The modern hiking shirt has evolved to become a versatile and highly technical garment that can help keep backpackers cool in hot weather, and warm and dry when temperatures plunge. Made from fabrics designed to absorb moisture, dry quickly and evacuate heat, these shirts are designed to keep us as comfortable as possible on the trails. Many of these shirts also have a good sense of fashion, making them ideal for travel or even a casual evening in the city.
Virtually all major manufacturers of travel and outdoor equipment offer a hiking shirt, even if not all are equal. Choosing the right one can sometimes seem like a daunting task, although we have managed to sort through an impressive number of options and reduce it to our favorites.
Arc'teryx Men's Motus Crew S / S
- This technical piece is designed for active pursuits with a longer cut at the hips for shorts and tights.
- The shirt is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying, wicks away perspiration and retains little odors.
- It has mechanical stretch fabric for unrestricted mobility.
- Locked flat seams lengthen for comfort. It has an anatomical shape for fit and comfort.
Mountain Hardwear Men's Naughty S / S T-Shirt
WOMEN’S VERSION: Mountain Hardwear Wicked Lite Women’s Short Sleeve T-Shirt
MATERIAL: 100% polyester
FEATURES: Stay cool, dry and comfortable with our vandal-resistant mountain t-shirt for all kinds of activities.
- This versatile sports t-shirt features WickQ moisture-wicking technology and is made from durable, lightweight polyester fabric that is durable and comfortable.
- Her job is to keep you cool and dry during various activities, whether it’s a simple walk with a dog or a weightlifting session at the gym.
- No need to worry about being weighed down or feeling with its fast-drying, antimicrobial fabric.
- The fabric can be a snag
Columbia Sportswear Tech Trek Men's Short Sleeve Shirt
WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Tech Trek Short Sleeve Shirt Columbia Sportswear
MATERIAL: 100% polyester
FEATURES: Omni-Wick Antimicrobial Evaporative Antimicrobial, designed to protect the garment from odor caused by bacteria.
- This lightweight shirt is constructed with a stretchy and comfortable fabric, designed to be your basic workout t-shirt. Whether on the trail or at the gym, our Omni-Wick technology keeps you dry while sweating.
- This very comfortable short-sleeved shirt wicks away sweat and is ideal for underwear in winter and as a solo piece in summer
- Very thin
Columbia Trail Half Women's Shirt
MATERIAL: 100% polyester
FEATURES: Designed for comfort and functionality when fishing or just to enjoy the outdoors. Tamiami is characterized by an antiperspirant and sweat-wicking fabric and a versatile look.
PROS: The Women’s PFG Tamiami Women’s Columbia Shirt features Omni-Shade UPF 40 fabric for maximum sun protection and Omni-Wick technology that wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry. This Columbia PFG Tamiami women’s short-sleeved peach shirt features two practical chest pockets for convenient storage and roll-up sleeves for the warmest days on the water.
CONS: Thin fabric
Columbia Women's Tamiami II Short Sleeve Shirt
BEST FOR: Durability And Protection In All Weathers
SUN & WEATHER PROTECTION: UPF 30
TYPE OF FABRIC: 100% Nylon
SIZING: Small, Medium, Large, Very Large
- If you need maximum protection against the elements, look no further than the BugsAway mesh hat.
- It offers both protection against the sun and insects.
- The rim and a UPF 30 index prevent harmful rays, while the roll-up net protects against pesky bites.
- Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield, treats insects; it is invisible, odorless and closely related to the fibers of the fabric, and lasts all the life of the garment.
- No chinstrap
ExOfficio Long Sleeves Bugsaway Breez'r for Women
BEST FOR: Sweat absorbent Fabric
- The shirt is anti-insect
- Sun Guard 30 +
- The BugsAway Breez’r is ExOfficio insect repellent garment and features Flow Thru ventilation at the front and back to keep you cool and away from hot days.
- Breathable ripstop nylon is lightweight with UPF 30+ sun protection, moisture and quick-drying to keep you dry and comfortable wherever you are.
- Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield, is invisible, odor-free and so closely related to the fibers of the fabric that it retains its repellency throughout the life of the garment.
- Not so good fit
Columbia Men's Long Sleeve Silver Ridge Shirt
WOMEN’S VERSION: Columbia Silver Ridge L / S Shirt
MATERIAL: 86% polyester / 14% elastane
FEATURES: This men’s everyday flannel shirt features a moisture wicking fabric that wicks moisture away from the body so sweat can evaporate quickly.
- At once refined and robust, and always ready for a trip, this wonderfully portable buttonhole is the perfect accompaniment for adventure.
- Unlike the other creased and abrasive members of the button family, the Silver Ridge is made of a soft, quiet fabric, a luxury to wear.
