When it comes to the best hiking shirts for women, there’s no limit on what you will see in the market today compared to seven years ago.
We all do agree that hiking is sweaty work. But I don’t see anyone jumping for joy at the thought of being drenched in sweat. Or comfortably trekking in wet clothes.
So when it comes to hiking, you will agree with me that using just your ordinary shirt won’t just cut it.
That means there is a need for shirts specifically tailored and suited for hiking or trekking trails.
And Not just any shirt but one tailored for hiking women. Even pregnant hiking women too!
Types of Women Hiking Shirts.
You don’t just pick up any type of cloth or any shirt from your stylish wardrobe when you’re planning to set out on a trail hike.
Yes, indeed. You don’t want to hurt yourself when on a recreational hike. Like many other outdoor activities, hiking requires specifics. Especially your clothing layers.
In case you’re feeling a bit unsure, you don’t have to worry.
We have carefully listed out the types of hiking clothes and shirts you will be needing when setting out on a trail trek.
If you’re thinking of comfortability during a trail hike, you’re thinking of hiking T-shirts.
These are lightweight and breathable (depending on the fabric) and are entirely great for hiking.
What about when it gets cold? Simply just add more clothing layers onto your hiking T-shirts, easily.
The only disadvantage of hiking T-shirts is that it doesn’t provide sufficient protection from the sun rays on your skin.
They’re fancy looking, freeing, and seemingly breathable.
Tank tops come in a variety of colors for your pick. If anything is light, these certainly are. But on the downside, you might want to pack extra sunscreen especially when hiking on a warm or sunny day.
Although beautiful, these tops do not provide the amount of protection your skin needs from the rays of the sun.
Finally, you want to consider opting for a tank top based on the padding of your backpack as some tank tops do not provide enough protection against the friction between your backpack and your skin.
These are most suited for cold weather conditions when on a hike. This is because have long sleeves and a crew neck which does not allow venting.
Another great thing is that some long-sleeve baselayers are made from breathable materials that make them a great alternative for T-shirts.
Button-up hiking shirts are lightweight and breathable because they are made from lightweight synthetic materials and usually provide quite a lot of ventilation, especially during hiking.
These are generally considered the best hiking shirts, especially for hiking during harsh weather.
Most button-up hiking shirts have a collar and long sleeves, but some short sleeve options are also available.
The long sleeves are more favored compared to the short sleeve because they provide that protection from the sun your skin needs. And some extra protection from insects. But the sacrifice will be added weight.
Some have mesh flaps for added ventilation and most have chest pockets for carrying small items.
Most Zip-ups have long sleeves but some short-sleeve options are available for you.
Zip-ups are long sleeve or short sleeve T-shirts that have a quarter-zip or half-zip at the neckline to allow venting. When zipped up they often have a collar that helps with sun protection or trapping warmth.
You can use them as your hiking shirts, but it is more common to use them as an insulating mid-layer (i.e. wear them over your hiking shirt and under your fleece or down jacket).
Who needs Women's Hiking Shirt?
This is obviously simple.
If you’re a feminine hiker, then you definitely need to get a hiking shirt tailored for women.
But if you’re not, then you probably want to gift it to someone. Maybe your girlfriend, wife, crush, sister, sister-in-law, or boss as the case maybe.
Simply put, all women who hike, including pregnant women, need a hiking shirt for women.
Common Hiking Shirt Fabrics for Women
As convenient as it would be to just grab whatever clothes you can find in your wardrobe and head out on the trail, things are going to be a lot more pleasant if you don’t.
When on a long trail trek or a hike, you want to make sure you get as comfortable as possible. especially if it’s the hot season.
Remember Cotton? The most common fabric used in our everyday clothing. Well, you must know that it is notorious for holding moisture too long. It just doesn’t get dry on time!
To save you the stress, we’ve painstakingly created a simplified list of the common fabrics you will look out for when shopping for your women’s hiking shirts.
This material is a manufactured synthetic fiber.
Polyester fibers are incredibly strong, meaning they don’t tear, stretch, or pill easily like cotton and other natural fibers. This strength means and doesn’t require special care.
