Lightweight Hiking Gear for Women: Essential Equipment for a Comfortable Hike

Hiking can be physically demanding, but with the right gear, the journey can be enjoyable and easier. Here our Morning Hiker take on lightweight hiking gear for women .

Are you a woman looking to embark on a challenging hike? Perhaps you’re an experienced hiker looking to upgrade your gear or someone just starting on this thrilling journey. Whatever the case may be, finding the right hiking gear as a woman is crucial.

Lightweight hiking gear, in particular, is increasingly popular among women who want to explore nature without being weighed down.

In this article, we’ll cover the essential lightweight hiking gear for women can use to stay comfortable during their hikes.

This post contains some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Why Lightweight Hiking Gear is Important?

First things first, it’s important to understand why lightweight hiking gear matters. A heavier backpack can take a toll on your body, particularly if you’re hiking long distances or in rough terrain. Each additional piece of heavy equipment can slow you down, tire you out and make the journey much more challenging.

Carrying heavy weight can create a variety of physical issues ranging from blisters and foot pain to muscle and joint pain.

Carrying heavy hiking gear can take away from the experience of being in nature as it can be a constant distraction. This is why lightweight hiking gear is becoming increasingly popular among hikers, especially for women.

Lightweight gear may come with a higher price tag, but it can help you remain comfortable and reduce the risk of injuries.

It will also help maintain your energy reserves, so you do not run out of steam halfway through your hike.

Lightweight Hiking Gear for Women

Now that we know why lightweight hiking gear is essential, let’s explore the types of lightweight gear that women can use while hiking.

Clothing

Hiking clothing needs to be versatile, lightweight, and functional. Women should search for:

Base Layers

Base layers are usually the closest to your skin and the first layer you will put on. They need to be lightweight and able to wick away moisture. A top-performing base layer is the Icebreaker Women’s 175 Everyday Long Sleeve Crew. It’s made from merino wool and is soft, comfortable, and odor-resistant.

Mid Layers

Mid-layers typically keep you warm while hiking. These layers can be added or removed depending on the temperature. A popular mid-layer for women is the Patagonia Women’s R1 Fleece Pullover. It’s lightweight, breathable, and warm, making it suitable for a wide range of temperatures.

Outer Layers

Outer layers provide protection from the elements, particularly wind and rain. You should always have a waterproof jacket that is lightweight and breathable. The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Jacket is an excellent option. It is lightweight, waterproof, and features breathable fabric that allows for airflow to keep you comfortable while hiking.

CRZ YOGA Women’s Lightweight Mid Rise Hiking Shorts 4” – Stretch Athletic Summer Travel Outdoor…
  • Designed for hiking
  • Lightweight ripstop fabric is quick-drying, stretchy and resistant to tearing
BALEAF Women’s Quick Dry Shirts Long Sleeve for Running Hiking Workout UPF50+ SPF Lightweight…
  • Quick dry & lightweight fabric on the back combine with soft & stretch fabric on the front can wicks moisture away from the skin, and keeping you dry and comfortable all day.
  • Design: 2 special hidden window design on wrist allows you to check your watch or fitness tracker anytime without pull the thumbhole off. Long-raglan sleeves with thumbhole can keep the sleeves in place and give extra coverage to stay safe in the sun.
BALEAF Women’s Long Sleeve Rash Guard with Face Cover UPF 50+ Swim Shirts Sun Hoddie Lightweight…
  • Sun Protection: breathable face cover design for your outdoor activities which provides windproof and UPF50+ for your top,facial, neck, head for all-round protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.
  • Quick Dry & Breathable: Actively wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Great when you’re out and about, and after washing too.
Sale
BALEAF Women’s Hiking Pants Quick Dry Water Resistant Lightweight Joggers Pant for All Seasons…
  • Stay cool, fresh and comfortable all day with our lightweight, breathable, water-resistant and quick-dry women’s hiking pants.
  • UV protection is a priority when exploring the great outdoors, which is why our pants offer UPF 50+ built-in to keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays.

