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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

10 Best Hardshell Jackets



Hiker wearing hiking backpack and hardshell jacket on hike in forest.

April 18, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents

Hardshell jackets are a step up from a windbreaker, they’re the ultimate form of a rain jacket, and they’re incredibly durable, making them excellent for taking out on the trails.

Hardshell jackets are made from long-lasting materials, they’re designed to keep the elements outside of your jackets, and they’re the lynchpin of a good trip. If you’re often finding yourself out in the wilderness, or you’re thinking of joining some alpine outdoor sports, a good hardshell jacket is going to vastly improve your experience.

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

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10 Best Hardshell Jackets – Overview

Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6-10).

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1. Helly-Hansen Odin Mountain 3L Shell Jacket

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Helly-Hansen Odin takes its name from the Norse god himself. Odin fancied himself a traveler, making his way around Norse mythology, spreading his name, and shaping the world into what it is today. This hardshell jacket isn’t going to turn you into a shapeshifting otherworldly being, but it will protect you from the elements comfortably no matter what season it is.

This is a tough jacket, it’s incredibly durable, especially when comparing its price to some of its more pricey competitors. It’s made from Helly Tech’s professional 3-Layer Lightweight fabric. The secret to the comfort and protection this jacket lends to the wearer is right there in the 3-layer fabric.

It’s waterproof and windproof, so you’ll be guarding yourself against the elements pretty proficiently without breaking a sweat. You could be way up in the mountains getting your butt handed to you by high-speed winds, while it’s raining sideways, and this jacket will hold up against that pretty well.

Keeping yourself warm and dry is usually what makes or breaks a good backpacking trek. To get a little more technical, you’re going to be getting a jacket made with a pure 100% polyamide face and back along with a C6 DWR and microporous membrane. This is where all of that breathability comes from without sacrificing the waterproofing you need from a jacket like this.

On a less technical note, this jacket is just a joy to wear. There are ergonomic pockets, angled ever so slightly so you can just slip your hands in without having to finagle your arms just right. That saves you the slight but compounding frustration of reaching into pockets that are just slapped onto a jacket with less attention to detail.

It’s things like this that make it a comfortable and easy-to-wear jacket no matter how long you’re planning to be out on the trail. If it’s for a couple of hours, you’ll be cozy during nature’s temper tantrums, and if you’re long haul backpacking or hitting the backcountry, this jacket will continually find ways to impress you. It’s not like one of those pieces of clothing that wait until you’ve got a long day ahead of you to show you its flaws. 

It’s reliable, flexible, and versatile. If you’re looking for a hardshell to throw over yourself when you’re out on the trail, you’re going to love this one right here. Small details like its perfect compatibility with Helly-Hansen’s bib pants, the woven backing, or the removable snow skirt set this jacket apart from its rivals, all without bankrupting you in the process.

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  • Long-lasting and versatile without breaking the bank
  • Great for every season 


  • Missing some of the features of its more expensive counterparts

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2. Westcomb Shift LT Hoodie Jacket

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Sometimes you’re just looking for something simple, this hooded jacket from Wrestcomb has it all and not one zipper more than you absolutely need. It’s a jacket that does its job well without becoming over-intrusive. It’s designed to slip over your clothes without a single second of protest.

The minimalism of the jacket makes it easy to carry once you’ve cleared your bad weather or when your body temperature has been jacked up enough by the exertion of your trailblazing. The napoleon pocket keeps your belongings right on your chest without ever giving them the opportunity to face the elements themselves or slip away unnoticed.

This is an easy choice, especially if you’re not taking yourself out into any wilderness that’s too harsh. If you just want a jacket that will get you from point A to point B, then this Westcomb hoodie is going to cover all of your bases (as well as your torso). It’ll keep you dry, it’ll be comfortable without being too rigid as a lot of other hardshell jackets, and it’ll be a simple addition to your loadout that won’t require you to clear out a ton of space in your bag. 

