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11 Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather

Shopping for the best hiking shirts for hot weather? We’ve got you covered with some of our favorite hiking shirts for hot weather.

Maybe you have a summer of hiking planned, or are heading to a rainforest Ecuador or the deserts of Utah – keeping cool and comfortable when you’re hiking starts with the right gear.

In this post, you’ve find links and suggestions for the top hot weather hiking shirts as well as some general things to consider when choosing the best hiking shirts for hot weather.

Most of the best hiking shirts for hot weather also make excellent traveling shirts as they are often quick drying and lightweight. We like to layer our hot weather hiking shirts under other layers when we travel to give ourselves options at the tempteratures change.

Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather

Best Hiking Shirt for Hot Weather

These are our top choices, or scroll down for more options for the best shirt for hot weather hiking.

Long Sleeve Lighweight Shirt

What to Consider When Selecting the Best Shirts for Hiking in Hot Weather

When choosing a hiking shirt there are a few important things to consider. In general you want a lightweight shirt that beathes, dries quickly, and fit comfortably. Below are some additional things to consider.

  1. Material: you should look for lightweight and breathable materials like moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics (e.g., polyester or nylon) or merino wool. These materials work to keep you dry by wicking sweat away from your skin.
  2. UPF Rating: Check for a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. A UPF rating of 30 or higher is recommended.
  3. Ventilation: Look for shirts with mesh panels, vents, or strategic ventilation zones to promote air circulation and heat dissipation. This is especially important for long sleeved shirts.
  4. Fit: Choose a shirt that offers a comfortable and relaxed fit. Avoid overly tight shirts, as they can trap heat and restrict movement.
  5. Sleeve Length: Consider the sleeve length based on your preference and the level of sun exposure. Options include long sleeves or hort sleeves. Another option is to get loose fitting longer sleeves that that can be rolled up or down.
  6. Color: Light-colored shirts are better for hot weather as they reflect sunlight and heat, helping to keep you cooler than dark colors.
  7. Odor Resistance: Some shirts are treated with antimicrobial agents to prevent odors from building up during extended hikes. This is even more important if you will be backpacking or wearing the same shirt for multiple days.
  8. Durability: Look for a shirt that can withstand the rigors of hiking, including abrasion-resistant fabric and reinforced seams.
  9. Weight and Packability: Consider the weight of the shirt, especially if you plan to carry it in a backpack. Lightweight and packable options are ideal for multi-day hikes.
  10. Sun Protection Features: Some shirts have built-in collars or hoods for additional sun protection for your neck and head.
  11. Pockets: Think about the number and placement of pockets, as well as their functionality. Pockets can be handy for storing small essentials like a map, compass, or snacks. I prefer hiking shirts without pockets and prefer to use a small bag instead in addition to my backpack.
  12. Ease of Care: Check the care instructions to ensure the shirt is easy to clean and maintain, especially if you plan on extended trips without access to laundry facilities.
  13. Brand and Reviews: Research reputable outdoor brands and read reviews from other hikers to get feedback on the shirt’s performance in hot weather conditions.
  14. Price: Set a budget based on your needs and preferences. While premium shirts can offer advanced features and will often last longer, there are also affordable options that perform well in hot weather.

Below you can see the best hiking shirts hot hot weather broken up. You can find suggestons and a range of styles to fit different preferences.

Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather for Women

Below you can see women’s hiking shirts for hot weather. Womens shirts tend to be narrower through the shoulders. Look for a shirt the fits comfortably but isn’t so tight that there is no air circulation.

EMS Hiking Shirt

Last year I bought this shirt for every member of my family (the mens version is here). The shirt comes in a range of colors and it is incredibly comfortable, light, and quick drying.

Echo Tank

This tank is cool and a great base layer. The lack of sleeves mean that the shirt is cooler, but you won’t get the sun protection for the shoulders if that is important to you.

EMS Tank

This tank has built in moisture control and will stay fresh throughout the entire day. Layer this tank or wear it on a hot summer day. This hot weather hiking shirt has a built in bra and is comfortable all day long.

Long Sleeved Hiking Shirt

This long sleeves hiking shirt made by the North Face is a great layer for hot weather, especially if you are looking for sun protection. The shirt has built in spf and is incredibly soft and comfortable. Wear this along on a hot day or layer it with one of the tank tops above.

Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather for Men

Below you can see some of the best options for hiking shirts for hot weather for men.

