Best Women’s Hiking Shirts for the Trail

Are you seeking the best women’s hiking shirt? After testing, we share our favorite shirts for women to tackle the trail. There are many different options for shirts specifically designed for hiking, but many people opt for regular shirts and tees that are not suited for hiking. We’re here to break down the best hiking shirts for women.

What you get from a specific women’s hiking shirt is designed to fit your frame for a start and be comfortable, quick-drying, breathable, and durable. Of course, the best women’s hiking apparel do all of these things – some more than others.

To help you find the perfect hiking shirt for women, we’ve put together this handy little guide packed with some of our favorite hiking shirts for women on the market right now. Whether you want something for a backpacking adventure or something casual for hikes close to home, our guide will be sure to help you out.


The Best Women’s Hiking Shirts

Best Womens Hiking Socks

Smartwool Merino 150

Price: $75 | Weight: 3.53 oz

Features

Core Spun Nylon Wool Fabric, Raglan Sleeves, UPF 20 Protection, Stretch Merrow Stitching, Tagless Design

Pros

  • Comfortable And Soft
  • Wool Performance
  • Versatile In Cool And Warm Climates
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Price
  • Wool May Irritate Select Skin types
  • Material Pills With Use

The Smartwool Merino 150 hiking shirt is a great all-rounder that works for different situations. It’s an active women’s hiking shirt that is breathable and ultra-soft next to your skin. While most think of wool as warm, it handles the heat well and often feels better than a cotton shirt.

There’s a lot about this shirt that gives it some high-grade credentials. First, raglan sleeves mean no shoulder seams for extra comfort when carrying a pack. Fabric is wrapped around a nylon core for durability but keeps the soft wool next to the skin for comfort. It’s a tough garment and can be machine washed.

With long-term usage, the wool does form pills and slightly falls apart. It’s not significant, and the shirts will last several years, but they show more wear signs than a synthetic shirt. It is typical with natural materials, and the Merino 150 is more durable than a standard cotton t-shirt.

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Outdoor Research Shirt Echo Series

Hiking shirts

Price: $42 | Weight: 3.6 oz

Features

UPF Sun Protection, AirVent™ Moisture Management, ActiveFresh™, Flat-seam Construction, Reflective Logo, Raglan Sleeves, Tagless Design

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very Comfortable
  • Various Options
  • Quick Drying
  • Handles Heat

Cons

  • Lacks Stretch
  • Lacks Versatility For Cool Weather

Outdoor Research Echo hiking shirts are a staple in our wardrobe. They are among some of the best lightweight, long sleeve hiking shirts, and they come in a variety of styles such as short sleeves, long sleeves, hoodies, and tank tops. The featherweight construction and excellent moisture management make these shirts stand out.

Echo shirts feature a synthetic polyester blend that’s soft to the skin and feels as if you’re not wearing anything. The long sleeve collection of shirts provides full coverage and keeps you cool under the sun. The Echo Hoody is a real stand-out as it is cool enough to wear in the heat but provides excellent UV protection in highly reflective environments like the water or the alpine.

Kayakers, climbers, and runners will love these shirts. The shirt is feature-rich with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, and ActiveFresh™ odor control technology. Flat seam construction ensures no risk of seam irritation when you carry a backpack for hours on end.

The fabric does not stretch a lot, making them not as comfortable for everyday wear. It can also mean the shirt is prone to rip when it catches on a branch or rock. However, it keeps the shirt in place and reduces backpack straps or panel wear. This shirt is excellent in warm environments but does lack some versatility as it provides no warmth.

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Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve

Columbia Silver Ridge Lite

Price: $45| Weight: 3.6 oz

Features

Omni-Wick™ Fabric, UPF 40 Omni-Shade™, Vented Back Shoulders, Roll-up Tabs, Zip Pocket, Collared Shirt,

Pros

  • Durability
  • Quick Dry Capabilities
  • Classic Collar Protection
  • Back Panel
  • Value
  • Feature Rich!
  • Pockets

Cons

  • Style
  • Crinkly

Columbia’s Silver Ridge Lite is feature-rich, lightweight, and offers terrific value. It’s not much of a surprise that it’s a classic shirt and possibly the best-selling hiking shirt for women. It’s a good option if you want a button-up long-sleeve hiking shirt. We rarely wear collared shirts, but they do provide more sun protection.

However, more than just the style, we are very much into this shirt’s sweat-wicking abilities. It features Omni-Shade technology which gives the shirt UPF 40 sun protection. So it’s a shirt perfect for summer hikes on hot days when long sleeves are typically too much, and the sun is at full power. The ventilation in the shoulders helps with that, too.

