Best Hot Weather Clothing for Hiking: Top 8 Hiking Wear Reviews

hiking the grand canyon
Written by Dennis Owens

The best hot weather clothing for hiking must be protective and comfortable to wear. In summer, tee shirts and shorts are a must have clothing gear. However, you should be aware of poisonous plants, insects, and unexpected climate change.

You might need a long sleeve tee shirt along with loose pants with zip-off legs when hiking on the coastal region because of vegetation, bugs, and the scorching sun. The same cannot be said when hiking in the mountains where temperatures are cooler irrespective of the fact that it is summer. You can still wear the same clothes, but heavier versions of them.

Best Features to Consider

Height above Sea Level

In actual fact, this is a very important consideration to make when shopping for hot weather hiking wear. As mentioned earlier, in coastal regions you might have to deal with vegetation, biting insects, and the burning sun.

Therefore, any clothing you choose must be able to protect you from the external elements, and at the same time provide you with the comfort you need.

people hiking through grass field

Most people would prefer to wear shorts and short sleeve tee shirts, but if you think of the bugs, poisonous plants, and the hot sun, then you should consider loose pants with zip-off legs and highly breathable long sleeve tee shirts.

The Material (Fabric)

The market is full of hot weather clothing. Therefore, you will never run short of options. However, what matters the most is the material. You might be tempted by the style. The best fabric for hot weather has to be lightweight, waterproof, fast drying, wrinkle and abrasion-resistant, and highly breathable.

The most popular fabrics for summer wear are synthetic, such as nylon, polyester, and a blend of synthetic materials. Polyester fabric moisture management is better when compared to nylons. On the other hand, nylon fabric is more effective for wicking moisture.

synthetic fiber materials

Most manufacturers tend to improve fabric performance by blending the synthetic materials. For instance, there is a blend of spandex, polyester, and nylon.

Easy Care & Backpacking

Easy care clothes are the best. Go for hiking wear that is easy to wash or machine washable. The fabric should be fast drying, an important feature during hiking. Light rains may catch up with you on the trail. Fast drying clothes will dry effectively, allowing you to continue your journey at peace. The best hiking wear should also be easy to backpack.

8 Best Hot Weather Hiking Clothing Reviews

ExOfficio Give-N-Go T-Shirt ExOfficio Give-N-Go T-Shirt 

Best Features: 6% Spandex & 94% nylon shell material; regular fit; short sleeves; crew neckline; quick dry; critical seams off shoulder; silvadur odor-proof treatment; and different sizes and colors.

Best Use: Travel, Fitness, Casual, and Hiking

The Give-N-Go By ExOfficio is one of the best travel wear. In actual fact, it is made for traveling, fitness, and casual wear. However, its unique design features make it a reliable hiking T-shirt. The available sizes include: XL, L, M, S, and 2XL. The available colors for this particular T-shirt are charcoal, black, white, and curfew.

The shell is made of 6% spandex and 94% nylon, making it ultra-lightweight, highly breathable and easy to wash. The hot weather will never quash you when this T-shirt is on. The fabric is fully movable, wicks moisture remarkably fast and dries fast. It is incorporated with a Silvadur treated base layer for odor resistance. The design is also integrated with mesh panels for effective airflow when engaging sweating activities, such as climbing.

It is a good hiking wear because it is stretchy and comfortable to the touch. This t-shirt will perform extraordinarily as a base layer for summer hiking because it will keep your body dry and cool at all times. This is the ideal shirt to order when you are after a much slimmer fit. Regrettably, it is not the best choice for a loose fit.

Check the price on Amazon

Burnside Hybrid Shorts Best Hot Weather Clothing for Hiking: Top 8 Hiking Wear Reviews

Best Features: Spandex & polyester materials; model fit guide; dual function short; lightweight fabric; different sizes and color; and zipper closure.

Best Use: Swim and Regular Casual Wear, Hiking

These Burnside Hybrid Shorts are the best hybrid shorts for casual and hiking wear. The available waist sizes are 32, 34, and 36. The available colors are light blue, charcoal, blue shadow, light gray, khaki, lake blue and dark denim. They are made of 10% spandex and 90% polyester, which offer you the highest quality. Polyester is not only tough, but it is well-equipped to hold out rigorous wear.

The material is highly moisture resistant. The design is clean printed and simple, providing you with comfort and simplicity when you put the shorts on. The available sizes are limited to 32, 34, and 36. Therefore, they are not the ideal choice if your waist is less than 32 or greater than 36.

