The best hiking clothes are clothes that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable while on a hike. Here are the best kinds of clothes to wear when hiking.
Just to remind readers, you can go hiking in anything at all, including high heels, a suit, or leather pants. However, just because you can wear anything doesn’t mean you will be comfortable wearing that stuff. The proper hiking clothes are designed to help you stay dry, warm or cool, and just all around comfortable.
Best Hiking Clothes – Shirts
The main thing that I would suggest for shirts is that the shirt be made of some kind of quick drying material. The second main thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid shirts made of materials that absorb water such as cotton.
Your shirt may get wet when you are hiking, maybe from sweat or rain. Regardless of how it gets wet, a quick dry shirt will dry fast and help you to feel comfortable in the outdoors.
If you are wearing a shirt that is wet you will feel cold fast, even faster if the wind is blowing.
Best Hiking Clothes – Pants/Shorts
Do not wear jeans for hiking because they are tight, making it hard to move easily and they stay wet if they get wet.
A better option is to wear shorts or pants of some kind of durable material that allows ease of movement and is quick drying. I recently bought some hiking pants and was surprised at how many options exist.
When purchasing pants things to keep in mind are: thickness of pants (some are very thin for wearing in hot weather, but they will not keep you warm); are they quick dry; how strong/durable are they (you will be hiking which can put a lot of wear and tear on pants).
Best Hiking Clothes – Layering
One of the first things that I learned about dressing for hiking is the importance of layering. Basically all that means is that you should wear many layers of clothes so that if you get warm you can take off one layer. Likewise if you get cold you can always add another layer of warmer clothing.
Here is an example of the layers of clothes that I wear when I go hiking, from the inner layer by my skin to the outer layer.
Upper body –
- t-shirt (quick dry material);
- long sleeve shirt or long john top;
- a fleece vest or pullover; and
- raincoat or outer shell made of a material to stop the wind and keep me warm.
Lower body –
- long john bottoms if really cold;
- shorts; and
- hiking pants – some material that is quick dry and moves easily.