Hiking, trekking, or any other outdoor activity requires physical efforts and hard work. For this reason, the clothing you wear outdoors should be high performing and durable. A hiking shirt is an essential part of your dressing. It must be next-to-skin, breathable, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking. Thus, I have selected and reviewed 7 of the best hiking shirts. So, you can easily choose the right shirt for you.
We are going to review the following Best Hiking Shirts:
- SmartWool Men’s Merino 150 Tee
- Icebreaker Merino Women’s Tech Lite Low Neck T-Shirt
- Arc’teryx Motus Crew SS Men’s Shirt
- Columbia Men’s Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt
- Craghoppers Men’s Kiwi Classic Button-Down Shirt
- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Long-Sleeve Shirt
- ExOfficio Men’s BugsAway Chas’ r Crew Long Sleeve Shirt
Quick Gear Recommendation
Below is a list of our favourite hiking gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.
- Best Shorts: Tru-spec Men’s 24-7 Series Tactical Shorts
- Best Jackets For Cold Weather: The North Face Men’s Insulated Jacket
- Best Gloves: Mountain Made 2.0 Genesis Gloves
- Best Shoes For Flat Feet: Salomon Men’s Quest Hiking Boots
- Best Boots Under 100: Keen Men’s Targhee Ii Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- Best Insoles: Timberland Pro Men’s Anti-fatigue Insole
- Best Boots For Overpronation: Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Hiking Boot
- Best Boots Under 50: Sanearde Men’s Hiking Boots Insulated Hiker
- Best Compact Binoculars: Carson 3d Series Hd Waterproof Binoculars
- Best Knife: Opinel Stainless Steel Folding Knives
- Best First Aid Kit: First Aid Only 299 Piece
- Best Fanny Pack: Osprey Talon 6 Men’s Lumbar Hiking Pack
- Best Dog Backpack Carrier: Petami Pet Carrier Backpack For Dogs
- Best Microspikes: Kahtoola Microspikes Footwear Traction
Before you read the full review of each of the products, take a look at the following information which will help you in making your decision.
Key Considerations For The Best Hiking Shirts
Buying the best hiking shirts is different from shopping for a regular shirt. There need to be some specific considerations for hiking shirts. So, I have enlisted all the critical features of hiking shirts for you below.
The material of the fabric for a hiking shirt must have some properties. These properties include quick-drying, durability, breathability, moisture-wicking, and softness. Based on this, three types of fabric materials used are merino wool, nylon, and polyester.
Merino wool is a natural fabric material and manufactures many hiking shirts. It is soft on the body, odor resistant, dries quickly, and keeps the moisture away from the body. Due to its softness, merino wool does not feel itchy like other wool. But, merino wool is not as durable as synthetic fiber and is quite expensive.
Nylon is a synthetic material, which is durable and robust. This fabric does not absorb water. Due to which, it keeps the moisture away from the body. But, once it is wet, it does not dry quickly. Also, it feels quite cold when it is wet. Nylon is also bug resistant or wind-resistant when woven for this purpose. Moreover, it is better at odor resistance than polyester. In fabrics, it usually blends with other fibers due to their strengths.
Polyester is another synthetic material that is strong and durable. It is less expensive, retains less moisture and dries more quickly than merino wool. But, this fabric is not breathable, soft, or odor-resistant. Mostly polyester shirts are best for next-to-skin layers, due to its quick-drying properties. Some of the polyester shirts also go through anti-microbial treatment to become odor-resistant.
Many hiking shirts are also a blend of these fibers. Such as, nylon and polyester blend makes the shirts more durable. Further, a mix of merino wool and nylon is also available. The selection of the material for the hiking shirt depends on your preference and budget. So, choose that hiking shirt that fulfills your requirements.
Selecting a shirt with a flat and soft seam is also crucial for hiking. Otherwise, the shirts with stuck out seams can rub your skin raw, or cause chafing and blisters. The best hiking shirts use flatlock seams to avoid any underside seam chafing. Due to this, the garments become soft and comfortable to wear.
Especially, flatlock seams are significant around the hips, waist, and shoulders. So, the pressure of backpack straps or waist belts does not hurt. With flatlock seams, there are lesser chances of rubbing, grazing, or blister formation.
A UPF rating of the material informs you about its level of protection against UV rays. The higher the UPF rating of a garment, the more it can block harmful sun rays. Keeping in mind the environment you will spend time in; you can select a UPF rating. If you are sensitive and going in sunny areas, then a high UPF rating will work better.
Moreover, a fabric, with a UPF rating of 15 or below, is not UV-protective. Along with it, some other factors also play a role in protecting from the sun. Such as the material used for the garments, color of the shirt, and design of the shirt.
