How to Layer Outdoor Clothing for Summer Hillwalking

How to Layer Outdoor Clothing for Summer Hillwalking


Choosing the right clothing to wear for British summertime adventures can be tricky. The weather is often temperamental, and you could experience anything from glorious sunshine to hail in a single day. The weather can also become more unpredictable in mountainous locations such as the Lake District or Cairngorms. This summer, you may be tempted to head out with just a t-shirt and shorts, but you’ll need more layers as the conditions change and you gain altitude.

Layering outdoor clothing is a tried and tested technique that allows you to adapt your clothing to changing weather conditions and activity levels. Packing multiple layers of outdoor clothing allows you to add layers if the conditions become wet or cold and remove layers if you are too hot. Types of layering clothing can be broken down into three categories, base layers, mid-layers, and outer layers.

Base Layers – Body Temperature Management

Base layers help you to maintain a steady body temperature by removing moisture from sweat as well as insulating your body. Base layers are designed to be worn next to your skin and are often lightweight and quick drying. Depending on the weather conditions you might want to wear a long-sleeved base layer such as the Men’s Roola Half-Zip or Women’s Kara Half-Zip for cooler, windier days on the hill or a short-sleeved t-shirt such as the Men’s Vintage Tee or Women’s Colina Tee for warmer days.

Mid-Layer – Insulation

Temperatures can vary wildly on a day in the hills, this is where a mid-layer comes in. It may seem bonkers to pack a fleece when you’re in a hot valley, but you may begin to get cold as you make your way up the hill as wind speeds pick up and temperatures drop. A mid-layer is worn over your base layer and helps to further remove moisture as well as insulating your body. In summer this would usually be a lightweight fleece such as the Men’s Saul Half-Zip or Women’s Effra Half-Zip. Cooler days may require a slightly heavier fleece such as the Men’s Rowarth Jacket or Women’s Etherow Jacket. Mid-layers are perfect for pulling on as you refuel or when descending from a summit after a long climb.

Outer Layer – Weather Protection

As we all know, British summertime can be unpredictable. It is important that you are prepared for anything from brief showers to all day downpours. Outer layers protect you from the elements and ensure you can stay out on the hills in comfort. This could be anything from a 3-layer GORE-TEX jacket for the heaviest summer downpours to a lightweight softshell that protects you from changing conditions during fast paced days on the hill.

The Men’s and Women’s Torridon Jackets are our pinnacle hillwalking shell that will protect you during the wettest summer days. For days when you’re expecting less rain, our Men’s Vectis Jacket or Women’s Affric Jacket will keep you dry and protected in changeable conditions.

Softshell jackets are also perfect for providing weather protection during summer adventures where you don’t need the full protection of a waterproof shell. Our Anax Men’s Hoody and Anax Women’s Hoody are lightweight soft shell hoodies that offer the perfect protection on fast paced days in the hills.

To build your perfect layering system check out our full men’s and women’s outdoor clothing collections.