Lily + Andrew's Head-To-Toe Gear List

Get ready for new season adventures with the best gear, handpicked by our Fort William and Silverburn store managers, Lily and Andrew. From head to toe, they've got you covered for UK mountain exploration. These gear specialists have put every item through its paces, ensuring they're top choices. So, read on for their advice and learn why these gear selections have proven indispensable during their own outdoor adventures. 

A man and women hiking in Scotland

Best Jacket

Lily's review: It's totally trustworthy! I can wear it in any weather in the Scottish highlands, and it hasn't let me down. It comes on every trip with me and whenever I leave the house in winter. My favourite memory is using this jacket for a day on the hill, where we experienced all four seasons in about six hours. It rained, hailed, snowed, the wind howled, and the sun came out (hello, underarm zips!). The jacket kept up with all these elements. 

Andrew's review: This is the most durable jacket I’ve ever owned and I know it will survive pretty much anything I put it through. It has under-arm zips for ventilation on the ascent. Plus, it has a helmet-adapted hood, I use when wearing a cap as it gives that extra bit of room and protection from the rain. 

Best Base Layer

Lily's review: This layer is super warm and has good coverage, meaning I can happily wear it alone when we've finished on the hill and want to head to the pub. Because of the anti-odour properties, I can wear it multiple days, which is great for lightweight backpacking. Most days, I wear one of these in the winter, regardless of whether I'm at work or out on the hill. 

Andrew's review: The Vuori Strato Tech T-shirt is the softest layer I own. It has fantastic moisture wicking capabilities and feels great against your skin. Even if you’re wearing a mid-layer over the top, sweat easily wicks away after a high-output hike leaving you feeling dry and comfortable.


Andrew's review: The Arc'teryx Cormak Crew Tee has high UV protection and is breathable, making it perfect for a variety of activties such as mountain hiking, chilling at home or keeping you feeling fresh at work too.  

Best Mid-Layer

Lily's review: My go-to mid-layer is my Rab Microlight because it packs down small, provides great insulation for stopping on the hill for lunch or descending when the wind picks up. It fits me well, has a close-fitting hood and has a great warmth-to-weight ratio. I add a The North Face Cornice fleece underneath for extra warmth if needed. Because of the style, I can wear this jacket on the hill and around town, making it super versatile. 

Andrew's review: Generally speaking, when I’m about and about, I like to wear a good fleece. Both these options are great as they pack into nothing and can be worn over the top of a simple sweat-wicking base layer (depending on your walking preferences). I tend to run a bit hot, so this fleece plus a shell jacket works well for me. 

Best Hiking Trousers

Lily's review: These trousers are super durable, wind resistant and sweat-wicking. Their 4-way stretch is comfortable and fits a range of body shapes as they come in shorter and longer leg lengths. I wear these for snowy winter walks and can easily fit extra thermals underneath.  

Andrew's review: This was an easy pick! They’re my go-to no matter what the weather. You can open up the anklets, put your boots on and zip up. Whether you’re taking on a longer hike or just going for a ramble with friends, they’re breathable and dry extremely quicky. 

Best Hiking Boots & Socks

Lily's review: I love these socks because they have a close, comfortable fit and help to keep my feet cool. They work perfectly with my La Sportiva Mid GTX, which are light but offer good grip and ankle support. I like a lighter boot if I intend to move faster and these hiking boots do the job perfectly, whilst still giving me the support I need. Plus, I like to put my Superfeet Adapt inside to stop my feet getting tired and achy. 

Andrew's review: Not only are they crampon compatible but have an absolutely fantastic grip and a stiff sole. The lacing system is second to none and the locks around the ankles feel secure. Plus, they’ve got a catch to keep laces from coming undone.   

A man and women hiking with Osprey backpacks

Best Backpack

Lily's review: I use a bigger bag in winter because I carry a lot more, including layers and extra food. This bag is comfy and allows me to take everything I need. The weight is distributed well, and I like the lid pocket for storing things I need frequently, like my phone and a snack. This is my go-to bag for Ben Nevis, as it fits everything I need perfectly. 

Andrew's review: For day hikes, I prefer the Rab Aeon 27L. It has perfectly-placed pole attachment hooks where you can secure walking poles. The rain cover works excellently. Plus, you can easily adjust the length of the back for comfort and security on the trail, which is simple to do, especially in the winter when you're carrying more gear. 

Best Hiking Accessories


Montane Prism Dryline Gloves


Lily's review: They’re possibly the best product I’ve ever purchased and worth every penny. As well as being warm and waterproof, my favourite feature is how small they pack down- they live in my pack and I’ve lent them to so many people (friends and strangers) who’ve been caught out with the cold and needed help!



Hydroflask Coffee 12oz


Lily's review: There's nothing better than a cup of tea on a summit, and this flask keeps hot drinks hot for a long time, even in freezing temperatures. It comes everywhere with me and is most appreciated on a winter day in the Cairngorms. Our coldest outing reached -10 degrees last winter, and I was very grateful for tea and cake partway through our hike!



Petzl Actic Core 650l Rechargeable Headtorch


Andrew's review: Carrying a headtorch in winter is essential in Scotland because our days are so short! This high-beam torch allows me to feel safe when needed. I love using it to get up super early and reach a summit in time for a solo sunrise hike. 



Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles


Andrew's review: My black diamond trail walking poles have supported me on many hill climbs. They’ve got a brilliant clamp system which prevents them from collapsing on themselves. Also, they have a left and right option curving to your body and supporting long distance walking on varied terrain. If you tend to hike in the snow, they come with useful snow shoe attachments. 



A collage of a man and women in the mountains

A big thank you to Lily and Andrew for generously sharing their experience, which has taken their own adventures to new heights over the years. These handpicked gear recommendations could be yours too. If you're keen on discovering your ultimate gear lineup and getting the lowdown on the best brands, it's time to book an in-store appointment with one of our gear specialists


Need the perfect backpack? Looking for the comfiest walking boots? Or want a tailored adventure gear list that suits your style? Our gear specialists are here to help you find the gear - from head to toe. 

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