Hiking in the summer months on the East Coast promises breathtaking views, tranquil moments, and unforgettable memories for those seeking to connect with nature. When you plan an outdoor excursion this summer or a backpacking trip with your hiking buddies, it’s essential to find suitable summer hiking wear and gear for hot weather hiking. Indeed, deciding on what to wear on a summer hike can be a dilema because you want comfort and protection from heat, rain, sunlight, and other elements, including changing terrain and weather.

You’ll find the best hiking clothes when you plan your outdoor adventure with some research on what to wear for summer hike and consideration to beat that summer heat.

How to Select the Best Hiking Outfits for Summer Excursions

When choosing the right hiking outfit for your adventure, consider essential factors. Hiking in hot weather or summer months requires preparation for many situations, from humid, hot weather and rain. Also, it should handle a sudden drop in temperature and high winds.

It’s crucial to become familiar with the national park, terrain, and weather conditions before preparing for your go to hike. When you shop what to wear for summer hike and look for quality hiking clothing, you’ll want to remember the following.

Comfortable Fit

Hiking clothes should fit comfortably and give you enough room to move without restriction or irritation. It’s crucial to select a lightweight, adjustable fabric that dries quickly in the event of unexpected rain, such as polyester.

You may need to try a few pairs of shorts, hiking pants, and t-shirts to get familiar with which styles and sizes work best for your outdoor excursion. While hiking leggings provide snug comfort and warmth in cold weather, a lightweight outfit and supported hiking shoes are essential for hot or moderately warm hiking conditions.

Safety Hiking Gear and Clothing

One of the most crucial aspects of choosing hiking gear in clothing is safety. If the weather forecast predicts a downpour, then you may want to reschedule your hiking trip. Or prepare with rain gear, rain pants, a rain jacket, and waterproof hiking boots.

A water-resistant backpack, hiking clothes, and gear are essential if you’re expecting a drizzle. While the summer season brings hot weather and humid conditions, the temperature can drastically drop overnight even on a hot day. What’s more, weather conditions also change at high altitudes if you’re hiking in a northern climate or the Rocky Mountain National Park.

It’s crucial to remain dry and steady when hiking rugged terrain or climbing a hill. This requires hiking gloves for a sturdy grip, trail running shoes, hiking boots, and long pants.While short hikes only need hiking pants, trail running shoes, and a t-shirt, longer hikes require safety gear, camping equipment, and durable clothing.

Budget Considerations for Summer Hiking Outfits

Hiking apparel can be expensive, especially if you’re purchasing several items at once or everything you need for multiple trips. Ideally, you only need to choose the specific items for your hike. Indeed, these can be significantly more affordable, especially if you’re a beginner looking to start hiking. Whether it’s for just a few hours or half a day.

While you may pay a higher price for good-quality hiking pants, best hiking shoes, backpacks, or outerwear, you can start with more specific items, such as yoga pants or leggings, hiking socks, shorts, t-shirts, hats, and sunglasses.

Once you take on longer excursions and more challenging terrain, you can add more items to your budget. It’s best to start investing in quality hiking poles and gear for outdoor research or exploring a new outdoor space for leisure.


You don’t have to invest a lot of money in hiking gear and clothing to find good-quality hiking apparel. Many types of clothing, accessories, and hiking gear are unnecessary. If you’re a beginner, then it’s best to stick with the essentials. Certainly, skip the premium hiking pants or expensive shoes when putting together your first summer hiking clothes. When hiking in hot weather, focus on quality trail running shoes, lightweight, durable clothing, and accessories for the trek.

prepared backpack during hiking

The Essential Hiking Outfits Summer: Our Top Choices

When you prepare to shop for your first hiking trip, there are essentials to start with so that you’re well-equipped on and comfortable in various environmental conditions and what to wear for a hike in summer.


