With the warm summer months coming around the corner here, it is time to start planning those hiking trips. Choose and read about the trails you want to take on this year. Have your list of snacks and gear ready to go. Wait, you weren’t going to just wear an unprotective T-shirt hiking were you?
With today’s technologies and innovations in manufacturing, there is a whole wide array of different hiking shirts out there that can help keep you cool, protected, and enjoying your hikes. With sun protection technology and lightweight materials, you need to make sure that your hiking shirt is as ready as you are.
We have gathered together some of the top hiking shirts available right now so you can have a good understanding of the hiking shirt options out there. Along with that we have created a buying guide of sorts that will go over questions to ask yourself so that you have a better idea of what you may need in a hiking shirt.
It is our hope that by the end of this article you know exactly what you are looking for and are ready to hit the trails.
Baleaf Men’s UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Outdoor Long Sleeve Performance Shirt
This shirt from Baleaf is designed with keeping you protected in the great outdoors. Made from 100% Polyester, the UPF rating of 50+ helps to protect you from the sun while you hike. The fabric material is designed to help your skin breathe easily and has quick-drying technology to wick sweat away while letting moisture out.
The Baleaf starts with your comfort in mind. The Raglan sleeves keep a wide range of motion for easy movement. There is no tag so you have no scratching and flat lock seams so there is no chaffing while you hike. This shirt is perfect for hiking, swimming, or other outdoor activities.
- Full sleeve coverage with a simple design
- UPF of 50+
- Quick drying
- Raglan sleeves with flat lock seams
- Polyester can stain easily
- When wet, the size expands a bit
Why We Recommend This Shirt: This is top of our list for its commitment to ease and comfort. With a tagless rounded collar, sleeves that do not chaff, and UPF 50 protection, the Baleaf shirt will protect you on a good long hike.
Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve Shirt
This is a great offering from Columbia. It is made from 100% cotton and is machine washable, giving you a casual, lightweight feel. You can easily wear it on the trail or for everyday life. With sleeves that can roll up and and attach, you are ready for any type of weather.
The fabric utilizes Omni-Wick technology so moisture wicks away quickly from the skin to the fabric where it can evaporate quickly. There is also a mesh vented back so you can get a cool breeze onto the skin as well. The fabric also has an anti-microbial treatment layer that keeps bacteria from building up on the shirt. You can wear this shirt and use it hard, then just machine wash if and you are good to go.
The tight weave of the fabric has UV absorbent yarn interspersed to give a UPF of 40+ so you can stay protected on your hike. With functional pockets, tab holders for sleeves, and an open collar feel, this shirt is stylish and equipped to handle just about anything.
- Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade technology protects against sun and moisture
- 100% cotton fabric is lightweight and gives a flannel casual feel
- Versatile look with hidden back vents
- Tight cotton weave also protects from bugs
- Sizing is exact so pay attention when ordering
- Extreme humidity will be a challenge for sweat wicking
Hanes Men’s Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt UPF 50+
This functional, athletic shirt is made from 100% Polyester. It is a pull on shirt that could either work as an athletic base shirt underneath another shirt or directly while on a hike. It is machine washable with crew-neck fittings and 14 different colors.
With Cool Dri technology, and rapid-dry interlocking jersey knit this shirt pulls sweat and moisture away quickly, leaving you feeling dry and cool for the rest of the hike. The shirt will give you 50+ UPF will protect you from UV damage.
For durability and comfort, there is a tag-free collar so you will not have any chaffing. The double-needle stitching in the neck, sleeves and the bottom hem increases the strength and longevity of the shirt.
- UPF 50+ and Cool Dri technology
- Easy athletic fit, designed for comfort and movement
- Hanes brand support
- Can be warm if it is dry in hot weather
- Sleeves can stretch out if you pull the sleeve up
=TSLA HyperDri Short Sleeve Shirt=
The TSAL is an athletic t-shirt first and foremost. We have included it on our list as a great option for hiking in warm weather. The longer sleeves polyester shirts can wick moisture away quickly but can run warm sometimes. This 100% Polyester athletic t-shirt is made for comfort and movement in warm environments.
The fabric is lightweight with Flat-Lock seams for you do not need to worry about chaffing. With a UPF of 50+, the Plasmaskin fabric is ready for any hike. It is equipped with two-way venting for breathability. The HyperDri series has quick moisture removal so your sweat evaporates quickly, leaving you cooler than before. The TSL even has a deodorizing lining that removes odors created by sweat.
For the athletic, whether it is hiking in a warm climate, or going on a trail run, this high-performance t-shirt is a good fit.
