The Best Women's Hiking Clothes: Shorts, Tops, Leggings & More
September 12, 2022
After several years of hiking, I’m sharing my favorite women’s hiking clothing for hot weather!
When you first get started hiking, I recommend wearing whatever you’re comfortable in. Prioritize comfortable hiking shoes and socks before thinking about your clothing. However, if you’re looking for some new hiking leggings, tops and sports bras, here are some brands and styles that I love!
Full disclaimer - I received gifted KUHL hiking shorts to contribute to this post. As always, my opinions are unbiased and my own. Thank you for your support!
Kuhl has the best women’s hiking shorts that I’ve found! They fit perfectly, feel durable and have a great stretch to them. The shorts also have snaps for the back pockets, a tie and a snap for the front fly and spacious front pockets.
The shorts have a great fit that is not too short or tight, but is also not too baggy. The fabric is lightweight and the polyester nylon blend is quick drying and perfect for a hot day. I have the TREKR shorts with a 5.5” inseam and really love them.
While I don’t always follow this advice, it is best to wear a synthetic and quick drying material to stay cool and comfortable while hiking.
One top with a material I love is the Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight Shirt. The fabric is really lightweight and dries super quickly. I love the material, but I’m not completely in love with the fit of this shirt. It is very slim fitting and as a woman with curves, I prefer something a bit more loose fitting.
One brand I love for their fits is Girlfriend Collective! Their cupro tops are not the best for sweat wicking and quick drying, but they are silky soft and come in boxy fits that I love. Cupro is a recycled material that is hypoallergenic, anti-static and 100% biodegradable. While these tops are probably best for lounging and light exercise, I sometimes wear them for hiking too.
I love Girlfriend sports bras because they are made of high-quality, compressive materials and offer a good amount of coverage. They have options that extend a few inches down your stomach that are great for wearing on their own with legging or with a lightweight tank with oversized armholes over top.
I have the Paloma racerback bra from Girlfriend and love that it’s full-coverage, made of recycled material, very supportive and has a UPF rating of 45+ to protect from harmful rays.
Other sports bras I love are from Lululemon and Nike. I like to invest in high quality sports bras that are durable and long lasting and wear them for many years.
I'm a huge fan of hiking in leggings, but sometimes they are not durable enough to withstand a rock scramble. When I discovered the REI Flash Hybrid Tights, I immediately fell in love.
The leggings are made with a soft stretch jersey on the sides and durable stretch nylon on the front and back of your legs. This combination has the comfort of leggings and the benefit of a much more durable fabric to protect from snags and holes.
I also like to shop for leggings from Old Navy and Girlfriend. One of the number one things I look for in leggings are pockets! I really like to have my phone in my legging pocket while I hike.
It’s important to carry extra layers when hiking, no matter the weather! I love the Patagonia Houdini Jacket. It is made of a really lightweight material and it packs down very tight. It is designed so you can zip it shut when it’s compact so it stays small.
I also love my Cotopaxi windbreaker. The lightweight material is not the most breathable, but it’s great for a chilly, windy day and packs down very compactly. I love the pockets on the front (there is a zipper pocket along with a hand pocket) and the bright colors!
For advice on purchasing hiking shoes and socks, check out my day hike packing list. It includes information on how to choose your hiking shoes, my favorite hiking socks and more.
This blog will be updated as I continue to try new brands and styles of women’s hiking clothing.
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