Hiking Tops

Button Down Hiking Top Over a Baselayer
Button Down Hiking Top Over a Baselayer

Hiking tops are important because they are worn against your skin, so must be comfortable and keep you warm and dry. As discussed in Layering, in colder climates and in the mountains you’ll need a Base Layer. Base Layers can be worn by themselves (if in warmer climates), or under long sleeve button down hiking shirts.

Women’s Hiking Top Shopping Tips:

  • Material should be synthetic – not cotton! Unless you’re hiking in hot, dry, desert climates as discussed in Adventure Apparel, hiking tops should be wicking, meaning that any perspiration is “wicked” away from your skin.
  • Look for UPF ratings. Tops with a UPF rating will have a tighter fabric weave, so will provide better protection from harmful sun exposure. Learn more about the importance of UPF ratings and what it means.
  • Look for ventilation. Many base layer tops now have some mesh, so they are even more breathable than standard fabrics. Additionally, button front long sleeve hiking tops often have ventilation in the back, which is a very nice feature to have when you’re carrying a backpack.

Hiking Lady’s Favorite Women’s Hiking Tops:

Base layer tops:

Nike Pro Women’s Fitted Tee: This one fits well, wicks well, and looks good. Plus it is reasonably priced. Be sure to check out the Hiking Lady Gear Review: Nike Pro Women’s Fitted Tee for more info.
Icebreaker Atlas 150 Longsleeve Women’s Shirt:Icebreaker is one of the best brands out there, and this top is an excellent choice for a baselayer. It will keep you warm on crisp fall days, and since it wicks well, on hot days when temperatures heat up your perspiration will dry quickly. Be sure to check out the Hiking Lady Gear Review: Icebreaker Atlas 150 shirt for more info.

Button front long-sleeve hiking tops:

Columbia Women’s Titanium Omni-Dry Silver Ridge III Long Sleeve Shirt: This top is one of the few feminine cut tops I’ve found that not only looks great but does a superb job of protecting us from the sun, bushes, and bugs! The best part is that is comes in several colors, so you can pick the one that looks best on you. Be sure to check out the Hiking Lady gear review: Columbia Omni-Dry Silver Ridge III for more info.
ExOfficio Insect Shield Women’s Shirt: This women’s hiking shirt is high priced, but it is highly durable so will last a long time. ExOfficio is known for its top quality insect repelling apparel. This one has a UPF 30 rating, and it has a built in bug repellent that helps keep most mosquitoes and other pests away. Be sure to check out the Hiking Lady gear review: ExOfficio Women’s Insect Shield Shirt for more info.

Back to Hiking 101: Adventure Apparel


  1. Hiking Lady says:

    Below is great info from L, who posted this under the “Pants” section, but it relates to HIking Tops for Women:

    I haven’t posted here in a while.
    I find it a bit hard to navigate the site and I would like to comment on a shirt but I don’t see a way to get to the discussion on other clothes.
    So I will post here until someone tells me to take this post to a different thread.
    I just want to say I found a great shirt in Amazon. It is called the Pedal Pushers Commuter Dress Shirt.
    It is not perfect according to my needs and likes in a shirt, but it is still very good. It is made of lightweight stretch fabric and is like an ultra lightweight soft-shell shirt that is good for warmer weather. The fabric is rugged for such a light shirt. The shirt is put together so that it is not curvy or has princess seams, or extremely unnoticeable ones, the cut of the shirt could pass as unisex, I would say. Another good thing is that it has such a good pattern and design that if it is particularly hot out you can wear it without wearing a bra underneath providing that you are not really busty (actually if you are of a bit smaller size than normal and that is speaking from my own experience ) and I have communicated with other women on other websites who say they would love a shirt that would enable them to go out on hot days without a bra ( of course they don;t want to make some big scene either) but again that may only apply to certain figures. The material does not cling to you excessively in which case it might give you an appearance you would be displeased with in such a situation.
    There is a only long sleeved version of this shirt but they roll up and there are those “sleeve holders” you button on the top of the sleeve to hold the rolled sleeves up. I wrote to the company praising them for making such a shirt. And encouraged them not to discontinue it. The main thing about it that I am not so satisfied with is that it is not long enough. I would prefer it to be at least three inches longer but surprisingly the length is not too bad either as is. The material seems to resist substantially riding up when you bend over or move .

    The link is below. I think that a certain color is no longer available in the larger sizes. The sizes by the way are great. A size large or extra large fist me well though one will have longer sleeves and one will have a slightly more “drapey” fit but it won’t look like a maternity top.
    I need larger sizes because a lot of smaller sizes seem to be to fit girls under the age of 14. Activewear for women needs to be made for real sizes.
    They have 3 colors but I would say that the lighter blue color is too light and prissy. The darker blue one is better and also the black one. These shirts are versatile and though I have not tried it yet, you can wear a leotard top underneath it for cooler weather.
    I think that the company is running out of these shirts though..
    I don’t know if they will manufacture more.
    I bought some . I would like to buy more but am not sure it will continue.

    Hope this is useful info.


  2. L says:

    I have researched a lot of women’s “trekking” and “hiking” shirts ( for warmer weather).
    I need something lightweight and which does not feel horrible in humid balmy weather.
    It needs to be easy care and quick dry and it has to be of a material that does not pill (Get little fuzzies with time).
    It would be great if it had a bit of stretch and were NOT designed with princess seams or to enhance curves. Also I don’t want loud fluorescent colors.
    I would consider foreign brands if they have the right stuff, but I initially I would like for the sizing to be according to American size standards.
    I once bought something according to Chinese sizing-standards and I had to buy XXXL so when in American sizing standards I would have only needed Medium.

    Anyone know?

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