The versatility of the Columbia Silver Ridge shines through, really: it’s a shirt that’s perfect for the trail but something you don’t need to change right out of after a hike since it looks smart. We also love the features, such as the front breast pockets and a hidden zippered pocket. This shirt manages to do all of this in a package that only weighs a few ounces more than most tee shirts.

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Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail

Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail

Price: $39 | Weight: 3.6 oz

Features

Tagless Design, HeiQ® Pure Odor Control Fabric, Raglan Sleeve Construction, Locker Loop, Drop-Tail Hem,

Pros

  • Cool
  • Ultra Comfy
  • Minimal Seams
  • Quick Drying
  • 87% Recycled Materials
  • Fair Trade Certified

Cons

  • Durability
  • Slim Cut For Broad Shoulders

The Capilene Cool Trail from Patagonia is a solid choice for those after an ultrasoft technical top from sustainable materials. Thanks to the super comfy polyester blend fabric, Patagonia’s Capilene Cool shirts have been a hiking favorite. The fabric performs well on the trails as it handles moisture exceedingly well.

Thanks to Patagonia’s business ethos, the shirt is Fair Trade Certified and utilizes a material that is 87% recycled. Its most stand-out feature is comfort, and it’s one of the best feeling shirts on this list. However, due to its stretch, it has some durability concerns.

The HeiQ Fresh odor control is fantastic (and a lifesaver if you’re on a multi-day hike). Other features include the drop tail hem that keeps the shirt centered on the back and a “locker loop” to hang the shirt to dry. The shirt utilizes raglan sleeves for an excellent fit, but the shirt runs too narrow for those with large shoulders.

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Icebreaker Tech Lite II Crewe T-Shirt

Icebreaker Tech Lite II Crewe T-Shirt

Price: $75 | Weight: 3.74 oz

Features

150g Merino Wool Jersey Fabric, UPF 20 Fabric, Offset Shoulder Seams, Underarm Gussets

Pros

  • Excellent Wool Performance
  • Very Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Style
  • High Quality

Cons

  • Expensive

This women’s hiking shirt about does it all. The merino wool blend in this crew neck tee from Icebreaker is a fantastic choice. Perfect for everything from days off to hiking and for use as a base layer, it’s great potential to find a prime position in your activewear wardrobe.

The fabric does a beautiful job at odor control and requires less washing. It makes for an excellent travel shirt or multi-day backcountry shirt. Wool makes a good hiking shirt because it can thermoregulate. Wool allows the shirt to keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather.

Great for all seasons, either under your outerwear or as the only thing between you and the elements, the Icebreaker Tech Lite Low Crew T-Shirt also features offset shoulder seams to prevent pesky pack rub (not fun). It has a sun-protective fabric with a UPF rating of 35. The Icebreaker Tech Lite II looks sharp and feels perfect for errands around town.

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Stio Women’s Divide Shirt

Stio Women's Divide Shirt

Price: $89 | Weight: 6 oz

Features

Drirelease® Poly/Cotton Blend, Roll-up Sleeve Tabs, Button Front Pockets, Shaping Darts and Princess Seams,

Pros

  • Ultralight Collared Shirt
  • Style
  • Excellent Performance
  • High Quality
  • Super Comfortable
  • Feature Rich
  • Snap Collar Protection

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier

The Stio Divide is one of the best hiking shirts for women and is pretty unique in that it is super-soft jersey fabric in the form of a button-down shirt. You get the style of the latter with all the cozy comfort you get from wearing a tee that’s designed to feel soft when you wear it.

A great choice if you’re looking for a women’s hiking shirt, it’s also available in six pretty snazzy colors, offering you the choice to choose a shade that suits you. It’s a phenomenal shirt that looks great and is nothing like traditional technical hiking shirts that are crinkly and ugly. This shirt looks sharp and would be a great option for professionals working in the field or leading trips.

As relaxed as it is versatile, the Stio Women’s Divide Shirt boasts Drirelease® fabric technology for moisture-wicking, as well as Fresh Guard for odor control, meaning it packs a punch in terms of hiking and active capabilities. For us, it’s pretty much perfect for a summer spent outdoors.