Smartwool Merino Short

This is an awesome hot weather shirt for men. With cooling fabric that is breathable, this short is not only comfortable but looks good with an atheltic fit.

This is the only shirt Finley hikes in and loves it.

Mens Long Sleeved Shirt

This is a lightweight shirt that works well for hiking. The shirt comes with spf built in with moisture wicking material. The sleeves on this shirt roll up making it easy to adjust.

Men’s EMS Wander Shirt

This is a staple shirt in our house as a hot weather shirt for men. Dave has this shirt is several colors and it’s his go to hiking shirt in the summer or as a base layer in the shoulder easons.

Mens Lightweight Long Sleeved Hiking Shirt

This hot weather hiking shirt for men made this list because it has the qualities of some of the higher priced shirts, but comes at a reasonable price. The shirt has a hood and spf and is a great hiking shirt.

Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather for Kids

Depending on the age of your kids, you may want to consider buying them small or extra small adults dized shirts. Below you can see some of the smaller hot weather hiking shirts for kids.

Super Soft Tech Tee

This was Freja’s go-to t-shirt for hiking. It is soft, stretchy and comfortable. The shirt has built in SPF and comes in a lot of colors.

North Face t-shirt

This is a good standard shirt good for hiking in the hot weather. The shirt is a blend of material and will last a long time.

Toddle Hiking Shirt

Toddlers have sentistive skin so a long sleeved hiking shirt is best even in hot weather. This shirt comes in light colors and is light weight enough that the shirt stays cool.

Tips for Hiking in Hot Weather

Hiking is hot weather starts with the right gear, but there are many other steps to staying safe in the heat. Below are some steps you can take to stay safe in the heat.

  1. Hydration is Key:
    • Start hydrating the day before your hike.
    • Carry an adequate supply of water. Aim for at least 1 liter per hour of hiking.
    • Consider a hydration reservoir or a water filter for longer hikes with limited water sources.
    • Even when you aren’t sweating, you lose a lot of water – drink before you need it
  2. Choose the Right Time:
    • Hike in the early morning or late afternoon hikes to avoid the peak heat of the day.
    • Check weather forecasts for temperature and sun exposure.
  3. Wear Appropriate Clothing:
    • Choose lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable clothing – balance protecting your skin and staying cool. The options above of the best hiking shirts for hot weather are a good start but you can also look for shorts, hats and other hot weather gear.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from the sun.
    • Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating to exposed skin.
  4. Proper Footwear:
    • Wear moisture-wicking socks and well-ventilated, comfortable hiking boots or shoes.
  5. Plan Shaded Breaks:
    • Identify shaded spots along your route for rest breaks.
    • Rest in the shade to cool down and conserve energy.
    • Choose hikes that have shade
  6. Take It Slow:
    • Reduce your pace and don’t push yourself too hard in the heat.
    • Allow for frequent breaks to rest and hydrate.
  7. Pack a Cooling Towel:
    • Carry a cooling towel or bandana to wrap around your neck or forehead.
    • Dip it in water to help regulate your body temperature.
  8. Snack Wisely:
    • Consume high-energy, easy-to-digest snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fresh fruits.
    • Avoid heavy meals that can make you feel sluggish.
  9. Stay Informed:
    • Share your hiking plans with someone and let them know your estimated return time.
    • Carry a fully charged phone for emergencies, and know the area’s cell reception.
  10. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness:
    • Be aware of symptoms like dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, or confusion – if you start to feel unwell or notice another hiker with these symptoms, take a break in the shade and turn around.
    • If you or a fellow hiker show signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, seek shade, hydrate, and call for help if necessary.
  11. Leave No Trace:
    • Respect the environment by packing out all trash, including food wrappers and toilet paper.
    • Follow established trails to minimize impact.
  12. Stay Informed About Local Regulations:
    • Check for fire bans and other hiking restrictions in the area you plan to hike.
  13. Be Prepared for Emergencies:
    • Carry a basic first-aid kit, a multi-tool, and a map of the area – you can see what we carry on a day hike.
    • Know the nearest trailheads and access points in case you need to exit quickly.
  14. Buddy System:
    • Hike with a friend or in a group if possible. There’s safety in numbers.
  15. Acclimate to the Heat:
    • If you’re not accustomed to hot weather, start with shorter hikes and gradually increase your exposure.

Remember that hiking in hot weather can be physically demanding, and your safety should always be the top priority. Be prepared, stay hydrated, and use your best judgment to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather
Best Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather

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