If, like us, you like traversing the great outdoors every once in a while, but it isn’t entirely practical for you to get yourself out of town for a large chunk of time, you’ve probably found that there are many worthwhile trails dotted amongst the landscape surrounding your city. And if you haven’t looked into it, you should. Getting out for a day hike every once and a while can serve as both a refresher and reminder of the world outside of the hustle and bustle of daily life. And to really make the most of it, you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten the right gear for the job.
Most people know that a good pair of hiking boots is essential to hitting the dusty trail, but that’s not the end-all-be-all of your gear. Or at least it shouldn’t be. The shirt you wear on your back is a very important choice as well. Don your favorite old cotton t-shirt and you might find yourself draped in a heavy rag that’s soaked with your own sweat. And nobody wants that. Do yourself a favor and pick up one – or a few – of these 20 shirts. Between their technical fabrics, added protections, and comfortable fits, they’re the best you’re going to find for that rigorous day-hike.
Marmot Windridge SS
For a shirt that wont weight you down, but still gives you the excellent coverage you need while out on the trails, you can’t go wrong with the Windridge SS by Marmot. This tee is made from a moisture-wicking and fast-drying combination of 100% polyester jersey fabric and breathable mesh, which will conform to your movements, but still impressively offers up an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50. So, though it might feel like you’re in your birthday suit, you won’t have the sunburn to match.
Myles Everyday Tee
If you prefer something that resembles a classic cotton tee, but is still advanced enough that you could wear it for even the most vigorous workout, take a look at this pocket t-shirt from Myles. Tailored specifically for an athletic fit, this shirt features a construction of 90% Quick Dry Cotton and 10% Merino Wool. That means it will feel as soft and wearable as your favorite lounging shirt, but it can stand up to wear on any hiking trail. And if the pocket is more than just a fashion accessory and you wanna stash something in it, it’s reinforced for just that.
Patagonia Fore Runner SS
One of the many neat features of this shirt from Patagonia is their flat seam construction – a method of sewing the fabric together that reduces chafe and wont restrict your movements. And the set-in sleeves with under-arm gussets doubly ensure both comfort and ease of motion. It also lacks an itchy tag, has reflective logos on the front and back for added visibility, and – thank’s to the moisture wicking fabric and locker loop from which you can hang it – this tee will dry very quickly.
Arc’teryx Motus Crew
Constructed from polyester blended with polypropylene – a thermoplastic synthetic resin – this shirt is tremendously lightweight and smooth to the touch. This fabric combination is also moisture wicking – for increased comfort – and has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 25, and naturally resists odor. On top of that, this shirt features reflective highlights for increased visibility in low light conditions, flatlock seams for extra comfort, and an active cut that works as well with hiking shorts as it does with tights.
Lululemon Core Short Sleeve Crew
Made from Pima – or Extra Long Staple – cotton, that offers a 4-way stretch for extreme softness and comfort. It also features Lululemon’s Silverscent Technology – which is powered by X-static Textiles – that restricts the growth of odor-causing bacteria. And it is washing machine safe. So once you’ve gotten off the trails, you don’t have to head to the dry-cleaner or bust out your old school washing board.
Olivers Convoy Tee
As comfortable to wear on a hike as it is on the couch, this 100% Merino Wool tee is made in Los Angeles, California, and comes with the Olivers guarantee – that they will replace any product for defects that fall outside of normal wear and tear. This athletic cut tee features a slim fit that’s true to size and, though you might very happily wear this out on your favorite hike, you’ll probably also wear it on the days in-between.
Rhone General Short Sleeve
Featuring their signature hem quote – this one reads, “Better to fight for something than die for nothing” – this shirt comes in a limited edition “buttery soft” heather fabric. One of the brand’s most technical products, the General has a better fit and superior functions – including moisture wicking and odor fighting (thanks to the XT2 silver fibers stitched into the shirt). And it fits true-to-size, so there’s no unnecessary guess work.
Mountain HardWear Air Tech Long Sleeve
Made specifically for adventuring, this modern shirt is constructed from 100% polyester burnout fabric – a process by which a chemically dissolved cellulose fiber layer is laid against a more solidly woven fabric – and features tiny perforations for increased comfort and breathability. It also features a pen pouch on the left chest and a glued and welded Zip security pocket. And it has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 25.
Orvis Bush Shirt
If you’d rather look like a Safari hunter than an average joe, or you just want some increased functionality out of your hiking shirt (maybe you want to carry a set of emergency survival gear), then you’re going to want the Orvis Bush Shirt. Not only does this shirt wick moisture, but it wicks dust, as well. And the functional shoulder tabs – called epaulettes – are perfect for securely hanging camera or binocular straps. Like its WWII issued predecessors, this is a shirt on which you can count.
Filson Moleskine Seattle
Arguably the best cold-weather day-hike shirt, the Seattle is made from sueded Moleskine – which is comfortable to the touch, but will still keep you warm. And if it ends up being a little warmer than you anticipated, the sleeves are designed to be rolled up to suit the situation. This wind-resistant, relaxed-fit field shirt will give you the protection you need without inhibiting your comfort or movement.