What is the best Good Desert Hiking Clothes

desert hiking clothes

You’ll agree with me that there are so many clothes in the market today and finding a good (that can withstand high heat and low humidity) one that is fit for desert hiking is such a difficult task;

Well, this is no longer a problem for some people only because they now know what criteria to look out for when shopping for desert hiking clothes.

I happen to be one such person.

And as a result, I’m qualified to show you these same criteria that I’ve used over the years.

I’ll be doing that in this post today.



Columbia Women’s Bonehead II Long-Sleeve Shirt

Hanes Women’s Long Sleeve Tee

Core 10 Women’s Motion Fleece Hoodie Jacket


MAGCOMSEN Tactical Military Combat Long sleeve shirt

Columbia Men’s Bonehead Long Sleeve Shirt

A Good Desert Hiking Clothes (shirts and pants) Criteria


Desert hiking material is key to hiking in the desert. Generally, hiking materials are commonly made of polyester or nylon.

While this may be a good choice for some hiking conditions, it’s not recommended for desert hiking for obvious reasons.

All desert hiking shirts/materials you need should be made of cotton only or cotton and polyester, or cotton and nylon. And also, desert socks.

Cotton for desert hiking clothes

The point here is that cotton must be in every desert hiking clothing. For hiking shirts and pants.

The real reason why cotton material is advised is that cotton has the ability to not allow the evaporating moisture gathered during the hiking process to escape. This moisture gathered helps to keep you cool.

While polyester and nylon-only fabrics for desert hiking do otherwise.

What I’m saying basically is that nylon and polyester are not okay for cooling in hot weather.

Here are some facts about cotton that you need to know;

  • It’s comfortable to put on
  • It resists the build-up of static electricity
  • It absorbs water and as well breath (the main reason it’s good for desert hiking)
  • Cotton clothing can withstand heat but can be easily ruined by continuous exposure to sunlight

Read Best CamelBak For Hiking

Ultra-Protective Factor

This is another important factor.

I’ll only explain a bit of it here because I’ve dealt with it here extensively.

Here’s a brief explanation.

The UPF is a rating that determines the number of Ultraviolet rays a cloth can absorb and as well repel when exposed to sunlight.

The UPF rating is up to 50+. The higher the better.

When you finally decide to purchase any desert hiking clothing, you should look out for this rating since it will help prevent sunburn and other related sicknesses that come up when exposed to sunlight for a long time.

Desert sun protection is a must if you desire to avoid chronic health issues like skin cancer.

Antimicrobial Qualities

The importance of having an antimicrobial property in your cotton clothing isn’t really that paramount but it’s necessary to keep odors out of your shirt.

The antimicrobial agents in your clothing kill any microbe that comes from sweating etc.

Cotton, for example, Chitosan is an antibacterial agent used in treating it.

And this Chitosan kills these bacteria (Escherichia coli and Hay bacillus) directly the moment they are formed and also inhibits their reproduction.


Cotton is reputably the most durable fabric. It’s very strong due to its high tensile (under tension) strength and it hardly rips after some washings.

Since our go-to fabric for desert hiking is cotton, then, it wouldn’t be overwhelming to make a decision of buying one.

One thing I didn’t mention in the material section is that Wool is also a goto fabric for hiking in the desert only that it’s commonly used for hiking long underwear.

The reason is that it has the ability to keep you cool.


This is something I think you might have guessed. Having comfort while hiking in the desert is advisable.

You don’t want a situation where you won’t have physical ease and freedom from constraint.

Therefore, it’s advisable you get cotton/wool clothing that is stretchable, doesn’t fit tightly to your body, etc.

Not only that, the style of your shirt should be long sleeve so it can cover your entire arm from the scorching sun.

And that your hiking pants should be long enough to cover your entire leg region.

Fabric Weight

It’s now an established fact that the main clothes for hiking in the desert are made of cotton or wool.

Now, it’s also important to know the weight of the fabrics we should use.

Why? You may ask.

It’s because the weight of fabric determines the breathability of that fabric.

To determine the breathability of cloth right now, just hold the cloth against the sun/light to know how much light that passes through it you can see.

More light suggests more breathability.

Seam Construction

You must be wondering what this has to do with clothes for desert hiking.

Well, it’s simple.

The type of stitch that holds two or more layers of fabric determines its look and feel and strength and ultimately prevents it from unraveling.

For most fabrics including cotton, the backstitch is the best for strength.


I guess you already know what a zipper is.

The importance of a zipper for your shirt or pant is due to its great durability, strength and it’s the ease of use.

Plastic zipper for example is waterproof, dust, and wind resistant.

Buttons are okay too in case you couldn’t find a zipper.

Top 3 Desert Clothing For Women

Having a very good desert Shirt or desert dress as a lady is paramount.

With those criteria, I listed above in mind we will see the top three desert clothing for women.

It took me a good time to find these. It was really strenuous.

#1 Columbia Women’s Bonehead II Long-Sleeve Shirt

* This hiking shirt is made of 100% cotton.

* The Fabric is lightweight.

