9 Best Long Sleeve Hiking Shirts for Hot Weather in 2024

Last Updated on 28/08/2023

Best Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

In this guide to the best long sleeve hiking shirt for hot weather, we share the nine most lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking shirts with long sleeves to wear on a hike. You will learn why certain types of long sleeve shirts for hiking are better than others and how they are safer than sunscreen.

In a hurry? Here are some of the top performers in their class:

Long sleeve hiking shirts with a UPF of 50+ are the best way to stay safe from the sun on a hike. Suncream is amazing on areas of skin that are hard to protect with clothing, but for your upper body, nothing beats a lightweight hiking shirt with long sleeves.

The problems with sunscreen that long sleeve shirts never suffer from are that it feels sticky and unpleasant, can easily sweat or rub off, and needs to be reapplied constantly. I have always found it much more practical, comfortable, and reliable to cover your skin with lightweight clothing.

In this guide, we tested a dozen or more different types of long sleeve hiking shirts to see which performs best and which one we would want to wear every day on the trail.

9 Best Long Sleeve Hiking Shirts


Helikon-Tex Defender Mk2 Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt

Helikon-Tex Defender Mk2 Tropical Weather Men Button Down Long Sleeve Shirt - UPF30 Sun Protection - Silver Mink, XLarge - Casual Outdoor, Fishing, Hiking, Tactical Shirt

  • MATERIAL: 100% Polyester
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar
  • SUN PROTECTION: UPF 30+
  • PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, pit and back vents, the most practical
  • CONS: Lower UPF rating than others, the fabric is a little noisier

The Helikon-Tex Defender Mk2 Tropic Shirt is designed for rugged outdoors and hot and humid environments like in the tropics or a jungle. Some of the innovative features this long sleeve hiking shirt has are the mesh vents under the arms and on the upper back and a small sunglasses loop on the chest. It’s good for work, casual wear, or outdoor activities.

It’s made of a light fabric that breathes well, wicks moisture, and keeps you cool as it dries slightly slower than others. Its the type of material you don’t mind sweating in (if that makes sense), as in it feels comfortable whether it is wet or has been worn for a week without a proper wash. You also get protection from harmful UV rays thanks to its UPF 30 index.

The shirt has a regular collar and buttons down the front, allowing you to provide shade to your neck and open up the shirt the hotter you get. There are two pockets on the chest that are close with flaps and two hidden zippered pockets, which is good for keeping a small stash of cash for emergencies and pub stops on your hike. Some folks like the secret pockets, but they do have a couple of issues. If you put anything big in them, it shows, and the zipper toggles tend can become irritating, so I had to shorten them.

VERDICT: The Helikon-Tex Defender Mk2 is no doubt one of the best long sleeve shirts for hiking and backpacking. The material is super lightweight, anti-chaffing, and stretchy, making it comfortable to wear in hot weather with a big pack on your back. It doesn’t seem to dry as fast as some other shirts with long sleeves, but in many cases, this is a good thing, as when the shirt is damp, it keeps you cooler through the magic of evaporation.

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Patagonia Long-Sleeve Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

Patagonia Long-Sleeve Capilene

  • MATERIAL: 100% polyester (50% recycled), miDori™ bioSoft for wicking and softness, and HeiQ® Pure odor control
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar
  • SUN PROTECTION: 50+ UPF
  • PROS: Everyday comfort, durable, moisture-wicking, antibacterial odor control, ethically made
  • CONS: Sleeves can come down and unroll after years of use

The Patagonia Long-Sleeve Capilene Shirt is one of my all-time favorites for hiking. It is lightweight, breathable, comfortable, well fitted, and all the other good stuff that comes with the Patagonia brand quality and trustworthiness. It is one of those long sleeve tee’s that you can wear for hiking, jogging, biking, or just as an everyday top.