Don’t let the simple design fool you, though. You’re not getting a cheap piece of plastic that you’re going to have to replace after taking it out on the trail once or twice. This is made of a high-quality blend of nylon, polyester, and polyurethane.

These are going to last you about as long as your outdoor career. It’s the kind of purchase you make exactly once. You’ll be happy with it when the bad weather hits and it’ll be well worth its money by keeping you from making repeat jacket purchases. 

Read more buyer reviews at


  • Great for anybody looking for the last jacket they’ll ever need to buy
  • The velour-lined chin guard makes this jacket comfortable even when you’re up to your nose in rain and polyurethane


  • It’s a little plain, if you’re looking for something bursting with features, this isn’t the one for you

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3. Mountain Hardwear Torsun Jacket

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Remember not to stray too far from the basics. This jacket here is great for folks that don’t want to upend their lives to work around a single jacket in their wardrobe. This one from Torsun is machine washable without destroying the waterproof Dry.Q material.

This proprietary jacket fabric is breathable without letting moisture ruin your trips, which is a massive plus. There’s nothing worse than trekking through a tough trail while being choked out by your own sweat. You want to find a good hardshell jacket that will allow you to stay dry from both angles, and this Dry.Q Elite is some of the best in the game.

The sleeves are also worth mentioning. The cuffs are slightly angled to allow for greater mobility while out on the trail. We’ve all thrown on a jacket with sleeves that block our thumb’s range of motion. Well, no longer will that be an issue if you go with this offering from Torsun.

The hood on this bad boy is just as ergonomically designed at the sleeves. If you’re going to be needing a helmet during your travel, then you’re going to love this hood. It’s spacious enough to give your head and helmet the room you need to wear both comfortably. 

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  • Great for folks that need more than just a jacket and a bag during their treks
  • The shape of the sleeves and the space for helmets make it incredibly comfortable


  • The zippered pockets can be used to vent yourself while wearing the jacket, but that feature could lead to leaks

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4. Outdoor Research Men’s Axiom Jacket

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This jacket is Outside Magazine and Men’s Journal’s Gear “Gear of the Year” winner, and for good reason. It’s a jacket that will serve you well on the trails. The paneling of this jacket makes it extra comfortable. Some hardshells are pretty rigid in their construction. They sacrifice mobility and comfort for maximum weather protection. The paneling here is much more forgiving without having to give up on waterproofing or protection from wind

This 100% nylon jacket is totally machine washable, the hood is fully adjustable, and the underarm panels make it so much easier to move around while the jacket is on. This award-winning storm shell is incredible for alpine climbs or making your way through the backcountry. No matter where you’re headed, it’s a great little piece of equipment that will protect you from the whims of mother nature. 

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  • The jacket is made with Gore-Tex, giving you that signature Gore-Tex waterproofing
  • Easy to machine wash
  • Great for any kind of hike


  • Seems a little flashy for a hiking jacket

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5. Columbia Men’s Alpine Action Jacket

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This jacket from Columbia is secretly high-tech. It’s stuffed totally full of features that make it feel like you’re wearing more than just a pattern of polyester that’s been sewn together. This jacket is lightweight, totally insulated while making it easy as cake to regulate your temperature, especially if you get caught out in the rain on a warm day. 

The jacket itself has a nice and secure inner security pocket as well as the ability to add or detach a powder skirt. This jacket is thermal reflective so once you start contending with the wind and the wet, you’re going to be able to keep yourself warm without having to dig out a new layer of clothes or switching into a new set once the wind and rain have passed by.

The removable storm hood is a great little feature that not everyone is going to use, but its little touches along those lines make this jacket one of the big winners on our list today. It’s a great jacket for people looking for something to toss onto their shoulders on the way out of the door. It’s going to wait a good long while in between outings if you’re not the type that’s able to make it out onto the trails often.

It’s a great package of tech. The warmth and waterproofing it provides will give even the fussiest hikers a great deal of comfort when they’re making their way to their destinations. It stands up to storms, it’s tough and it’ll keep you warm and dry while you’re trying to trailblaze even the worst weather out there.

