Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear | 10 Sustainable Hiking Products We Rate - Outdoors Magic

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Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear | 10 Sustainable Hiking Products We Rate

Some of the highlights from our recent Green Gear Guide, as chosen by the Outdoors Magic team

The global outdoor industry accounts for a gigantic carbon footprint unfortuntely and there’s an embarrassing irony in that for us outdoor enthusiasts. We are, after all, the people who get our kicks from being out in beautiful, untouched places. 

There is, however, at least some reassurance in the fact that we’ve seen a ramping up of sustainable efforts to create eco-friendly outdoor gear in recent years, all driven on by certain companies, many of which are in the list below. 

We’re seeing new ways of creating products using recycled materials, products that can now be fully recycled, the introduction of new methods of responsible practice and ethical standards and also a bigger push to make kit that actually lasts. There’s a long way to go, for sure, but things are starting to change at least.

We put together our first ever Green Gear Guide to recognise the brands that are doing something. In that you’ll be able to read about 30 products that have impressed us with their eco creds. Here are 10 examples…

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel

Price: £90
Weight: 1160g

When a car gets to the end of its life, while a lot of the parts will get stripped, the windscreens are often tossed into landfill and their plastic coating preserved for years and years. 

Some of them, however, thanks to the intervention of Eagle Creek, are now being harvested and used to create the water repellent coating on these long-lasting duffel bags in the Migrate Range. What’s also cool about these bags is that the fabrics all have full Bluesign approval and you can even trace where every part used in their creation came from. 

Read our full Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel review.

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Icebug Acceleritas7 RB9X Trail Shoe

Price: £130
Weight: 190g (per shoe)

If you’re not familiar with Icebug here’s a quick introduction for you: they’re from Sweden; they make some great shoes for trail running; and perhaps most notably, they’re officially the world’s first climate-positive footwear brand. What that means is that they haven’t just offset their total carbon emissions, they’ve actually overcompensated. 

The Acceleritas7 RB9X shoes are a good case study for the Icebug approach. The mesh upper is made from Bluesign-approved polyester, while the lining of the shoe is a Bluesign-approved recycled mesh. Durability has been prioritised here so that the shoes, unlike many models out there, will actually last for more than a few months as well, which is always good.

Read our full Icebug Acceleritas7 RB9X Trail Shoe review

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GP AnyWay Charge Set

Price: £25
Weight: n/a

While it is possible to recycle single-use batteries, the negative impact on the environment their production brings is still undeniable. So what’s an outdoor enthusiast supposed to do when so many outdoor accessories, like head torches and power packs for instance, all require them? The answer lies in rechargeable batteries, or even better, this Charge AnyWay set by GP Batteries.

With the Charge AnyWay dock, plus the four AA batteries it comes with (it also takes AAA), you’re able to power up any items with inbuilt lithium ion batteries – that means things like your smartphone for instance. It doesn’t just run off rechargeable batteries either, you can use it to power up an appliance using normal single-use batteries if you have to. When the batteries run out, you can just plug the Charge AnyWay dock into a power source and juice them back up – up to 300 times in fact. In our eyes, all that makes this a very useful bit of kit for backpackers who are venturing off the beaten track.

Read our full GP Charge AnyWay review

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BioLite Campstove 2 Bundle

Price: £220
Weight: Campstove 935g, KettlePot 465g, Grill 850g

What we have here is a biomass powered stove and grill that’s portable (well, just about), smoke limiting and that can, believe it or not, charge up your mobile phone.

That’s all thanks to its in-built 2600mAh rechargeable battery which can store up to 3W of power.

Stoves that can be powered by renewables like deadfall wood have obvious eco advantages over gas burning stoves and that’s just one of the reasons why Biolite made it into our Green Gear Guide. There’s also the work that the company does to help create energy solutions for developing countries. It is a sad fact that more than three billion people across the globe are forced to cook on smoky, toxic open fires and this causes over 4 million deaths per year, according to World Health Organization data. These open fires also release CO2 and produce a staggering 25% of global black carbon emissions. To address this BioLite run a ‘parallel innovation’ business model with the intention of developing useful technology that not only helps us campers and backpackers but that also applies the same innovations for off-grid households in emerging markets. So gear like the BioLite Campstove supports similar products that help people in need of energy and electricity throughout the globe.

