Best Hiking T-Shirts for Women in 2021

Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail T-shirt

Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail T-shirt

When the weather gets too warm for wearing a long-sleeved baselayer, what’s better than throwing on a short-sleeved shirt and feeling the sun and wind on your arms? However, your everyday cotton t-shirt won’t perform well here as cotton is poor at regulating your body’s temperature, absorbs a lot of moisture and dries very slow (read more in the article Why is cotton bad for hiking). You should instead go for a proper hiking shirt made of either lightweight Merino wool and/or a synthetic blend (polyester, nylon, spandex etc.) to ensure that it has qualities such as being breathable, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and anti-microbial (Merino wool provides this naturally). Some people might still think that Merino wool garments are suitable only for hiking in cold weather, but nothing could be further from the truth as long as the fabric is thin and lightweight. To learn more about the properties of different baselayer materials, go to our article comparing the various fabrics. Below we have made a selection of the best hiking t-shirts for women, which you can wear over a medium support or high-impact sports bra depending on your preferences and activity level. Just remember sunscreen!

We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.

1. Buying a Hiking T-Shirt – What is important?

Material

The material of your hiking shirt influences your performance on the trails in the summertime as it determines whether the respective garment offers proper ventilation, moisture-wicking and a comfortable body temperature. Such qualities can be found in sophisticated synthetic blends as well as lightweight Merino wool fabrics, potentially mixed with a bit of nylon fibers to increase the durability (read more about the durability of Merino wool in our article How durable are Merino garments?). Merino wool garments for summer use should naturally be made of thin and lightweight fabrics (<175g/m2).

Fit

It’s very individual how tight a fit one prefers for hiking clothes, but do keep in mind that a slightly loose fit will offer better ventilation than a very tight. On the other hand, a too loose fit can cause problems if you are wearing a backpack as it is easy for the fabric to bundle up and start chafing at your skin.

UPF-rating

It is definitely an advantage if your hiking shirt offers UV-protection. This will usually be indicated through a UPF-rating, especially when it comes to synthetic garments. The UPF-rating of a garment indicates how much UV-radiation it can protect against; a hiking shirt with a UPF20 blocks all but 1/20 (≈5%) of UV-rays. The UPF-rating is dependent on various factors such as tightness of weave (think denim versus loose knits), fiber type (wool, polyester, cotton etc.), amount of stretch, dyes, treatments and condition of the garment (brand-new or worn-out). Read more in our article Sun Protective Clothing for Hiking.

Expert Selections
We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.
Links
We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.

2. The Best Women’s Hiking T-Shirts Review

Best Women's Hiking T-Shirts

The Best Women’s Hiking T-Shirts – List

  1. SmartWool Merino 150
  2. Icebreaker Tech Lite
  3. Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect
  4. Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail
  5. Outdoor Research Echo

Comparison

Scroll Horizontally
Feature/Product SmartWool Merino 150 T-shirt Icebreaker Tech LiteMountain Hardwear Everyday PerfectPatagonia Capilene Cool TrailOutdoor Research Echo
Material87% Merino wool, 13% nylon87% Merino wool, 13% nylonWick.Q (96% polyester; 4% elastane)100% polyester (50-76% recycled) spun jersey100 % polyester
FitSlim fitRegularRegularRelaxedTrim fit
UV Protectionn/a (probably >UPF20)UPF30UPF30n/aUPF15
SmartWool Merino 150

SmartWool Merino 150

1. SmartWool Merino 150 T-shirt

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The SmartWool Merino 150 t-shirt is made of a great blend of light-weight Merino fibers (87%) spun around a core of nylon (13%) which enhances the durability of the fabric while it still provides all the characteristics of Merino wool such as breathability, natural UV-protection, anti-odor and temperature-regulating properties. To prevent chafing and irritation at the top of yours shoulders when wearing a backpack, the SmartWool t-shirt is made with raglan sleeves. It is sewn with stretch merrow stitching for comfort and the side seams wrap to slightly to the front for a body-enhancing fit. The SmartWool Merino 150 t-shirt is available in a variety of colors.

