Best hiking shirts 2024: stay comfortable, warm and dry on the trail

Collage of the best hiking shirts
(Image credit: Future)

The best hiking shirts provide both performance and style on the backcountry trails. For those who enjoy the classic flair and aesthetic displayed during the Golden Era of Alpinism, yet the comfort against the skin, moisture wicking capabilities and breathability of today's hiking garb, a hiking shirt is the answer.

We've shouldered our packs, buttoned up our shirts and headed for the hills to bring you this definitive guide to the best hiking shirts available today. We start with long long-sleeved shirts that give you full coverage, great for fall and winter hiking. Meanwhile, the ability to roll up the sleeves and undo a few buttons gives you the ability to regulate your temperature way beyond most of the best base layers

In this guide, we also feature a short-sleeved shirt for warmer climes and the finest t-shirts too. We rate the Sherpa Gelul as the best hiking shirt available, particularly given its excellent eco-credentials, while Columbia's Newton Ridge is a comfortable option for those looking for a shirt sleeved shirt.

The best hiking shirts

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Long-sleeve hiking shirts

best hiking shirts: Sherpa Geluk hiking shirt

An elegant and stylish hiking shirt that feels like wool but is made from recycled bottles and crushed oyster shells (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
The best long-sleeved hiking shirt

Specifications

Fabric: Cotton (54%), recycled SeaWool (43%), spandex (3%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 410g / 14.5oz
Colors: Rathee Blue /Tamur River

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Moisture wicking
+
Insulating 
+
Anti-chafing seams
+
Sustainable
+
Ethical
+
Stylish

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No odor control
-
Not suitable for vegans

The Sherpa Geluk is an elegant, stylish and supremely comfortable shirt (available in the UK from Alpine Trek) with a host of performance features. Named after the Buddhist principle of the ‘virtuous way', the shirt is made from SeaWool fibre, an innovative blend of crushed oyster shells and polyester recycled from consumer bottles. The result is a shirt that feels and looks like a traditional wool mix that wicks moisture away quickly whilst insulating in colder conditions. 

Design features include off-shoulder seams to prevent chafing under a pack strap, a single chest pocket with button closure and UPF 50+ sun protection. Rambling on a chilly fall afternoon, the shirt performed well under a waterproof and equally well as a standalone when the sun came out and the going got tough. Furthermore, for every product sold, Sherpa provides a day of education for a child in Nepal. 

This shirt would not look out of place in Piccadilly Circus, the Pyrenees or on the trails of Pikes Peak, and would perform perfectly well in all settings.

Read our full Sherpa Geluk hiking shirt review

Alpkit Woodsmoke Hiking Shirt

A high-wicking, quick-drying, odor-resistant and temperature-regulating hiking shirt (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best long-sleeved shirt for wintry hikes

Specifications

Fabric: Thermocore polyester (95%), spandex (5%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 375g / 13.2oz
Colors: Nemo / Stirling / Brick

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Good insulation
+
High wicking
+
Quick drying
+
Odor control

Reasons to avoid

-
Too warm for some conditions

The Alpkit Woodsmoke is a seriously comfortable shirt that we think looks great and found performs extremely well on the trails. Made from Thermocore polyester, the shirt traps more air for increased insulation. The blended fabric is also high-wicking and quick-drying and feels as comfortable as cotton against the skin. 

Hiking through rolling countryside, we found the shirt kept the chilly morning winds of fall at bay but also effortlessly breathed away heat and sweat when climbing in the afternoon sun. The Woodsmoke is treated with Polygiene odor control, which means it will not get smelly on multi-day hikes. 

While we perhaps wouldn’t recommend this for hot days, it does come with UPF 50 protection and is a great choice for varied conditions. The fastenings are all press studs, including on the two spacious chest pockets and the cuffs, which have two fastenings so tightness can be adjusted. The active cut and an articulated fit across the back give good freedom of movement, too.

