10 Best Mid Layer for Hiking[Buying Guide and Reviews]

When it comes to putting together an outfit for an outdoor adventure, the most important things to remember are to have suitable dressings for hiking and that cannot be complete without the right mid-layer. Now, mid-layers are not just for luxury or fashion, they have insulating duties assigned to the conventional middle layer of a three-layer garment system.

As a consequence of this, it is the single item of clothing that you are most likely to change based on the conditions of the weather. Everyone is aware of how important it is to dress in layers when hiking on days that are cooler.

Even though most people are aware of how important it is to have good base layers and sturdy outer layers, it’s possible that they are less knowledgeable about how important it is to have the best possible mid-layer jacket and that is why I am here.

10 Best Mid Layer for Hiking[Buying Guide and Reviews]

In these reviews, I’ll go over the 10 best mid layers for hiking and provide you with all of the information you need to know about them to make your purchase faster and easier.

Let’s get this!  

1. Coalatree Baseline Midlayer

The Coalatree Baseline Midlayer is created for active people who need good moisture-wicking, want their skin to breathe, and want to reduce their environmental imprint. This eco-friendly clothing is produced from used coffee grounds, I know you are surprised right? Well, you should also know that it doesn’t shed microplastics when washed, keeping your water system clean.  The Coalatree Baseline is well-made and durable.

This midlayer’s moisture-wicking and breathability make it ideal for high-intensity activities. Anti-microbial qualities keep you fresher longer during ski touring, hiking, or climbing.

Basically, Coalatree Baseline’s fabric keeps your midlayer supple for years. The temperature regulating, moisture-wicking, and breathable DWR-coating creates a high-performance, eco-friendly mid-layer. One of the best for eco-adventurers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Organic, eco-friendly
  • No microplastics
  • Anti-microbial
  • Honeycomb fabric keeps mid-layers soft.

2. Patagonia R2 Fleece Jacket

Outdoor lovers will definitely love Patagonia, and for good reason. Their R-series jackets (R1, R2, and R3) are high-quality, sturdy clothing made by adventurers for adventurers, I judge it as the warmest midlayer here.

The R2 Fleece lacks a hood, thus anyone seeking a hoodless intermediate layer should explore this, it mixes Patagonia’s warmest fleece on the chest/core and a lighter design under the arms and around the sides. This creates a well-balanced warmth while reducing overheating during cardio-intensive activity. The R2 fleece is more pricey than other things on our list, but it’s still a good value considering its quality and breathability.

Due to its simple design, warmth, and breathability, I choose to call it the ideal athletic midlayer. Patagonia’s R2 Fleece jacket is a good option for individuals who think fleece is the ideal middle layer and don’t need a hood.

Highlighted Features:

  • Two hand-zipped pockets
  • Zippered breast pocket
  • Odour-control Polygiene
  • Affordability

3. Cotopaxi Teca Cálido Hooded Jacket

Cotopaxi’s Teca Cálido Hooded Jacket is my top pick for finest skiing midlayer because it was built with movement in mind and the elastic hood, hem, and cuffs keep heat in no matter how active you are. So light, it fits in its own chest pocket. You barely notice it! It’s reversible and easy to use as temperatures drop. This jacket includes a hood and a high collar that protects your neck while fitting under a ski-shell.

Interestingly, with its DWR treatment it resists mild rain. It can’t withstand much moisture and needs a weatherproof shell if it rains but then it is airy and comfortable to sweat in. Its inside zipped chest pouch hides items while skiing. Zippered hand pockets provide extra warmth. This jacket is defined as an “all-around fantastic adventure jacket” by Cotopaxi.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes with heat-retaining elastic
  • Beautifully crafted Good product
  • Very durable
  • Breathable
  • Many pockets

4. Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Fleece Jacket

The R1 and R2 Fleece Jackets from Patagonia may seem similar, but they are very different because the R1 employs a lighter version of Patagonia’s warmest fleece, making it more of a midlayer than a jacket. Lighter and slimmer than the R2, the R1 is a layer you’d wear all day without taking off because its recycled polyester makes it wicking and toasty. This makes it a versatile lightweight insulator or thermal base layer.

More so, its fit has no extra bulk and hugs your body when you’re still and stretches when you’re active for ski touring, climbing, hiking, and more; hence, Patagonia R1 is great for cardio-intensive sports that require warmth and breathability.

Finally, its smell controller substance makes it ideal for high-intensity adventures.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fair trade certified
  • Odour-controlling Polygiene
  • Zippered left breast pocket
  •  Packing-friendly
  • Breathable

5. Mammut Runbold Midlayer Hoody

If you constantly have a hoodie in your layering system, the Runbold is for you because Mammut makes durable, high-quality products, and this one is no exception. The waffle hoody keeps you toasty when needed and cool when not and since it is lightweight designed and quick-drying characteristics, it is sure to keep you dry.

As a matter of fact, this will keep you warm in the cold by wicking sweat and moisture away from your body, and its light construction won’t fry you on warm days. This is why it is a flexible hoodie you can wear anywhere. I like the front pouch’s secret pocket. It’s excellent for storing valuables or anything you don’t want to lose while you’re out. The hoodie offers UPF 50+ sun protection.

Please note that this hoodie’s athletic shape makes it a snugger fit than you may be used to. If you’re unsure about sizing, go up one. In all, Mammut Runbold is the best hoodie, sizing aside. Light, athletic, and ideal for layering!