Footwear

Proper footwear plays a huge role in keeping your feet dry, warm, and comfortable while hiking. When it comes to lightweight hiking shoes, women should consider:

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are suitable for day hikes or shorter hiking trips. They should be lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. The Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Q2 is a fantastic option. It features a breathable mesh upper, a comfortable insole, and excellent arch support.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are great for longer hikes, and they provide more ankle support than hiking shoes. They should be lightweight, waterproof, and durable. A top-performing hiking boot for women is the Salomon Women’s Quest 4d 3 GTX. It is lightweight, waterproof, and comfortable for extended hiking trips.

SHULOOK Hiking Shoes Women | Waterproof Shoes for Women | Comfortable & Light-Weight & Non-Slip |…
  • Waterproof & Lightweight: hiking shoes women made of synthetic leather and mesh. SL-TEX waterproof membrane prevents water from entering and volatilizes water vapor. Ultra-light weight: 0.87lb (size 8)
  • Comfortable & Dry: The waterproof sealing structure, Closed-cell tongue prevents rain, muck and sand from entering. Fabric lining has excellent ventilation effect, keeps comfortable and dry throughout the day
Sale
Merrell Women’s Moab 3 Hiking Shoe, Smoke, 8
  • Pigskin leather and mesh upper 100% recycled laces and webbing Bellows tongue keeps out debris Protective toe cap 100% recycled mesh lining Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable contoured insole with reinforced heel cushioning for medium support Molded nylon arch shankLightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort Vibram TC5+ rubber sole
  • Merrell is focused on merging performance, styling, and comfort to empower all people to confidently explore the outdoors
Sale
Scurtain Womens Water Shoes for Women Aqua Shoes Beach Shoes Women’s Hiking Water Shoe Women…
  • Upper: Upper is made of ultra-light stretchy mesh, which allows them to flex with feet to fit more uniformly. Breathable air hole on the mesh upper allow air to flow through swiftly to provide cross ventilation.
  • Outsole: Non-slip rubber outsole with texture grooves on the bottom to provide superior traction available for those times when you are navigating fast-moving whitewater or rocky beaches.
Sale
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped, Elk/Mountain Red, 9
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot features a seam-sealed construction, combined with our TECHLITE lightweight midsole, for long-lasting comfort with superior cushioning and high energy return.
  • DURABLE HIKING BOOT: This women’s boot is inspired by classic mountaineering style. A durable mid cut waterproof hiker that provides great traction and comfort. This classic Columbia hiking boot, will deliver years of comfortable service.

Backpacks

A backpack is essential for any hiker to carry food, water, and other essentials. When choosing a lightweight backpack for hiking trips, women should consider:

Daypacks

Daypacks are great for short hikes or day trips. They should be lightweight, comfortable, and have enough space to carry your essentials. The Osprey Tempest 20 Women’s Hiking Backpack is an excellent option. It is lightweight, durable, and features an adjustable harness system to ensure that it fitsnicely.

Overnight Backpacks

Overnight backpacks are ideal for longer hikes and extended camping trips. They should be roomy enough to hold your camping gear and supplies. The Osprey Women’s Aura AG 65 Backpackis a great option. It’s lightweight, spacious, and features tensioned mesh suspension to keep you comfortable on long hikes.

