The Best Women’s Clothes for Hiking

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Going on a hike and not sure what you should be wearing? Here is a guide to women’s clothes for hiking you should be looking for in summer and winter.

Whether your a beginner or a seasoned hiker, finding good hiking clothing can be difficult. With hiking, it’s all about comfort and quality. As a woman, I know that the right hiking clothes can make all the difference between a good or bad hiking experience. It’s more than once that I found myself wondering what the best clothes would be for the type of hike that I am doing. Knowing what you need for your specific hike, especially a multi-day hike, will make planning and packing a breeze. So here is a list of some basic women’s hiking clothes that you may need.

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Women’s Summer Clothes for Hiking

Summer can be tricky when choosing hiking clothes. You want to be cool but you also need to be protected from UV rays that can be harmful to you. It’s all about finding the lightest clothing that offers comfort and covers enough skin to keep you protected. Here are some great options for summer clothes for hiking.

Summer Hiking Bottoms

Saturday Trail by Columbia

These are classic hiking pants every hiker should have in their wardrobe. These pants, in particular, look good wherever you are, and work pretty well in most kinds of environments. If the weather is too warm, you can turn them into capris.

They dry quickly so you won’t have to worry about getting caught in a summer shower. These pants are stain-resistant so don’t worry about getting muddy, these pants will wash well. These are a great pair of pants for shorter hikes but if you are a hardcore hiker planning on doing a tough endurance hike, you may want to steer clear of these.

Pros

  • Works well in most environments
  • Keeps you fresh
  • Looks good even if you aren’t hiking
  • Has functional pockets

Cons

  • Not very resistant
  • The fabric loses stretch after a couple of uses
  • Not durable for longer, rougher hikes

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Abisko by Fjallraven

Tights are one of my favorite options for hiking and exercising in general. These tights feature knee protection so if you fall or if you have trouble assembling your tent, they won’t rip apart as easily as others.

These particular tights also have extra pockets. Perfect if you need to keep your phone, extra cash or power bars on hand. I find these tights to be really comfortable for summer hiking. However, if you will be hiking in humid heat you may want to look at wearing looser hiking pants as tights can cause chafing.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Hard wearing and won’t tear easily
  • Has added knee protection
  • Has extra pockets

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well in cold weather
  • May be uncomfortable in humid heat

Guide Pro Capris by Eddy Bauer

If you want to look classy while hiking, this is a perfect choice. These capris look nice, fit well and are incredibly comfortable. Capri’s are especially great to wear in mild and warm weather. If you like walking or hiking on wider, less vegetated paths than these will be a great fit for you. These are also great for the woman who wants to feel cool but isn’t comfortable in shorts. They are the perfect in-between.

If you are a more hardcore hiker and enjoy narrow paths with denser vegetation you may want to reconsider though. The open areas of skin will be subject to a lot of scratches as they aren’t protected.

Pros

  • Look very stylish
  • Extremely comfortable in mild weather
  • Very lightweight and packable

Cons

  • The fabric can’t handle tropical weather
  • Pockets are not functional

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Comet Pants by Salomon

Not designed specifically for hiking, but these Salomon pants can certainly do the job while keeping you very comfortable and dry. The fabric used by Salomon to manufacture the Comet Pants dries very quickly while also retaining the body’s heat.

These are so comfortable that you can sleep in them as well. They make the perfect day trip pants, especially if you have to travel to the start of your hike. These are great for early morning hikes, when the weather is slightly cooler than later in the day. You may want to leave these at home for your more rugged hikes though.

Pros

  • They are really comfortable
  • Lightweight and Packable
  • They are quick drying

Cons

  • They are not the most stylish pants out there
  • Not tear-resistant, so be careful
  • Won’t hold up on rugged hiking trails

Aphrodite 2.0 by TNF

The North Face usually makes great hiking clothing, and the Aphrodite 2.0 is no exception. These are great for temperate weather and they are also quick-drying. The elastic waist is comfortable and ensures a good fit.

