Packing for Adventurous Summer Travel with Columbia

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Thank you Columbia for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Columbia, all content and opinions expressed here are my own (and I already owned most of this Columbia gear already!).

Packing for a big trip can be daunting. All sorts of questions run through your head. Like: What will the weather be like? What should I bring in case it rains? Will anyone care if I wear the same shirt twice? How many pairs of shoes can I stuff in this bag?

But, after traveling to all sorts of destinations all around the world in the past decade, I've gotten into a bit of a groove when it comes to packing. I have my travel favorites – items that I always pack, no matter where I'm going – along with whole drawers filled with items that are best for specific types of trips.

Going to the Arctic in winter? I've got clothes for that. Headed to the Deep South in the middle of summer? Yup, I'm prepared for that, too!

And, over the years, a lot of my “travel-friendly” gear has come from one company: Columbia. I've worn their hiking pants in New Zealand, capris in Egypt, rain coat in Ireland, and boots in Norway.

Horseshoe Bend in Arizona
Me in a super soft Columbia shirt in Utah

So when Columbia approached me about working together to highlight some of their gear that can keep you cool and protected in the summer and help you “Stay Out There” longer, I jumped at the chance.

As I started going through all the Columbia items I own, I realized a couple of things. First, that Columbia's gear holds up pretty darn well – I've had some of these items for YEARS. And secondly, that you can put together a ton of different outfits with just a handful of clothing items.

Packing for adventurous summer travel with Columbia

So with a mission in mind, I began mixing and matching and came up with seven different outfits using about a dozen pieces from Columbia. Here's how you can tackle all sorts of summer adventures with Columbia:

For a day on the trails

I live close to several parks with bike trails in northeast Ohio, and my husband Elliot and I love to hit the trails in the summer. We like to hop on bikes when we travel, too, as getting around by bike is often one of the best ways to explore a new city.

Amanda and bike

What I'm wearing: A Columbia Crestview™ Tank with a breathable back; a pair of Women's Sandy River™ Shorts that I've had for a couple years; and the new Women's Dorado™ CVO PFG shoes in a fun teal color. These shoes are meant more for water sports, but I've found that they work just fine for biking, too!

Amanda cycling
Amanda cycling

For a day on the water

Speaking of water sports… whether it's a day hanging out on a boat, or soaking up some sun lakeside, Columbia's got you covered. Along with being light and breathable, a lot of their clothing is made with built-in sun protection, too – just look for the “OMNI-SHADE™” tag when you're shopping.

Amanda in the wetlands
Ready for a day by the water

What I'm wearing: My Women's Crestview™ Tank again, along with a Women's Anytime Casual™ Skort, which I've been wearing for about three summers now. I love this skort because it's soft and flexible, but also appropriate for more active activities than a regular skirt would be. I'm wearing the Dorado™ shoes again, too, because they're perfect for the water – you don't have to worry about getting them wet, as they dry super fast!

Amanda by the river
Plus, the skort has POCKETS!

For a weekend hike

I'm not a huge hiker, but I do like getting out into the woods when the weather is nice. I'm lucky to live close to all the trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, and am also often inspired to tackle short hikes when I travel simply because I'm a sucker for great views.

But let me get real with you here: I turn into an absolute sweat monster when I hike during the summer, so lightweight, breathable clothing is an absolute must for me.

Amanda in CVNP
In Cuyahoga Valley National Park

What I'm wearing: I'm wearing an older Columbia shirt here, but it's comparable to the current Women’s Outerspaced™ II Tee or the Wander More™ Short Sleeve Tee. This is paired with my Women's Anytime Outdoor™ Capris, which offer sun protection, and are also water and stain repellent (bonus!). These capris are light and flexible, making them perfect for any summer activity, or any warm-weather destination.

Amanda in CVNP
Amanda in CVNP

Not pictured: Some Women’s Newton Ridge™ Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boots and Hiking Light Merino Crew socks. Add these, and you'll be all set to hit any trail.

For a summer night

Summer nights are some of the best nights here in Ohio. They're warm (but usually not too warm), the sunsets last forever, and, come July, they're usually filled with fireflies. I haven't quite found anywhere else in the world where the summer nights compare to the ones in Ohio – but I'm still looking!

Amanda and the fire pit
Fire pits make for great summer nights!

What I'm wearing: A Women's Flash Forward™ Windbreaker Jacket, which is perfect for cool summer nights; my Women's Anytime Outdoor™ Capris; and a pair of Women's Santiam™ Flip Sandals, which are both cute AND supportive.