 

Pros:

  • All the benefits of Merino wool combined with nylon for durability
  • Flatlock seams
  • Natural UV-protection

Cons:

  • /

Video

Icebreaker Tech Lite

Icebreaker Tech Lite

2. Icebreaker Tech Lite

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

Icebreaker is the grand old lady when it comes to producing Merino wool garments for hiking and offers a wide range of hiking shirts with varying amounts of Merino fibers (from 46% to 100 %) and fabric densities. The bestseller is the Icebreaker Tech Lite t-shirt made of 87% Merino fibers which are spun around a nylon core (13%) for added durability, resulting in a fabric density of 150 g/m2. As the nylon fibers are literally covered in Merino wool, the fabric feels soft to the touch and have all the great qualities of Merino such as breathability, temperature-regulation and natural odor-control. The offset shoulder seams reduce chafing if you are carrying a backpack. The Icebreaker Tech Lite tee is available with a crew or scoop neck, in solid colors or with various cool prints.

 

Pros:

  • All the benefits of Merino wool combined with nylon for durability
  • Natural UV-protection

Cons:

  • /

Video

Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect SS T-shirt

Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect T-shirt

3. Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect t-shirt is made of the brand’s own lightweight and moisture-wicking Wick.Q polyester blend (UPF-rated 30) to keep you cool and dry. Construction-wise, the Everyday Perfect t-shirt has several nice details such as the shorter cap sleeves for unlimited freedom of movement and a dropped tail hem – which has a split up to the lower back! This unique feature means that you can tie the ends in a knot for a sporty casual look (or to get them out of the way while wearing a climbing harness) or let them hang down and enjoy the combination of extra length and ventilation. The Mountain Hardwear Everyday Perfect t-shirt is available in muted solid colors as well as some striped color combinations.

 

Pros:

  • Superb wicking material
  • UPF30
  • Drop-tail hem with unique split
  • Cap sleeves for added freedom of movement

Cons:

  • /
Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail T-shirt

Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail T-shirt

4. Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail t-shirt is one of the most sustainable products on this list as it is made of 50% or 76% recycled polyester, depending if you choose the t-shirt in a solid color or striped version respectively. Both options are Fair Trade Certified sewn, and feature the bluesign-certified HeiQ anti-odor treatment. Sustainability aside, the Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail t-shirt is full of functional details like a drop-tail hem for coverage, a tag-free construction for comfort, and raglan sleeves (and underarm gussets) for freedom of movement and to avoid chafing from shoulder seams when carrying a backpack. The material is particularly excellent at wicking perspiration to keep you cool and dry.

 

Pros:

  • Moisture-wicking material
  • Sustainably produced
  • HeiQ anti-odor treatment
  • Raglan sleeves and underarm gussets for extra freedom of movement
  • Drop-tail hem

Cons:

  • Exact UPF-level not disclosed.

Video

Outdoor Research Echo

Outdoor Research Echo

5. Outdoor Research Echo

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Outdoor Research Echo is perfect for hot summer days as it is light-weight, moisture-wicking and quick drying. These qualities can be attributed to the sophisticated AirVent fabric which offers a UPF-rating of 15 (meaning that it deflects all but 1/15≈ 6,7% of UV-rays) and also have been treated with the anti-odor agent Polygiene. To reduce the possibility of chafing, the t-shirt is sewed with flatlock stitches and has Raglan sleeves – meaning that each sleeve extends to the collar in one piece, leaving a diagonal seam from underarm to collarbone rather than one on the top of your shoulders where it could chafe under the pressure of a backpack. The Outdoor Research Echo is available in a wide range of colors.

 

Pros:

  • Superb wicking AirVent fabric
  • Flatlock seam construction and raglan sleeves
  • Treated with Polygiene for odor control

Cons:

  • /

How helpful was this post?

Click a star to rate it!

11 vote(s) so far. Average rating 4.9 out of 5.

Author Information

Laura P.

I loved to climb trees when I was a child – as an adult I use these skills for climbing and scrambling up mountain sides! I always wear a Merino base layer, sunscreen and my hair tousled.