, £795
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Vollebak Indestructible Puffer

Vollebak puts materials such as copper, carbon fibre and Graphene to work in its futuristic “Indestructible” line of clothing, which takes outdoor apparel to a whole new level of resilience. Its puffer jacket is made with Dyneema, a fabric said to be 15 times stronger than steel, which will withstand almost any rigour you can put it through – even a knife-slash test. Those seeking warmth from a jacket will find this one has 600+ fill recycled synthetic down, ensuring you’re all set well into negative double-digit temperatures. £795, vollebak.com

ThruDark SF Guerrilla Fleece

Founded by two friends – both former UK British Special Forces – this outdoor clothing and equipment brand weaves operational experience with cutting-edge fabrics and in-field testing to produce some seriously impressive gear. Its reversible hooded fleece is reinforced with Cordura on the elbows and shoulders for durability, and it has a super warm Polartec high loft fleece that is also extremely comfortable. £475, thrudark.com

ThruDark SF Guerrilla Fleece, £475
ThruDark SF Guerrilla Fleece, £475
Filson Wax Work Vest, £265
Filson Wax Work Vest, £265

Filson Wax Work Vest

Established in 1897, Seattle-based Filson has long been a yardstick for tough and comfortable clothing for outdoor enthusiasts. Its workwear collection is made from traditional yet durable fabrics, and includes this vest in premium and heavy-duty 17oz waxed cotton (which, incidentally, is sourced from British Millerain, a specialist in wax-cotton fabrics). The design is all about wearability – with a touch of insulation, generous handwarmer pockets and a soft cotton-twill lining. £265, filson.com

Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers

Reputed for their durability, these trousers are a must for any outdoor enthusiast. They are made from the Swedish brand’s G-1000 fabric (a densely woven material made from 65 per cent polyester and 35 per cent cotton, which is then waxed), ensuring they are durable and wind- and water-resistant. They are also reinforced on the knees and back and have plenty of handy pockets. Treating the trousers to a waxing from time to time will increase their weather resistance and nourish the fabric for a long life – plus, with each year that goes by, they’ll fit ever more like a glove. £145, themountainfactor.com and fjallraven.com

Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers, £145
Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers, £145
Sherpa Adventure Gear Gurkhali Pant, £140
Sherpa Adventure Gear Gurkhali Pant, £140

Sherpa Adventure Gear Gurkhali Pant

Don’t be fooled by the casual look of these trousers – they are made from a fabric that includes six per cent Dyneema with reinforced seams to ensure they are super-hardwearing. They have a good amount of stretch too, and are comfortable enough for everyday use, as well as capable on the mountain side. £140, sherpaadventuregear.co.uk

Danner Mountain Light Boots

An iconic hiking boot that just gets better with age. The upper is constructed from a single piece of quality full-grain leather, so the elements have the least chance of finding a weakness. They have a Gore-Tex liner, making them waterproof and breathable, a Vibram Kletterlift outsole so they’re very sturdy underfoot, plus they’re fully resoleable. £320, danner.com

Danner Mountain Light Boots, £320
Danner Mountain Light Boots, £320
Hestra Mora Gloves, £70
Hestra Mora Gloves, £70

Hestra Mora Gloves

Made by a family business based in Sweden, these simple, unlined workwear-style gloves are brilliant all-rounders. Made from heavy-duty elk leather, they will take some time to wear in, but once they’ve moulded to your hands, they are ready for a life of hard use. £70, hestragloves.com

Arc’teryx LEAF Assault Pack 30

Arc’teryx is known for producing well-constructed outdoor and technical clothing. However, LEAF (its Law Enforcement and Armed Forces division) offers exceptionally capable gear – made to handle the harshest environments and military situations. Its weatherproof 30L Assault Pack is made from highly durable Cordura nylon, can house a 3L bladder and has a removable hip belt and highly customisable storage. £299, leaf.arcteryx.com

Arc’teryx LEAF Assault Pack 30, £299
Arc’teryx LEAF Assault Pack 30, £299
Elliot Brown Holton Watch, £450
Elliot Brown Holton Watch, £450

Elliot Brown Holton Watch

Elliot Brown produces watches of unquestionable durability. To prove the point, one of its designs was strapped to the mast of a clipper on a round-the-world racing yacht, which returned almost a year later still perfectly able to tell the time. The Holton, a recent launch, was developed in collaboration with a specialist branch of the British Armed Forces and the result is an exceptionally robust timepiece (able to withstand prolonged exposure to water and dust) with a utilitarian aesthetic. The 43mm quartz movement with sapphire crystal glass has an unidirectional bezel. £450, elliotbrownwatches.com

Swarovski Optik CL Pocket 10x25 Binoculars

The clarity of optics on these binoculars is sensational, as is the build quality. At a palm-sized 11cm long and weighing just 350g, they are truly pocket-sized, yet with 10x magnification, they more than match most full-sized counterparts. Operational in temperatures of -25 to +55°C and fully waterproof up to 4m, there’s no need to be precious with them when exploring – or birdwatching. £660, swarovskioptik.com

Swarovski Optik CL Pocket 10x25 Binoculars, £660
Swarovski Optik CL Pocket 10x25 Binoculars, £660
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