While regular day-to-day shirts are usually just fine for neat, well-maintained hiking trails, for a real hike, you need a real shirt.

Out there, in the thick of shrubs, on rocky paths, and at the mercy of unpredictable weather, you’ll need a solid and sturdy shield to protect your skin. 

Real hikers know that having the right clothes can make or break a hike, and a hiking shirt is just one part, but a crucial one, of an indestructible hiking outfit.

To help you prepare for your next outdoor adventure, here’s a roundup of the best hiking shirts for men and women.

Whether you’re exploring the hot trails of a USA state, like hiking in Colorado, or on your way to conquering the top of Africa, these hiking shirts are sure to have your back! 

Why You Should Wear a Hiking Shirt 

While wearing a normal shirt for an outdoor activity doesn’t sound like too much of a risk, your everyday shirts don’t have the superpowers that special outdoor shirts do.

A hiking shirt gives you many advantages — they wick sweat, regulate your body’s temperature, and provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

shirts hanging on brown hangers

All of this probably sounds like a lot of work for just one clothing item, but worry not. These hiking shirts won’t be heavy on your back.

Over the years, clothing gear has evolved into light, comfortable, airy items that, sometimes, even feel better than your everyday wardrobe.

So, rest assured, with these hiking shirts, you can still proceed with your plan of packing lightly. Sorry, what’s that? You’re not planning to travel light? Well, no judgments but, here are 10 reasons to convince you otherwise. 

Without further ado, let’s trail ahead to the best shirts for hiking!

Best Hiking Shirts for Men

With the extensive range of hiking shirts available, finding the perfect one can be a little daunting. But, it becomes easier once you narrow down your search to finding a hiking shirt that meets your needs. 

The first important thing to consider is the weather. This will make it easier to decide if you need a hiking shirt with long-sleeves or short-sleeves and one with added sun protection or not.

Once that’s decided, you can begin evaluating other features, like thumbholes, hoods, neck gaiters, and zippers.

Willit Sun Protection Long Sleeve Shirt

Hiking Shirt: Willit Men's Sun Protection Hoodie UPF 50

The Willit men’s sun protection hoodie shirt is perhaps one of the best lightweight, long-sleeve hiking shirts on this list. Made of 100% polyester, the shirt’s high-tech, breathable fabric will quickly wick away moisture from your body.

This sweat-wicking quality in many modern-day technical materials makes most outdoor shirts and clothes lightweight and breathable.

The UV shirt provides up to 98% sun protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays, making it a strong contender for a summer hiking shirt. Little thumbholes in the shirt make it convenient to keep your sleeves in place, protecting your hands from the blazing sun. 

man leaning on cliff edge with sun shining on him

The cherry on top is the face mask, built into the shirt, that protects your face and neck from UV rays, dust, and insects. It’s not stifling either, with tiny mesh holes in the fabric for easy breathing.

Pros:

  • UPF 50+ sun protection.
  • High moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Built-in hood, neck gaiter, and thumbholes for additional sun protection.

Cons:

  • Polyester fabric is not naturally odor-resistant.
  • A fitting shirt may not be suitable if you prefer loose fits.

Baleaf Lightweight, Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt 

Hiking Shirt: BALEAF Men's Long Sleeve Shirts Lightweight UPF 50

Quite similar to Willit’s long-sleeve shirt, Baleaf’s hiking shirt is also made of 100% polyester, making it high-wicking and quick-drying. With UPF 50+ fabric, it’s bound to protect your skin from harmful rays. 

Baleaf’s hiking shirt differs from Willit’s in that it significantly reduces chafing with flatlock seams and a tagless collar. If comfort is what you’re seeking, and tag collars especially annoy you, then the Baleaf men’s long-sleeve shirt might be the answer.

Pros:

  • UPF 50+ sun protection.
  • High moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Increased comfort and reduced chafing with flatlock seams and a tagless collar.

Cons:

  • Polyester fabric is not naturally odor-resistant.
  • No built-in hood, neck gaiter, or thumbholes for additional sun protection.

Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Hiking Shirt: Amazon Essentials Men's Regular-fit

An Amazon Original, this is one of the best men’s hiking shirts for style and comfort.

If you’re not a fan of the “gym-look” and prefer to hike in fashion, consider buying the Amazon Essentials short-sleeve hiking shirt. With a clean, buttoned-up design, this shirt is suitable for most occasions. 

The versatility means more value for money since the shirt won’t be lying at the back of your cupboard after one outdoor trip.

