From boots to backpacks and everything in between, there’s a lot of gear you might want to pack or wear for a hiking trip. When that gear can do some good for the planet, that’s even better. Here are a few of the brands that feature high-quality hiking gear while maintaining eco-friendly practices at the same time.
Patagonia has long earned its reputation as an industry leader in fighting to save the planet. They no longer consider themselves to be a sustainable brand, but they’ve made strides to encourage customers to buy less through their “don’t buy this jacket” campaign. Their commitment to tax themselves 1% for the planet has also done big things for environmental activism. Get everything from base layers to outer layers and bags from Patagonia.
Cotopaxi’s distinctive colorful bags and apparel come with a commitment to sustainability too. Famous for their bright bags and puffy jackets, they also offer a line made from 100% repurposed fabrics. By 2025, their goal is to use recycled, repurposed or responsibly sourced materials in all their products.
Merino wool has always been popular in the outdoor community for its moisture-wicking properties and its ability to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Icebreaker makes top-quality wool basics with practices that go beyond sustainability. Their regenerative principles strive to give back to nature, not just minimize impact. And a purchase for your hiking wardrobe from them can support that mission.
Hiking isn’t all about outerwear. What you wear against your body is just as important. Thunderpants makes ethical clothing in New Zealand, specializing in underwear and swimwear with some basics thrown in there too.
You have to take care of your feet while you’re hiking, and Bombas should be a go-to for that. This sock company was built on the mission of doing good in the world, especially since socks are the number one requested item of clothing in homeless shelters. That’s because many homeless shelters and charities don’t accept donations of used socks and underwear for hygiene reasons. So Bombas donates one item for every item purchased. The good they do goes even beyond community: they’re committed to reducing their impact on the environment and taking steps to reduce waste and create products that last. So when you need a new pair of hiking socks, put your dollars toward good with a purchase from Bombas.
For those light hikes or around-town days, Allbirds can help your feet out. They do also make a high-rated trail runner that can carry you far into the backcountry. Their production practices include 75% sustainably sourced natural and recycled materials, with a goal to reach a near-zero carbon output by 2030.
When you’re going on a day hike, you might not always need all the extra gear you’d take camping or backpacking. But depending on the hike and what water sources will be available, the addition of a super light filtration option might be something to consider. LifeStraw makes minimalist water filtration systems that can easily slip into even a light day pack, letting you hydrate from any water source, cutting down on your single-use plastic consumption at the same time. And their manufacturing practices support that too, especially with their membership with the Conservation Alliance and other organizations that put the planet first.
Regenerative practices can carry you farther in all aspects of your travels. From hiking gear to accommodation, finding businesses that embrace regenerative tourismor production can do a lot for reducing your footprint and giving back. Book your stay at a Starry Night location, and know that regenerative tourism drives your stay from check-in and beyond.