Hiking Shirt Guide

Hiking Shirt Guide

12/08/2021 Off By chadmin

Hiking shirts reviews, recommendations and tips

Hiking shirts use different terms – technical, performance, wicking – but they all have an advantage over your favourite cotton t-shirt: they move moisture away from your skin to keep you dry.

Hiking Shirt Tips

Synthetic fiber is better than a cotton t-shirt to hike in. Cotton tees are comfy but hold moisture – a damp cotton t-shirt can be an invitation to hypothermia.

There are tons of synthetic options to choose from. They “wick” the moisture away from your skin to the shirt, where it dries.

Synthetics sometimes have a tendency to retain a little odour after washing, but the technology improves all the time (you’ll likely have the shirt while before that starts to happen).

Layers. I usually use a wicking short-sleeve then add a light long-sleeved layer or a mid-weight 1/2 zip.

In the winter, I am layer all three and then top with a fleece or shell. With these three shirts (short tee, long tee, long 1/2 zip), I’m covered all four seasons.

Just remove a layer to regulate heat as needed.

Durability. Many of the shirts we currently use weekly are ones that we’ve had since 2011 or 2012, maybe longer.

They show some abrasion marks from wear but are mostly fine.

One of the best ways I’ve found to make them last is to wash in cold water and hang dry – performance clothing dries quickly so it’s best to keep it away from high heat.

Suggested Hiking Shirts

There’s dozens of brands and probably hundreds of styles of hiking shirts available. For this reason, shopping for a shirt is often a chore.

So to help anyone shopping for a shirt, I’ll make a few suggestions.

The various styles of hiking shirts made by Columbia are my favourites. Indeed, they are not just my go-to shirt for hiking and backpacking, but also for general warm-weather wear and float trips.

The omni-wick technology works wonders in wicking away moisture, while the tough yet thin ripstop nylon allows the slightest breeze through the fabric. In short, Columbia hiking shirts are soft, quiet, and extraordinarily breathable. In my opinion, Columbia’s hiking shirts are the best shirts for hot, humid weather.

Columbia has several styles of hiking shirts, some of which are also labelled as “fishing shirts.” My favourite style is the Tamiami (I have six of these shirts). The Tamiami has a relaxed fit, mesh back panel, two large chest pockets and is so light that it often feels like you aren’t wearing a shirt at all. The Tamiami isn’t the most stylish shirt, as it values function over form. The cut is loose and relaxed, and the vented mesh back panel looks, depending on the viewing angle, a bit strange when viewed from behind.

But if you value function, the Tamiami is a superb hiking shirt. Mine have lasted years, and have survived bushwhacking, cat chewing (my cat loves chewing on the shirts buttons), washing in streams and countless other abuses. If you plan on strenuous activities during hot or humid weather and wish to remain cool and dry, and can live with a “lack of style,” then the Tamiami shirts from Columbia are for you.

A few other shirt styles from Columbia share the Tamiamis features but have a slightly different cut and different pocket alignment. The “Blood and Guts” style has a sleeker cut and isn’t as loose, while still keeping all the features of the Tamiami. The Bahama style is almost identical to the Tamiami except for a different pocket alignment (it has covered over the chest pockets).

Overall, if you can’t decide which hiking shirt to buy, my suggestion is to start with hiking shirts from Columbia.

In our online store, you can buy a hiking t-shirt, hiking pants, a hiking jacket, other hiking clothing and the necessary hiking equipment.