When it’s cold out, we don’t think twice about where to go for gear. We head straight to the websites of our favorite winter activewear brands. Summer, alas, is another story. No matter how far north we travel, the punishing sun and humidity inevitably catch up with us. You can always put more clothes on, but unless you’re plunging into the icy depths of Lake Superior or the Baltic Sea, there’s only so much you can take off.
For outdoor lovers, there’s nothing worse than being trapped indoors with the AC running during a glorious summer day. That’s why this year we were overjoyed to discover that the same brands we love for keeping winter warriors toasty also make amazingly functional summer wear.
Here are just a few of our picks from the summer catalogs of our favorite winter activewear brands:
Houdini Crux Short
We fell in love with Houdini for their amazing Bluesign-certified winter shell pants. Ironic, then, that our love affair has continued as a result of these summertime shorts. We highly recommend trading in your college chubbies for the just-above-the-knee Crux Short, a flexible, breathable model made with recycled polyester. They’re tough yet sinfully soft, and offer plenty of stretch for all types of summer outdoor adventures, yet somehow retain an urbane polish.
Helly Hansen HP Code Zero Polo
Even if you’re not a polo kind of guy, this nostalgic number will win you over with its lightweight, buttery softness, and UPF 30 rating. Whether your summer day includes a sailing expedition or just after-work beers, the quick-dry waffle pique fabric will keep your look fresh, and the bold color rings on the sleeves are ready to pair with your favorite vintage Adidas sneaks.
Fjallraven Abisko Cool Shirt
We thought nobody could improve on the classic camp shirt. Then we discovered the Fjallraven Abisko Cool Shirt, which takes our favorite all-purpose summer look and boosts it with extra functionality. Made from lyocell, an ultra-soft, moisture-wicking natural fiber, and built with sewn ventilation holes for maximum airflow, this shirt ensures you don’t have to choose between looking crisp and feeling comfortable.
Haglofs Amfibious Short
A hardy active short disguised as broken-in chinos — what could be better? The sleek lines fit in just fine at the yacht club, while the interwoven ripstop in the fabric makes for excellent moisture management in moments of sweat or splash. With a surprisingly lofty UPF factor and a warp stretch fabric for both durability and light weight, the shorts take the sting out of wearing pants on the hottest of summer days.
The brand synonymous with luxurious, head-to-toe down coats also specializes in … swimwear? Yes indeed, and it’s no less luxurious. Their core collection offers iconic Italian style, but we’re partial to their special collection produced with Cape Town surf brand Mamiwata, which pairs the brand’s European glam with global street smarts.
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