These are hybrid shorts; they offer dual functionality for regular and swim casual and hiking wear. The material is highly breathable and dries fast. You can submerge yourself in water, and they will still dry fast for continued wear once you are out of the water. The largest waist size is 36, meaning that you will have to actually test the fit if your waist is larger than 36.

They do not have any form of supportive liner, but they perform pretty well just the way they are. They are the best shorts for an athletic body, and they are excellent for backpacking.

Check the price on Amazon

Joe’s USA Sport Tee Shirts Joe's USA Mens Athletic All Sport Training Tee Shirts

Best Features: 100% polyester; numerous sizes and colors; double-needled sleeves & hem; lightweight; moisture wicking; and quick dry.

Best Use: Casual Wear, Hiking, Camping

The Joe’s USA Sport Tee Shirt is made of 100% polyester material, which brings out the best qualities, including wrinkle, water, & wash and wear resistance. This tee shirt is available in many sizes, such as: 4X Large, 3X Large, 2X Large, X Large, Large, Medium, Small, and adult X Small. The double needle hem and sleeves improve on durability and resistance against wash and wear.

Apart from the black color, other shades that you can choose from are: white, true royal, true red, true navy, tropic blue, Texas orange, silver, sand, purple, neon yellow, neon pink, neon orange, maroon, lime shock, light pink, Kelly green, iron grey, gold, forest green, deep orange, Carolina blue, and cardinal to mention a few.

Regardless of the design, the shirt is lightweight and convenient for backpacking. The 100% polyester material is highly water resistant, breathable, and dries fast. This is the ideal top wear when involved in a sweating activity. It is very effective as far as moisture wicking is concerned.

The fabric is very flexible because it allows you to assume full range of movements. Quick dry qualities ensure that you are always dry. This is an ideal tee shirt for casual, hiking, camping, running, sports, and training wear.

You will certainly love the shirt irrespective of the color you choose because the quality is fine. However, you need to be careful with the advertised sizes. Your size might be L, but you may find yourself fitting in M. The t-shirt runs large; always confirm your fit.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Barracuda Killer Shorts Columbia Barracuda Killer Shorts

Best Features: 38% ripstop nylon & 62%-cotton material; zippered security pocket; quick dry fabric; UPF15 sun block rating; solid pattern; mid length; 10-inch inseam; regular or relaxed fit; and machine washable.

Best Use: Casual, Hiking, Camping

These Columbia Barracuda Killer Shorts are lightweight utility wear for the money. The shell material is made up of 62% cotton, and 38% ripstop nylon. This combination offers a strong fabric that can effectively withstand any rough conditions. The material is incorporated with UPF 15 sun blocking capability for protecting you from the hot sun.

The cargo style and solid pattern offer a heavy duty construction for casual, hiking, and any other summer outdoor activity wear. The fabric dries fast after exposure to water. In actual fact, it will take you less time for the material to dry, and you will be able to continue your hike at ease. If you are a fan of keeping things in your pocket, then these are the right shorts for you.

They are fitted with several pockets, in addition to a zipped security pocket. You can use the pockets to store your mobile devices, keys, and wallet among other small items. Keep all your summer outdoor adventures interesting by wearing these unique Columbia shorts. They usually come in 10-inch inseam, and they are not too low, just above your kneecaps.

They have straight cut edges, and they do not flare out. Generally, they have good construction, sturdy made, and lightweight for simple backpacking. Their water resistant capability makes them a good choice for trout fishing. There is nothing of note that you can mention negatively about these shorts.

Check the price on Amazon

Hurley Chino Pants hurley chino pants

Best Features: High quality material shell; back welt pockets; machine wash; button closure; coin pocket & woven label branding; moisture wicking; regular fit; and 32-inch inseam.

Best Use: Casual, Hiking, Camping, Fishing

The Hurley Chino Pants are particularly designed for casual street wear, but they are certainly a good choice for hiking and camping in summer. The pants’ shell is made of 47% polyester and 53% nylon. This blend of material provides you with the benefits of the individual fabrics in a single shell. The fabric is strong, does not shrink or wrinkle, and very effective when hiking in rough environments.

The most notable metric of these pants is the Dri-FIT moisture wicking technology. This tech ensures that all the moisture is removed from the pants leaving your skin dry. The pants offer you nothing less than a stylish look. You will admire the designer pockets. At the back, you have welt pockets accompanied by signature colorbar buttons. They also have a cute side pocket, both on the right and left seam.