- Silver Ridge 100% nylon woven.
- Not good fitting
ExOfficio Men's Shirt BugsAway Chas'r Crew
MATERIAL: 60% cotton / 35% polyester / 5% lycra elastane
FEATURES: The shirt is treated with an odor resistant finish to control odor-causing bacteria
- The ExOfficio Bugsaway Chas’r Men’s Crew Long Sleeve Shirt lets you experience summer outdoors without worrying about biting insects.
- Bugsaway Crew Chas’r Crew Long Sleeve Shirt comes with an insect repellent, odorless insect repellent that lasts 70 washes.
- The Bugsaway men’s long-sleeved shirt is made of Dry-Balance fabric, which makes it light and wicks away moisture.
- Too tight
Columbia Trail Flash Shirt with Zip
MATERIAL: 85% polyester / 15% elastane
FEATURES: It has Omni-Wick Hoodie
- Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection.
- 4-way comfort stretch
- When the dark months go down, this electrifying women’s tech t-shirt helps keep your outdoor workout program intact, with antiperspirant comfort and a distinct reflective detail that lights up the neon lights when it’s hit by a pair of headlights.
- A half-zip front collar allows you to adjust your ventilation; the UPF 50 protects you from the sun and ergonomic sewing lines combined with a 4-way stretch comfort for ultimate comfort on the go.
- Sizes too small
Columbia Women's Long Sleeve Columbia Shirt
MATERIAL: 100% Back Country Cloth Tactel Nylon
FEATURES: Quick-dry nylon shirt
SUN PROTECTING: blocking the majority of the sun’s harmful rays so you can stay out longer
PROS: Ideal for long trips, our lightest fishing jersey has antimicrobial properties allowing it to stay fresh and odor free after several outfits. Omni-Wick keeps moisture away from the body so sweat can evaporate quickly. It is equipped with Omni-Shade UPF 40 sunscreen. The antimicrobial treatment protects this product from bacterial growth.
CONS: the white version is transparent
How To Choose The Best Hiking T-Shirt For You
Just like when shopping for other hiking gear, there are many factors to consider when choosing a hiking sweater. Ideally, it makes sense to know what to look for and what you really want to see on your hiking shirt.
We do not know if you’re aware of it, but you may be really surprised to learn that some of the best hiking t-shirts do not necessarily come from big brands. Just know what to look for and you will be surprised by the choice you will get. For starters, here are some of the things you may want to keep in mind at all times.
The best hiking gear is made from synthetic materials that keep you dry when you start working harder and sweating more. Even if you are tempted to wear this soft cotton t-shirt, do not do it! In fact, it will trap perspiration and moisture, stay moist and refresh you. In addition to being uncomfortable, you’ll quickly have chills if you head to the mountains and the temperature drops.
The best materials are soft, lightweight and wick away moisture. In addition to staying dry, you’ll notice that synthetic materials, such as polyester, help your body breathe better, releasing the accumulated heat for your comfort. Merino wool is also an excellent material that wicks away moisture and eliminates odors. This makes a perfect base layer in cold weather, but can also be a good choice for all hot weather hikes.
Also, you may want to wear a short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirt, depending on the heat, but remember that a short-sleeved shirt leaves your skin exposed to the elements, including sunburns and scratches..
With regard to the fabric used, there are only 2 main types to choose from; Polyester, merino wool. Each of these comes with advantages and disadvantages.
Polyester is a great material because it is very economical; it removes moisture and is effective. It also dries very quickly. Merino wool, on the other hand, is relatively new in the industry. It is a unique type of wool that often comes from different places around the world. They have a hydrophobic shell and a hydrophilic core. Each fiber absorbs and sucks water from your body through the nuclei where it evaporates from the outside. Merino wool is quite expensive compared to polyester. A disadvantage, however; it is not durable.
It may not seem like much, but believe me, it’s extremely important. Most of you are always looking for a flat-seamed shirt for many good reasons. Sticky seams tend to cause friction, blistering or even rubbing of the skin, making felling very uncomfortable. There are places where your shirt must be flat. For example, around the hips and waist, especially where your hip belt for backpack could go. The area of arms and shoulders is also critical. These are areas that may come out and rub and scrub a bit.
You can get a number of good things if you opt for an antimicrobial shirt. You will be protected from bacteria at all times, helping you stay fresh after days of use. Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, while polyester has to be treated. Remember that a polyester shirt tends to lose the antimicrobial agent after a few washes.
Zippers or No Zippers?
Most people think that zippers in their shirts are very critical. However, there are those who find a shirt with a zipper to be tall, especially the owners of long-sleeved shirts. Whatever the case, in the end, really, everything comes down to what you want. It is important to note that the zippers provide a little more temperature.