I really like these pants but wish it had more pockets. I would also not recommend these pants for very hot areas as they do get pretty warm after a few hours of hiking.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • It is quick drying
  • Durable and great for longer hikes 

Cons

  • It doesn’t have enough pockets
  • It is not ideal for extreme heat 
  • They are more expensive than similar pants

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Belay Shorts by Merrel

Merrell is a popular brand of hiking gear and these shorts live up to that. Shorts are great as they offer you flexibility and are great for keeping cool. I prefer shorts when hitting trails that require a bit of scrambling or bouldering.

These shorts also have zips on the pockets which I prefer as you can easily lose things on the trail. Needless to say, you don’t want to wear these in windy or cooler conditions. You may also want to reconsider them if you are planning on hitting dense vegetation. You may want to stay away from shorts in high heat areas if you are sensitive to the sun.

Pros

  • They give you a lot of flexibility
  • Your legs stay cool
  • Very durable and resistant
  • Zips on pockets are a bonus

Cons

  • They are not protective in windy or rainy conditions
  • Not good for tropical vegetation

Saturday Trail Skort by Columbia

If you haven’t heard of hiking skirts before than this will probably surprise you. Hiking skirts are an acquired taste. These particular skirts have a great interior stretch short for extra comfort.

These are great for easy day hikes on a wide flat trail, especially in warm weather. Another great perk of wearing a skirt while hiking is that it makes bathroom breaks much easier. This is a product that you either love or hate, but if you wear skirts on a regular basis then you will love this one for hiking.

Pros

  • Very Comfortable  
  • Functional and stretchy
  • Good pockets

Cons

  • Not good on steep trails
  • Not great for windy or wet weather

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Summer Hiking Tops

Bahama by Columbia

This is a shirt that is perfect for hiking. The shirt offers loads of pockets, it dries well and has added UV protection. The sleeves fold and button up for extra comfort. They are stylish but not very feminine, to be honest.

I love that the sleeves protect from unnecessary sunburn which is always a problem for me after a long hike. Columbia’s Bahama shirt is great for year-round hiking and perfect for windy weather too.

The collar is also the perfect addition as it protects your neck from sunburn. Admittedly they are not very comfortable if you are trekking with a bulky backpack. This is a functional shirt for summer hiking and is versatile for different weather conditions.

Pros

  • Functional pockets
  • Dries fast
  • Great UV protection for your arms and neck
  • Wind resistant

Cons

  • Uncomfortable if wearing a jacket or carrying a big heavy backpack
  • Not very light or packable

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Long Sleeve T-Shirt by Vapor Apparel

This is a great lightweight long sleeve top to wear for summer hikes. If you have sun sensitivity then this is the perfect top. The best thing about a top like this is that it can be used all year round.

The material of this top is meant to keep you cool and it does the job quite well. It is great for long treks as it is comfortable. The only problem with this top is that I don’t find the fabric to be very durable.

Pros

  • Works well all year round in most environments
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Lightweight and packable
  • You can use it as a layer if it gets too cold

Cons

  • Not very resistant
  • Gets stained easily
  • Not very breathable in humid weather

Morgan Short Sleeve T-Shirt by Marmot

For many hikers, the t-shirt is a go-to that you can’t go wrong with. The Morgan short sleeve t-shirt by Marmot is made out of great breathable material that feels soft to the touch.

It is great for long-distance hikes that require bulky backpacks as it won’t feel uncomfortable on your skin. This t-shirt also offers UV protection and is flexible for extra freedom of movement.

This is not a form-fitting t-shirt, so expect it to look a little baggy on you. I also found the material a little heavier than other t-shirts I have tried. But I wouldn’t consider this a con.

