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Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

What you choose to wear on an adventure is very important. How successful your trip is can depend on what you’re wearing.

This apparel is made specifically for hiking. These hiking shirts are structured differently than a typical cotton shirt. They are made to remove moisture from your skin. Therefore, helping to keep you cool and dry on your trip.

The best lightweight long sleeve hiking shirt depends on the fabric it is made from. Different fabrics have different benefits and downfalls.

Importance of a lightweight hiking shirt

Wearing the right shirt for a hike is very important. This style can be used as a single layer or as a base layer. There are numerous benefits to a lightweight hiking shirt.

Having a lightweight design is crucial. The last thing anyone wants is extra weight while adventuring. This is true especially while backpacking when every ounce matters. Hiking shirts weigh nearly half as much as a standard cotton shirt.

This apparel is important because it will keep you cool and dry. This is the main purpose of the apparel.

Certain fabrics used for these apparel are odor resistant. This is a great quality because you can get multiple wears out of the shirt.

Most hiking shirts are made to be soft to touch. This assures a comfortable fit throughout your adventure.

Also, a long sleeve shirt adds extra protection. It can help to protect against both the sun and nature along the trails.

Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Things to consider

There are a few things to consider when choosing a hiking shirt. Fabric is an important aspect to keep in mind. Comfort level, functionality, and durability are other things you should consider. All aspects of these apparel are important.

Moisture Wicking

When a fabric wicks away moisture it is the act of evaporating water from one’s skin. This helps the water evaporate easier. A shirt having a water-wicking property can improve a hike.

The purpose of a hiking shirt is to keep someone cool and dry. Moisture-wicking properties are very important.

Comfort Level 

The specific fit you want and need should be considered. These styles can run snug or loose. A looser fit can result in a more ventilated feel.

If you plan to layer on top, you should get a tighter fit. This can help the fabric do what it is meant to do. If it is a tight fit, it will wick away moisture easier.

The seams of the shirt should not cause any discomfort. Typically hiking shirts are made with flatlock seams to avoid rubbing or chafing. Flatlock seams do not have layers on the underside.

Functionality

Everyone has different personal needs. Your own needs are important to keep in mind. Some shirts have a mesh panel along the back which is more ideal for someone backpacking.

It is important to think of the temperature your hike will have. A benefit of a lightweight long sleeve shirt is that it is comfortable in all temperatures.

Ease of care

You should only purchase a hiking shirt that has easy care instructions. This is true if the shirt would be your main shirt on a long trip. Access to a washing machine would not be possible. Therefore, it must be easy to care for.

Not all of this apparel is odor resistant. If you are going to wear the shirt for multiple days an odor-resistant shirt would be beneficial.

Merino wool is a fabric that is odor resistant. This means you could wear this fabric for multiple days at a time.

Durability

You want to purchase something that is going to last. As mentioned, the benefit of the lightweight long sleeve is that it functions in both the winter and summer.

Your apparel should be durable enough to make it through all seasons. A more expensive fabric does not necessarily mean a more durable shirt.

Fabric

The fabric of the shirt is important to consider. There are many types of fabrics used to make this apparel.

Different fabrics have different benefits and downfalls. This goes back to personal needs. Certain fabrics work better for others.

Different Fabrics

There are different types of fabrics used to make this apparel. Some fabrics are better than others for hiking.

Merino Wool

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Merino Sheep Breed

Merino wool is the most expensive option. Though it is the most expensive, it is hard to beat in quality. It is the overall best fabric for a lightweight long sleeve hiking shirt.

This material works well in various climates. The fabric is breathable and helps to regulate body temperatures. Merino wool provides natural comfort and ventilation.

A property of wool is its ability to absorb moisture. It helps to successfully wick away water.

Having this property helps to keep the moisture off of your body. The shirt will not cling to your body if it does get wet. It will continue to leave your body feeling dry.

Merino wool fights against odors. The material absorbs moisture preventing bacteria from growing. This makes the material a great choice for a multiple-day adventure.

The downfall of this material is that it can be expensive. Merino wool is also not that durable.

Synthetic

Synthetic fabrics are most commonly used for active apparel. You will find most lightweight long sleeve shirts to be made from a synthetic fabric. It is a less expensive option.

Compared to Merino wool, synthetic shirts are more durable. They are not as comfortable to touch though. The breathability depends on the exact fabric.

This type of material is ideal when facing wet climates. These shirts are quick to dry once wet. They do not absorb moisture like the wool fibers.

Synthetic shirts are not odor resistant. The material is not odor resistant so it can feel clammy at times. Some synthetic materials can wick sweat. As mentioned, this material is not the most comfortable amongst options.

Blends

A more specific type of synthetic material would be a blend of nylon and spandex. This type of material provides a more comfortable fit.

Blends still provide less breathability than a Merino wool shirt would. This material is not odor resistant.

Cotton

Hiking shirts made from cotton should be avoided. Cotton is not a good material for high volume activities.

Cotton does not wick away moisture from the skin. Once it gets wet the fabric is not quick to dry.

This material is not breathable. This can result in sweat not evaporating. You may feel dragged down by this fabric.

Cotton is not odor resistant. This can be a downfall. Especially, when you need to wear the shirt for multiple days at a time.

Cotton shirts should be avoided. Overall, it is not a good material to choose for hiking.

HOW TO CHOOSE A LIGHTWEIGHT LONG SLEEVE HIKING SHIRT?

Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

What you choose to wear on an adventure is very important. How successful your trip is can depend on what you’re wearing.

It is important to choose the right hiking shirt for your personal needs. Choosing the right shirt should not be stressful. There are a few things to remember while searching!

FUNCTIONALITY & DURABILITY

Upon choosing a shirt it is important to keep in mind your personal needs. A lightweight long sleeve is good in different climates and different terrain.

A shirt that functions well for you will be beneficial. Hiking shirts have different features. Some shirts have mesh panels that can help to aid in ventilation. A mesh panel can be beneficial if the travels include backpacking.

Some fabrics are more durable than others. If you will wear the shirt for multiple seasons you will want a durable one.

Comfort

Comfort is important to keep in mind. Along a hiking trip, you do not want to be worried about your apparel.

The seams of the shirt should not cause any discomfort. Hiking shirts are usually made with flatlock seams to avoid rubbing or chafing. Flatlock seams do not have layers on the underside.

Fabrics

Different fabrics have different benefits

Overall, Merino wool is the best option. This apparel is odor resistant and wicks away moisture. Merino wool is breathable and helps to regulate body temperature. Some have found that the fabric can be irritating to sensitive skin. The main downfall of this fabric is that it can be expensive.

The most common fabric you will come across will be a synthetic one. It is a less expensive option than Merino wool. Synthetic fabrics work to wick moisture from the body. This fabric is not odor resistant. Also, it is not as comfortable as Merino wool.

CONCLUSION

When choosing a hiking shirt, you deserve the best option for you. Depending on the terrain and temperature, you can explore different types of apparel.

The best lightweight long sleeve hiking shirt depends on the fabric it's made from. The specific fabric can determine how good the hiking shirt is. Functionality, durability, and comfort level are important things to consider.

Stay far from wearing a cotton shirt when hiking! Merino wool or synthetic fabrics are your best option. Happy hiking!

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