Whether you’re hiking the Monk’s Trail to Wat Pha Lat with your partner or attending a friendly barbecue in the neighborhood, you’ll forever be picture-ready in this shirt. 

man with backpack walking through the forest

The best part is that the shirt’s fabric is 100% nylon. Much like polyester, nylon is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and lightweight. But, it takes the fabric game a step further as it’s softer, more stretchy, and resists mildew

Pros:

  • Made of 100% nylon.
  • Mesh-lined back makes the shirt more breathable, moisture-wicking, and fast-drying.
  • Underarm gussets allow for increased mobility, making it more comfortable to move around during outdoor activities.

Cons:

  • Nylon fabric may retain odors.
  • UPF 30 sun protection is much less than other hiking shirts. 
  • Short sleeves with no built-in hood or neck gaiter for additional sun protection.

woman with a backpack hiking between pine trees

Best Hiking Shirts for Women

Women in sports are finally getting the attention they deserve from designers. Today, more women-specific gear is available than there was ever before.

When it comes to women’s hiking shirts, their design is better suited for a female’s silhouette compared to a men’s shirt. Making you feel and look good while hiking.

Moerdeng Short Sleeve Shirt

Hiking Shirt: Women's Short Sleeve Shirt Sun Protection SPF

The Moerdeng short-sleeve shirt is sporty, stylish, and comfortable with all the required technology to make for a good hiking top. Like most hiking shirts, it’s made of 100% polyester allowing you to break a sweat without feeling it on your skin.

One of the shirt’s highlights is its ergonomic seams, so you can move around easily and make the most of your trip.

Not only is the Moerdeng short sleeve shirt soft, quick-drying, sweat-wicking, lightweight, and stylish, but it will also safeguard your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Pros:

  • Made of 100% polyester — high moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Ergonomic seams maximize comfort and ease of movement.
  • Sports style and versatility make it suitable for most physical recreational activities, including hiking, training, running, football, baseball, swimming, and more.

Cons:

  • The polyester fabric is not naturally odor-resistant.
  • The fitting style of the shirt and its length may not appeal to women who like loose, baggy clothes.
  • Short sleeves with no built-in hood or neck gaiter for additional sun protection.

Kingfen Long-Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Hiking Shirt: KINGFEN Women's UPF 50+ Sun Protection Quick Dry Shirts

This Kingfen top is one of the best long-sleeve hiking shirts for women. Black, white, and pink color blocks make the crew-neck shirt look cute but simple, and a slimmer fit is a nice touch to the design.

With this shirt, you’re sure to stand out in group hiking photos, and it’s also flexible enough to wear for any outdoor occasion or activity. 

Image by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

But style isn’t the only thing the Kingfen top has going for it. The pull-on closure is very low maintenance. It’s a non-sticky, no-wrinkle, no-fading fabric that feels soft and smooth on your skin. One of the shirt’s many features includes flatlock seams, decreasing chafing, and maximizing comfort.

Pros:

  • UPF 50+ fabric ensures ample sun protection.
  • Stylish shirt with a crew-neck collar, color blocking, and a slimmer fit flatters the female silhouette.
  • Made of 100% polyester — the synthetic fabric with high sweat-wicking and quick-drying qualities. 

Cons:

  • Polyester naturally retains body odor.
  • Slim fit isn’t suitable for women who find loose-fitting clothes more comfortable. 
  • No built-in hood, neck gaiter, or thumbholes for additional sun protection.

Baleaf Quick Dry Long Sleeve Shirt

Hiking Shirt: BALEAF Women's Quick Dry Shirts

The Baleaf long sleeve shirt for women is a blend of 93% polyester and 7% spandex. 

Polyester ensures this hiking shirt is good at wicking sweat and drying quickly, keeping you cool and comfortable. On the other hand, spandex makes the shirt extremely flexible and stretchy, allowing you a greater range of motion. 

Spandex’s superior elasticity makes this shirt a great option for hiking and even other flexibility-demanding activities like workouts, yoga, or running. 

woman stretching on top of a mountain

Pros:

  • Made of spandex — a durable fabric with great elasticity.
  • Includes a hidden zipper pocket to hold your cash, keys, or a 5.5″ mobile phone.
  • UPF 50+ fabric with long sleeves and thumbholes provides lots of protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays of the sun.

Cons:

  • Spandex is not very breathable and is only moderately moisture-wicking.
  • No built-in hood or neck gaiter for additional sun protection for the face and neck.

Final Thoughts on Best Outdoor Shirts for Hiking

A good-quality hiking shirt makes conquering any peak easier and more comfortable. Hopefully, one of these six best hiking shirts meets your needs, and you found one that perfectly works for you. 

Thinking of what else to pack for your hiking trip? Don’t forget to pack a good camera backpack that will carry all your equipment without slowing you down.

Best lightweight hiking shirts
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