Choosing the right Hiking Shirt
Choosing the right Hiking Shirt for your outdoor activities can mean the difference between overheating, hypothermia or having a safe, enjoyable hike. Your shirt protects your torso which holds most of your vital organs, therefore protecting this part of the body and maintaining healthy temperature is a must.
What To Look For
- Your shirt should wick the moisture away from your skin
- Absorb sweat
- Insulate you
- Breathe and dry quickly
- Protect you from sun, wind, cold temperatures, abrasions, insect bites, stings, poisonous plants, etc.
- Shirt with vents will be useful for high energy activities and hot weather.
- Pockets will be handy for storing away small items.
Cotton absorbs moisture and stay wet for a long time, keeping moisture close to your skin. High energy activities will make you sweat and in a windy weather wearing wet cotton clothing will be not just very uncomfortable, but also dangerous to your health.
Taking at least two layers of shirts is a good idea on almost any hike, which will allow you to control the level of comfort, temperature, and protection in different conditions. If you get too warm you can always take a layer off.
Nylon – Nylon usually is non-absorbent, lightweight and durable material that comes in many styles, for both warm and cold weather uses. Most modern nylons are soft and comfortable against your skin.
Polypropylene – Polypropylene will wick moisture away, maintaining a dry layer next to your skin. Polypropylene material is highly elastic and it allows unrestricted freedom of movement.
MTS 2® (Moisture Transport System) – This material is durable and comfortable like cotton, but unlike cotton it wicks sweat away from your skin. It is also available in a variety of weights for different conditions.
Capilene® – Capilene is a comfortable polyester based wicking fabric ideal first layer for a cold weather. It has a special chemical treatment that spreads sweat throughout the fabric so that it evaporates quickly.
Silk – Silk is a very comfortable and effective lightweight wicking and insulating material. However it requires a special care and is not very durable.
Merino wool – A natural sustainable fibre comes from Merino sheep, the soft and fine fibers are also high-performance for both wicking, insulating and preventing bad odour.
Recycled polyester – Polyester is a plastic fibre made from recycled plastic bottles with great insulating and wicking properties.
Ingeo plant-based polymer fibers – They perform well like polyester, but are made with renewable resources and are compostable.