The thermal reflection and proprietary synthetic insulation make this a jacket great for hikers and winter sportsmen. They include a snap-back powder skirt and removable storm hood so you can customize the jacket for whatever challenge you have ahead of you.

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  • Great for a variety of different outdoor activities
  • Fully flexible paneling makes it comfortable for long days outside


  • Leans a little more on the winter jacket side than the wind and rainproofing side

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6. RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket

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This is a stretchy and breathable jacket that keeps water out while letting the perfect amount of air in. It’s a slim-fitting jacket that comes with a spacious, secretive internal zipper pocket and a helmet-compatible hood. 

They use some cutting-edge fabrics to make a perfectly breathable and durable jacket that you can be happy with for years to come. It’s the kind of hardshell jacket that combines the soft, flexible nature of softshell jackets and the kind of rugged protection you get with hardshell jackets.

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  • Great if you’re looking for a hardshell or softshell jacket
  • Incredibly breathable and durable


  • Straddling the line between hard and soft jackets means that it’s never going to be the best at being either

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7. Black Diamond Sharp End

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The Black Diamond hardshell is made with the old reliable gore-tex, it’ll keep you warm and dry no matter where you are when the squall hits. They added a microsuede lining to the inside to keep the chill from creeping into your jacket, and the water and windproofing you’re used to getting from gore-tex in all there, making it the perfect fit for anybody looking for something reliable that will leave them feeling comfortable while they’re out on the trails.

It’s a great jacket for camping or backpacking, really anything that has you out in the elements and expending a lot of energy. The gore-tex material makes the jacket just as breathable as a summer t-shirt. You’re not going to be soaking yourself in a sack full of sweat when you throw this jacket on.

The pit zips lend you a little bit more ventilation than just relying on the breathability of the material itself, in case you’re getting caught out in the rain while your heart rate is up and the temperature is trying to put you in a headlock. 

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  • A fully adjustable hood is comfortable and great for keeping your head dry
  • Incredibly breathable


  • Well made, but a little plain

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8. Arc’teryx Cassiar Jacket

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The Cassiar from Arc’teryx is a prominent example of the kind of craftsmanship and high-quality construction that Arc’teryx is always churning out. The Cassiar Jacket is insanely comfortable, it’s warm enough for snowsports, and basically invincible when it comes to rain, wind, and snow. If you’re looking for something that will help you take on some of the most extreme weather conditions then this offering from Arc’teryx is the jacket you’re looking for.

It’s a jacket that’s going to hold up to a year’s worth of abuse from even the most active outdoorsmen. They’re some of the most durable jackets on the market, and they’re going to withstand pretty much anything you can reasonably throw at them. Arc’teryx is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to outdoor gear.

This jacket, in particular, is one of their most streamlined models out there. This hardshell isn’t going to become a bulky mess dragging down your excursions. The gore-tex makes it breathable and reliable, you can take it anywhere you’re ready to go, and it’s going to behave the entire time. 

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  • Excellent waterproofing and windproofing 
  • The incredibly durable and sleek design makes this a stylish and reliable jacket


  • A little pricey

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9. Helly-Hansen Men’s Odin 9 Worlds 2.0 Waterproof Shell Jacket

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This is the big brother to Helly-Hansen’s Odin. It’s basically everything that jacket does but turned up to eleven. It’s a robust 3-layer jacket made with 100% polyamide on the front end, and the backside is made from 100% polyurethane.

This jacket is like a modern suit of armor. You’ll be dry and warm, you’ll be protected from whatever mother nature throws at you, and you’ll be grabbing a jacket that’s going to last you a long time. The back of this jacket is probably its strongest selling point. It’s a jacket that’s designed with hikers and backpackers in mind. If you’re tired of your jackets getting worn down by your heavy packs, this jacket is here to solve that problem.

It’s a durable material that won’t just be torn apart by your bags and the friction of carrying them over long distances. It’s a fit slim enough to be comfortable and flattering and unintrusive, and it’s spacious enough to easily layer your clothing underneath it without becoming uncomfortable.