You can hike your ass off until you are dripping in sweat, and then ten minutes later, your shirt feels practically dry again. This is helped by the miDori™ bioSoft treatment, which is infused into the material, which also makes the fabric silky smooth against the skin to negate any chafing. There is also a treatment called HeiQ® Pure that is applied to the material, which is antibacterial and controls body odor.

One thing I really want to highlight is how reliable this long sleeve shirt is for hiking. Do you know how some t-shirts thin out, bauble, lose their shape, or even shrink over time? Well, these long sleeve shirts don’t do that, and I’ve owned two of them for about two years now. Every week they get thrown in the wash at least once or twice because I wear them so much, and they keep going strong.

VERDICT: If you can’t tell already, I think this is one of the best long sleeve hiking shirts for everyday use. You can wear it over and over, which is what you want on hiking or backpacking trips where you only have a couple of shirts with you. I also think people like the plain/no logo style design as well as the color options Patagonia makes this shirt in.

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Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Shirt

Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Shirt - Men's Light Olive X-Largeshop outdoor gear

  • MATERIAL: 84% Recycled polyester, 16% elastane
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar and double breast pockets
  • SUN PROTECTION: UPF 50+
  • PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying
  • CONS: Expensive, thicker material

The Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Shirt is a more rugged style of long-sleeve shirt but with plenty of moisture-wicking properties and stretch too. Its thickness, far from being a hindrance, is a testament to its rugged outdoor readiness and ability to wick moisture effectively.

Built with a blend of 84% recycled polyester and 16% elastane, this shirt has an excellent combination of durability and flexibility. Though it has a relaxed fit, there’s nothing baggy about its appearance. You may need a quick glance at their website to understand the sizing, but once you slip it on, you’ll appreciate the precise cut that made me want to order two more in different colors. The styling might give off a slightly old-school explorer vibe, but don’t let that deceive you; it is as technical as the rest.

With its long sleeves that can be rolled up and secured with bicep buttons, handy double breast pockets, and a collar designed for optional sun protection (that actually stays up instead of flopping), the Fjallraven Abisko is as versatile and practical as they come. The material’s thickness might feel heavy when drenched, but on hot days this only helps you stay cooler for longer.

VERDICT: If you’re planning a trek in a cooler climate or looking for a multifunctional shirt, the Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Shirt should be on your radar. It’s exceptionally comfortable and rugged at the same time. While its primary intention is to serve hikers, backpackers love this shirt as it also looks very smart when worn with a pair of jeans if you need it to.

Whether you’re the type who hikes with thumbs tucked behind the backpack straps or someone who enjoys free movement, you’ll never feel constrained around the elbows and shoulders.

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Arc’teryx Cormac Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt

Arc'teryx Cormac Hoody Men's | Upf 50+ Hoody for High-Output Activities | Black Sapphire Heather, X-Large

  • MATERIAL: 100% polyester with DAO finish
  • STYLE: Long sleeve hiking shirt with hood
  • SUN PROTECTION: 50+ UPF
  • PROS: Excellent fit, comfortable, durable, stretchy, thumb loops, hood, lightweight, breathable
  • CONS: Expensive, can feel hot underneath a backpack

The Arc’teryx Cormac Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt is one of the best for hiking without a backpack and for trail running. I am so specific about not wearing a backpack because when you do, it can get quite hot against your back. Designed for sun protection, wicking moisture, and comfort, this technical long-sleeve shirt is perfect for hiking in hot weather.

The material is quite unique in that it feels super soft, stretchy, and lightweight while at the same time being very durable. It is nice and broad around the shoulders and close around the torso, giving the arms total freedom of movement without lifting up at the bottom when you stretch.

A couple of points I wanted to mention about some of the features are that the hood can be a bit annoying when not in use if the wind blows it over your shoulder or gets lodged between your backpack strap and your shoulder. The thumb loops are useful to protect your hands from the sun, especially if using hiking poles, but I find that I rarely ever use them in summer. Also, it has a premium price tag which is hard to swallow for most casual hikers.