Read our full Alpkit Woodsmoke Hiking Shirt review

best hiking shirts: Craghoppers NosiLife Pro IV

A lightweight high-performer with tons of features and protection from biting insects (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best long-sleeve t-shirt for insect protection

Specifications

Fabric: Polyester (87%), elastane (13%), trim: polyester (100%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 220g / 7.8oz
Colors: Parchment / Woodland Green / Steel blue

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Breathable
+
Moisture wicking
+
Quick drying
+
Insect protection
+
Comfortable
+
Sun protective collar

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Craghoppers have really delivered the goods with the NosiLife Pro IV. Boasting lightweight fabric and contemporary styling, this hiking shirt looks great and felt even better on test. While climbing, this breathable shirt ventilated well and quickly wicked away sweat. Once hiking backpacks were removed to admire the view, any under pack moisture that remained soon dried. 

The headline feature here is the NosiLife anti-insect treatment. Using Permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, it effectively repels biting insects and lasts for the lifetime of the garment. Other features include a solarshield collar which can be pulled up to cover your neck with UPF 40 protection (the whole shirt offers the same level of protection), odor control, a fastener tab so you can roll-up sleeves, two reasonably sized zip-up chest pockets and a sunglasses wipe. 

We found the Craghoppers NosiLife Pro IV to be an excellent shirt for hot weather, especially when biting insects are active.

Read our full Craghoppers NosiLife Pro IV Long Sleeve Shirt review

best hiking shirts: Jack Wolfskin Kenovo hiking shirt

A high-performance hiking shirt with green credentials and fashion focus (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best long-sleeved hiking shirt for freedom of movement

Specifications

Fabric: Polyamide (82%), polyester (13%), elastane (5%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL / 3XL
Weight (men’s large): 243g / 8.6oz
Colors: Moss / Night Blue / Black

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable
+
Lightweight
+
Moisture wicking
+
Sleeve roll-up tabs
+
Great green credentials
+
Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Combining superb comfort, high performance, odor control technology and even a dash of urban fashion, the shirt is a great choice for all conditions. 

Made from a blend of polyamide, polyester and elastane, we found that the fabric is extremely breathable, feels lightweight, affords plenty of movement and is fast drying. The mesh lining plays a vital role in the shirt’s moisture management capabilities, wicking sweat away from the skin quickly. 

The shirt has a host of nifty features that we love too, including a handy zip-up sleeve pocket, perfect to slide maps or navigation devices into, and a fastener tab so you can roll-up sleeves in warmer conditions. Furthermore, the lightweight shirt affords UPF 40+ protection. Plus, with a host of green credentials, you can rest assured that this shirt helps to protect the very landscapes you explore while wearing it. 

Read our full Jack Wolfskin Kenovo hiking shirt

best hiking shirt: BAM Evolution Active bamboo shirt

A chic yet highly comfortable shirt made from an ethical bamboo blend (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best bamboo hiking shirt

Specifications

Fabric: Viscose bamboo (35%), organic cotton (32%), lyocell eucalyptus (30%), elastane (3%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 440g / 15.5oz
Colors: Nordic Sky / Chestnut / Charcoal / Moss

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Fast wicking
+
Stylish
+
Natural odor control
+
Great green credentials

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow drying

Combining style, green credentials and outdoor performance, UK brand BAM has become a firm favorite in the outdoor community. Its new ‘Climate Positive’ range has offset all carbon emissions associated with running the business – and even the first 50 washes after you buy a product. Furthermore, the bamboo-based clothing has natural odor control and can last multiple days on the trail without needing to be washed. 

The BAM Evolution Active is made from an innovative blend of viscose bamboo, organic cotton, lyocell eucalyptus and elastane. On test, we found the fabric to be soft, stretchy and lusciously soft against the skin. Testing on an overcast and humid day, the shirt performed well and was very comfortable. Even when sweat patches were visible, they were quickly wicked away from the skin and were hardly noticeable. 

Practical features include a chest zip pocket so you can keep essentials to hand. However, this could be larger. Looks-wise, the shirt is super chic. Whether you’re in the hills or at a restaurant post-walk, the Evolution Active won’t look or feel out of place.

Read our full BAM Evolution bamboo shirt review

Short-sleeve hiking shirt

Columbia Newton Ridge

Comfortable and classic-looking short-sleeve hiking shirt that wicks away moisture quickly (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
The best short-sleeved hiking shirt

Specifications

Fabric: Nylon (94%), elastane (6%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Colors: Shark / Ancient Fossil / Stone Green / Bluestone

Reasons to buy

+
Fast wicking
+
Lightweight
+
Breathable
+
Comfortable
+
Lots of handy features

Reasons to avoid

-
Large fit not for everyone

This timeless and classic-looking hiking shirt is a good choice for hiking in hot weather and sunny conditions. The Columbia Newton Ridge boasts Omni-Wick technology, which helps to move moisture away from the skin quickly and disperse it across the fabric for rapid evaporation. 