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Ibex Scoop Neck

Price: $88 | Weight: 3.2 oz

Features

MECool Fabric, 100% Merino Wool, Curved Hem, Tagless Design, Curved Hem

Pros

  • Wool Performance
  • Very Comfortable
  • Super Lightweight
  • Style

Cons

  • Fit
  • Expensive

Ibex makes performance merino wool shirts perfect for hiking. The full merino wool is what makes these shirts stand out. Wool provides excellent performance and comfort as it is naturally antimicrobial, handles moisture well, and is excellent at thermoregulation. Most impressive is the wool fabric weave feels soft to the skin without any itch or scratchiness.

The fabric does a wonderful job at odor control and requires less washing. It makes for an excellent travel shirt or multi-day backcountry shirt. We opt for a shirt like the Ibex or a wool blend on backcountry trips. Wool makes a good hiking shirt because it can thermoregulate.

The Ibex Scoop neck lacks the raglan sleeves and fit you see in many other hiking shirts. It takes away from some of the on-trail performance, but it does lend well to everyday style.

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REI Co-op Sahara Long-Sleeve Shirt

REI Co-op Sahara Long-Sleeve Shirt

Price: $59 | Weight: N/A

Features

Button-Up, Collared Shirt, Blue-signed Approved Nylon Fabirc, Side & Underarm Inset Panels, Chest Pockets Hidden Loop Closure, Sunglass Keeper, Secure Zippered Side Pocket, UPF 50 Sun Protection

Pros

  • Color Choice
  • Quick Dry Capabilities
  • Nice Mid-Weight Fabric
  • Sun Protection
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Midweight
  • Not Strictly Focused On Hiking

We love that you basically get to unleash your inner explorer with the REI Co-op Sahara Long Shirt. It’s one of those classic white shirts that goes perfectly with just about anything khaki or tan, so for a timeless traveling look, we’re super into this one!

One of the best hiking shirts for women out there right now, you can pair this offering from REI Co-op with just about anything – yes, florals included.

It’s made for warm climates, with more than adequate stretch fabric, ventilation, and adjustability – the roll-up sleeves system, for example, allows you to bust out those arms when it gets particularly hot. The fabric itself is quick-drying and boasts sun protection of UPF 35.

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How to Choose the Best Women’s Hiking Shirt

There are a few things to consider before you start shopping for that hiking shirt you’re after. Here is what you should be paying attention to… 


Fabric

Fabric plays a big part in just how useful a shirt is going to be for you. While all-natural fabrics feel soft next to the skin, they can lack the engineered specifications of synthetics.

For example, nylon in its various forms can be designed to be breathable and to possess wicking capabilities, which means quick drying – something you definitely want on a hike in a hot country. Then again, natural materials like merino wool might be better suited to colder climates.

Some synthetic fabrics allow for a nice amount of stretch, too, so that you get the freedom of movement you need when you’re out on a hike.

Another neat feature is the sun protection that a variety of hiking shirts for women boast – some go as far as UPF 50, while others are lower. Some even have odor control fabric!

Then there are the blends; some hiking shirts for women are constructed from a mix of natural fibers – wool, for instance – that is wrapped around a nylon core, for the best of both worlds. With this sort of fabric, you get both functionality and comfort.


Style

best hiking clothes for women

Style isn’t just about the colors and prints used on a women’s hiking shirt. Though that does come into play – depending, obviously, on how much you care about looking the part when you’re out on a hike or traveling – another sort of “style” is the one that dictates what type of shirt it is.

There are button-up shirts for a more classic look. These can be short or long-sleeved; some shirts actually have roll-up sleeve systems in place so they can be effectively both long and short-sleeved, depending on what you want (and the temperature, of course).

Women’s hiking shirts with buttons are pretty versatile in that they can often slip seamlessly from the trail to the town.

After that, there are tees, which are obviously a little more casual and athletic – versatile in a different way, since you can use them for activities other than hiking, such as jogging, yoga, working out, or simply hanging out at home.

A tee (short or long-sleeved) is a good idea for a base layer in terms of hiking. Button-up shirts have not worked so well for us underneath two or more layers and tend to be our go-to for hikes in hotter climates. When hiking somewhere cold, a tee is much more preferable if you’re going to be layering up.


Care

Whether or not you can safely wash a hiking shirt is something you will want to consider. Especially if you are heading off on a long-term trip and will be away for months, the ability to wash a hiking shirt – in any sort of way – is something you’ll want.

Months-long trips such as these are where you cannot be too fussy about something delicate that needs ultra-specific cleaning conditions to stop it from getting ruined in the laundry. 

However, if you plan on short day hiking trips, or just hiking from home, you can probably manage a hiking shirt that is a little more demanding, which needs only warm, gentle washes and such. If you are on a multi-day hike you will want something odor-resistant or quick-drying that you can wash quickly overnight.

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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