VERDICT: Overall, the Arc’teryx Cormac long-sleeve hooded shirt is an excellent piece of kit that doesn’t seem to bauble or show wear like many synthetic sun shirts. Its durability and fit are definitely better than its rivals. However, the price is a bit high, and with a backpack, it does get quite hot unless you roll the sleeves up or use a mesh-backed backpack.

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Mountain Hardwear Canyon Long Sleeve Shirt

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Canyon Long Sleeve Shirt, Manta Grey, Largeshop outdoor gear

  • MATERIAL: 100% Polyester
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar
  • SUN PROTECTION: UPF 50+
  • PROS: Lightweight, excellent fit, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, durable
  • CONS: The lighter color options (like white and yellow) are slightly see through

The Mountain Hardwear Canyon Long Sleeve Shirt ranks highly in this list of the best long-sleeve shirts for hiking, largely because of its excellent fit. Its classic outdoor design makes it a durable choice, complete with long sleeves that can be rolled and buttoned up, a sun-protective collar, dual-breasted pockets, and a loose, breathable feel. The back of the shirt is well-ventilated along the top, ensuring that your back doesn’t overheat, and you can take advantage of the slightest breeze on a scorching summer day.

The fabric is specially woven with UPF-50 filter strands, providing essential sun protection no matter how hot and sweaty you get. It is also moisture-wicking and anti-wrinkle, so on backpacking trips, you can wear it on the hiking trail by day and still look smart on an evening in town. The breast pockets use zippers instead of buttons, which are more secure for small items, and double up as chest vents for letting off steam. The shirt’s loose fit enhances air circulation around your body, promoting evaporation and ultimately keeping you cooler.

VERDICT: The Canyon Long Sleeve Shirt by Mountain Hardwear stands out for its versatility and ventilation. The lightweight yet durable fabric, sun protection, and superior moisture-wicking abilities ensure you remain comfortable even during strenuous hikes. Whether drenched in sweat or facing the intense sun, this shirt’s moisture management and ventilation ensure you stay cool and dry, making it an ideal choice for hiking with a backpack.

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Under Armour Tech 2.0 Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Under Armour Men's Tech 2.0 1/2 Zip-Up Long Sleeve T-Shirt , Black (001)/Charcoal , Largeshop outdoor gear

  • MATERIAL: 100% Polyester
  • STYLE: Long sleeve shirt with 1/3 zip
  • SUN PROTECTION: 50+ UPF
  • PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, cheap
  • CONS: lacks durability, material sits very close to your skin, little airflow

The Under Armour Tech 2.0 Long-Sleeve T-Shirt is designed more for sports more intense than hiking, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. It has the most athletic fit of any long sleeve shirt in this guide, although it isn’t tight or restrictive in any way (unless you have a protruding beer belly). The advantage of this is that there isn’t much loose material, which is better for hiking with a backpack and also makes you look good.

The material feels incredibly lightweight and very breathable. It’s also very quick to dry (like 10 minutes fast), so even if you are sweating profusely, it doesn’t take long to dry off when you take a rest. The sleeves are a good length, and the fit around the shoulders and chest feels just right.

The zipper is great for heat regulation and quite literally letting off steam when you work up a sweat and sealing up as you approach the summit of a mountain on a windy day. Some user reviews claim their shirts arrived with poor stitching and color fading, but we’ve never had a problem, and that’s why we recommend buying from a well-known retailer or online supplier.

VERDICT: The Under Armour Tech 2.0 Long-Sleeve T-Shirt is a technical workout top that is perfect for hiking if you have an athletic figure. The closer fit and breathable fabric is amazing when hiking in hot weather with a backpack on. If you want the attributes of a comfy hiking t-shirt with the option to open it up at the front, then this is a good benchmark to try out.