Usually, light colors repel UV-rays, while dark colors absorb them. The polyester and nylon fibers can also block UV-radiations. Further, the shirts with long sleeves and collar can also save you from sunlight.
Many factors, such as design, fitting, seam, and material, play a role in the comfort of the shirt. You should select shirts that are breathable for airflow and ventilation. Also, the fitting should be as per your body shape. It must come with a little stretchability to move freely. Flatlock seams prevent the fabric from rubbing in the skin.
You have to wear shirts on hiking for more extended periods. So, shirts that can end bacteria and odor are highly useful and long-lasting. Merino wool has natural anti-microbial properties. That is why; it is also best at odor resistance and expensive than other fabrics.
But, synthetic fibers do not have any odor-resistant elements in them. Some companies treat them with an anti-microbial coating to improve odor-resistance. So that, up to some level, they can remove odor-producing bacteria.
Depending on where you are going hiking, a bug-resistant shirt can be useful. Some fabrics, such as woven fabrics, are better at keeping bugs away from your skin. However, they are also less stretchable and less breathable. You can also choose garments that have a chemical coating to repel insects.
For example, permethrin is an insect repellent, which is odorless and safe to use. Permethrin-treated shirts are available in the market. But, this chemical coating is not durable and comes off after washing over time.
The best hiking shirt can withstand long hours of rough environment. For hiking, you need a shirt that does not wear off quickly. The polyester fabric material is most durable and reliable through the harsh environment. Also, the design and construction of the shirt and seams must make it more durable.
The hiking shirts come with a variety of designs ranging from V-necks to button-up shirts. Also, you can get different styles of zippers, pockets, and sleeves. The selection of the design depends on your outdoor activities as well as on a personal choice. As some of the added features can also add in the weight or compromise comfort.
Review Of The Best Hiking Shirts
The hiking shirts that I have reviewed include various designs and features. You have to choose the best shirt as per your personal choice and need. Here are 7 of the best hiking shirts for you.
SmartWool Men’s Merino 150 Tee has used a blend of Merino wool and nylon for its construction. The merino wool fabric has used a nylon core to enhance its performance. Hence, it is durable, breathable, quick-drying, odor-resistant, and wicks the moisture away. The density of this fabric makes it usable for all seasons and various activities.
Moreover, the flatlock seams prevent grazing and rubbing. Due to this, the shirt becomes soft and comfortable. Also, it is durable than other seam constructions. The UPF rating of this shirt is 20+, causing blockage of harmful UV rays.
The shirt snugs the body contours and fits perfectly. But, it also allows freedom of mobility. Further, merino wool has natural odor resistance properties. It helps in ending bacteria that produce odor. The crew neck shirt and short sleeves add in comfort during warm days. Also, you can use it as under layer shirt in the cold season.
- Made with a blend of Merino wool and nylon
- Durable, breathable, and odor-resistant
- Flatlock seam construction
- Comfortable and soft
- High cost
Icebreaker Merino Women’s Tech Lite Low Neck T-Shirt is a mix of 87% Merino wool and 13% nylon. The merino wool fibers wrap with nylon fibers for durability. Therefore, this shirt is highly durable, breathable, odor-resistant, and dries quickly. It is soft, comfortable, and versatile for a variety of outdoor activities.
Moreover, it comes with a crew neck or V-neck and short sleeves. That makes it suitable for warmer days as well as the wool fabric is usable in the cold too. Thus, you can hike in this shirt during all seasons. Also, the UPF rating of 30 protects against harmful sun rays.
The flatlock seams enhance its comfort and prevent chafing. Further, the wool and nylon blend make it snug fit with little flexibility. So, the shirt allows freedom of movement without loose fitting. The natural anti-microbial properties of merino wool prevent bacterial formation. That also helps in eliminating odor.
- Manufactured with a mixture of Merino wool and nylon
- Durable, breathable, and quick-drying
- Flatlock seam construction
- Comfortable, soft, and odor-resistant
- Multi-purpose and suitable for all seasons
Arc’teryx Motus Crew SS Shirt has used a fabric called Phasic FL, which is a mix of polyester and polypropylene. This fabric is lightweight, durable, and retains less moisture. Also, the fabric material regulates temperature and reduces drying time. Thus, it does not let the moisture soak in the body and prevents itching or irritation.
This shirt is suitable for trail running, due to its robust and breathable fabric. Also, the athletic design snugs the body and offers an excellent fit for leaner and taller men. Moreover, the gusseted underarm design of the short sleeves allows ease of movement.
Further, the flatlock seam construction also makes it durable and comfortable. It prevents chafing and reduces friction. Additionally, the UPF rating of the shirt is 25 that offers enough protection from UV rays. These shirts only come with crew neck.
