Plus Size Hiking – Hiking is a wonderful activity. It is a great way to get active, soak up some natural beauty, and meet like-minded individuals! It is no surprise that hiking has been shown to significantly improve our mental health.
However, if you’re a plus-size individual, the thought of hiking can be more stressful than exciting. The exercise community, in general, has been shown to hold stigmatic views toward plus-sized people, which can make these spaces inaccessible for some.
In fact, such stigma has resulted in a lack of outdoor gear available for plus-sized people. Due to the image of the typical hiker as a slim, able-bodied individual, many brands don’t manufacture equipment in sizes larger than XL.
We know just how disheartening this can feel. Although, we would like to remind you that, regardless of your size, you have just as much of a right to enjoy the natural environment as everybody else.
Fortunately, some brands are beginning to recognize their own inadequacies. Below, you’ll find a list of outdoor gear and clothing that has been made specifically for plus-sized hiking people. From down jackets to fanny packs, whatever you need, we’ve got you covered!
We’ve also included a list of plus-size-friendly activewear brands. Each one currently produces clothing in sizes up to at least a 3XL, and most have made a commitment to continue working to make outdoor activities more accessible.
Check it all out below!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click on them, at no additional cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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We thought we’d start with a well-known and accessible brand. Columbia is a tried-and-tested, trusted brand that has a great reputation for producing high-quality outdoor gear tailored toward a range of budgets.
In addition to catering for different budgets, they also cater to a range of different body types. Their sizes tend to range from 2 to 24, with short and tall options available too.
As such, their products make a great option for plus-size people looking for outdoor clothing.
These trousers, in particular, are perfect for plus size hiking. They boast Omni-shade UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-shield advanced repellency.
In turn, these trousers will work to keep you protected from the weather as you enjoy your outdoor adventure.
The straight leg style is ideal for people who are tired of skin-tight workout gear.
The material has a good amount of stretch in it, which allows for complete freedom of movement, but this doesn’t come at the cost of a loosey-goosey waistband! These stay in place well.
They are available up to a size 24 Plus and come in 3 different colors. As such, there should be something for everyone! If you’re unsure of what size to buy, there are specific measurements in the manufacturer description.
- Columbia – trusted outdoor brand.
- Inclusive sizing – ideal for all different body types.
- Flexible – perfect for hiking.
- Omni-shield & Omni-shade – protect you from sun and water.
- Zip pocket – a little small.
When it comes to hiking in cooler conditions, the most important piece of clothing you need is a solid base layer. Luckily, Carhartt produces an excellent-quality midweight base layer that comes in a huge range of sizes.
Carhartt has become a popular brand in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. They have managed to balance functionality with up-to-date fashion trends, their products are of great quality, and they have inclusive sizing (from small to 4XL, with tall and regular options).
This midweight base layer is ideal for hiking in fall or winter. It is constructed using Rugged Flex technology, which ensures that you have complete freedom of movement, even whilst scrambling up those tricky trails.
Thanks to their FastDry technology, this base layer will work to wick away sweat and fight odours. As such, whilst wearing this, you should stay comfortably dry and smell good as you adventure.
The classic waffle knit also ensures that you will remain warm when necessary.
This baselayer comes in 4 different colors and 11 different sizes. As such, there should be something for everyone! As a bonus, it is also machine washable, so it should be very easy to care for,
- Carhartt – trendy brand.
- Inclusive sizing – they cater to a range of body types.
- Rugged Flex technology – provides freedom of movement.
- FastDry technology – keeps you dry.
- Thickness – might not be thick enough for hiking in very cold conditions.
If you’re looking for a lightweight down jacket that will keep you warm as you explore, look no further than the Eddie Bauer Women’s Down Jacket. Coming in petite, regular, tall, and plus, there should be a size to suit most people.
This jacket is ultralight, versatile, and packable, making it a great option for hikers. It is particularly great for those who plan to hike in the winter, as it boasts a nylon shell with 650 fills Premium Down insulation, which provides superior warmth.
In fact, the jacket also features elastic-bound cuffs and hem, and a high neck collar. These features provide a considerable amount of extra warmth during the cold winter months.
As such, this is a great jacket for those of you who struggle to stay warm when you’re out.
Additionally, the Eddie Bauer Women’s Down Jacket also features two secure zip side hand pockets and an interior pocket to carry all of your essentials.
Pockets such as these are an absolute necessity when it comes to plus size hiking, as it is always important to have your phone!
This jacket is designed to fit over midweight layers. The fit hits the middle ground between slim and relaxed, making it great for both retaining warmth and for freedom of movement. As a bonus, it comes in 5 great colours!
- Ultralight – ideal for hiking.
- Premium Down insulation – keeps you very warm.
- 3 pockets – perfect for keeping your belongings safe.
- Sizing – the plus section is unlikely to cater to all plus-size people.
Whilst having access to plus-size outdoor clothing is necessary if you want to hike, there are additional pieces of kit that you may need to be tailored to your body shape too.
For instance, if you plan on camping, a sleeping bag that caters to your size is necessary.
Having a sleeping bag that fits properly is of the utmost importance. A good sleeping bag should keep you safe and warm throughout cold nights.