Pros

  • Dries fast
  • Resistant and very durable
  • The material is flexible and allowe

Cons

  • Feels stretchy but looks kind of baggy
  • Feels a little heavy
  • Your forearms are exposed so expect ugly sunburns 

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Asha Tank Top by Sherpa

Sleeveless tops are a great option for short summer hikes. The Asha tank top by Sherpa is made with fabric that keeps you cool and fees comfortable on your skin.

This is the perfect top for flexibility and movement so don’t be shy to hit that rugged terrain with this one. I wouldn’t recommend it for a multi-day hike though as a heavy backpack directly on your shoulders won’t be very comfortable. Sleeveless tank tops also leave you open to direct sunlight. For someone with sun sensitivity, this is probably not a good choice.

Pros

  • Feels light and comfortable
  • Keeps your body cool
  • Very stylish design and fit

Cons

  • Not suitable for carrying a heavy backpack
  • Your arms are exposed to direct sunlight

Echo Hoodie by Outdoor Research

I personally love the Echo Hoodie. It looks amazing on, gives you great protection from the sun, insects and hostile vegetation.

The fabric is soft and breathable which is perfect for more humid areas. I also really love that there are thumb inserts. Having the material cover a portion of my hand has saved me from scratches more than a few times.

The only thing that I find uncomfortable at times is the hoodie, especially if I’m wearing a backpack.

Pros

  • You’re fully protected from sunburns, stings, and scratches
  • Feels light and cool
  • Fabric is very resistant and durable

Cons

  • The hoodie can become a nuisance if you’re carrying a large backpack 

Women’s Winter Clothes for Hiking

Winter hiking takes a lot of different forms and therefore the choice in hiking clothes is infinite. There are a few basics that are necessary no matter what the temperatures may be. Here are some must haves for all types of winter hiking.

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Winter Hiking Bottoms

Agile Pants by Salomon

These pants are designed for winter runners, but they are so comfortable that they work really well for winter hiking too. They are light and offer great mobility which is perfect for rugged trails.

Although they are great for windy and cool weather I would not recommend them for hiking in the snow without considering another layer. But if you are hiking in more temperate areas that do not get really cold than these are perfect.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Excellent for windy weather
  • Great mobility

Cons

  • Not designed for mountaineering or extreme weather

Snow Cargo Pants by Arctix

Arctix has one of the best budget options if you want to stay dry and warm during those harsh winters. These snow pants work great with layers in case you’re planning on going for a high summit or just for a regular hike during the cold months.

I also liked the fact the these come with nice large, functional pockets. What I didn’t like, is the look. In my opinion, they look very baggy and if you’re not wearing mountaineering or snowboarding boots, they look awful.

Pros

  • Very durable and resistant
  • Works well in bad weather
  • Pockets are large and functional
  • Perfect for layering

Cons

  • Doesn’t look very stylish
  • Has a very loose fit

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Bugaboo Pants by Columbia

These Columbia pants are a great choice for the winter, especially when the weather gets very tough. You’ll stay dry and warm inside these insulated, super resistant, and very durable pants.

These pants are high wasted which gives you extra comfort, especially if you are carrying a backpack. These pants are really long though, which is especially problematic if you are short. The length makes wearing crampons and regular boots uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Very durable and tear-resistant
  • Great insulation
  • Comfortable with large backpacks

Cons

  • Too long
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of pockets

Omni-Heat Tights by Columbia

These tights are versatile and can be warn as a layer or on their own. If you are hiking in more temperate winter weather, they to wear on their own. In more severe winter weather these make a perfect layer to keep you extra comfortable and warm.

These tights have antimicrobial technology and moisture management and are a great option for multi-day hikes and mountaineering.

Pros

  • Antimicrobial and moisture management
  • Light and packable
  • Warm and insolated

Cons

  • Not tear-resistant
  • Doesn’t work with severe winter weather if it’s not combined as a layer

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Freedom Pants by The North Face

I personally love these pants. They are my winter go-to and a great option for snow hikig and mountaineering.

they have great insulation, have functional pockets, they fit great and they are very durable. They may look heavy but they are surprisingly light for such sturdy and warm pants.