Amanda and the fire pit
Amanda and the fire pit

For a rainy day

Even though I wish every travel day could be sunny, the reality is that weather is weather and it can do just about anything. Which is why I own plenty of rain gear, especially considering that some of my favorite places to travel are often wet and chilly!

Amanda in Westport, Ireland
Staying dry in Ireland

What I'm wearing: In Ireland, I relied on my Women's Arcadia™ II Rain Jacket (which has become my “signature look,” it feels like!), along with a pair of Women's Rainey™ Tall Rainboots. These boots are GREAT – they're waterproof, cute, and actually offer a bit of arch support.

Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park
Hiking in the rain at Bryce Canyon

What I'm wearing: For a more intense outdoor adventure (like that time I went hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park in the fog and rain), I'd go with my lighter Women's EvaPOURation™ Jacket and Women’s Storm Surge™ Rain Pant in order to keep extra dry.

For a night out on the town

Yes, you can totally dress up your Columbia clothing, too! Even though they make active and outdoorsy clothing, it's not actually that difficult to dress it up for a night out. This is good news, since it means you don't need to pack a fancy outfit that you might only wear once.

Amanda in Columbia clothing

What I'm wearing: I found that if I pair my Anytime Casual™ Skort with a plain top, it's pretty easy to dress it up with some jewelry! I'm wearing a shirt similar to the current Women’s Outerspaced™ II Tee or the Wander More™ Short Sleeve Tee. Add a pair of sandals (I've got on the Santiam™ Flip Sandals again), and you're ready to go out to dinner!

Shop the Summer Sale!

Columbia is currently running it's Summer Sale. Between now and August 14, you can save 50% off select gear (some of which was featured in this post!). Check out their summer sale page to learn more.

And don't forget to sign up for Columbia's Loyalty Program, which lets you earn points on every purchase and also nets you free shipping all the time, no strings attached.

There you have it: Pretty much a full summer wardrobe in roughly a dozen items!

Do you have a go-to brand when you’re packing for travel?


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Sample summer travel outfits using Columbia clothing
Packing for summer travel with Columbia Sportswear


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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19 Comments on “Packing for Adventurous Summer Travel with Columbia

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  1. Great and informative post! Love anything that helps me pack lighter/smarter but still look good while on the road. All your Columbia picks seem to fill that bill perfectly!

      Definitely! I like to be comfy when I travel, but I also like to look at least relatively put-together!

    I love how you’ve shown so many different ways to wear their gear. I don’t have a ton of Columbia gear, but I’ll definitely consider them during my next haul of travel clothes!

      Definitely check them out, especially while they have this sale going on right now!

    I’m going on safari in February so will definitely be looking as some quick dry options. And omg I LOVE your tattoo!!

      Columbia makes some great quick-dry and breathable clothing – the capris I have are especially great! And thanks! I love my compass tattoo. 🙂

    The skort is cute and looks comfy. That would be great for hiking or even a regular, hot, summer day at the park.

      Definitely! It’s very comfy, but I love that you can dress it up, too.

    This is great! We could definitely use this for our honeymoon! Thank you!

    Yep, Colombia stuff is great (although their sizing can be weird). I’ve got a white polar fleece of theirs that I’ve had for years – the fact that it’s white and still is after so long is impressive but it also still has shape. Shame it’s so hard to get stuff in Aus.

      Sizing on all clothing can be weird these days – I always have to try things on because I’m never the same size in anything! But yeah, Columbia stuff definitely lasts!

    Columbia makes great clothes. I’ve owned some of their clothes over the years and at the moment I’m most in love with my lightweight winter coat which I initially bought for Iceland, but have used many times.

      I had a Columbia winter coat all through college, and it was great! (In fact, most of my go-to winter clothing is by Columbia!)

    I love their products, too. I have a Columbia jacket which I have had for years — still looking great and very lightweight. Same with the Columbia backpack I own; sturdy and stylish.

      They make gear that lasts AND that usually looks pretty good!

    I used to wear a lot of Colombia stuff when I traveled. But I’ve since discovered Duluth Trading, and their No-Ga pants are my literal favorite thing to wear when traveling.

      Ooo might have to go check those out, too! I seriously own so much Columbia stuff, though. And it’s not necessarily brand loyalty – I just really like their stuff and keep buying it without even realizing it! Even a lot of my go-to winter gear is by Columbia.

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