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  • Great for backpackers
  • Incredibly sturdy and comfortable
  • Great for high-intensity and extended use


  • A little more pricey than its 1.0 counterpart

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10. Fjallraven – Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

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This one is a simple one, it’s a great jacket for someone looking for something fashionable and durable, then check out this offering from Fjallraven. It’s an eco-friendly jacket that’s a great addition to any outdoorsman’s loadout. It’s just as water-resistant and wind-resistant as some of the best hardshells out there right now, but it comes with the additional benefit of looking good at the same time.

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  • Looks great and ergonomically designed for maximum comfort


  • Some folks report the chest and shoulders are fitted a little too tight

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Our Winner

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This jacket is appropriately named. It’s the kind of hardshell jacket Odin would probably want to throw on if he were real and around today. It’s a durable jacket that’s going to last you for a long time, it’d be a great addition for any outdoor loadout, and it would work just as well for an immortal traveling Norse god. This jacket is well designed. The 3-layer fabric they use to build the jacket makes it one of the best jackets out there.

The design makes it a sturdy bastion against the wind and rain. It will keep you dry if you get caught out in the rain, it’ll keep you warm when you’re just trying to make it the last few hours of your trek before you’re able to bed down and bundle up. It does all of this without becoming a horrible portable sauna that you’re wrapping yourself up in. The material is still pretty breathable even though it’s hermetically sealing your body away.

If you’re looking for something reliable, flexible, and versatile that you can pair perfectly with a pair of bib pants, something with a sturdy woven back, and robust features like a snow skirt or perfectly placed pockets this is the jacket you want. It’s a big hit and more, and it won’t cost you a fortune to pick up.

Bonus tip: If you’re confused about the differences between hardshell and softshell jackets, then this video is a godsend.

See more: [wpbb post:terms_list taxonomy=”category” separator=”, “] Riley Draper

Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he’s not writing, he’s probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

How to have amazing experiences camping in Alaska?




Do you want to make the most of your camping experience in Alaska? Camping is the best way to cherish the mesmerizing Alaskan scenery and be in proximity to Mother Nature with your friends and loved ones.

Are you wondering where to camp, where to go, and what items to pack for an Alaskan camping trip? This article has all the answers regarding camping in Alaska! Moreover, this place comprises a few amazing bewilderments that make it different than other camping locations.

If you’re ready to explore Alaska and be immersed in its camping, here are the top 4 tips for a seamless camping experience in Alaska.

  1. Be ready for the varying types of weather

The temperature of Alaska is unpredictable. Hence, if you’re camping in summer in blisteringly hot weather, it would be great to carry something waterproof and warm clothes. In your Alaska travel and camping, it’s required to carry your bibbed waterproof rain pants, raincoats, and hip boots.

This is how you don’t worry about the sudden rain and catch fish all day. Moreover, camping without a bathing suit doesn’t seem right! Camping and cruising go hand in hand; hence, a trip to Alaska will help you get the most out of your Alaska trip.

  1. Pick a campground mindfully

Although you are not mandated to stay at a campground run by the federal government if you wish to go tent camping, it may be the best bet if this is your initial camping trip. Establishing your individual camping place in the bush might feel more adventurous. Still, when camping with small children, you should remain closer to society in case a bear visits your campsite.

When you opt to lease a camping site, you must make your booking ahead because the more renowned campsites might fill up rapidly. Look on the internet for campgrounds near the events and routes you want to visit.

  1. You will have the option to relax or unwind

Although some corporate Alaska campers provide cable TV and Wi-Fi facilities, none of the federal campsites do. Whether you come here expecting to remain up to date on all the accouterments of technologies (or your beloved TV show), you may feel frustrated. But what if you treat your camping vacation as a time to relax and enjoy the unique stunning scenery surrounding you? It feels exciting.

