Summer Hiking Outfits: Top Picks For Comfort And Style 2024

As avid hikers, we know how important it is to have the right summer hiking outfits when the temperatures rise. Choosing the perfect ensemble isn’t just about looking good on the trails; it’s also about staying cool, comfortable, and protected from the elements. With so many factors to consider, picking the perfect outfit can feel overwhelming.

In our experience, the key to a successful summer hiking outfit is a combination of lightweight, breathable materials and smart layering. These outfits should keep you comfortable during your hike while also supporting your body’s natural cooling process. This way, you can focus on enjoying your hike and taking in the stunning views rather than worrying about your clothing.

Vital Importance of Summer Hiking Outfits in Summer

We know how exciting it can be to plan our next adventure on the trails once the warmer months hit. Selecting the right summer hiking outfits is crucial to ensure we remain comfortable, stylish, and protected during our expeditions. So let’s explore the importance of proper attire for summer hiking and help us choose the best outfits for our needs.

The most critical aspect of summer hiking outfits is ensuring comfort. High temperatures and increased humidity can make hikes challenging, so selecting clothing made from lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials is vital. This helps to keep us cool, prevent overheating, and minimize the risk of chafing.

Quick-drying and looser-fit shorts, for example, are a popular choice for hikers during summer, as they allow for excellent airflow and minimize discomfort on long hikes. Some might even opt for wearing shorts under a hiking dress to further reduce chafe and increase ventilation.

Protection from the sun is another essential factor to consider when choosing summer hiking outfits. Exposing our skin to harmful UV rays can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer. Consequently, we should look for clothing with a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating, which is specifically designed to block a significant amount of UV radiation. Additionally, wearing wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and applying sunblock can further safeguard us from the sun’s harmful effects.

Another vital aspect of a summer hiking outfit is its functionality. Ideally, our attire should have practical features such as pockets for storing items like maps, snacks, or mobile phones. Clothing that is versatile and easily adaptable to sudden changes in temperature or weather conditions is also advisable. For example, lightweight rain jackets and rain pants can be easily carried in our backpacks in case of unexpected showers.

In conclusion, selecting the perfect summer hiking outfits involves striking a balance between comfort, sun protection, and functionality. By keeping these factors in mind during our next hike, we’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the outdoors and make the most of our warm-weather adventures.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Summer Hiking Outfits

When it comes to summer hiking outfits, there are several essential factors to consider in order to ensure maximum comfort and safety during your outdoor adventures. In this section, we’ll discuss some key aspects to keep in mind, including weather conditions, hiking duration, and terrain type. Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these aspects.

a few people sitting with hiking outfits summer on a hill

Weather Conditions

When planning your summer hiking outfits, it’s crucial to take the specific weather conditions into account. If you are venturing on a sunny day, wear lightweight and breathable clothing that allows air to circulate and helps you stay cool. We recommend opting for hiking shirts and wearing sunblock on exposed skin. In case you’re expecting rain, pack a rain jacket and rain pants to stay dry and protected. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast before starting your hike.

Hiking Duration

The duration of your hike also plays a significant role in determining the appropriate summer hiking outfits. For short hikes, wearing comfortable running shoes or trail running shoes should suffice. However, for longer hikes, it’s essential to invest in a good quality pair of hiking boots and socks to provide better support and prevent blisters. Also, consider packing extra clothing layers for potential temperature fluctuations and an insulated jacket if you expect chilly evenings.

Terrain Type

Finally, the type of terrain you will be hiking on greatly affects your choice of summer hiking outfits. If you’ll be hiking through dense forests or areas with potential exposure to insects and poison ivy, wearing long pants or leggings can provide additional protection. On the other hand, if the trail has an open landscape, shorts might be more suitable. Always remember to choose footwear that provides the necessary grip and support for the specific terrain you’ll be facing.

By keeping these factors in mind, we can ensure that our summer hiking outfits are comfortable, functional, and appropriate for the various situations we may encounter during our outdoor excursions.

A sunset with three hikers in summer hiking outfits

Components of a Summer Hiking Outfit

As the temperature rises, it’s time to carefully plan our summer hiking outfits to stay comfortable and protected on the trails. In this section, we’ll explore the essential components to consider when putting together the perfect outfit for those sun-drenched hikes.