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Outdoor Research Astroman Long-Sleeve Sun Shirt

Outdoor Research Men’s Astroman Long Sleeve Sun Shirt – Lightweight UPF 50 Protectionshop outdoor gear

  • MATERIAL: 85% Nylon, 15% Spandex
  • STYLE: Long sleeve snap button shirt with collar
  • SUN PROTECTION: UPF 50+
  • PROS: Ultralightweight, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, smart aesthetics
  • CONS: Snap buttons instead of regular buttons (need I say more?)

If you want a long sleeve hiking shirt with lots of stretch, then the Outdoor Research Astroman would be our recommendation. It has most of the qualities I look for in a LS hiking shirt and is one of my recent favorites from Outdoor Research. Crafted from a blend of 85% nylon and 15% spandex, it offers a superb stretch for unrestricted movement and solid durability.

Designed for use in extreme conditions, this shirt provides full UPF 50+ sun protection, ensuring your skin stays safe when hiking in hotter climates than your skin is used to. Its moisture-wicking technology makes it dry quickly, and weirdly sweatmarks and stains don’t seem to show up much at all.

I like shirts that only have one chest pocket, like the Astroman because it is so rare you will ever use both at the same time that they just aren’t worth it. A left-welt chest snap pocket is all you need to keep 1 or 2 small valuables or your card and cash, and the pocket flap is pretty cool looking. An AirVent inner back liner helps with ventilation. However, it is not as good as others like the Helikon-Tex because it doesn’t have the same opening.

VERDICT: The Outdoor Research Astroman Long Sleeve Sun Shirt is one of the comfiest to hike in because of how stretchy it is. Also, it doesn’t show sweat marks or stains as obviously as others which makes it perfect for backpacking trips as well as hiking for multiple days in a row. UV protection, quick-drying ability, and functional features make it a good choice, reflecting the deep understanding and attention to what outdoor enthusiasts truly need.

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Columbia Blood and Guts III Long Sleeve Woven Shirt

Columbia Men's Blood and Guts III Long Sleeve Woven Shirt, Cypress, X-Small

  • MATERIAL: 100% Polyester
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar and double breast pockets
  • SUN PROTECTION: UPF 50+ OMNI-SHADE and OMNI-WICK technology
  • PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, ventilated, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, UPF fabric, stain-resistant
  • CONS: Little bit noisier than other materials, baggy fit, not very stylish

The Columbia Blood and Guts III has been one of the top long-sleeve hiking shirts for a while now, and there is almost no reason to change anything about it. It’s loved for its moisture-wicking ability, good airflow, flexibility, and extra large sizes for all body shapes and sizes. There’s a big vent on the back for better airflow and ventilation, but because the vent is about halfway down the back, this feature doesn’t work as well if you’re wearing a backpack.

The shirt is much looser than others, giving you room to breathe, especially in hot weather. You can roll up the long sleeves to three different lengths, and there’s a mesh liner on the back for more comfort and ventilation. Two pockets on the front are handy for small items, but I prefer a low-profile button or zip to the hook and loop closure on this shirt.

One thing that stands out about the Blood and Guts III Shirt is its special technology. OMNI-SHADE helps protect your skin from the sun, and OMNI-SHIELD keeps moisture out and dries quickly to avoid stains. The shirt is made of 100% polyester, so it’s light but tough. If you’re a fisher, you’ll like how it resists stains and has features like a chest rod holder.

VERDICT: The Columbia Blood and Guts III Shirt is a great pick for hikers who want a well-ventilated shirt with a looser fit. It’s a little baggy instead of having an athletic cut and has smart tech to keep you comfy and protected from the sun. Whether you hike, fish, camp, or spend time outside, this shirt can help you stay happy and comfortable in many settings.