  1. Keep the bears at bay

Bears are amazing animals, which doesn’t imply you should invite them with welcoming hands inside your camp. You must be capable of keeping bears away from your campground if you wish to enjoy the woods with them without causing mishaps. Below are a few suggestions:

  •     You can bypass bear highways by not camping along riverbanks or pathways.
  •     Do not even camp alone: for your safety, striving to remain close to others would be better.


These are the top 4 tips to enjoy camping in Alaska. What are you thinking of? Dive into the best experiences of camping, and cherish the moments forever. Happy camping! 



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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Why Duck Boots are Good for Hiking



are duck boots good for hiking

The quest to find the perfect hiking shoes is never-ending, so the next option we’re going to explore is Duck Boots. Duck Boots have been around for more than 100 years and they’re used for all sorts of outdoor activities, so we can’t discount them as a hiking boot. Let’s dive in a little deeper into what duck boots are, and whether they’re an ideal choice for your next hike.


A pair of Bean Boots.

The legendary Maine-made L.L.Bean Boot was designed by “L.L.” himself in 1912 and has been keeping feet dry and comfortable ever since.


What are Duck Boots?

Duck Boots, also known as Bean Boots, were created by Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the company L.L. Bean. Bean, who got sick of wet feet during hunting trips, wanted to create a boot that would keep his feet dry while still being ideal for the outdoors. He theorized mixing together two types of boot, combining the rubber sole of a work boot with the leather upper of a casual or hunting boot.

The rubber sole would provide all the necessary protection from the elements, while the leather upper would retain the flexibility and comfort of a regular leather boot. Thus, the Duck Boot was born and became a huge success. Other brands now produce this style of boot, but you can never forget the original waterproof boots.

Related: The 7 Best Two Person Tents


A pair of Duck Boots in a puddle of water.

When choosing which hiking boots you should buy, Duck Boots should be considered for their weatherproof design.


What makes a good hiking shoe?

If you’re considering Duck Boots for use as a hiking shoe, you should first know what you’re looking for. There are so many elements to consider when searching for the perfect boot, as there is no one size fits all. Different shoes are optimized for different conditions, different situations you might encounter on the trail, so finding the right shoe isn’t an easy task.

Various terrains put different pressures on your shoes during hikes. This is why hiking boots are usually split into three main categories, each optimized for a different sort of hike. Lightweight hiking shoes (trail shoes), which resemble trainers, are essentially reinforced running shoes. They provide some support, but their main purpose is to be light and breathable while still protecting your foot.

These shoes are designed for day hikes, but they’re actually a favorite among long-distance backpackers. A sturdier shoe would provide more support, but trail shoes are a popular choice long-distance as they aren’t as heavy or constricting as other boots, while still providing enough protection to keep your feet safe and happy during a hike. The only downside of trail running shoes is their lack of ankle support, which leaves you at risk of twisted ankles and other injuries.

Related: The Top 10 New Hampshire Camping Sites

 On the other end of the scale are mountaineering boots, designed for terrains which present more of a challenge to traverse. If you’re hiking through rocky territory or icy glaciers, this type of boot provides all the necessary extra protection. They’re much more heavy-duty than hiking shoes, often warmer, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and provide much more support to your foot.

Backpacking boots make a compromise between the two, as they aim to keep you prepared for any terrain. For multi-day treks, this type of boot is ideal as it’s durable and supportive enough to carry you through most challenges in the backcountry.

The materials used to construct a hiking boot define it, as the wrong fabric can cause so much suffering for your feet. Finding the right combination of waterproofing and breathability, while still being a comfortable shoe, can present a challenge. That’s why we’re going to break down the material considerations you’ll need to remember when deciding is a shoe is right for hiking.

Also read: The 7 Best Louisiana Tent Camping Sites

Full-grain leather is a very durable and versatile material, so many mountaineering boots are made using this fabric. For rigorous hikes which pass through rough terrains, full-grain leather is fully protective while remaining very comfortable. It has excellent waterproof properties, as well as being warm and highly durable. However, in return for this protection, you have to deal with the increased weight of these heavy-duty boots.