Hiking Footwear for Summer

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for a comfortable summer hike. Breathable and lightweight shoes, like trail running shoes or well-ventilated hiking boots, can help keep your feet cool and dry. For those who prefer added support, the La Sportiva GTX Mountaineering boots offer a slip-resistant grip and are ideal for rugged terrain.

Lightweight Hiking Clothing

When it comes to selecting summer hiking clothes, lightweight and moisture-wicking materials should be at the top of your list. One example of a moderate hiking outfit is long pants paired with a t-shirt and a ball cap. This combination provides protection for your legs while keeping you cool. For added comfort, consider investing in moisture-wicking fabrics like merino wool or synthetic options such as polyester and nylon.

  • T-shirts: Look for quick-drying and moisture-wicking materials
  • Pants: Breathable, lightweight materials with built-in sun protection
  • Socks: Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics like merino wool or synthetic blends

Sun Protection Gear

Sun protection is an essential part of planning any summer hike. Ensure your outfit includes:

  • Hats: Wide-brimmed hats or caps with a neck flap for maximum protection
  • Sunglasses: Polarized lenses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays
  • Sunscreen: Broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, applied to all exposed skin

Additionally, consider UPF-rated clothing, which is designed to block UV rays and provide added sun protection.

Insect Repellent Wear

Insect repellent wear is particularly important during summer hikes when pesky bugs are in abundance. Some hiking clothing is pre-treated with insect-repelling chemicals, like permethrin, to deter bugs from biting. Alternatively, you can apply bug spray to your skin and clothing before hitting the trails.

By considering these components, we’ll be well-equipped to create comfortable and protective summer hiking outfits, ensuring we can make the most of the warm weather and the great outdoors.

Want to channel your inner ’90s fashionista on your next hike? Click here to read our guide to recreating Meredith Blake’s iconic hiking outfit from The Parent Trap.

Top Picks for Summer Hiking Outfits

When it comes to summer hiking outfits, it’s essential to find the perfect balance between comfort, functionality, and style. We’ve put together a list of some top picks that’ll keep you cool and looking great on the trails this summer.

First up, a good hiking shirt is crucial for any summer hiking excursion. Look for lightweight, moisture-wicking materials that dry quickly, like the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Shirt. This shirt is designed to provide optimal ventilation and UV protection, ensuring you stay both cool and safe under the sun.

When deciding on hiking pants or shorts, breathability is key. BALEAF Women’s Hiking Pants are a great option, made from 90% polyester, keeping you cool even on hot summer days. These pants also have a 50+ UPF rating, protecting you against harsh UV rays.

For footwear, sturdy and comfortable shoes are a must. Some might suggest La Sportiva’s GTX Mountaineering boots for their slip-resistant grip and long-hike comfort. It’s vital to choose a pair that offers adequate support and durability to tackle any terrain.

Lastly, don’t forget about accessories. A lightweight, comfortable backpack is necessary for carrying water, snacks, and other essentials. The EMS Daypack Combination is an excellent choice for day hiking, offering ample space for all your belongings. Additionally, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are essential items to pack to help protect you from the sun.

With these top picks for summer hiking outfits, you’ll be ready to hit the trails in style. Let’s enjoy this beautiful season and get outside!

Maintaining and Caring for Your Summer Hiking Outfit

We all know how important it is to wear the right summer hiking outfits for our outdoor adventures. However, maintaining and caring for these hiking outfits can often be overlooked. In this section, we’ll share some tips on how to keep your summer hiking outfit in great shape, so you can continue to stay comfortable during your treks.

Washing your summer hiking clothes: It’s crucial to follow the care instructions on the labels of your hiking clothes. Most hiking clothes can be machine-washed, although some fabrics like wool are best washed by professionals. Detergents designed for outdoor clothing can help remove dirt and maintain the fabric’s performance. If you’re unsure about the care instructions, it’s always a safe bet to hand wash your clothes in cold water.

