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Dudarev Mikhail | Adobe Stock

7 Things We Always Pack for Active Trips

Packing for an active trip can be more challenging than packing for a more relaxed vacation. You’ll want gear that can stand up to whatever adventure you have planned (yet not require you to check a bag). Look for multipurpose items that can serve you all-day long on your trip, even if it means wearing your hiking boots to brunch. With features like quick-drying fabric, compact folding abilities, and technical style, these are seven items we always pack on active trips. 

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Title Nine Majestic Skort

Two views of the Title Nine Majestic Skort in orange showing off the built-in shorts and pocket
Title Nine

Title Nine’s Majestic Skort has it all—comfort, style, and pockets. It looks like a normal skirt (in a very cute monstera print), so you can wear it to a restaurant without feeling out of place. Underneath, you’ll find the skort’s secret—built-in mesh boy shorts with a pocket on each leg. There’s even a third stash pocket on the back of the waistband, so you can keep your keys and cards close by.

LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Poles

A set of LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Poles for hiking (left) and a close up of the bottom point of the poles (right)

Hiking poles are great when you need them (on rocky terrain or steep descents) but annoying when you have to pack or carry them. LEKI solves the problem with their Cressida FX Carbon Poles. The poles are made from LEKI’s Aergon Air hollow core design, which makes them ultra lightweight. When you don’t need the poles, they fold down neatly into three sections (less than 16 inches) making them easy to pack or carry. The poles adjust quickly so you can customize the fit to suit your height. 

DU/ER Weightless Denim Adventure Short

Waist down view of a model wearing the DU/ER Weightless Denim Adventure Short in dark blue

Clothes that can be worn on the trail or around town are essential when packing for an athletic vacation, and DU/ER’s weightless Denim Adventure Shorts fit the bill. Made from a lightweight performance denim fabric, the shorts are a breathable, moisture-wicking blend of stretchy Spandex and temperature-regulating cotton. Despite the active fabric, these shorts look like regular, pulled together denim shorts. 

Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots

Two views of the Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot from Danner

We’re not saying you should pick your hiking boots based on appearance… but if you did, Danner’s Mountain 600 Hiking Boots would be a top contender thanks to their eye-catching red laces and classic brown leather style that make them look as good with jeans as they do with hiking pants. 

Fortunately, these boots are built for function as well as fashion, with features like waterproofing, Vibram soles, and an Ortholite footbed that will keep you comfortable and surefooted on all types of terrain.

True Classic Active Joggers

Two views of the True Classic Active Joggers
True Classic

True Classic’s Active Joggers are the perfect plane pants—and they can be repurposed for a run or workout once you’re on the ground. Unlike most joggers, these have three pockets, including a zip back pocket for your valuables. They’re also made from a UPF 30 fabric to keep you protected from the sun if you’re outside all day. 

Looking for a whole new style for your next active trip? Check out True Classic’s bundles, which are an affordable way to build a capsule wardrobe. 

Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide Mouth Trail Series

A silver Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide Mouth Trail Series (left) and a close up of the mouth of the silver Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide Mouth Trail Series (right)

Insulated bottles are inarguably better than non-insulated ones (no one likes drinking tepid water), but the heft of most insulated bottles make them unsuitable for hiking. Unless you have Hydro Flask’s Lightweight Trail Series bottles, which are 25 percent lighter than other insulated bottles. 

The bottles use a trademarked double wall vacuum insulated TempShield design that will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. 

Title Nine Round Trip Dress

Two images of a model wearing the Title Nine Round Trip Dress, showing off the front and back of the dress
Title Nine

It’s tough to find room for an apres-hike outfit among all the other gear you have to bring, but Title Nine’s versatile Round Trip Dress is like two dresses in one—it can be worn as a scoop or wrap neck. The quick-drying fabric makes the dress easy to hand wash and wear multiple times over a trip (and it’s wrinkle-resistant, no matter how you compactly you pack it). 

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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