Whether you need gear for a day hike or multiple days of camping and hiking, a sturdy backpack with a hydration pack is essential for your adventure. REI Co-op’s Trailbreak 60 pack is a great option. It provides up to 35 lbs. of carrying weight, with lots of pockets and compartments for cool water, snacks, a camera, a smartphone, and other small hiking gear.

There is a hip belt, lining, and straps to keep your items safe, protected, and easy to carry. The North Face’s Terra 40 Pack offers excellent comfort, with back panels, efficient storage space, and compatibility with hydration systems.


When going on a day’s hike, long sleeve shirts are essential for a comfortable and protected experience. However, a light, airy short sleeves t-shirt that keeps you dry and comfortable during your hike is essential when taking a day’s trip too. Outdoor Research’s Men’s Argon Tee is available in various colors and offers a lightweight material that’s easy to wear and maintain. This short sleeves t-shirt is made of recycled materials specifically designed to prevent odor while keeping you cool and comfortable in hot weather hiking.

The Women’s Vantage Sports Bra is ideal for providing support with a single layer, which fits well with the Echo T-shirt for women or a tank top. This summer hiking outfit accommodates well for movement and comfort and is ideal for your hiking adventures.

Trail or Hiking Running Shoes

A durable pair of trail hiking shoes or boots provide stability and support when trekking through rugged trails and mountainous areas.

The Kenosee Mid-cut Waterproof hiking shoes for women offer substantial ankle support and feet. Moreover, it’s slip-resistant, made from recycled materials, and lightweight for maximum comfort.

The Kodiak Selkirk Mid-cut Waterproof hiking shoes for men are excellent for all weather conditions. You’ll have a solid grip with slip-resistant soles and support during your hiking trip.

Insulating Layers and Protection from Outdoor Elements

Rain jackets and thermal outerwear are ideal summer wear hiking outfits that are suitable for changing weather and temperature. Especially when hiking in the mountains or wet, humid regions. North Face’s City Breeze Rain Parka is excellent for casual city wear and backpacking in the countryside.

Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi hooded jacket is another great option for protection against high winds, rain, and changing climate.

Ideally, it’s best to purchase a jacket or outerwear that’s water-resistant, wind-proof, insulated, and lightweight. Most retailers offer a vast range of sizes, colors, and styles so that you can customize an excellent hiking outfit.

Trekking or Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are a must if your backpacking adventure involves trekking through a mountain region or national park with lots of hills and rugged terrain.

The Khumbu Lite AS trekking poles are an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate hikers. These are collapsible, so you can easily store them in your hiking pack. Komperdell’s Fieldmaster Powerlock trekking poles include cork grips so that you can tackle challenging terrain during your hike.

While there is a price range for hiking or trekking poles, they are generally affordable and greatly enhance your hiking experience.

Hiking Socks

Wear hiking Lightweight socks that are essential in keeping your feet and shoes dry and comfortable, especially during long-distance treks or multiple-day hiking trips. Darn Tough’s Men’s Light Hiking socks are easy to wear with your hiking sandals or shoes and are made of merino wool. These wool socks restrict moisture while providing a mesh over the top.

Similarly, the women’s Light Hiker Quarter Lightweight hiking socks offer incredible support and durable fabric. These features keep you dry and comfortable throughout your backcountry adventure.

Our Top Nine Summer Hiking Outfits

We selected these hiking outfit ideas for their quality, durability, and ability to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable during a summer hike in the woods or open backcountry.

1. Tech T-shirt from Backcountry

Tech T-shirt from Backcountry summer hiking outfits

Backcountry’s Tech T-shirt for men offers a light, airy fabric that’s cool and easy to wear on the trail, keeping you dry and odor-free perfect as hiking shirts. You can also find this lightweight shirt at Geartrade.com.

2. Backcountry’s Casual Hiking Shorts

Backcountry’s Casual Hiking Shorts for summer hiking outfit

These casual hiking shorts by Backcountry offer quality, lightweight comfort, and several dual pockets to store snacks and small items during your outdoor trek. These hiking shorts are available in bold and bright colors, which offer excellent visibility.

