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Hiking tops

How to choose a hiking top

Hiking tops aren’t your regular shirt, they’re built to keep you comfortable and stylish on (and off) the trail. They’re made of high-performance materials that wick sweat, keep you cool, dry and have handy features like zippered pockets and built-in sun protection.

Some key features to look out for when choosing a new hiking top are:

  • Fabric: Even while hiking in colder climates, materials like merino wool or a synthetic blend are moisture-wicking and quick-drying to fend off sweat and prevent chafing.

  • Weather conditions: If hot and sunny is on the forecast, hiking shirts with UPF protection paired with sunscreen provide extra sun protection, and if it’s colder, long-sleeve hiking tops can be paired with a hiking jacket for insulation against frigid temps.

  • Breathability: A hiking top that allows for good airflow will keep sweat at bay; look for mesh panels and lightweight fabrics to keep you cool.

  • Fit: Hiking shirts that allow a full range of motion without hugging too tightly or hanging too loose are what you want to look out for, as a top that limits your range of motion on a hike is no good.

In addition, look out for hiking tops that have features that will improve your hike, like zippered pockets, thumbholes for added hand warmth and reinforced seams for durability.

Boost your confidence on the trail with trusty hiking tops from brands like Patagonia, The North Face, MEC, Kari Traa and Outdoor Research.