Sunlight casting through snow-covered tree limbs, clouds of breath billowing into cool, crisp air, and the peace and quiet of a wilderness in white makes wintertime on the trail a hiking experience no other season can rival—but only if you’re prepared to stay warm and dry. Keeping active on foot through the winter requires a few seasonal gear upgrades, but with the right equipment, it can be a great way to burn off steam around the holidays.
As a professional hiking guide with an insatiable penchant for rambling outdoors, I need to keep my hiking habit going despite the snowfall, so I spent the early season testing and amassing this winter hiking gear collection. These items will keep you comfortable while snowshoeing and hiking all the way until spring.
Here’s a rundown of the perfect head-to-toe winter hiking gear quiver to keep you on-trail through the snowy season.
The Best Winter Hiking Gear of 2022-23
1. TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Snowshoes
A pair of lightweight snowshoes is essential to staying on your feet outdoors through winter, and to keep motivated when the temps drop, it helps if they’re comfortable and user-friendly. The TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Adjust and Symbioz Hyperflex Instinct are two options that tick all the boxes: easy entry and exit, surefooted grip, and an ergonomic, adaptable base. Their flexible footplates bend to the contour of the ground and cradle the foot with a shock-absorbing system that gives each step a soft and natural feel. Underneath, the stainless steel teeth are distributed around the foot for grip in any snow or ice condition.
Both models utilize Boa ratcheting systems that wrap around the foot and quickly adjust to fit any sized shoe, but the key difference between the Symbioz Hyperflex and Hyperflex Instinct is in the bindings. Where the Hyperflex features a pre-adjustable ankle strap that permanently sets your instep in position, the Hyperflex Instinct utilizes a flexible binding system that adjusts to memorize your shoe size, and makes getting in and out of them ultra quick. I liked the Hyperflex for long hikes, and the Hyperflex Instinct for shorter outings and walking around town on snow days.[TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Adjust: $310; backcountry.com] amazon.com]
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