- UPF 50+ with HyperDri technology
- Solid, functional fit that reduces chaffing or wear
- Lightweight and comfortable fabric feel
- Sizing tends to run larger than expected
- Hem has been reported as being too short
COOFANDY Quick Dry UV Protection Outdoor Shirt
This is a tough, tactical shirt that is ready for action. This shirt is 98% cotton and 2% polyester to a create a light, ripstop fabric that offers a lot of protection. The Omni-Shade has a UPF rating of 40 to protect your skin against the sun’s rays. The shirt is quick wicking when it comes to moisture removal.
What we really like about this shirt is the functionality. You are truly ready for anything with this shirt. The pockets in the front have hidden zippers to keep things secured. They are truly multi-functional pockets with different openings and flaps so you can have what you need, when you need it.
With the COOFANDY, you has the functionality of a great hiking/outdoors shirt with the casual look of a button up, lay down collared shirt. If you want to hike in style but still protect your body from the sun, this is a great shirt.
- Omni-Shad UPF rating of 40+
- Highly functional pockets
- Great stylish design
- Make sure to check the sizing charts from the company
- Can shrink with washing
SCOTTeVEST TEC Shirt
On the pricier side, this shirt is designed for athletic movement and an incredible amount of functionality. Made from a blend of 58% Rayon and 42% Polyester, it is wrinkle resistant and good for traveling. It is a snap-front shirt that offers some protection at the same time.
The SCOTTeVEST has over 13 different hidden pockets. There are 2 cell phone pockets, mini-hidden pockets all over, and even a pickpocket-proof cash pocket. There is plenty of room for sunscreen, headphones, keys, and loose change – all in different pockets so you can stay organized and stop scratching your shades. With a built-in weight management system, the shirt is designed to balance the weight of the items that you have on you and distribute them evenly across the dress shirt to help prevent pain and to avoid looking bulky.
This shirt was originally created to be a snap-front overshirt but is just as functional as a direct hiking shirt.
- 13 pockets to carry everything that you need
- Wrinkle resistant and quick drying technology
- Weight balancing system
- Some of the pockets are hard to access
- More zippers mean more opportunity for zipper failure
When you are going on a hike, you want to make sure that you are protected from the elements. While few things are as enjoyable as a good trekking, a bad sunburn or a hot shirt can make or break a trip. With so many different types of materials and innovations though, it can be hard to know where to start.
We have compiled a list of a few questions that would be good to ask yourself to help you narrow down what you are looking for. Our hope is that going through this will be helpful in choosing the right hiking shirt for you.
What Sort of Climate Are You Hiking In?
This is an important question. If you are going to be hiking in cooler weather and breathability is not as important, then perhaps some of the 100% polyester shirts will not only act as good sun protection but could also help keep you a bit warmer.
On the other hand, if you are going to be hiking in a warm climate, then a t-shirt or cotton material will be the better bet.
What Sort of Style And Design Works For You?
The Columbia is designed to be both functional for hikes but can also pass for casual wear in any environment. Some of the other shirts like the Hanes looks purely athletic and is solely designed for a hike or sporting event. The SCOTTeVEST has a design that could pass for casual wear and is focused more on what the shirt can carry. With many different pockets throughout the fabric, it is a stark contrast to the sleek simplicity of the Hanes or the TSLA t-shirt.
What Materials Do You Feel More Comfortable In?
For some people, the fell of polyester can feel a bit suffocating as it clings tightly to the skin. Cotton has a soft comfort like a normal shirt but can lack some of the performance of polyester. Rayon can feel heavy and stiff like a jacket but has its own virtues. If you have any allergies or preferences for fabric material, that can make a difference in the type of shirt for you.
Is Sun Protection or Moisture Wicking Most Important?
Some of the shirts reviewed have a very effective sun guard built into the fabric. A few of them boasted a whopping UPF of 50+. Other shirts like the TSLA focus less on sun protection and much more on venting, keeping cool, and quick-dry protection. There is not necessarily a trade-off between the two, but there are different emphases and it is important to understand that.
Since we spend so much time indoors, when we go outside for long periods of time, it is important to make sure that you protect your skin, keep yourself from overheating, and keep sweat off of your body as you move. Hiking shirts are specifically designed to help you with all of those functions. With different functions come different styles.
The hiking shirts that we listed above all have their own emphases that make them different from each other. The TSLA is a great t-shirt with materials that focuses mostly on ventilation and wicking moisture away. The SCOTTeVEST is built for functionality and is designed to help you hold everything that you need on you at all times. The Columbia is stylish in design, can be casual or active wear and helps protect from sun and keeps you cool.
Since reading through the buying guide, we invite you to go back through the list now and determine which hiking shirt would work best for you and what you need. Click on each one and read all about them. We tried to gather many different types and styles of shirts to make sure you choose the best hiking shirt for you.