Fall Is Better Outside: Fall Hiking Essentials

It’s almost autumn, which means our favorite season for hiking is right around the corner. While summer has certain advantages that make it a popular time to hit the trail, like long days and time off from school for family trips, fall offers its own hiking pleasures: cooler temperatures, beautiful foliage, fewer bugs and less-crowded trails.

Fall hiking in Maine's Bigelow Preserve.

The right hiking clothing and hiking gear can make any trip safer and more comfortable, whether you’re reaching for new summits or simply trail running in your own city or town.

We’re happy to offer a wide selection of options for fall hiking and other active pursuits, including the pieces we mention with our fall hiking tips below.




Insulating Layers for Cooler Temperatures

With colder, shorter days, it’s vitally important to keep an eye on the temperature. You want an upper body layer that insulates you from cool weather while also letting your own excess body heat escape.



Our new Men’s Microgrid Fleece is made with Polartec® Power Dry fabric that stretches, breathes, wicks moisture and insulates during aerobic activities. The unique microgrid texture allows air to circulate and dries quickly, while the smooth exterior slides easily under a shell or other layers.


Our Women’s Tech Hoodie is a great midweight layer for hiking or running in cool weather. It has the appealing, slightly fitted look of a stylish hoodie, but it’s also packed with technical features: strategic mesh venting, moisture-wicking fabric, reflective details and thumbholes that keep the sleeves in place when you’re on the move.

The Men's Microgrid Fleece and Women's Tech Hoodie from L.L.Bean.


Versatile Bottoms for Changing Conditions


In warm temperatures, shorts and rain pants are the easy choice for hiking or running; when the temperature drops, however, you need bottoms that are versatile enough to keep you comfortable in changing conditions.


The Zip Off version of our popular Men’s Cresta Hiking Pants lets you hit the trail with a technical advantage. The lightweight UPF 40+ nylon fabric wicks moisture and dries quickly – but if you find yourself getting too warm, the legs quickly zip off to convert to trail-ready shorts.


The Women’s Vista Trekking Pants are our most technical hiking pants, built for adventure and durability. The remarkably soft high-performance ripstop fabric has two-way stretch for maximum mobility, and is both lightweight and quick drying. It also offers UPF 40+ sun protection for comfort all day long.


Men's Cresta Hiking Pants and Women's Vista Trekking Pants from L.L.Bean.

Outerwear Designed for the Trail


Here in New England, we’re experts on weather that changes in a matter of minutes. Wind and cold can drop in on you with very little warning, and it’s important to be prepared with outerwear that will keep you warm, safe and comfortable.


Our Packaway outerwear – like the Men’s Ascent Packway Jacket and Women’s Packaway Hooded Jacket – is incredibly light, and the 60-gram PrimaLoft One insulation is surprisingly warm. Best of all, it’s designed to pack down small, and even stuffs into its own pocket. Toss it into your pack and you won’t even know it’s there – but you might be glad that it is.

Packaway Outerwear from L.L.Bean.


The Right Footwear for Your Hike

A day on your feet can feel like a lot longer if you don’t have the right footwear. Our Waterproof Trail Model Hikers combine the comfort of sneakers with the protection and support of hiking boots, making them a great choice for a day on the trail. A cushioned EVA midsole means these boots are comfortable right out of the box, but they’re also loaded with technical features for the trail – the waterproof TEK2.5 barrier keeps feet dry, no matter the conditions, and our exclusive VertiGrip outsole provides traction on a wide range of surfaces.


The low-cut versions for men and women are great for short hikes and everyday wear, while the mid-cut versions for men and women offer more support for longer trips.

Trail Model Footwear from L.L.Bean.


Day Packs for Gear and Comfort


When you’re going to be on the trail all day, a good day pack is an essential piece of gear for carrying food, a first aid kit, extra layers and anything else you might need. The way a pack feels after a few hours is just as important as how much it can carry – it should be comfortable enough to wear all day without hurting your shoulders or your back.


Our award-winning Day Trekker 25 Pack with Boa compression represents a revolution in pack design. Compression straps – which stabilize the load in your pack, so it doesn’t shift uncomfortably while you hike – have been replaced with two Boa-closure systems. Just turn the knobs and the airplane-grade steel laces instantly compress the load, and they stay that way until you’re ready to unload the pack. Re-curve collar-cut shoulder straps also provide a snug, comfortable fit.


The Ridge Runner 25 Day Pack mixes the technical features you want from a day pack with the organizational features that let it do double duty as a travel, school or work pack. Trail-ready highlights include a raised back panel for airflow, dual water bottle pockets and compression straps. Organizational features include a laptop sleeve, a tablet pocket and more pockets for gear like your wallet, keys, maps, smartphone and more. It’s a great choice for a pack you’ll want to carry on and off the trail.

The Day Trekker 25 Pack and Ridge Runner 25 Day Pack from L.L.Bean.


Happy Trails!

With all the right gear and apparel, you’re ready to hit the trail. Pick a place and start planning your next trip – the trail is waiting!

Fall is better with hiking gear and apparel from L.L.Bean.

Where’s your favorite spot to hike?

  1. Jeffrey K. | September 2, 2014 | 7:59 am

    You should be geared up to maintain your bodies core temperature and remaining hydrated. Exposure and dehydration are the number one issues when spending time in the out of doors, especially for extended periods of time.
    Always be prepared to seek shelter remembering that the first line of shelter are the clothes you are wearing, and any extra items of clothing you take with you. Pay attention to the weather and changing conditions and be prepared for them. Most important, stay dry.
    And ALWAYS have water on you. Know how and where to obtain water should an emergency arrive and you are stuck out in the backcountry. You’d be surprised on how long you can survive without many things except water. You cannot survive without water.
    Remember, maintaining you bodies core temperature and staying hydrated will give you real comfort in the outdoors. And it will also take a life threatening situation and turn it into a mere inconvenience.

  2. Pamela Parker | September 3, 2014 | 2:43 pm

    As the evenings get cooler, so will the days and my thoughts turn to LL Bean Signature Skinny Jeans with fleece/flannel lining. I inquired last year and was hoping that perhaps they would be available for this upcoming, according to the almanac, colder than normal winter. I have 3 pairs of these jeans and would gladly order another three for the winter season if they were “winterized”….please say they’re coming!

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | September 8, 2014 | 10:18 am

      Hi Pamela – Thanks for the suggestion. We aren’t offering fleece/flannel lined skinny jeans yet. ^LB

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