SAIL Blog

Activewear: 7 brands to Consider for Outdoor Activities

SAIL

June 17, 2022

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If you’re a road or trail runner, hiker, climber, skier, or work out outdoors or at the gym, count on these functional activewear brands.

In this article, you will learn more about:

Men’s activewear

Women’s activewear

Kids’ activewear

The different functions of activewear

Sportswear, or athletic wear, is designed to follow you in your outdoor activities and sports such as running, biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, etc.

Normally, this type of clothing should include certain features to give you freedom of movement and peace of mind while you are active.

  1. Fit and comfort: The garment should fit your body well, without being too tight or too loose. The fabric should be comfortable and should not generate too much friction with your skin, otherwise you could suffer from skin irritation.
  2. Breathability: the garment must wick sweat and moisture efficiently.
  3. Stretch: the garment must be sufficiently stretchy so that you can perform your movements without restriction.
  4. Practicality: the garment must fulfill its mission. For example, cycling shorts should be properly padded to absorb shock, merino wool underwear should keep you warm while wicking moisture, etc.
  5. Style: The garment must be designed so that you can go from green spaces to the city, and from the gym to work, without looking too out-of-place. Activewear is also a great choice for weekends at the cottage or camping.

Key activewear and fabrics to consider

Every sport and activity requires specific clothing to perform well.

However, here are some key pieces to add to your wardrobe to make your outdoor activities more enjoyable, excluding shoes. From top to bottom:

  1. A hat or cap, to protect your head and face from the sun
  2. A sports bra, for women
  3. A base layer
  4. A t-shirt or camisole
  5. A vest or long-sleeved top
  6. Sport shorts
  7. Sports pants or leggings
  8. Socks

Target clothing made of polyester, ideally recycled, or merino wool, as they offer breathability, durability and natural antibacterial properties (for wool). Learn more about the right clothes to wear on spring hikes by reading this article.

The athleisure trend

The athleisure trend, popularized in the early 2000s, is a fusion of the words “athletic” and “leisure”. Since then, this fashion trend has only grown in popularity, especially within the past couple of years during the pandemic, as people are searching for clothes that are stylish, long-lasting, and comfortable. The main focus of this trend is to wear clothes with soft materials, a sporty and relaxed look, that can still be practical at the same time.

Athleisure pieces can be worn just as much for a hike as for a day at the office or university. They evoke well-being, performance, a calm feeling (many yoga clothes are adopted by people who don’t even do this activity!), health and fitness, casualness, and more.

Activewear brands to keep an eye on

Under Armour

Man running with under armour activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Road running, trail running, hiking, gym or outdoor training, and more.
  • Strengths: Under Armour focuses on performance, innovation and highly breathable, stretchy materials in the design of each of its pieces. The brand also makes shoes and sandals.
  • Popular items: Leggings for men, women and children, very popular with sportsmen and women, for their impeccable and effective support.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: small (S) to extra, extra, extra large (XXXL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)
    • Boys: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)
    • Girls: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

Under Armour activewear

Vuori

Man wearing vuori activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Running, cycling, working out in the gym or outdoors, yoga and everyday activities.
  • Strengths: Vuori offers premium basics in neutral colors inspired by the active California lifestyle. The pieces are made of extra soft technical knit with UV protection.
  • Popular items: T-shirts and camisoles for men and women.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: small (S) to extra, extra large (XXL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

Vuori activewear

New Balance

Man wearing New Balance activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Running, training in the gym or outdoors, outdoor activities and more.
  • Strengths: New Balance’s athletic apparel and footwear are as much about urban style as they are about performance. The American brand designs key pieces that will help you achieve your athletic goals and lead a healthier, more active life while providing a good deal for the artisans who make them.
  • Popular items: Men’s and women’s workout shorts and t-shirts that offer sweat control.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: extra small (XS) to extra, extra large (XXL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

New Balance activewear

The North Face

Man who looks up and wears The North Face activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Hiking, trail running, rock climbing, camping, gym or outdoor training, and winter outdoor activities.
  • Strengths: The North Face wants you to explore for as long as possible. That’s why the brand designs each of its products with the environment and animals in mind, and offers outdoor and sports footwear, equipment and apparel made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials and suitable for all four seasons.
  • Popular items: Waterproof windbreaker coats and fleece sweaters for men, women and children.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: extra small (XS) to extra, extra large (XXL) + extended sizes available (3X)
    • Woman: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL) + extended sizes available (1X to 3X)
    • Boys: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL) + 3T to 5T
    • Girls: extra, extra small (XXS) to extra large (XL)

The North Face activewear

Smartwool

Women who run in Smartwool activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Hiking, road and trail running, and winter outdoor activities.
  • Strengths: Smartwool equips you for high-intensity activities with garments and base layers made of merino wool, a naturally breathable, insulating and antibacterial fiber. You get both support from the socks and increased breathability when you sweat.
  • Popular items: Socks of all kinds in merino wool and base layers for men, women and children.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: extra small (XS) to extra, extra large (XXL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)
    • Boys and girls: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

Smartwool activewear

Craft

Woman who wears Craft activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Cycling, running, training in the gym or outdoors, cross-country skiing and winter outdoor activities.
  • Strengths: Craft places design at the heart of each collection so that each item provides aerodynamics, breathability and freedom of movement for those who wear it.
  • Popular items Proven cycling jerseys and shorts that offer maximum stretch, ventilation and cushioning.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: extra small (XS) to extra, extra large (XXL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

Craft activewear

Odlo

Man stretching and wearing Odlo activewear

  • For which outdoor sports and activities? Road running, trail running and everyday activities.
  • Strengths: A recent addition to SAIL, the Norwegian brand Odlo, established since 1946, offers athletic essentials so you can enjoy your outdoor activities in comfort.
  • Popular items: Workout shirts made from recycled polyester with a straight fit and just enough room.
  • Clothing sizes offered:
    • Men: small (S) to extra, extra large (XL)
    • Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL)

Odlo activewear

Maintenance of technical clothing

Every garment has its own care requirements, whether it’s a polyester workout shirt, merino wool socks or fleece sweatpants.

Be sure to maintain their durability and technical characteristics by following the care instructions on the garment label. Whenever possible, use mild detergents that are specific to outdoor clothing.

If you need more details depending on the material or type of garment to be washed, read our article on technical garment care.

 

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