SAVVY NOMAD 40L Hiking Backpack Lightweight Packable Travel Backpack for Women Men-Gray
  • 【 Packable & Lightweight】This hiking backpack weighs less than 2 pounds and can easily fold into its own pocket for storage, that only measures 8x9x5 inches. When unfolded, the backpack boasts a large 40-liter capacity, perfect for carrying all of your travel essentials. It can even be used as a carry-on backpack to avoid excess baggage charges. Whenever the backpack is not in use, it can easily be stored in any location by folding into its zipped inner pocket.
  • 【Large Capacity & Multi Compartment】With a 40L storage capacity, this backpack features a multi-compartment design that includes a generously sized main compartment, a zipped front pocket, two side mesh pockets, and numerous small pockets. Each compartment is thoughtfully crafted to assist in organizing and accessing all your belongings with ease.The front features a Velcro strap for securing items, and there’s a headphone hole on top for music and a water pipe hole for a hydration system.
sinotron 22L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack, Small Hiking Backpack Day Pack for Women Men…
  • ★【PREMIUM & DURABLE & SUPER VALUE】: Sinotron lightweight hiking backpack is made of high-quality and water-resistant nylon waterproof fabric. Solid metal zippers are smooth and uneasy to get damaged. Mesh shoulder straps are adjustable and breathable. As an affordable hiking backpack, we provide better quality than other expensive ones.
  • ★【22L CAPACITY & CONVENIENT DESIGN】: The main pocket is large enough to accomodate a lot of stuff, such as large gadgets, several books, 14-inch laptop, etc. Two pockets on the side can place your water bottle or umbrella. Another large net compartment is on the outside surface so that you can get some items quickly. There are also smaller compartments inside where you can store your small items.
Osprey Kyte 36L Women’s Backpacking Backpack, Ice Lake Green, WS/M
  • Women’s-specific sizing and fit
  • Breathable AirScape ridged foam backpanel with adjustable torso length
Sale
EVANCARY Small Sling Backpack for Men Women, Sling Bag/Chest Bag Daypack Crossbody Backpack for…
  • HIGH-QUALITY NYLON, sling backpack bag is made of high-quality Water Resistant nylon, which is strong, sturdy, water-resistant and anti-scratch. is not easy to break and tear providing a secure and comfortable using experiment.
  • MULTIPLE POCKETS, sling bag comes with multiple pockets a perfect size to hold your wallet, cash, phone, cards, passport, and any essentials in everyday life. Have hidden anti-theft pocket is safe for protecting your valuable items inside. No need to worry theft easily opening your bag when you are travelling or lining up.

Accessories

There are many lightweight accessories that women can use when hiking. Some popular options for hiking accessories include:

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is crucial when hiking, so having a water bottle handy is essential. A plastic or stainless steel bottle is an excellent option. It’s best to choose one that is lightweight and easy to carry. The Simple Modern Ascent Water Bottle is a fantastic option. It’s lightweight, stylish, and will keep your water cool throughout your hike.

Simple Modern Insulated Water Bottle with Handle Lid Reusable Ascent Narrow Mouth Stainless Steel…
  • Vacuum Insulated: The Simple Modern Ascent water bottle is double walled and vacuum insulated, which keeps your favorite beverage hot or cold for hours
  • Premium 18/8 Stainless Steel: Bottle is made from high-quality, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel and is coated in a durable finish

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles can provide excellent stability and support while hiking. They can relieve pressure on your joints and make it easier to navigate steep slopes. A popular choice for women is the Black Diamond Women’s Trail Trekking Poles. They are lightweight, adjustable, and offer excellent grip and stability.

Headlamps

A headlamp is an essential accessory for nighttime hiking or early morning hikes. They direct light where you need it, freeing up your hands. The Petzl Actik Core Headlamp is an excellent option. It’s lightweight, rechargeable, and has a high beam that can reach up to 350 feet.

Tips for Choosing the Best Lightweight Hiking Gear for Women

Now that you know about the various types of lightweight hiking gear available for women, let’s discuss some tips for selecting the best gear:

Consider the weight and durability of the gear

When choosing lightweight hiking gear, it’s essential to strike a balance between weight and durability. Look for gear that is lightweight but also durable enough to last through several hiking trips.

Fit and Comfort

When hiking, one of the most significant factors that can impact your experience is comfort. Look for gear that fits you well, is adjustable, and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Price vs. Quality

Hiking gear can be pricey, but it’s important to remember that higher quality gear lasts longer and is more reliable. Look for a balance between price and quality, and invest in gear that you know will last you through several hiking trips.

For more options, visit our Morning Hiker Store.

FAQ’s

1. Do I need to bleach my hiking clothes?

No, bleach can damage the merino wool fibers commonly used in base layers. Use a mild detergent only.

2. How much weight can I carry in my backpack?

Your backpack load should depend on your physical ability. Ideally, you should carry no more than 20% of your body weight.

3. How long does it take to break in hiking boots?

Shoes and boots should fit properly when you buy them, but they still may need a little break-in time. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks of walking around town or light hiking before taking them on a long hike.

Great Gear Means Great Hikes

Investing in quality lightweight hiking gear can make a huge difference when it comes to your hiking experience.

Not only can it increase your comfort and safety, but it can also elevate your overall enjoyment of the journey. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, finding the right gear is essential. Follow our tips, pick out the right gear, and get ready to hit the trails!

Now that you know all about lightweight hiking gear for women, it’s time to start planning your next adventure!

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