Made from a blend of nylon and elastane, we found this short-sleeve hiking shirt is extremely comfortable to wear and feels lightweight against your skin. Some might find the fit a little baggy, but this assists with the breathability (consider sizing down if you’re borderline or prefer a tighter fit). It has a host of features including decent sized breast pockets, a handy zip-up security pocket, nicely tailored back vents and a patch of soft material to wipe your sunglasses. Columbia pitches this as perfect for trails and the city. 

However, on test we found it didn’t quite have enough chic for trendy urban hotspots but was a great performer on the trails.

Read our full Columbia Newton Ridge short-sleeve hiking shirt review

T-shirts for hiking

Columbia Zero Ice Cirro-Cool T-Shirt

A highly impressive hot weather performer that does exactly what it promises to (Image credit: Columbia)
The best hiking t-shirt

Specifications

Fabric: Front: polyester (100%), side panels and lower back: polyester (94%), elastane (6%)
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 145g / 5.1oz
Colors: Black / Black Heather / Bright Gold / City Grey Heather / Bluestone / Collegiate Navy Heather

Reasons to buy

+
Fast drying
+
Lightweight
+
Breathable
+
Moisture wicking
+
Keeps you cool
+
Ideal for hot weather

Reasons to avoid

-
Loose fit will not be for everyone

If you want a shirt for high-intensity hikes, hot weather, humid conditions or all of the above, look no further than the Columbia Zero Ice Cirro-Cool T-Shirt. It’s described by Columbia as ‘ideal for intense activity in the sun’ and we couldn’t agree more. 

The stretchy T-shirt is made from polyester and has elastane side panels for added flexibility. The fabric is moisture-wicking and has Omni-Freeze ZERO Ice advanced cooling technology, as evidenced by the internal snowflake design. 

On test, we found it to be very comfortable. While the loose-fit cut won’t be for everybody, it enables extra breathability. We tested the Zero Ice Cirro-Cool on a pleasant late-summer’s day and were seriously impressed. However, to really put it to the test, we took it for a high-intensity trail run in hot and sunny conditions. Once again, it wicked away sweat and kept us surprisingly cool. A high-performing shirt that does what it’s supposed to.

Read our full Columbia Zero Ice Cirro-Cool T-Shirt review

best hiking shirt: Rab Mantle Tee

One of the lightest shirts on test is also great at keeping odors at bay – ideal for warmer walks (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best hiking t-shirt made from recycled materials

Specifications

Fabric: Recycled polyester (100%) with Polygiene finish
Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 162g / 5.7oz
Colors: Chlorite Green Marl / Beluga Marl / Nightfall Blue Marl / Oxblood Red Marl

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Breathable
+
Fast drying
+
Odor control
+
Looks great

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too understated for some

It’s easy to be wary of products pitched as ‘multi-purpose’ as they are often the masters of none. However, the Mantle Tee dodges this trap with ease, as you might expect from Rab. 

Made from 100% recycled polyester, the shirt is quick drying and highly breathable. Lightweight and superb-looking to boot, it’s a great choice for high-intensity hikes or day-to-day usage. 

The Rab Mantle Tee has undergone a Polygiene treatment to reduce odor-causing bacteria by more than 99%. The active ingredient in this treatment is a silver salt, which is a highly effective, naturally occurring antimicrobial agent. Active only on the fabric surface, it does not interfere with your skin’s natural bacteria, according to Rab. 

The moment we slipped this technical tee on, it felt reassuringly good quality and the fit was complimentary. On humid afternoons in the hills, it felt wonderfully lightweight, wicked away sweat with seemingly little effort and backpack sweat patches dried quickly. A consummate all-rounder.

