My husband and I love hiking year-round, whether at home on our favorite trails, or discovering new ones while traveling. But there’s something extra magical about heading into the woods during fall.
Fall in Michigan means the air is cooler, the changing leaves make everything glowy and golden, and honestly, it’s just more fun to dress for.
The best way I have found to keep hiking outfits easy and cute is by starting with a favorite pair of leggings and a trusty pair of boots. Then I top it all off with a light tee and fleece jacket (or if I’m wearing my baby in the backpack, a light vest, since I know I’ll be heating up quicker.) I’ve rounded up simple pieces that are easy to move in, pair together, and flattering for a photo-op once you’ve reached your destination!
1. A Soft, Comfy Jacket: The “Adventure Awaits” Fleece
Fleece jackets have been my favorite for the fall months for years. They provide the perfect amount of warmth without being a full-on massive winter coat. They are lightweight and pack down easily, which is convenient if the sun is hotter on the trail than you expected and you want to shed a layer.
This “Adventure Awaits” fleece is one of the most comfortable (if not the most comfortable) tops I have ever put on my body. It’s a bit thicker than your traditional fleece. The inside is lined with a soft jersey that I can only seem to describe as what I WISH the comforter on my bed felt like. Imagine the softest, coziest blankets you have ever snuggled down into — this jacket gives you that same feeling…maybe even better.
If you’re looking for something lighter, the first fleece jacket that I actually fell in love with is the “Hit The Slopes” jacket (which can be seen in my hiking boots review). A classic, light fleece that compares to the weight and warmth of those traditional Patagonia or The North Face fleece jackets but with an updated, modern design. You can even grab it in a variety of the cutest prints, or you can opt for the pullover instead.
With the temperatures officially cooling, I find myself actually trying to build outfits around this Adventure Awaits fleece just so I can wear it more. Even when hitting the trails on an unseasonably warm day, I will throw this jacket on over bike shorts and a longline sports bra. It would be perfect for wearing to the gym or your morning workout location, and you can detach the hood if that’s more your comfort.
Fit Notes: The jacket is slightly oversized, which gives it that ultimate cozy blanket factor. I’m wearing my true size, medium, and consider it fitting exactly as it should. The sleeves are nice and long, too, for anyone who has trouble finding lengths long enough for them!
2. My Go-To Pants For Hiking: A Jogger-Leggings Hybrid
While I mentioned normally grabbing a pair of leggings for my hiking outfits, these pants are actually a leggings-jogger hybrid, which I must say, is totally brilliant. Joggers on my body typically provide a looser, or shall we say saggier, booty that I don’t always appreciate. I don’t have much to offer for a bum and I’m quite straight in the hips, so when I realized these pants gave me the opportunity to have the comfort of a jogger (loose in the legs, fitted ankle) but the waistband and hips fit to me like a pair of leggings, I was sold. Goodbye saggy bottoms!
Fit Notes: I’m 5’9” wearing a size medium in the pants, and the length is perfect to tuck into my socks and boots. They are super-soft and stretchy and have such good color options!
3. An Easy-To-Wear Layer: The Ruby Vest
When I’m baby wearing, I make the smallest adjustments to my hiking outfit formula, namely with how much warmth I’m going for. A vest has been the perfect solution to keep me comfortable so I don’t need to stop and shed a layer. This vest is a part of the “Ruby Jacket” line of which I’m a mega fan. It’s thin yet still warm, and because it doesn’t have a hood, it makes it easier to wear the backpack (and the child). The oversized fit covers my shoulders keeping me the perfect temperature, and the pockets are nice and large for hands, phone or treasures picked up along the way.
The weather is mild enough right now that I’m still going sleeveless, but shortly I’ll be trading in my light tee for a light long sleeve base layer (this one is amazing).
If you want a more classic look (that’s also water-resistant) this vest would be perfect. OR if you’re not wearing a baby on your back and can rock a hood, I’ve been actually fawning over this quilted one that’s available in the two best color options for fall. Vests are underrated in my opinion, but they’re perfect for fall adventures — don’t sleep on ‘em.
Shop My Favorite Hiking Pieces for Fall
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