This fiber is used in the manufacture of women hiking shirts and t-shirts. Because, unlike cotton fiber, polyester does not absorb water for long. It quickly dries out moisture.
Usually, polyester is not odor resistant because it absorbs oils instead of water from your sweat. But, some manufacturers add in odor resistance quality as well as antimicrobial properties.
A downside to this is that they are not soft on the skin compared to wool.
Polyester clothing can easily handle abrasion from machine-washing.
Does not pull easily.
Does not require special care.
Cheaper to obtain.
Hard on the skin.
Contra-indicated for people allergic to synthetic fiber.
Merino wool is a natural fiber gotten from Merino sheep. It’s thinner and softer than regular wool which makes it easy to wear next to the skin.
It is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, naturally odor resistant, and soft to the touch. In fact, because merino wool is so soft, it is not itchy like regular wool.
All these amazing properties make this fiber perfect for manufacturing hiking clothes, especially women hiking clothes.
Naturally odor resistant
Expensive to purchase.
Low durability compared to alternatives.
Contra-indicated for people allergic to wool.
Contra-indicated for Vegetarians.
Why is Women Hiking Shirt Important?
The reasons are also obvious.
- It won’t make sense if you go hiking unclad except of course you’re a naturalist. Or suicidal. Therefore, a hiking shirt is needed for the coverage of your body.
- It protects you from the burning rays of the sun.
- It keeps poisonous insects away from your skin
- It protects you from grasses that could cut through your skin and also, thorny weeds that could probably hurt you.
- Bright and colorful hiking shirts are a means to quickly identify you or find you in the case of missing person.
- Depending on the kind of hiking shirt you choose, it reveals your beauty.
What should I look out for?
When looking for a nice long sleeve for hiking in hot weather, you must carefully look out for some certain criteria first.
The shirts you choose must satisfy these conditions so you would know you have your money’s worth, and ensure yourself a comfortable and pleasant hiking experience.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor
First and foremost, the UPF. This is the bane of everything. There’s no other reason to look for long sleeves for hot weather if not this.
The ultraviolet protection factor in itself is not what protects you from the rays of the sun but it’s the number that determines the ratio of sunburn caused by UV rays.
The UPF rating goes up from 15 to 50+ which denotes that the UV radiation blocked also goes higher from 93.3 to 98+
In a testing done by Consumer reports, they said that protective fabrics typically have a UPF rating of 30.
Therefore, this is the number or higher you should look out for.
Anything hiking shirt including this one should be made from materials that allows breath-ability (ability to allow moisture vapor to be drawn away from your body through the material). It should be lightweight.
The material should be flexible enough to that it doesn’t restrict your movement. Which means the material must also be stretchable so it can adjust as you move with it.
One of such material that can do this is the high-tech polyester. Avoid cotton!
The other thing to look out for is if the material has antimicrobial properties.
Antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth.
Without it, the shirt will be contaminated leading to odor when in use.
The durability of the shirt will also be compromised.
It’s already established that you need a shirt. This could be a hiking top that is sleeveless, long sleeve or short sleeve.
In addition to this, long sleeve provides more coverage and adds an extra layer of protection for your arms when the rays of the sun hits you. This is called Sun protective measure.
The only constraint here is if you want a long sleeve that’s a T-shirt (neck-saving collar) or a button front along with pockets or the other styles of shirts mentioned.
You want to ensure that your hiking t-shirts have flatlock seam.
The best hiking shirts are sewn with flatlock seams. They are especially important around your shoulder and hips where your backpack straps and waist-belt will create friction and pressure on your body.
This is already contained in the material section when we talked about the breathability etc.
Nevertheless, there are some certain technology put in place for hot-weather clothing called the Cooling-compound technology.
As of 2012 the first cooling shirt that lowers body temperature was made. As perspiration evaporates, it draws heat away from the body, then wicking fabrics facilitate this process by distributing sweat evenly over the fabric so that it dries more quickly.
I’ve written these already here – best long sleeve hiking shirt for hot weather
If you’re a hiker on a budget, then, I presume you’d consider this feature very well. Either way, durability is key to whatever we buy these days. Hence, we go for quality.