Drying your summer hiking clothes: After washing, let your hiking clothing air dry flat on a rack that allows the air to circulate completely around the fabric. Never stretch or wring these fabrics; you can also lay the clothing flat on a clean, absorbent towel and roll the towel tightly to remove some moisture from the clothing. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can damage the fabric and reduce the lifespan of your outdoor clothing.

Storing your summer hiking clothes: Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality of your hiking outfits. Make sure your clothes are thoroughly dry before storing them in a cool, dry place. Fold or roll your clothes gently, as some fabrics can develop permanent creases if not stored correctly. Keep your hiking shoes in a separate bag to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria to your clothes.

Protecting your summer hiking outfits from UV damage: Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) ratings are essential for protecting your skin from harmful sunrays. However, with time and exposure, UPF-rated clothing can lose its protective qualities. To help preserve your summer hiking outfits, try to limit their exposure to sunlight when not in use. You can also periodically check their UPF rating to ensure they continue to provide adequate protection.

By following these tips, we can ensure that our summer hiking outfits remain in excellent condition, allowing us to stay comfortable and protected during our outdoor adventures.

hiking outfits summer standing in front of a waterfall

Our Opinion on Summer Hiking Outfits

As devoted hikers, we understand the importance of staying comfortable and protected during those warm summer months on the trails. That’s why we’re excited to share our thoughts on the best summer hiking outfits available.

In our experience, Merino wool is an excellent fabric choice for summer hikes. Despite its wool origins, Merino wool is surprisingly suitable for warmer temperatures due to its moisture-wicking control and temperature regulation. Not only will these garments keep you dry, but they’ll also keep you comfortable during both scorching and cooler moments on the trail.

When it comes to selecting the right footwear, we highly recommend trail running shoes for protection and support while maintaining breathability for those hot summer hikes. Combine these with moisture-wicking socks made of materials like Merino wool or synthetic blends.

Aside from the essential clothing, accessorizing your outfit can make a big difference on the trail. Some must-haves for summer include:

  • A wide-brimmed hat for sun protection
  • UV-protective sunglasses
  • Lightweight, thin gloves to protect hands from sunburn or blisters when using hiking poles

We also advocate for layering, especially if you are venturing on a more extended hike or into higher elevations. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer and add lightweight, breathable layers that can be easily added or removed as needed. This approach will help you maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout your hike.

Finding the perfect summer hiking outfit may take some trial and error, but the key is to prioritize fabric choice and layering to create a balance between comfort, protection, and breathability. Happy trails!


What should I wear for summer hiking?

When it comes to choosing the right summer hiking outfits, it’s essential to prioritize comfort and protection to enjoy your outdoor adventures. Start by opting for moisture-wicking base layers that help you stay cool and dry. Lightweight and quick-drying shirts and pants are perfect choices to prevent sweat buildup and allow your body to breathe.

What are the best fabrics for summer hiking?

In hot weather, we recommend choosing fabrics that offer moisture-wicking properties, breathability, and quick-drying capabilities. Some of the best options include:
Polyester: Lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying, making it an ideal fabric for summer hiking.
Merino Wool: While typically associated with cold weather, lightweight merino wool layers also provide excellent moisture-wicking and odor-control properties.
Nylon: This synthetic fabric is lightweight, durable, and resistant to abrasion, making it suitable for hiking pants and shorts.
Avoid heavy, non-breathable materials like cotton, as they can absorb moisture and cause discomfort during your hike.

What are some essential items for summer hiking?

While lightweight summer hiking outfits are crucial, it’s equally important to bring along a few essential items to keep yourself protected and comfortable during your adventure:
Sun protection: Choose hats with wide brims and sun-shielding clothing with a UPF rating, such as BALEAF Women’s Hiking Pants, boasting a 50+ UPF rating. Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.
Hydration: Carry enough water or a hydration system to stay well-hydrated throughout your hike.
Hiking backpack: Bring along a lightweight, comfortable backpack to carry your gear and snacks.
Navigation tools: A map, compass, or GPS device can help you navigate your chosen trail.
First Aid Kit: A compact and well-stocked first aid kit is crucial for treating minor injuries and emergencies on the trail.

By following these recommendations and making smart choices, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your summer hiking adventures in comfort and style. What is your favorite Summer Hiking Outfits? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

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Enrico Hartwich
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