Early Summer Clothing Picks for 2024

With summer just around the corner, I’ve been trying out various clothing and footwear for past and upcoming adventures. I’ve had the opportunity to test out some great options from Topo Athletic, Helly Hansen, Saucony, PATHprojects, and more and have been very impressed with what’s available.

Here’s what I’ve been jamming on so far.


Tops

For days off or bumming around town in cooler weather, I have loved wearing the Saucony Recovery Sherpa Pullover ($120). It has a fuzzy outer with a soft and supple fleece lining that is almost perplexingly warm. paired with the dual kangaroo pockets on the front, a nice hood, and an althetic cut this pullover has been my go-to on chilly coastal days. 

The Helly Hansen Verglas 2.5L Fastpack Jacket ($220) has been a welcomed addition to my running kit. I was pleasantly surprised with it being incredibly lightweight (7oz) and packable. With these kinds of jackets I usually don’t expect the waterproofing to work all that well, but I have worn this through several rainstorms when running and it has worked admirably. It’s too flimsy for extended backpacking trips, but fills the niche of those in-between long run or fastpacking trips. Similarly, the Saucony Runshield Jacket ($200) has performed admirably in similar conditions and the material is buttery soft to the touch, making it extremely comfortable to wear.  

For warmer-weather activities, I’ve been using the Helly Hansen Active Solen Hoodie ($85) and Pinebury York Tee ($88). The Solen Hoodie is perfect for early summer days on the water where there’s still a bit of a cool breeze but the sun is out and full coverage is needed. On the other hand, we’ve had a handful of 80+ degree days here in Maine already, and the ultralight merino wool York Tee has proven to be the most comfortable and breathable shirt I’ve ever owned. I wouldn’t wear this backpacking or running with a vest as the material seems a bit delicate, but the fit is great and it’s UPF 40+. 


Bottoms

Once the weather gets above 50 degrees (F), I’m in shorts. This season I’ve been living in the Ornot Mission Short ($126) and PATHprojects Boreas Field Short ($78). The Mission Short is technically designed for cycling in hot weather, as they are stretchy, durable, and made with recycled fibers. They fit like a dream and have several zippered pockets to keep things secure while on the move.

The Boreas short from PATH is by the field shorts of the past for their utility and timeless style, while handling the most extreme environments. They are made of Toray Dot Air Ripstop fabric, meaning they are both lightweight yet exceptionally durable. These are my go-to bottoms for the summer as they fit in well both on the trail and in town.

 


Footwear

Earlier this season I took a trip to Kyrgyzstan and did lots of hiking, both single-day and overnight. I wore the Saucony Ultra Ridge GTX ($190) boots the whole time and loved them. While I don’t normally condone waterproof footwear (because they are hotter and retain moisture, leading to blisters and other foot issues), the exception is cold and wet weather. The Tien Shen mountains of Kyrgyzstan in April are the exact conditions where I would want something a bit warmer, and these fit the bill perfectly. They are essentially a high-ankle version of a trailrunning shoe, and so they fit well and had great grip. 

Hiking to an icy waterfall but was perfectly warm and dry.

I have also been wearing the Deckers x Lab Enduro Max ($199) shoes as my daily footwear, and though I can’t quite figure out the styling (part Hoka, part approach shoe?), they are very comfortable. I get lots of questions about these and I keep finding myself reaching for them on outings around town. These would work well on the trail as well, however, I have so many good trail shoes that I often reserve these for easier walks and running errands.

For my main running and hiking shoes, I’ve been wearing the Topo Pursuit 2 ($145). I have a full review on these coming out shortly, but suffice to say I’m impressed. The Pursuit is Topo’s zero-drop trail shoe that first came out last year, and after trying a pair and having durability issues (rare with Topo), it left a bad taste in my mouth. But, I decided to give the new version a try and so far so good. I have not yet experienced the delamination I had on the original version and have so far put over 100 miles on them with no visible degradation.  


Final Thoughts

There are some really, really good clothing items on the market these days. As fabrics and technologies evolve, outdoor companies are following suit and putting out better and better products. I’m continually surprised at the quality, comfort, and fit of athletic clothing these days. The items I’ve mentioned here are all best-in-class and the things I’ve been returning to over and over again. Later this summer I’ll post about more gear for getting outside this season.

Thanks for reading!

 

 
 

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