* Long sleeve

* Button-front

* No UV rating indicated but it has an SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

#2 Hanes Women’s Long Sleeve Tee

* 100% Cotton

* light Material

* Long sleeve

* Buttonless

* No UV rating

* Provides comfort

#3 Core 10 Women’s Motion Fleece Hoodie Jacket

* 66% Cotton

* It’s lightweight

* Sun Protective Clothing. No UV rating was found though

* Fleece (wool) embedded

* Backstitch

* It has a hoodie that can function as a cap

* BONUS: Oprah vouches for it so do I (since it meets most of the criteria)

Top 3 Men’s Desert Clothing

This process is the same as the previous one. We used the criteria for good desert hiking clothes to find these men’s shirts. Here are the top 3.

#1 Columbia Men’s Bonehead Long Sleeve Shirt

* 100 % cotton

* Long sleeves with roll-up

* UPF 30

* Well vented for comfort

* Button up placket

* Durability is sure because the linings are made of polyester

* Antimicrobial properties absent

#2 MAGCOMSEN Tactical Military Combat Long sleeve shirt

* Made of cotton and polyester

* Long sleeve

* Features a zippered chest up

* Provides comfort because it’s breathable

* Sun Protective Clothing

* Slim fitted

* No antimicrobial qualities

* BONUS: it’s very cheap

#3 Global Men’s Sweatshirt

* Cotton and polyester blend (60% cotton)

* Sun protective clothing

* Likely durable because of its seam construction

* No antimicrobial qualities

* Long sleeves

* Zipper closure Present

* Lightweight

* Seam construction is “split stitch”

* Hoodie for better coverage of head

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A Good Desert Hiking Boot and Shoe Criteria

Your desert hiking boots should be light, durable, and breathable. They are critical gear for your hiking journey

In case you don’t know, there’s a difference between a hiking boot and a hiking shoe.

For desert hiking, hiking boots are most preferred.

But if you still prefer to go for hiking shoes, then, i will give two or three options that are good enough to get you through every desert hiking.

I really don’t want to go into details that much (i feel tired already).

But I assure you that you will still get the meat of good hiking boots here.


Desert hiking boots should and must be lightweight. I can’t stress this enough.

Why? You may ask.

It’s simple.

When hiking through the desert, at every point you should be able to lift your leg over barriers, etc.

And also you will easily get tired if you decide to make use of weighty hiking boots.

For a hiking boot to be lightweight, it needs to weigh between 1 to 1.5kg. Anything more than this simply means it’s heavyweight.


Well, this is always an obvious factor we consider when purchasing wear and tear products.

To know if a hiking boot will last longer, there are basic things you need to know. Though it’s not a guarantee since other unforeseeable factors can undermine these.

These are what you should be aware of;

desert hiking boot and shoe

The materials used for the making of the upper (for support), soles (provides friction, redirect shocks), tongues (the part underneath laces), linings (for comfort) and paddlings, insoles/footbeds (for balance), shanks, scree collars, crampon connections.

For soles, the best material is Polyurethane(PU) a type of synthetic leather that ultimately ensures durability and resistance.

For comfortability, a rubber sole should be your go-to.


The ability for a hiking boot or shoe to give you comfort while hiking in the desert means it must be breathable.

When choosing breathable shoes, the ones made of rubber are no-go because they can’t breathe.

When a boot is breathable, it keeps your feet cool.


Shoes for the desert should not be flexible. The reason is that you will be hiking on rocky and uneven terrain.

Therefore, the use of flexible hiking boots (rubber boots)will hurt your feet (this is something you don’t want).


The upper part of a boot and the insole are designed to provide support for your feet.

The “upper” gives entrance of air to your feet to prevent too much moisture from causing blisters.

Therefore, you should consider these parts carefully before buying a hiking boot.

Top 3 Boots for the desert for men and women

#1 Timberland Men’s Waterproof Boot

* 100% leather

* Super lightweight because it weighs 0.34kg

* Breathable

* Hard to break

* Durable

* Provides ankle support because of the lifted upper

* Made of rubber sole

* Has EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) footbed which provides comfort

* It’s waterproof

* No need to worry about foot pain because it has a large toe box with plenty of room.

#1 Columbia Newton Ridge Waterproof Boot

* Lightweight 1.8kg

* Made of leather

* Not Waterproofed

* Made of rubber sole

* Mesh construction ensures durability and breathability

* Provides ankle support

Here’s the Women version

#3 Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Boot

* Super lightweight. Weighs 0.34kg

* Constructed for good arch support

* Waterproof

* Made of rubber sole

* Can be easily broken to prevent blisters

* Durable leather

* BONUS: Currently the best out there

Here’s the Men’s version

Top 2 Shoes for the desert for men and women

#1 Merrell Women’s Siren Edge

* Super lightweight. Weighs 0.34kg

* Good mesh lining for breathability

* Made of Vibram sole. Therefore it’s durable because Vibram soles provide wonderful traction and are abrasion resistant.

Vibram soles are coupled with vulcanized rubber.

#2 KEEN Men’s Targhee II Shoe

* Super lightweight. Weighs 0.04kg

* Durable

* Made of rubber sole

* Removable footbed

* Provides arch support

* It has a good toe box

* Breathable


There you have it!

Desert hiking clothes and shoes for men and women. I don’t really have much to say anymore.

The only thing in between you and a good desert hiking shirt or shoe is your decision to get one today because everything has been painstakingly laid out already.

Drop your comments if you want one on one clarification.

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