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Columbia Silver Ridge 2.0 Long Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge 2.0 Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt, Columbia Grey Gathered Plaid, XX-Large

  • MATERIAL: 100% Nylon
  • STYLE: Long sleeve button shirt with collar with double breast pockets
  • SUN PROTECTION: OMNI-SHADE and OMNI-WICK technology UPF 50+
  • PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, ventilated, smart aesthetics, good value
  • CONS: baggy fit, shorter torso on larger sizes

The Columbia Silver Ridge 2.0 is a simple yet effective long-sleeve hiking shirt, and it’s really good at wicking away moisture. It uses special  OMNI-WICK technology to improve this and OMNI-SHADE technology to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Even when it’s super sunny, this shirt pulls sweat away from your body and dries it quickly. This helps you feel cool and refreshed as you spend the whole day hiking without any real shade.

This shirt was made with both comfort and practicality in mind. It provides good protection from the sun while also keeping you dry. You can roll up the sleeves easily, and there are special holders to keep them in place. The vents on the back are vertical, unlike those on the Blood and Guts shirt above, which is neither better nor worse in our opinion – they both do the same thing and struggle when wearing a pack.

You can pick from lots of patterns and colors, but two favorites are the mini plaid and multi-plaid ones with red stripes. I would say that this and the Outdoor Research Astroman shirt are the two options that look least like an outdoor shirt but still perform like one; they are subtle.

VERDICT: The Columbia Silver Ridge 2.0 is a solid choice if you want a moisture-wicking shirt for hiking. The fabric with OMNI-SHADE keeps you cool, and the OMNI-WICK technology is great at getting rid of sweat – two features designed for hot weather. It ranks high among the best long sleeve hiking shirts for keeping you dry, and it looks good enough to wear out in the evening, too.

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Benefits of Long-Sleeve Shirts Vs. Short Sleeve Shirts for Hiking

Benefits of Long-Sleeve Shirts Vs. Short Sleeve Shirts for Hiking

Long-sleeve shirts and short-sleeve shirts each have their benefits for hiking, and the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference, weather conditions, and specific hiking needs. Here are the main pros of long sleeve shirts:

  • Sun Protection: Long-sleeve shirts protect your arms, and if they have a collar, your neck too. Avoiding the need for sunscreen on those areas.
  • Insect Protection: The extended coverage can help shield your skin from insect bites when sitting around camp or hiking through bug-infested locations.
  • Plant Protection: When hiking on overgrown trails stinging nettles, grasses, and other plants can cause irritation to your arms if you rub against them. Not when you have a long sleeve shirt on.
  • Temperature Regulation: Long sleeves can provide extra warmth in cooler weather, while moisture-wicking materials can still keep you cool in the heat by evaporating sweat.
  • Versatility: Long-sleeve shirts can be rolled up or down to adapt to changing weather conditions. They can also be layered on top of a short sleeve t-shirt.

Downsides of Long-Sleeve Shirts Vs. Short Sleeve Shirts for Hiking

While long-sleeve shirts for hiking offer many benefits, there are also reasons why I still wear T-shirts most of the time. Here’s a rundown of some of the potential drawbacks of long-sleeve shirts vs. short-sleeve shirts:

  • Can Feel Hotter: In hot and humid conditions, a long-sleeve shirt might feel hotter than a lightweight sports t-shirt.
  • Weight: Long-sleeve shirts generally weigh more than short-sleeve shirts, and this is amplified if the shirt gets wet.
  • Drying Time: With more fabric, long-sleeve shirts can take longer to dry if they become wet from rain or sweat, especially if you roll the sleeves up. This can be uncomfortable on the trail and inconvenient on multi-day hikes.
  • Restriction of Movement: Depending on the design and fit, some long-sleeve shirts might restrict arm movement to a degree, especially if they are not made from stretchy materials. I have found that if a long sleeve shirt is a little bit small, you feel it more around the shoulders than with a short sleeve.

types of long sleeve hiking shirts

Types of Long-Sleeve Hiking Shirts

There are a few different types of long sleeve shirts that would work for hiking, and which one works best for you might be different from the ones that we like here at Gear Assistant. For example, in hot weather, I always wear a button-up shirt because it is the most versatile and easy to regulate. However, if I am wearing layers over the top of my long sleeve shirt, then I will always go for a long sleeve t-shirt or sun hoodie.

