By: Blonde Two
We all love our outdoor clothing but for the price we often pay, it can spend too much time in the drawer. This summer we Blondes have been shopping for outdoor and active gear that will work on all kinds of levels. You know the sort of thing. Walking trousers that are also comfy on the plane. Running tops you can sleep in when you’re camping (see above). Swimsuits that can take you through your distance paces but also look great on holiday. Footwear that can go just about anywhere.
We’ve worked together in a sponsored capacity with Very to put together a few outfits that are doing a great job at taking us from place to place (all outside of course)!
Outdoor trousers for daily life
We all know that leggings are comfortable (and not just for running in) but if you asked any woman what she really wanted from her leggings, the answer would come in one word.
If you fancy a break from traditional walking trousers, leggings can make a good alternative (especially in the summer). They fit easily under waterproof trousers, are flexible enough for the odd bit of mid-walk yoga, and make excellent pyjamas. In fact, in my opinion, leggings are by far the most comfortable sleeping legwear, especially in a sleeping bag.
When I’m wild camping I like to sleep in the trousers (and undies) I’m going to wear the next day. You never know what early morning emergencies are going to occur so (to my mind) it pays to be ready for the day ahead as soon as you wake up (even if that is at four in the morning).
The phrase, ‘Tomorrow’s pants today’ has passed my lips many times.
We’ve recently run some wild camping and navigation courses so I’ve had good opportunity to try out both of the leggings above. Here’s how they compared.
Craghoppers Dynamic Trouser
- Best for: Comfort, these are so soft I might even be tempted to sleep in them at home
- Pocket score: One zip pocket that will easily fit my phone
- Possible drawback: Two pockets would be better to help me separate my phone and my compass
- Also great for: Running and yoga
Berghaus Lelyur Trekking Tight
- Best for: With water-repellant fabric and reinforced knees, these are proper adventure leggings
- Pocket score: Two really good sized (for leggings) pockets
- Possible drawback: They are really long, which is great for me but not everyone
- Also great for: I would definitely wear these as thermals underneath my winter walking trousers
Swimsuits for speed and fun
I choose this swimsuit because I am trying to up my sea swimming distances (and lower my times) but I also wanted one that would look great on holiday. With a fantastic gulet cruise in Turkey behind me and a return to slightly less blue British waters, I can honestly say that it is achieving both goals. I even managed to swim a kilometre around the boat (easy enough in such fantastic seas). The Powermesh bra liner might take a bit of a wriggle to get into but once I (and the girls) are safely in place, it feels mega comfy and secure.
I’m pretty sure I could even jog in it!
Not just walking boots
The Crocs Classic Marbled Clog
To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t worn my new Crocs out yet. Whilst I’ve fallen short of taking them hiking, they’ve been my campsite shoes, my trip-to-London shoes, my Turkish exploration shoes and my play-in-the-river shoes. My previous pair of Crocs are still going strong (after three years of similar treatment) so I know these ones have more adventures in them yet. Mostly they’ll be coming with me to the beach for my morning sea swims (and yes, they are really warm in the winter!)
When it comes to walking and camping warmth, merino and merino blends have been Blonde favourites for many years now. Regatta isn’t a brand we usually associate with merino but this Beru Baselayer Top didn’t fail to impress Blonde One when she wore it on our recent Dartmoor wild camp. You’ll know, if you’ve ever tried to keep warm at camp, that sleeves which also cover part of your hand can help keep you cosy at night. What B1 particularly liked about this top as the sun went down was its clever wrist pleats that give just enough extra arm length to do the job.
You really can’t beat a micro fleece for shove-in-your-bag, take-any-punishment gear. Great over a thermal top like the one above or under a waterproof jacket but also smart enough to wear for that post-camp breakfast celebration. This one is small enough to fit in any bag but warm enough to make the difference when it really matters. It’s going to live in my day rucksack, and trust me, it will be getting plenty of wear as the days get shorter.
I will also almost certainly end up sleeping in it at some point!
All the widgets
In truth, I’ve been a bit resistant to smart watches but when the opportunity came to try one out, I was keen to give it a go. Since then, this watch has been with me everywhere (it’s even survived a chew from my new puppy).
My main mission with it was to start tracking my swimming distances, and it does that job very well once it has picked up a GPS signal (I have to swim away from shore a bit for that to happen). In order to protect a bit of me-time, I made a deliberate decision not to link this watch with my phone but I have been enjoying several of its widgets. For example, on holiday in Turkey I had fun checking the water temperature. At one point it was warmer in the Mediterranean than it was in the air at home in Devon. Interestingly, the sea temperature here in Torbay is currently 17 Celsius, warmer than I’ve ever known it.
Chose outdoor gear that suits the rest of your life too
We Blondes thoroughly enjoyed our explore of Very’s outdoor and active gear. Buying outdoor clothing that is also useful in other aspects of your life is a great way to cut down on the environmental impact of your clothing spend. We will certainly be enjoying this collection for many years to come (especially now UK temperatures have returned to sensible levels).