With great quality and functionality comes a hefty price though. These are definitely not budget pants and you can find cheaper alternatives. But I personally think they are worth the price, especially if you hike a lot.

Pros

  • Very durable and resistant
  • Functional pockets
  • Feels light and you only lose a little mobility

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Bulky to pack

Axina Knicker by Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx specifically designed the Axina to be used as a layer, and it is warm and comfortable as a layer should be. If you are in less extreme weather and just require mild protection, they can be worn on their own.

I love these because they work well as sleepwear, perfect for multi-day mountaineering. I wore these under heavy Goretex and was really satisfied as they kept me warm and were really comfortable.

Pros

  • Warm, insulated and breathable
  • Very comfortable
  • Resistant and durable

Cons

  • Not Stylish
  • Pricey

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Winter Hiking Tops

Authentic Mock by Under Armour

This is another one of my favourites. This is a must-have for hikers. They are so versatile that you can even use them on a day-to-day basis.

These come with anti-odour and moisture management technology, so I’d recommend picking the Authentic Mock for multi-day hikes and mountaineering expeditions. They are versatile and easy to pack and are perfect for those hikes where you won’t be able to do any laundry.

These fit well and are comfortable, they also give you a good range of mobility and flexibility. I would prefer not to have a turtle neck, but it does offer protection from the cold.

Pros

  • Snug and Comfortable
  • Anti-odor technology
  • Great moisture management
  • Dries incredibly fast

Cons

  • Turtle neck can become uncomfortable

Merino 150 Wool Top by Smartwool

What this top lacks in durability it makes up in comfort. It is the most comfortable top that you can purchase for winter hiking.

The Merino 150 is not very warm but it works well as a layer or for winter hiking in warmer areas. This is the perfect addition to your wardrobe and is really versatile. You can wear it while hiking, around the campsite or even as sleepwear.

On the downside, it won’t work well in wet or humid weather as it doesn’t dry fast.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Light

Cons

  • Care is a little tricky
  • Not tear-resistant
  • Not very durable

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Merino 250 Base Layer by Smartwool

The Merino 250 is heavier and warmer than the Merino 150. It also has better fabric technology. But I must admit that I do not find it as comfortable as the 150.

This Smartwool features anti-odour technology so it works well if you pack it for a multi-day hike. It also has great insulation and breathability and works well for jogging or hardcore hiking.

This is the perfect top to wear on its own as it is really stylish or you could use it as a layer for extra warmth.

Pros

  • Very soft
  • Versatile
  • Warm and insulated

Cons

  • Care is a little tricky
  • Not tear-resistant
  • Not very durable

Active Extreme 2.0 Long Sleeve Base Layer by Craft

The Active Exteme features one of the most advanced fabric technologies of 2020. The fabric is designed to keep your body temperature controlled. and is perfect for high intensity workouts and hikes.

The fabric gives you great mobility as well so you won’t have a problem moving around on the trail.

Admittedly, on longer hikes I find it to be a little uncomfortable, but I really love it for those energy pumping day hikes.

Cons

  • Offers a lot of mobility
  • Looks very stylish
  • Light and warm
  • Dries very quick

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Gets uncomfortable during long hikes
  • Not very resistant

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Annie Long Sleeve by Marmot

The design on the Annie Long Sleeve is really stylish and the fit is great. This particular winter hiking top comes in some wonderful colours and is the perfect addition to your winter hiking wardrobe.

The turtle neck is loose enough that it doesn’t irritate your neck but still offers great protection against the elements. These are not great for layering, but they are pretty warm so will work well if it isn’t extremely cold.

I wouldn’t recommend this for multi-day hikes or mountaineering but they are great for day hikes and walks.

Cons

  • Looks great
  • Very comfortable
  • Dries fast

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not suitable as a layer

These clothes for hiking are the perfect guide to what you need, whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting out. What are some of your favourite clothes for hiking?

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