Read our full Rab Mantle Tee review

best hiking shirts: EDZ 135 merino T-shirt

A full-merino, short-sleeved outdoor-active top that’s an absolute joy to wear on and off the trails (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
The best odor-resistant hiking t-shirt

Specifications

Sizes available: Men’s: Small–Extra Large; Women’s: 8–18
Center Back Length (men’s large): 68cm / 27in
Weight (men’s large): 140g / 5oz
Materials: 135g merino wool (100%)
Colors: Black / Emerald / Grey / Red; Women’s: Black / Purple / Green / Grey

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely comfortable
+
Moisture wicking
+
Doesn’t accumulate bad odours
+
Very versatile
+
Machine washable

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter lifespan than many tops
-
Heavier when wet

Available in versions for men and women, the lightweight EDZ short-sleeved top from Cumbria-based brand EDZ is made entirely from super soft, ultrafine 135g Merino wool, and it features flat seams, which all added up to the excellent comfort levels on test. It can be worn as a hiking shirt or a running top – or indeed while rock climbing, cycling or during any outdoor activity – and as an outer layer when the weather is warm, or a base layer when conditions are colder. 

Besides being luxuriously lovely to wear next to your skin, Merino is a magical material that wicks moisture away from your body as you perspire while ascending steep trails, which is perfect in a top like this one. It also keeps you warm when conditions are chilly, and cool when temperatures soar. Plus, being a natural fibre, it's both better for the environment during the production stages and biodegradable at the end of its life, and also contains antibacterial properties that combat the build up of bad smells.

On the other hand, Merino can get a bit heavy when wet, takes longer to dry than poly fabrics, and – although it smells much nicer – it doesn’t last as long. Overall, however, we think that the trade off is worth it, especially if you’re primarily wearing the EDZ 135 for hiking.

Read our full EDZ 135gsm T-shirt review

Montane Dart T-Shirt

All-season technical t-shirt that performs well and is reasonably priced (Image credit: Dan Hobson)
Best value hiking shirt

Specifications

Fabric: Recycled APEX ECO (100%), finished with Polygiene
Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL / XXL
Weight (men’s large): 105g / 3.7oz
Colors: Alpine Red / Antarctic Blue / Black / Electric Blue / Kelp Green / Orion Blue / Slate

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable
+
Breathable
+
Moisture wicking
+
Offers good insulation
+
Odor control
+
Anti-chafing seams
+
Reasonable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Tight fit not for everybody

The latest incarnation of the Dart T-shirt offers high performance, great comfort, understated style and impressive odor control, all at a very reasonable price. Made from 100% recycled APEX ECO fabric, Montane has managed to balance added warmth with moisture wicking and breathability. The result is an all-season technical T-shirt that performs well in all conditions. 

The slim, tailored fit might not be for everyone. However, we found the Dart T-shirt fitted well, was extremely comfortable and afforded plenty of movement. It boasts low-profile, flatlocked sewn seams, both internally and externally, which help to avoid chafing while increasing the durability of the t-shirt. 

As soon as we slipped the shirt on, it felt extremely lightweight. On the trails, it was highly breathable, fast drying and wicked away sweat fast. Furthermore, the Montane Dart T-Shirt is finished with Polygiene permanent odor control so is a great choice for multi-day hikes. A consummate all-rounder that performs well in all conditions.

Read our full Montane Dart t-shirt review

Best hiking t-shirts comparison table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ShirtRRPFabricsWeight
Sherpa Geluk Shirt$85 (US) / £80 (UK)Cotton (54%), recycled SeaWool (43%), spandex (3%)410g / 14.5oz
Alpkit Woodsmoke$79.99 (US) / £64.99 (UK)Thermocore polyester (95%), spandex (5%)375g / 13.2oz
Craghoppers NosiLife Pro IV$120 (US) / £75 (UK)Polyester (87%), elastane (13%), trim: polyester (100%)220g / 7.8oz
Jack Wolfskin Kenovo$90 (US) / £75 (UK) / €80 (EU)Polyamide (82%), polyester (13%), elastane (5%)243g / 8.6oz
BAM Evolution Active£69 (UK)Viscose bamboo (35%), organic cotton (32%), lyocell eucalyptus (30%), elastane (3%)440g / 15.5oz
Columbia Newton Ridge£55 (UK)Nylon (94%), elastane (6%)Unstated
Zero Ice Cirro-Cool T-Shirt$45 (US) / £45 (UK)Front: polyester (100%), side panels and lower back: polyester (94%), elastane (6%)145g / 5.1oz
Rab Mantle Tee$45 (US) / £35 (UK)Recycled polyester (100%) with Polygiene finish162g / 5.7oz
EDZ 135 merino T-shirt£44.99 (UK)135g merino wool (100%)140g / 5oz
Montane Dart T-Shirt$35 (US) / £26 (UK)Recycled APEX ECO (100%), finished with Polygiene105g / 3.7oz

How we test the best hiking shirts

Our reviewers test hiking shirts in a range of settings and weathers, from frozen mountain landscapes and snowy hills to warmer summer trekking missions, mixing day hikes and longer expeditions. Features (including breathability, odor-resistance, ventilation, materials, style, weight and overall comfort) are tested against claims made by the brand, and we assess factors such as value for money, durability, functionality and environmental impact.