Here are the different types of shirts with long sleeves you can wear on hiking trails:

Long Sleeve T-shirts

Long sleeve t-shirts are lightweight and comfortable for everyday use. The ones designed for hiking are made from stretchy synthetic fabrics instead of cotton so that they can wick moisture and dry faster, as well as give you more freedom of movement. If I am wearing my long-sleeve shirt as a base layer or mid-layer when hiking, I always choose the t-shirt style.

Long Sleeve Button Shirts

Long sleeve button-up shirts are my personal favorite for hiking in hot weather. They are durable, moisture-wicking, easy to open up at the front or roll the sleeves up, protective from the sun, and can be worn in any situation, including evening meals at a restaurant. They are slightly looser fitting than other types of long-sleeve shirts, which has more benefits than downsides.

Long Sleeve Hooded Shirts

Hooded shirts with long sleeves are great for hiking so long as the material is lightweight and breathable enough. The hood is a great addition that will provide protection to your head, face, neck, and ears from the sun without the need for sunscreen. A downside I am very aware of is that because sun shirt hoods are so lightweight, they tend to get in the way a lot and need flicking over your shoulder as if you had a long ponytail.

Long Sleeve Polo Shirts

You don’t see too many long sleeve polo shirts for hiking, and I couldn’t find any worth testing or mentioning, but they actually make a lot of sense. They have the comfort of a heavyweight t-shirt and the benefits of a collar (to protect your neck from the sun) and bottom closures at the top, which can be opened to improve ventilation on hot days.

Long Sleeve Shirts with A Zip

Long sleeve shirts with zips are typically seen for sports like cycling, but some serious hikers like using them too. They look like an extremely thin fleece top in that they are close fitting and have a 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 length zip to give you some temperature control and make it easier to get over you’re head. They tend to be very stretchy and breathable but can lack durability.

guide to long sleeve shirts for hiking

Guide to Long-Sleeve Hiking Shirts

Having completed hundreds, if not thousands, of hikes in hot weather, it is safe to say I know what I am talking about when it comes to what works in the field. Long sleeve hiking shirts are, without a doubt, the best way to stay protected and comfortable in the sun. Here are some of the main things we look for and compare when trying to find out which one I would recommend first:

Material

When choosing a long-sleeved hiking shirt, understanding the material is key to finding the perfect fit for your adventure. Here’s an insight into what goes into these shirts:

  • Polyester: Often a popular choice, polyester blends can range in quality. A high-end polyester blend feels soft and smooth, providing excellent moisture-wicking capabilities to keep you dry. It’s lightweight, perfect for those seeking a balance between comfort and performance.
  • Nylon: Valued for its strength and stretchiness, nylon complements polyester in many hiking shirt blends. While not as effective at moisture removal, its durability and flexibility make it suitable for demanding outdoor activities.
  • Merino Wool: A luxurious option, merino wool is prized for its antimicrobial properties and effective moisture-wicking. Although heavier and costlier, it feels soft against the skin, providing comfort in both warm and cold environments.
  • Cotton: Known for its breathability and hypoallergenic properties, cotton is a more relaxed option. While not highly effective at moisture-wicking, its natural fibers provide cooling through enhanced air circulation.
  • Flannel: For those venturing into colder climates, flannel offers durability and moisture-wicking abilities. Made from thickly woven cotton, it provides comfort and resilience, perfect for less intensive outdoor activities.