The pants are designed to be worn with a belt just in case you chose a slightly larger size. You should know that fit is always consistent with the indicated sizing. The available waist sizes are 29, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, and 40. Generally, these pants are remarkable. You should not be hesitant to buy them because the features are worth the money.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Sportswear II Shirt Columbia Sportswear Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt

Best Features: 100% polyester (full dull ripstop Omni-wick); roll up sleeves w/ tab holders; antimicrobial; sun protection; advanced evaporation; & dry fabric.

Best Use: Fishing, Casual, Hiking, Camping

If you are searching for a maximum impact top wear for your summer outdoor adventure, then you need the Columbia Tamiami II Shirt. This shirt is particularly made for anglers. The available sizes are X-Small, LG, MD & SM. The available colors are Jupiter, vivid blue, fossil/breakup infinity, tippet, and koi. What makes it the best fishing/ outdoor shirt is the 100% polyester fabric, which is highly water resistant and fast drying.

You can go ahead and do river fishing for as long as you want. Once you are done fishing, continue doing your other chores or start your short journey home, and the shirt will dry up in no time. The fabric is incorporated with Omni-Dry tech that is very effective as far as wicking moisture away from your skin is concerned. The release of sweat away from your skin ensures that the shirt remains dry, cool, and odor-free.

It is a long sleeve shirt, but you can conveniently convert it into a short sleeve shirt by using the tab holders. The mesh-lined cape vents situated at the back shoulder ensure that there is maximum airflow, making the shirt more breathable and comfortable to wear for longer durations.

The shirt is fitted with two deep pockets situated at the chest area. You can stash your smartphone and any other small gear into them. You are also provided with a rod holder that offers hands-free convenience. Generally, the shirt offers a great look, and it is definitely worth paying for.

Check the price on Amazon

Hurley Dri-Fit ShortsHurley Dri-Fit Chino Shorts

Best Features: Fabric (6% spandex, 24% polyester, 70% nylon); zip fly & button closure; front slant pockets; back welt pockets; machine washable; and button closure.

Best Use: Casual, Hiking, Camping, Fishing

The Hurley Dri-Fit Shorts are the best summer outdoor outfit for the money. The fabric is a combination of spandex, polyester, and nylon. Each of the materials contributes to the general performance of the shorts. The fabric is highly waterproof, abrasion resistant, and fast drying.

The shell does not absorb water easily. All you have to do after exposing them to water is allow them to dry away from water. The shorts are available in the following waist sizes: 33, 32, 31, 30, 29 x 10, and 28 x 10.

The available colors are: mahogany, khaki, Hurley, black, cool grey, iron green, beta blue, brigade blue, gym red, palm green, desert, dark emerald, light bone, ice cube blue, oatmeal, cardboard khaki, star blue, fountain blue, and vivid sky to mention a few. The pants are fitted with welt back pockets and front slant pockets for stashing gear. The back welt pockets have button closure for added security.

Check the price on Amazon

Give-N-Go Printed Boxers printed boxers

Best Features: Fabric (6% Lycra spandex & 94% nylon); easy care; comfortable waistband; diamond-weave mesh fabric; & antimicrobial treatment.

Best Use: Casual, Hiking, Outdoor

The Give-N-Go Printed Boxers are the best outdoor men’s underwear for casual, hiking, and camping among other activities. The available sizes are Small, Medium, X Large, and XX Large. The available colors are: Algiers/quatrefoil, trees/avocado, walnut/clouds, varsity/fish, thyme/texture, texture/varsity, road/wavy, Riviera/fish, Riviera/diamond, Riviera/clouds, meadow/indigo, map/mist, map/light lapis, hops/argyle, and highlands/geo.

The fabric is mostly nylon with a smaller percentage of Lycra spandex. The material is antimicrobial treated ensuring that the fabric is always odor-free. The design is incorporated with diamond weave mesh that provides sufficient airflow and wicking of moisture.

This ensures that there is no moisture on your skin and you always stay cool and dry. The waistband fits comfortably and does not stretch with continued use. They are easy to care; therefore, you only need two pairs for backpacking.

Check the price on Amazon

In Conclusion

When choosing hot weather clothing, the best policy is to consider vegetation, bugs, and the effects of the hot sun. Go for clothes that will not only provide you with comfort, but also protect you from the likes of poisonous plants, biting insects, and the scorching sun.

Apart from the material and easy care, you should also be careful with the size and fit, especially when shopping for pants. There are some legwear that grow small even if you select the exact waist size. Simply be aware and prepared.


Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.