The 8 best hiking shirts for hot weather
Clear, sunny skies are the dream when you're hiking, but if you're not dressed properly, it can make for a sweaty and uncomfortable trek. One of the most effective ways to avoid overheating is to invest in a good hiking shirt. The best hiking shirts for hot weather are specifically designed with fabric that's lightweight and moisture-wicking, and some even offer UV protection.
When you begin shopping around, consider your choice of fabric. Polyester and nylon are typically the best shirt materials for hiking in hot weather. Both are cool and lightweight yet they're also strong and durable. Not only that, they tend to be moisture-wicking moisture, so when you sweat, the perspiration gets lifted from your skin and can evaporate quickly. Polyester has the added advantage of often being fairly tightly woven too so the sun's rays have a harder time getting through. And nylon is stretchy so it can offer extra flexibility and comfort.
Some shirts are also designed to block harmful UVA and UVB rays — if that's a feature you care about, look for options rated UPF 30 to 50+. Another thing to consider is cooling features. Things like vents, air flaps, and mesh panels will help provide extra breathability that you'll be glad to have on a scorching day.
With these qualities in mind, check out the best hiking shirts for hot weather, which are organized below by style.
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The basic tee
What's great about it: Constructed with 100% polyester, this hot weather hiking shirt makes a great choice for excursions in warm climates. In addition to its light and breezy feel against your skin, the laidback tee offers excellent moisture-management and features anti-odor properties. The only drawback is that this one doesn't offer UV protection.
One reviewer wrote: "Great shirt."
- Available sizes: X-Small to 2X-Large
- Available colors: 7 (including gravel, cargo stripe, and blackout)
What's great about it: With more than 17,000 positive ratings on Amazon, this incredibly popular performance T-shirt works great for hiking in hot weather, according to reviewers. With a UPF 50+ rating for sun protection, the polyester material is moisture-wicking and doesn't hold sweat like some activewear shirts do. The fabric dries quickly and the flat seams reduce chafing.
One reviewer wrote: "Great for hiking, soft, and light. It was great at keeping me cool during hikes in the desert."
- Available sizes: Small to 3X-Large
- Available colors: 12 (including granite heather, black, and neon lime)
The long-sleeve tee
What's great about it: In addition to offering UPF 50+ sun protection, this long-sleeve hiking shirt is made from a blend of polypropylene and recycled polyester that's lightweight and ultra-breathable. The high-tech material wicks moisture as you sweat, transporting it to the outer layer of the fabric to evaporate. Additionally, it is odor-resistant and dries quickly.
One reviewer wrote: "This is a very nice shirt! I like the long sleeves to protect my skin from the sun and it is super light weight. The shirt wicks up the moisture/sweat from my body when I am really working hard, but water beads right off it."
- Available sizes: Small to 2X-Large
- Available colors: 5 (including white, navy, and royal blue)
What's great about it: This hot weather long-sleeve shirt is woven with 90% polyester and a hint of spandex to give it some stretch. The lightweight, moisture-wicking top is breathable and comfortable, according to reviewers. It doesn't have a UPF rating, but it does have a mesh panel on the back for extra ventilation.
One reviewer wrote: "I got this for my teenage daughter. ... It keeps her cool in the Florida heat. She hates sweating (as if it's a curse put on her and not something everyone does when they get hot). The fabric of this shirt is very comfortable but also does a great job of wicking away sweat."
- Available sizes: X-Small to 3X-Large
- Available colors: 5 (including white, black, and merlot heather)
What's great about it: Although this lightweight button-down shirt is technically designed for fishing, reviewers noted that it makes an excellent hiking shirt as well. It's composed of 100% polyester with UPF 40 protection and a high-tech moisture management system. The popular quick-drying top, which boasts nearly 8,000 fans on Amazon, also blocks odor and has a vented back for extra cooling. Not only that, but it has two "self-draining" pockets.
One reviewer wrote: "So far, I love these shirts, Bought 2 and may buy some more. Very light weight, optimal when hiking in hot weather. And they look decent, even after washing without ironing. Dry fast after being washed. For someone looking for a light weight shirt to stay cooler in when doing outdoor activities, these are hard to beat."
- Available sizes: X-Small to 6X-Large (regular and tall)
- Available colors: 37 (including gulf stream, fossil, and sorbet)
What's great about it: Constructed with comfortable four-way stretch material that has UPF 50+ sun protection, this women's hiking shirt is both soft and practical. It's moisture-wicking and quick-drying with a breathable air flap for ventilation. Made with 95 % polyester, the shirt has two front button pockets on the chest, along with a hidden zipper compartment to stash valuables.
One reviewer wrote: "I ordered a large and this fits perfectly. Nice fabric. Keeps me cooler and drier on hot, sweaty hikes."
- Available sizes: X-Small to X-Large
- Available colors: 6 (including khaki, sage, and slate)
The long-sleeve button-down
What's great about it: With more than 7,000 reviews, many of which tout its ability to perform well on long hikes, this lightweight button-down is a fantastic option for the outdoors. It's made with pure nylon that is exceptionally good at managing moisture and also keeps you cool, according to fans. The anti-odor material showcases UPF 30 sun protection and it dries quickly as well.
One reviewer wrote: "Bought this for my son, who is a long-distance hiker. This is the ONLY shirt he's worn on all his travels. UV protection is great and there are vents to keep him cool."
- Available sizes: XX-Small to 6X-Large (Tall options)
- Available colors: 39 (including fossil, lime glow, and salmon)
What's great about it: Another option that's designed for fishing but works well for hiking too, this long-sleeved button-down is both stylish and functional. It's made with 100% polyester that's specifically designed to dry quickly. What's more, it has UPF 50 sun protection and a breathable vent in the back to help cool you down. To keep important items secure, there's also a handy zippered pocket on the chest.
One reviewer wrote: "I got this to take on Safari so I wanted to be able to wash it in the sink at night and have it dry by morning. . . it worked perfectly. I liked its being light weight [...] I wanted it for sun coverage. . . and it worked just fine."
- Available sizes: Small to 3x-Large
- Available colors: 8 (including light khaki, olive green, and pink)