What are the best properties of hiking clothes for you as a hiker?
When you go out for a hike, you can ask yourself: What clothes do I really need for the environment I am going to? Can it be cold or very cold? Do I need to count on warmth as well?
One of the best advises I can give is: take care that you have the possibility to put on more than one layer of clothes. One thin layer for warm times and more thin layers for cold times. The air in between the layers cares for the isolation. And each cloth/layer with the most useful properties.
Waterproof: The jacket and your rain-pants. At the same time it is important that it breathes, in order to eliminate perspiration.
Windproof: Also jacket and rain-pants. Can the air come in and out, in order to evaporate the moisture?
Isolating: Your sweater and the jacket.
Elasticity: Elasticity makes clothes fit well and wear well. This is important for underwear, sweater and socks.
Drying speed: During your hike of more than a few days it is necessary to wash your clothes, more than once. Then it is a good property when it dries fast.
There are new materials which dry extremely fast. Mostly they are combinations of materials like cotton / polyester / polyamide / elasthan. This drying quality is fine when the material is wet from perspiration and it is dry after having a break.
Feeling fine / flexible: Strong materials tend to be coarse and feel more or less uncomfortable. Therefore manufactures mix them with more soft material like cotton and wool.
When you buy hiking clothes, take care of what it is made of. These materials have special properties. Be aware of these properties and where you use the cloth for.
Example of more layers of clothes: convertible pants (with zip-off-legs). During warm times zip off your legs. During cold times wear nylon panties under it and zip on your legs. This way you take less clothes with you and have less weight.