If a sleeping bag is too small, it is likely that you will lose valuable heat and struggle to sleep properly.
The BISINNA XXL sleeping bag is ideal for plus-size hiking people hoping to camp. You can purchase either a 3-season version or a 4-season version, depending on how frequently you plan on camping in the winter months.
There is adequate room in this sleeping bag for plus-size and tall people to move around and find a sleeping position that works for them. It also has a wonderfully soft lining and a half-circle mummy hood that provides a great sleeping experience.
This sleeping bag comes with a compression sack with straps. In turn, it should be very easy to store or carry the sleeping bag as you explore the outdoors.
Even though the size of this sleeping bag is large, when compact, you won’t feel burdened by the weight or size.
- Large size – ideal for plus-size people who move around in their sleep.
- 3-season or 4-season availability – these sleeping bags are very versatile.
- Soft lining – provides a very comfortable night’s sleep.
- One size – might not be suitable for everyone.
Finally, we thought we’d mention something that non-plus-size people often forget to consider. When you’re hiking, you need good clothing, somewhere comfortable to sleep, and a way to carry your belongings comfortably.
However, backpacks and other carrying methods very rarely seem to come in a plus-size option. If you’re looking for a way to carry your belongings safely, you check out the Ubon Hiking Fanny Pack.
This fanny pack is affordable and designed specifically for plus-size people. The waistband extends from 42 to 60 inches, so it should suit most people, and it has a 3L capacity, so can hold all of your valuables easily and comfortably as you hike.
This fanny pack is made from high-quality material. It is very durable, water-resistant, and teat-resistant. It also comes with a padded mesh back that provides breathability.
As such, this fanny pack is absolutely perfect for exploring the outdoors.
If you have a lot of things to carry with you, this fanny pack has got you covered. It has one main zipper pocket, one front pocket, a sunglasses pouch, a bottle holder, four side pockets, and an expandable pocket at the bottom of the pack.
What more could you need?
- Expandable waistband – should work for most plus-size people.
- 3L capacity – provides more than enough storage for hikes.
- High-quality material – this product is durable and water-resistant.
- Only 3 colors – not many options for people who love bright and bold colors.
Brands for Plus Size Hikers
Hiking, camping, climbing, trail running, etc., are all wonderful activities to engage in. They have many benefits, ranging from bettering your mental health to increasing your strength, and they are incredibly fun!
However, we know just how frustrating it can be for a plus-size person who wants to explore the outdoors. Between the stigma and the fact that very few brands seem to cater to larger body types, it can be incredibly disheartening.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of plus-size-friendly outdoor brands. Each of the brands listed below has at least some clothing and gear options for plus-size people.
Check them out below!
This is a Canadian-based activewear and outerwear company. Their sizes can go up to 26W, and they provide great-quality technical clothing.
If you’re looking for a pair of plus-size leggings for your hikes, you need to check out Superfit Hero. They offer products in sizes up to 5X.
3. Dia & Co
If you want your activewear to be delivered to your door with no hassle, Dia & Co are a great option.
If you’re unsure of what to purchase, you can take the quick quiz and get 5 activewear items that fit your lifestyle delivered to your door.
Columbia is a well-known outdoor brand that caters to plus-size individuals. Their sizes tend to vary, but they are well worth a try if you’re in need of high-quality hiking gear.
REI is another very well-known and highly-regarded outdoor brand. In recent years, it has greatly increased its available sizes.
However, it is worth noting that they tend to have fewer plus-size options in-store (something they are continuing to address and improve upon). To avoid disappointment, we recommend ordering online.
As a plus-size person, you’re probably aware that one of the biggest problems when it comes to hiking is the lack of appropriate technical gear. Alpine Curves was created to try and address this issue.
It sells ski and snow gear for plus-sized people. You might also be lucky to find hardcore alpine gear here, however, they struggle to stock this due to low levels of production (something that has to change).
Another huge issue with outdoor gear, more generally, is the price. If you’re a plus-sized person who is also on a tight budget, outdoor activities are even less accessible.
However, you might be surprised to find that Walmart does stock some plus-size hiking gear. If you’re on a tighter budget, we recommend checking your local Walmart for the kit!
8. Frogg Toggs
Frogg Toggs has received quite a cult following in recent years, due to their ultralight kit that tends to be produced in sizes up to a 3XL. As a bonus, this brand is also stocked in Walmart!
9. Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer makes very technical outdoor clothing that extends in size to around 3X. They don’t use plus-sized models online, however, they do often display plus-sized campaigns in-store.
Finally, we thought we’d give a mention to TomboyX. They are a relatively new brand that puts an emphasis on gender-free clothing.
Although they aren’t specifically producing outdoor gear, they do make clothing in plus sizes that may be useful for hikers (e.g. comfortable underwear inactive cuts).
Final Thoughts on Plus Size Hiking
As a plus-sized individual, trying to engage in outdoor activities can be a disheartening experience. However, we want you to have confidence in the fact that things really are changing, and the brands above are proof of that!
We hope that this article has given you a boost and that you are able to find the appropriate clothing and gear you need to enjoy the outdoors.
You have just as much a right to do so like anyone else, so get out there and have fun!