You may have heard the saying “one pound on your feet equals five on your back” and this applies to full-grain leather boots. They may not feel too heavy when you try them on, but five miles down the trail you might find yourself wishing for a lighter shoe. Of course, over rough terrain, the valuable protection full-grain leather provides is well worth the weight, but you don’t need such a heavy shoe for casual hikes.

Split grain leather offers reduced protection, but is more breathable than full-grain leather. It’s still a durable material, but it’s less heavy-duty and has reduced water-resistant properties. It’s often used in combination with synthetic materials, creating a compromise between protection and comfort, and this combination is the most common choice for casual hikers.

Read more like this: Top 10 Outdoor TV Antennas for Rural Areas

Various synthetic materials are used in the construction of hiking shoes, such as nylon and polyester. One benefit of synthetic materials is that they are much easier to break in than leather. These shoes feel lighter and also dry faster, but lack the water-resistant properties of leather. Of course, you can improve the water-resistance, but this can affect the breathability. Check out how to waterproof hiking boots for more information.


A pair of boots in the grass.

Different hiking boots are better suited for different terrains and it’s best to find a pair of boots that fits your adventure.


Also, depending on the type of trekking you do, hiking boots are available in different cuts and heights. Lightweight trail running shoes are often low cut, meaning they end below the ankle. This allows for a wider range of motion but leaves your ankle vulnerable to injury.

Shoes like this are best worn on well-maintained trails, where there’s less risk of trail debris and uneven terrain. Mid-cut boots offer more ankle support and better balance and protection, but the most protective style of boot is high-cut. These boots reinforce your ankle fully and are necessary for off-trail adventures.

Many hiking boots are equipped with devices that provide extra internal support, the purpose of which is to protect both your feet and the soles of your shoes on uneven terrain. One option is shanks, which are 3-5mm thick inserts sandwiched between the midsole and outsole of your boot. These add load-bearing stiffness to hiking boots, which is important to ensure you stay stable and balanced.

Shanks vary in length, some running the whole way down the boot, others just half-way. This feature makes the sole of a hiking boot less flexible, keeping your feet in a mostly flat position.

This may seem counterintuitive balance-wise, but a flexible sole allows your foot to wrap around every root and rock you step on, which can be painful, and tires you out much faster. Having a reinforced sole is a big benefit, but it could make your boot heavier; it all depends on the material the shank is made from.

Related: Top 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking

Some hiking boots feature plates as a form of internal support, which are thin and semi-flexible. These can be used in conjunction with shanks, and they protect your feet from getting bruised by anything you step on.

All hiking boots have rubber outsoles, the part of your boot which spends the most time in contact with the ground. Some have additives such as carbon, which increases the hardness of the material. This is most commonly seen in mountaineering boots for extra durability, but the extra harness of the outsole can mean they feel slick if you go off-trail.

Traction is very important in a hiking boot for obvious reasons, so make sure you get a boot with enough traction to keep you comfortable. If you’re constantly trying not to slip, the increased pressure on your muscles can be painful and even damaging, whereas a boot with a good grip will make your hike so much easier.

Also: 5 Best Pop Up Canopy Tents

So, what makes a good hiking shoe? The ideal footwear for hiking finds the right balance between comfort and protection, and this depends on your own personal hiking preferences. In general, you need a degree of protection from the elements, water resistance, comfort, and breathability. A good hiking boot should protect your foot without hindering your process, and if you make the right choice then your hikes will be so much better for it.


A girl hiking in the mountains.

Duck Boots are well-known for their water resistance and ability to be easily cleaned, but are they the best hiking boot option?


Are Duck Boots good for hiking?

Duck boots are constructed using a rubber sole and lower shoe, whilst incorporating a full-grain leather upper. This means Duck Boots have excellent water resistance. Full-grain leather is highly waterproof, as is rubber, so with these shoes, you’ll never have to worry about wet feet.

