Answerland: Big & Tall Outdoor Apparel

Answerland: Finding Outdoor Apparel for Big Guys

Sponsored by DXL

Answerland is Chubstr’s weekly Q+A feature. Ask your questions about plus size style, where to shop, travel, body image or anything else that’s on your mind. Share your questions with us on your favorite social network @Chubstr or click here to send us a message directly.

Outdoor Apparel for Big & Tall Guys

This week’s question comes from Jamie, who asks:

I like hiking, but I sweat. Like, a lot. My clothes get soaked and stick to me and it kind of messes up the rest of the hike for me. Do they even make hiking and outdoor gear for big guys? If so, what do you recommend?

There are companies selling big & tall outdoor clothing and gear. Though I’m not a hardcore hiker, there are a few things I consider when buying clothes to wear while enjoying the great outdoors.

Lightweight Fabric Big & Tall Outdoor Apparel
Lightweight fabric for the win

Opt for Lightweight Fabric

If you’re going to be active outdoors, chances are, you’ll sweat. Look for nylon or polyester fabrics. Both are lightweight and less prone to wrinkling, meaning you can just throw on your shirt and head out. They’ll also stand up to extended wear better than other fabrics.

Moisture Wicking Big & Tall Outdoor Apparel
This quick dry shirt is a lifesaver

Moisture Wicking Material is Your Friend

When you DO sweat, you need a fabric that won’t leave you feeling swampy. Moisture wicking material will dry more quickly by pulling sweat away from the body, causing it to evaporate. Companies like Columbia have invested in this technology, offering varieties that wick moisture, help regulate temperature and protect you from the sun.

Big & Tall Outdoor Apparel with Vents
Vents on the back of the shirt

Look for Clothing with Ventilation

Most outdoor apparel being made for hiking and extreme outdoor use offers unique ventilation in the places that matter most. You’ll mesh vents built into some shirts and jackets under the arms and along the back, allowing you to open them as needed.

Columbia Horizons Pine Interchange Jacket at DXL
Get this 3-in-1 Jacket to 4X at DXL

Find Big & Tall Outdoor Apparel in Your Size

There are a number of places offering outdoor clothing in extended sizes – some bigger than others. DXL carries brands like Columbia and The North Face with sizes to 6X & 5X, respectively. The pickings get (literally) slimmer at places like REI and Duluth Trading Co, but they are worth a look.

Don’t forget to pick up a good pair of rugged hiking boots as well. Here are some with sizes to 18.

Get Inspired and Get Out There!

Contrary to what we sometimes hear in popular culture, plus size people are doing the same activities as their smaller counterparts. Get inspiration from the people and stories shared on Jenny Bruso’s Unlikely Hikers Instagram page. Unlikely Hikers focuses on diversity, inclusion, representation and body positivity.

Read More