I'm Doing a 52 Hike Challenge This Year, and This Is My Go-to Hiking Jacket
As part of my initiative to opt outside this year, I tried to take on a #52HikeChallenge with two of my friends. Full disclosure: I really am trying, but the possibility that I make it all the way to 52 is looking slim. Nonetheless, not only do I like taking advantage of the hiking possibilities in Los Angeles, but I try to fit in hikes while traveling.
Setting aside time while on the road to find a local hike — even if just for an hour — is a great way to see the terrain and stumble across a view coveted by locals in an unfamiliar place. The fact is, even just doing a couple miles out in nature can have such a positive effect on my mental and physical health. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find the motivation to get outside, but once I start hiking, it’s always worth it.
The reality of hiking for me, regardless of the season, is that I’m always chilly. I am someone who always needs to pack a jacket, whether I’m hiking in December or July. When looking for a good hiking jacket, I wanted something that would be a good cover-up for hiking in the fall (and summer, for those of us who need a jacket on a shady patch of the trail). But I also wanted something that could layer under something warmer in the winter months. I’m adamantly opposed to wearing a full-on winter jacket on a hike, which is why I prefer a jacket that can layer under a fleece or vest and fit comfortably over long sleeves.
To buy: lululemon.com, $118
I’m team Lululemon Define Jacket, and I’m not remotely ashamed to say it’s because it meets all of my hiking requirements while still looking really good. (After all, I like to document the occasional hike on Instagram.) The material is durable and stretchy — it has Lululemon’s classic “four-way stretch” Luon fabric. It’s light, which makes it good to layer both over and under, and it's quick-drying and "sweat-wicking."
I buy a size up so it’s still got the flattering smoothes-the-torso effect, but also feels extra cozy and gives me plenty of room to layer underneath the jacket. My favorite hiking look is reserved for early November hikes on the East Coast, when the foliage has nearly fallen off the trees and the chill is no longer subtle. I pair my Lululemon Define Jacket with a warm vest (either Lululemon’s Down For It All Vest or Patagonia’s R2 Fleece Vest) and a beanie — you can’t go wrong.