Meet the testers

Dan Hobson
Dan Hobson

A journalist, writer and editor with a passion for self-powered adventures, Dan combines a love of landscape, wildlife and culture with a need for exhilaration, good times and endurance tests. Raised in the English Peak District, Dan loves nothing more than exploring the national park’s rolling hills, picturesque dales and wild moorland. However, you’ll find him walking, running and cycling in lots of landscapes in the UK and further afield. Dan’s most cherished hiking experience is bivouacking on Volcan de Acatenango, in Guatemala, and watching the ‘Volcano of Fire’ across the valley erupt golden lava into the black tapestry of stars and galaxies.

Pat Kinsella modelling a base layer in Wales
Pat Kinsella

Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here.

How to choose the best hiking shirt

While there are lots of styles to choose from, the best men’s hiking shirts should keep you dry and comfortable in all conditions. Hiking shirts should always be breathable, moisture-wicking and fast drying. Here are some things to consider.

Best hiking shirts for men

Hiking shirts should always be breathable, moisture-wicking and fast drying (Image credit: Getty)

Materials

The best men’s hiking shirts are composed of synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon, or natural fabrics like merino wool or bamboo. Synthetic fabrics are fast-drying and absorb very little sweat. They are cheap, durable and machine washable. While synthetics do not have natural odor control, they are often treated to prevent the fabric smelling. Merino wool is much softer than synthetic materials, and it is breathable and naturally odor-resistant too. However, it is expensive and less durable. Bamboo is also breathable and naturally soft. While cotton blends can work well, avoid 100% cotton clothing as it can absorb 25 times its weight in water and is very slow drying.

Moisture management

Hiking shirts are always in direct contact with your skin. As such, it is essential that shirts are breathable and wick moisture away fast. 

Style

Button-up shirts afford the most features, such as storage pockets and sun-protection collars, and heat regulation is easier because you can unbutton the shirt. While lacking features, t-shirts are typically lightweight and offer more versatility. Long sleeves provide more protection from the sun and insects, and keep you warmer in cool conditions. Shirts with a looser fit are more breathable. 

Best hiking shirts for men

The best hiking shirts avoid any seams on the shoulders that could dig into your skin when worn under rucksack straps (Image credit: Getty)

Weight

Lightweight hiking shirts are best for hot weather as they are faster drying and more breathable. They can also be used as part of a layering system (see our guide to hiking layers). Heavier shirts offer more insulation but can be slower drying.

Odor protection

The best hiking shirts should have odor control. Merino wool and bamboo are both naturally antimicrobial. However, synthetic materials can be treated to prevent fabrics from smelling.

Durability

A hiking shirt should be machine-washable and maintain performance properties after regular washing. It should also be able to cope with backpack abrasion and unexpected snags on the trail. 

Environmental concerns

As always, the most sustainable clothes are the ones you’ve already got, but if you do need to invest in a new hiking shirt, look for garments woven from natural, biodegradable materials (wool, bamboo) or recycled synthetics, made with natural dyes by brands with good environmental principles and robust manufacturing ethics. Our guide to the most eco-friendly outdoor brands will point you in the right direction.

Dan Hobson
Writer

A journalist, writer and editor with a passion for self-powered adventures, Dan combines a love of landscape, wildlife and culture with a need for exhilaration, good times and endurance tests. Raised in the Peak District, Dan loves nothing more than exploring the national park’s rolling hills, picturesque dales and wild moorland. However, you’ll find him walking, running and cycling in lots of landscapes in the UK and further afield. Dan’s most cherished hiking experience is bivouacking on Volcan de Acatenango, in Guatemala, and watching the ‘Volcano of Fire’ across the valley erupt golden lava into the black tapestry of stars and galaxies.

With contributions from