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. 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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