Of course, Bean Boots claim to be the “original antidote to wet feet”, so water resistance is one thing we know they’re good for. A good hiking boot should always be water-resistant, as there’s a high chance of encountering puddles, streams, and other wet terrains when you’re on the trail. There’s also always the possibility of rain, so even if you step around the puddles, your boots always need to have a good degree of water resistance. If there’s one thing Duck Boots are, it’s waterproof.

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L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots use a steel shank for additional support, and this is a great feature for a potential hiking boot. Reducing the flexibility of the sole means more protection for your feet, so this feature of Duck Boots is a big benefit. Remember, this only applies to L.L. Bean’s branded Duck Boots, as there are many other boots of the same style available which might lack this additional internal support.

Duck Boots are known for being very comfortable. Boots are the number one most important piece of equipment for a hiker, and comfort is paramount. If your hiking boots are uncomfortable, it can make you hate every minute you wear them. On the other hand, finding a pair of boots that are comfortable for you is a big first step towards having the right shoe, so regarding comfort, Bean Boots get a pass from us.

Another benefit of Duck Boots is that they’re easy to clean. This isn’t as important as other factors, but after a long hike through muddy and dirty conditions, these boots only need a quick spray from a hosepipe and they’re clean and ready to go.

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We’ve covered the benefits of wearing Bean Boots for hiking, and there are a number of reasons you might think they’re a good choice. Duck Boots are highly waterproof, very comfortable, and feature shanks which are a big help towards stability. However, there are some elements of these shoes which might mean they aren’t the best choice for hiking.


A man climbing on rocks.

While Duck Boots offer great water resistance, their ankle support is not the best which may deter some people from using them for longer hikes.


Why Duck Boots might not be the best choice

Ankle support is a big deal when it comes to hiking boots; as we explained before it can be the difference between a successful hike and a painful injury. Duck Boots are high cut, meaning they rise above your ankles. This means they do provide some support, but it’s minimal, and ideally, a hiking boot would offer more structure around the ankle. For hikers traversing rough terrain, more protection is needed, as if you miss a step in Duck Boots there isn’t much to save you from injury.

Another important thing to consider is traction. Duck boots are designed specifically to handle wet weather, and they do it very well. If you’re in wet, muddy, slushy or otherwise slippery conditions, Duck Boots are ideal, as they have plenty of traction and grip.

However, mud isn’t the only thing which hiking boots have to put up with. On the trails, the traction Bean Boots provides is considerably reduced compared to hiking boots, the difference is noticeable and unfortunately, the traction on the soles of Duck Boots just isn’t strong enough for any sort of serious hiking.

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The materials from which Duck Boots are made make them excellently waterproof. However, rubber and full-grain leather aren’t the most breathable of materials. Although they may do a good job of not letting in water from the outside, they also keep it in.

The lack of breathability here can be very uncomfortable, leading to hot and sweaty feet. This can cause blisters, and for this reason, we would not recommend them as a hiking shoe. All hikers need waterproof boots, but there are others available which won’t make you suffer.

Blisters are something which all hikers have to deal with at some point, but if your boots aren’t breathable then they’re much more likely and threaten to ruin your hike. The best hiking boots keep your feet dry while staying breathable and comfortable, so don’t make an exception here.

If you’re keen on mountaineering, then your hiking boots need to be crampon compatible, which Duck Boots are not. Crampons help with grip when scaling rocky terrain, so having a boot they work with is necessary for safety reasons.

We have no choice but to conclude that L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots are no good for hiking. Although they are comfortable and highly water-resistant, the lack of extra support and breathability means they aren’t the best hiking boot.

A boot specifically designed for hiking could offer the same level of comfort while giving you much more support on the trails. Hiking boots made from Gore-tex would provide the same level of excellent waterproofing while still maintaining breathability, so there are better options out there.


A pair of Duck Boots on a ladder in the snow.

While Duck Boots may not be the best option for hiking, they are still a great overall winter boot.


What are Duck Boots good for?

Although we cannot avoid the conclusion that duck boots are no good for hiking, they’re still an excellent outdoor shoe. Bean Boots are ideal for making your way through snow and slush, so we do recommend this style as a general winter boot.