For a hiking shirt, durability is one to five years of regular trail use.
Some of the things to look out for when determining if a shirt is going to be durable or not is to check for these;
- The fabric/material:- Nylon or polyester
- The yoke:-
- The collar:-
- The buttons:-
- The stitching:- Back-stitch
- The design:-
Hiking shirts should be quick to dry, machine washable and shouldn’t shrink wash after wash. This is important because when going out on a hiking journey, you’re expected to take only few clothes with you.
Therefore its paramount that these clothes meet this criteria for optimum reuse.
Top 9 Product Review of the Best Hiking Shirt for Women.
For comprehensive purpose, I’ve gone through great lengths to list the top 3 hiking shirts for women in three different categories. Namely; sleeveless hiking shirts for women, short sleeve hiking shirts for women and long sleeve hiking shirts for women.
Note: I won’t say much about these shirts because I have already given a criteria to follow when you want to get a hiking shirt.
Though it’s difficult to get an hiking shirt with all features, I made sure to carefully find those that does.
Let’s start with the first one
Top 3 Sleeveless Best Hiking Shirts For Women
94% Nylon, 6% Lycra Spandex
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
It doesn’t retain odor because of it’s antimicrobial treatment. The shirt is made of diamond-weave mesh fabric which allows for breathability.
Nylon materials are generally considered to be durable as they’re stretch and wrinkle resistant. Also nylon are UV protective. Wanted you to know because the UPF rating is also not available.
It’s a diamond-weave mesh fabric which allows it breath. It doesn’t have a UPF rating but nylon materials are UV protective. Also nylon materials are generally durable. Stretch and shrink resistant.
- Easy to snag
85% polyester and 15% elastane
It has a UPF rating of 50 which is equivalent to the amount of sun rays it protects you from. It has Omni-Wick moisture management which is it’s cooling feature. It’s stretches, this allows for flexibility when on the trail.
- Stays cool
- It’s durable
- Not always true to size
95% Polyester and 5 % Spandex
Wicking power fabric is it’s cooling feature, no UPF rating stated but another thing noteworthy is that polyesters are generally UV protective and durable (same for nylon).
- Provides comfort
- Abrasion resistant
- Too cheap for it’s quality
Top 3 Short Sleeve Best Hiking Shirts For Women
95% polyester and 5% spandex
UV protection is guaranteed, It wicks moisture which helps keep you cool and comfortable when hiking, it’s durable because majority of the fabric used is polyester.
- It’s flexible
- Not always true to size
- Antimicrobial properties not present
Top 3 Long Sleeve Best Hiking Shirts For Women
It has a UPF rating of 40, wicks moisture with it’s Omni-Wick technology, shirt pockets are available, Its durable, antimicrobial elements to protect against bacterial growth are present.
- Comfortable to wear
- A bit pricey
Now you have it.
Three different style of hiking shirts for women, all you need do is to get one or more that suits your taste and you’re ready for the next hiking journey.
If you are not sure of which to buy, then choose the Baleaf Women’s T-shirt (short sleeve), Columbia Women’s PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt (long sleeve), or Columbia Women’s Trail Crush (sleeveless).
Have a great day!
What Shirts are Best for Hiking
When going on a hiking trail, you do not want to go unprepared, and getting the right cloth is one way to prepare yourself for a good hike. Your hiking shirt contributes greatly to your comfort while hiking.
The best shirts are made with merino wool fiber and polyester. Check out our review column for the best options.
What Color Shirt is Best for Hiking?
You want to make sure you pack bright or light colors when going on a hike, especially in the hot season.
Dark-colored clothes are prone to absorb and transmit heat much more than light-colored clothes.
What is the Best Women’s Hiking Shirt for hot weather?
As exciting as it is to go on a trail trek, during the hot weather it can be very uncomfortable. Because of this, you want to pick clothes best suited for hot weather.
Long sleeves button-down shirts are your best bet when hiking in hot weather.
Check out our review column to know the best options for women’s hiking shirt for hot weather.