Highlighted Features:

  • Internal hidden pocket
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Zipper+hoodie combo
  • Temperature regulator

6.Columbia Steens Mountain Full Zip Fleece

Columbia’s Steens Mountain Full Zip Fleece is a cheap, classic-looking fleece that offers decent weather protection. It is the cheapest midlayer on our list, but it still packs a punch, making it the finest budget option, as it is comfy and ideal for skiing, hiking, snowboarding, or any other cold outdoor activity.

With this you are sure to get what you pay for as it applies to technicalities and extra features. The Steens Mountain Full Zip is a low-cost layer without many added features. It’s a good “no-frills” layer for the price and will surely keep you warm. This layer is suitable as an indoor sweater, not for outside use. Hence those searching for something more technical/guaranteed to keep them warm on a cold day outdoors should consider checking on one of the additional layers available on this list.

Highlighted Features:

  • Soft
  • Affordable
  • Perfect for Warm weather
  • Durable

7. North Face Ventrix Hoodie

I dare to believe that the North Face Ventrix Hoodie was created with climbers in mind. This hoodie has a DWR-coated outer layer that can endure light wear together with more material suited in climbing-weary areas like the forearms; its high-tech perforations in crucial regions expand/release heat when you move and contract/retain heat when motionless. This piece’s breathability/warmth mix is impressive trust me.

The Ventrix Hoodie isn’t just the greatest hiking midlayer because of these features, but it over time became the favourite for many mountain bikers, skiers, cold-weather hikers, and climbers as they would rather wear it to others.

Interestingly, The Ventrix Hoodie is like a down jacket and  its synthetic insulation performs better in the rain, making it boasts down its packability above synthetic jackets. If you want a packable midlayer, choose down over synthetic like the Ventrix Hoodie.

Highlighted features:

  •  Designed for high-intensity activities
  •  Hidden chest, hand pockets
  • Perforated in crucial locations
  • Fine Price/quality
  • Can be standalone jacket or midlayer

8. The North Face Women’s Respirator ¾ Zip Midlayer

This slim-fit midlayer from The North Face is ultra-breathable and light. Its unique design makes it eye-catching, stylish, and technically suitable for backcountry hiking. A two-thirds length zipper is unique in mid-layers but works well on this tight-fitting item to improve breathability and ease on/off, then we have Its sporty style and high-quality polyester  added up to make it lightweight, packable, and warm. This midlayer’s lightweight design doesn’t sacrifice warmth, which is excellent.

The Respirator sports a hood that is thin enough to go under a ski-helmet, whi thumbholes, and a front pocket that can contain the complete jacket. We like the diagonal lines and two-thirds zip on the front, however others may find it odd.

Depending on body type, this cut may be boxy. As mid-range midlayers go, this is the greatest option for women I have seen. In fact, it’s a great pick for any lady wanting a layer built for females.

Highlighted features:

  •  Half-front zip
  •  Chest pocket packable
  • Ultra-breathable
  • Stretch grid-fleece for faster cool-down
  • Stretch double weave to strengthen weak spots
9. Kari Traa Rothe Mid-Layer Fleece Jacket

This is a great layering garment to wear under a ski jacket on a cold day. It can also turn heads when you’re drinking after skiing. It lacks a hood because it was designed to be worn with a hooded ski jacket, but it has some handy characteristics.

This fleece includes a high collar and chin protector, with two hand and one chest zip-pockets making  it good for those with this quality of taste. It’s not a good rain or wind jacket, but it works nicely with a shell and fits well with its cool sleeve cuffs, and comes in numerous colours.

I should state here that the Kari Traa, created by the same-named Norwegian champion freestyle skier, is Europe’s fastest-growing sports brand. Her Rothe Midlayer Fleece Jacket shows her adorable, creative style and her team’s ability to mix function and fashion.

Highlighted features:

  • Garage zipper
  • Chest pocket
  • Colourfully fashionable
  • Stylish and women-friendly

10. Odlo Half-Zip Orsino Top

The Odlo’s Orsino half-zip is a Light, comfortable fleece with great wicking capabilities and construction made to produce this perfect active midlayer. The lightweight fleece is flexible enough to keep you moving but dense enough to keep you warm. I love this piece because if you’re working so hard that you overheat, you can use the half-zip to vent.

Although I wish it had a hood for cooler weather, all the same, it is lighter than other items on our list, and I recommend it as a three-season active alternative. They’re made for layering, like any midlayer.

Well, this can as well be your new go-to midlayer if you’re usually adventuring or exercising. The Orsino is stretchy, and elegant for active use.

Highlighted features:

  • Warm
  • light
  • Fair Wear Foundation
  • Adventure stretch
  • Well-managed moisture


In the end, it is because I know that the finest mid layer for hiking is the one that, when worn between your base layer and your outer layer, will make you feel more comfortable and will keep you warm while you are engaging in your favourite outdoor activity.

Having said that, I also know that there is such a wide variety of choices available, each of which varies in terms of price, breathability, warmth, and material, that it may be rather difficult to determine which one to purchase.

To help you save both time and effort, I have made this list available. I hope you make a very fine purchase.

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Written by Jane Miller

Hey there! I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.

In addition to writing about travel and adventure, I also share my best tips on how to become a digital nomad so you can have the freedom to travel, too!