For any outdoor activity in cold weather, these shoes are ideal, as their warmth and waterproofing will keep your feet happy, while their traction is perfect for walking in the snow. Duck Boots are much closer to snow boots or rain boots than they are hiking, so for these weather conditions, we can whole-heartedly recommend these high-quality shoes.


Other branded duck boots

L.L. Bean was the original creator of the duck boot, but other brands have made their own version. Sperry offers a shoe called the Watertown Duck Boot, and its design is very similar to the original. Sperry’s version boasts a rubber lug outsole with no-slip traction, which could mean improved grip compared to L.L. Bean’s shoe. However, this is still not a hiking sole, so it’s not ideal for outdoor adventuring.


Final Verdict:

So, are Duck Boots good for hiking? The short answer; no. Although Duck Boots make an excellent winter boot, ideal for cold and wet weather, they just aren’t up to the same standard as hiking boots in other areas. The traction Bean Boots provide is optimized for wet conditions, such as snow and slush, but it’s simply not good enough for hiking in the backcountry.

The ankle support is admittedly better than trail running shoes, but more protection is needed if you do anything other than light and easy hikes. For your next hiking trip, Duck Boots aren’t the best choice, even though they’re comfy. If you’re still looking for an outdoor shoe, you might wonder, are Timberlands good for hiking? Read our article on the subject to find out if Timberlands might be the answer you’re looking for.

Bonus tip: To learn more about L.L. Bean’s original legendary boot, check out this interesting video we found below!

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun Review/The Best Massage Gun for Sports Lovers



Massage guns have become popular in recent years as a way to help people relax and ease pain. They are especially popular among those who enjoy sports, as the massage guns can help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout resulting in faster recovery and improved performance. 

Some other benefits associated with the use of massage guns include:


Increased blood flow– Massage guns can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow, which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscles. This is especially important for those who are involved in sports or exercise, as increased blood flow can help to repair damaged tissue faster.


Improved flexibility– Massage guns also help to improve flexibility by loosening tight muscles and tendons. This allows the body to move more freely, resulting in improved performance during physical activity.


Reduced stress– The massage gun can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Massaging the muscles helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural painkillers. By releasing these endorphins, people can feel less stressed and relaxed after using a massage gun.


Relieves pain– Massage guns are great for relieving pain and discomfort, as the vibration helps to loosen tight muscles and release tension. This can help to reduce pain caused by inflammation, arthritis, or other aches and pains.


Enhances performance– Massage guns can help to improve performance when it comes to physical activities, as they help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This helps people perform better in their chosen sport or activity.

Why Choose the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun 

It’s well known that massage guns are a great way to relieve tension and soreness after a long day or workout. But with so many different massage guns on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. In this Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun Review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of this popular massage gun to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.


If you are an athlete or just someone looking to soothe sore and aching muscles, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an ideal choice. This powerful massage gun is designed to provide deep tissue relief through its variety of adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. The ergonomic design allows for comfortable use during longer sessions, and the lightweight body makes it easy to transport and store. With its powerful motor, the C2 Massage Gun is capable of providing up to 3200 revolutions per minute. With five different intensity levels, this strong force helps to penetrate deep into muscle fibers and provides effective relief from soreness and pain.


The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun is designed to help athletes and active individuals recover faster after strenuous activity. It provides a deep-tissue massage that can reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion in the body. This massage gun also comes with four interchangeable heads for various massaging techniques including a flat head for larger muscle groups, a round head for deeper tissue work, a U-shape for joint relief, and a conical head for smaller areas like the neck or hands. With this variety of massage heads, the C2 helps to target specific areas of discomfort and provides customized relief.



Overall, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and powerful massage gun that can provide effective relief from muscle soreness after exercise or long days. With its adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads, it is sure to meet your needs. So if you’re an athlete or just someone looking to give their muscles some well-deserved love and attention, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is a great investment.


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