Read our full Biolite Campstove 2 review. 

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Páramo Alta III & Nikwax

Price: £300
Weight: 805g

Páramo are renowned in the outdoor industry for their environmentally-friendly approach to kit. Unlike many other brands, their unique Nikwax Analogy waterproofing system has never used the harmful PFC treatments that have – deservedly – attracted such negative public attention in recent years.  

Páramo’s green ethos doesn’t end with its waterproofing though. The durable 100% polyester used for this jacket is fully recyclable, and it is ethically made too, thanks to the brand’s long-standing manufacturing partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia. 

A shout out also to Nikwax, their sister brand, for their successful efforts to offset all of their CO2 emissions produced over 40 years of business. 

Read our full Páramo Alta III review

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Cortazu Mountain Shell

Price: £350
Weight: 750g

Imagine landing one of the top industry awards within the first year of launching your product on Kickstater. That was the case for this new eco-conscious brand from the Netherlands called Cortazu who picked up an ISPO Award for their three-layer waterproof jacket made from fully recycled nylon and lined by an low-impact Dermizax EV membrane. 

Unfortunately we weren’t able to get our hands on that recycled jacket but we did manage to test out their Mountain Shell (pictured). This one’s not recyclable but it does have that Dermizax EV membrane. What’s more for every one of these that gets sold, an area of land in Africa gets ‘re-greened’ through the brand’s work with an organisation called Just Diggit. 

Read our full Cortazu Mountain Shell review 

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Adidas Terrex Two Parley Trail Shoes

Price: £130
Weight: 300g (per shoe)

The Terrex Two is a quality trail running shoe with a grippy Continental rubber outsole and a sock-like fitting synthetic upper made from recycled plastic waste. It’s the result of a collaboration between Adidas Terrex and Parley, an environmental initiative set up to try and find sustainable solutions to the global plastic problem. They are on the heavy side to run in compared to other shoes, but at least you’ll have a lighter conscience. 

Read our full Adidas Terrex TWO Parley Trail Shoe review

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The North Face Thermoball Eco

The Thermoball jacket, one of The North Face’s big sellers, has gone green. It’s now filled with a 100% recycled polyester fill, giving the equivalent of 3.6 million plastic bottles a second life over the past 12 months. 

To further strengthen the jacket’s eco credentials, the nylon, polyester and taffeta face fabrics and linings are also made from 100% recycled fibres and the durable water repellent treatment is completely PFC-free. All in all, what we have here is a good, reliable insulator that won’t cost the earth. 

Read our full The North Face Thermoball Eco review.

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Patagonia Recycled Better Sweater

Price: £100
Weight: 638g

This fleece’s fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester that’s derived from old plastic bottles, manufacturing waste and worn-out clothing. Here’s an interesting fact for you: Patagonia have actually been using recycled polyester in their products since 1993 – and they were the first outdoor clothing brand to do so. 

There are more eco-creds to this simple, functional fleece as well. For instance, all production of Better Sweaters is Fair Trade certified and there’s Bluesign approval for the fabrics, which are dyed using a low-impact process that significantly reduces the use of energy and water. 

Read our full Patagonia Better Sweater review.

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Fjällräven Canada Wool Padded Parka

Price: £230
Weight: 867g

Swedish brand Fjällräven have long been ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability and there’s absolutely no break from tradition here. In fact this, the Canada Wool Padded Jacket is an example of just how committed they are in this area. The Swedish wool is all fully traceable and is complemented by a natural fill derived from corn starch for added insulation. Then there’s the G-1000 Eco, a durable material on the shoulders, elbows and pocket flaps which blends a recycled polyester with an organic cotton. All that and, well, it looks pretty good too – one of those jackets that you can wear down the pub or up the hill.

Read our full Fjällräven Canada Wool Padded Jacket review

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