Fit and Comfort

It’s important, as with any clothing, to feel comfortable in a long sleeve shirt. Getting a shirt that feels comfortable is partly down to choosing a stretchy and moisture-wicking material and partly down to getting a good fit. Many long sleeve button-up shirts will have a chest measurement and sometimes a collar measurement on the label, as well as the usual small, medium, and large, etc…

Tips for trying on a long sleeve shirt before buying: Fasten all the buttons up on the front and sleeves to make sure it isn’t too tight, loose, long, or short. Look in a mirror and turn sideways to judge the length of the arms and body. Perform stretches such as arms straight up and see how the shirt reacts or restricts your movement. Arnold Schwarzenegger-style muscle flexes are another good way to put the fit of the shirt through the motions.

Moisture Wicking

For hiking shirts specifically, it is important for them to be effective moisture wickers. With long sleeve shirts, it is even more of a priority as the extra fabric on the arms can become rather uncomfortable when it gets damp with sweat and even cause chafing.

Moisture-wicking technology pulls sweat away from your skin and moves it to the outer surface of the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly. As a result, you stay dry and comfortable, regardless of how intense your hike becomes.

When choosing a long-sleeve hiking shirt, look for materials like polyester or merino wool, known for their superior moisture-wicking properties. Avoid cotton, as it retains moisture which gets heavy and is not what you want to be wearing if it gets even a little bit damp.

Breathability and Ventilation

Having tried and tested dozens of different long sleeve hiking shirts, something I always look for is breathability and ventilation. Breathable fabrics allow air to flow through the material, helping to regulate your body temperature by releasing excess heat and moisture. This helps you stay cooler and sweat less, as well as take advantage of any breeze that will also help.

Ventilation features, such as mesh panels or vented back yokes, provide additional airflow in targeted areas. Button-up hiking shirts with long sleeves also have the benefit of opening up fully down the front too. If you can find a shirt that fits well and feels comfortable, as well as has air vents on the back and/or armpits, then you are going to be so much happier on a hike in hot weather.

long sleeve shirt sun protection for hiking

Sun Protection

Long sleeve shirts have the benefit of protecting your arms from the sun. So long as the material is thick enough, you should have the protection of 30-50+ UPF. For thinner, more lightweight hiking shirts, you can sometimes get material that has been treated or infused with UV-blocking technology that doesn’t wash out in the laundry. This is great if you are hiking in climates of extreme heat where sunburn is a major risk.

Odor Control

Just as with UV-blocking fibers and technology, odor control is something to look out for. Take the Patagonia long-sleeve shirt, for example, which is treated with HeiQ which has strong antimicrobial properties to reduce body odor as well as prolong the life of the material if you sweat a lot (which I do). Not all shirts will have this, but if it is something you want, then look for shirts made from Merino wool which is naturally odor resistant.

Freedom of Movement

Freedom of movement comes from a combination of the material (how stretchy it is) as well as the fit and style of long sleeve shirt. It is crucial to retain as much freedom of movement as possible when hiking, as you never know when you might need to use your hands to block a fall or obstacle. Always test a shirt’s mobility by stretching your arms up and about to see if it feels tight anywhere.

Weight

If you are an ultralightweight hiker or backpacker, then weight can be a key factor to look for if you are buying online before trying. If you compare the weight of a couple of different long sleeve shirts, you will notice a significant difference between some of them. A lightweight shirt is a good indicator that it will be breathable and comfortable for hiking as well as less of a burden to your pack weight,

Which Long-Sleeve Shirts Are Best for Hiking?

Personally, the shirts I like best and wear the most are the Patagonia Long-Sleeve Capilene Cool Daily Shirt and the Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Shirt (even though the Helikon-Tex is technically the better shirt). I could get rid of all my other long sleeve t-shirts and wear the Patagonia shirt forever. And with the Fjallraven, I think it looks and feels great, and I trust its quality and durability.

 


We hope you found the shirt you were looking for in this guide to the best long sleeve hiking shirt for hot weather. Let us know in the comments your favorite type of long sleeve shirt.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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