The main limitation of this shirt could be that it is not odor-resistant. The polyester material cannot end the odor. Neither has it had an anti-microbial coating. So, you cannot wear this shirt for a long time or many days.
- Breathable and versatile
- Regulates temperature and dries quickly
- Flatlock seam construction
- Comfortable and durable
- Fabric is lightweight and retains less moisture
- It is not odor-resistant
Columbia Men’s Zero Rules Short Sleeve Shirt is one of the best hiking shirts for warm weather. The material used for fabric is 100% polyester with zero interlockings. This shirt has many unique features that set it apart from other shirts. These features include Omni-freeze technology, Omni-wick technology, and Omni-shade technology.
Omni-freeze technology keeps you cool by decreasing the temperature of the shirt. It has built-in blue rings that react with sweat to activate the super-cooling system. Moreover, Omni-wick technology ensures that the moisture dries quickly and does not keep. Lastly, the Omni-shade technology blocks UV-radiations and protects against harmful sun rays. The UPF rating of this shirt is 30.
Additionally, the anti-microbial coating enables the elimination of odor. The flatlock seam construction increases its durability and comfort. Moreover, the crew neck shirt with short sleeves is relaxing in warm weather. With a snug fit and comfortable flexibility, this shirt is suitable for multi-purpose.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Omni-freeze, Omni-shade, and Omni-wick technologies
- Anti-microbial coating to remove the odor
- Flatlock seam construction
- Affordable price
- Not suitable for the cold season
Craghoppers Men’s Kiwi Classic Button-Down Shirt has fabric made of a blend of polyester and cotton. This shirt has long, roll-up sleeves with buttons for closure. Hence, it is suitable for outdoors and tough enough to last in a harsh environment.
The best feature of this shirt is the use of insect shield technology. Hence, the fabric creates a barrier for insects and protects from biting insects. But, this insect-repellent wears off after almost 70 washes in the machine. Moreover, the shirt has a solar shield that guards against the UV rays. The UPF rating of this shirt is 40+. All these factors add up in the durability, reliability, and strength of this shirt.
Additionally, two drying hooks help in hanging the shirt to dry. It also has two breast pockets. Further, the fabric is soft and comfortable to wear. It is easy-care, machine washable shirt.
- Last long in harsh environment
- Insect Shield to keep biting insects away
- UPF rating of 40+
- Durable fabric that is soft and comfortable
- Relaxed style with a roll-up, long sleeves, and buttons
- Sometimes, the size causes issues
The design of this shirt is comfortable and offers protection against harsh weather. Moreover, it has rolled-up sleeves with button tabs to secure them. Also, the larger cuffs provide an extra bit of comfort and coverage. It has a button closure with two breast pockets and button-down cuffs.
Further, the UPF rating of this shirt is 50+. It guards against UV rays most efficiently. Also, this shirt has excellent breathability and ventilation. It helps in drying the shirt, keeping it cool, and retaining less moisture.
- Long, roll-up sleeves with button tabs
- Omni-wick technology
- High sun protection
- Lightweight, comfortable, and soft
- Durable and long-lasting
- Does not have odor resistance
ExOfficio Men’s BugsAway Chas’ r Crew Long Sleeve Shirt has used cotton fabric. This fabric material retains more moisture and remains wet for a longer time. However, the Dri-Balance fabric makes it lightweight and wrinkle-free. Also, it helps in wicking some of the moisture away.
Additionally, this hiking shirt comes with an odor-resistant coating. It helps in eliminating the spread of odor-producing bacteria. Also, it has insect repellent, which helps in keeping the bugs away for protection. Both of these shields last almost 70 washes.
Moreover, the design of the shirt includes a rib-knit collar with pulled over style. Also, long sleeves are set-in. The UPF rating of this shirt is 30+. So, it guards well against UV-radiations.
- Insect repellent shield
- Odor resistance treatment
- Dri-balance fabric
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Retains more moisture
- Size can cause issues
The hiking shirts offer protection against the sun, insects, and weather. You have an extensive range of options available for shirts. So, you can select one shirt according to your need and budget. But, amongst all the best hiking shirts, the winner for me is SmartWool Men’s Merino 150 Tee. This shirt is a blend of Merino wool and nylon that makes it breathable and durable. It wicks the moisture away, dries faster, and is odor-resistant.
Moreover, the fabric is soft and comfortable. It has flatlock seam construction that protects against chafing and rubbing. Also, it is a versatile and multi-purpose shirt. Although this shirt is expensive, yet its suitability for all seasons makes up for it. You just have to give off money once, and you can use it throughout the year.