3. Helly Hansen’s Hybrid Jacket

Helly Hansen’s Hybrid Jacket

The Helly Hansen jacket for women is a hybrid style that offers a convenient option when the summer temperature suddenly drops due to rain, high winds, or during the evening. You can also purchase this jacket from Helly Hansen’s website.

4. Burton Multipath Shorts

Burton Multipath Shorts

These durable Burton Multipath shorts for women are ideal for outdoor sports, especially hiking, as they are lightweight, stretchy nylon, and spandex for a comfortable fit. You’ll find these hiking shorts typically in black or light colors, and they are also available on Backcountry.com.

5. Everlast Seamless Sports Bra

Everlast Seamless Sports Bra summer hiking outfits

Everlast’s Sports Bra for women is flexible, seamless, and provides all the support needed for summer hiking trips and outdoor sports. These sports bras are durable and long-lasting, and you can also find them at Wal-Mart.

6. MuddyFox Cycling Sport Jersey

MuddyFox Cycling Sport Jersey

This men’s short-sleeve jersey by MuddyFox is ideal for hiking, cycling, and outdoor sports. This durable garment is made of breathable material and has an elastic waist, ideal for the trails. It’s available at select retailers, including Amazon.com.

7. Champion Packable Jacket

Champion Packable Jacket what to wear hiking in summer

This men’s packable jacket is ideal on the trail when there’s an unexpected rainfall or drop in temperature. It’s easy to fit in your backpack, and it’s lightweight and comfortable. This versatile jacket is affordable and available at Wal-Mart.

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8. La Sportiva Mountaineering Boots for Hiking

La Sportiva Mountaineering Boots for Hiking

La Sportiva’s GTX Mountaineering boots are the ideal footwear for rugged terrain, offering a slip-resistant grip and comfort for long hikes.

9. EMS Daypack Combination for Hiking

EMS Daypack Combination for Hiking

This convenient two-pack by EMS is ideal for day hiking, with enough space for a water bottle, snacks, small items, and your smartphone. This day pack lightweight hiking backpack is available at EMS or on Eastern Mountain Sports’ website.

hiking near water fall hikers wearing summer hiking outfits

Tips for Summer Hiking Outfits, Gear, and Accessories

You’ll find lots of comfortable, casual outfits for your hiking trip. However, some items may not be as helpful or supportive on the trail, especially during changing weather or environmental conditions.

Whether you buy a complete hiking kit or just a few basics, there are certain items to include or skip when preparing for your hike.

  • Don’t dress too light without backup clothing, even if you’re hiking on a hot and humid day and just for a couple of hours. Temperature and weather conditions can change abruptly, and you may quickly need a light rain jacket, an extra pair of socks, or a complete change of clothes.
  • Wear clothing that protects you from the sun and harmful uv rays. Use sunscreen for additional sun protection, a hat, and good-quality sunglasses. If the forecast is cloudy or rainy, you may suddenly notice sunlight unexpectedly, which requires adequate protection. Essentially, prepare for any possible conditions during your summer adventure to prevent heat exhaustion.
  • Avoid wearing cotton or denim clothes. While cotton is natural and comfortable to wear, it can absorb water and sweat easily, which causes it to feel heavy and sticky. Wet clothing will prevent you from staying dry and warm, and cotton takes a long time to dry completely. Cotton isn’t a good choice for an ideal summer hiking outfit.
  • Wear supportive footwear, and never settle for regular shoes, flip flops, or sandals that don’t provide the security and water-resistant materials that keep you comfortable during a hike. It’s also crucial to choose hiking boots or good shoes that offer a sturdy grip. Make sure you wear hiking boots, hiking shoes, or hiking sandals adapt well to various surfaces to stay safe on the trail.


1: What makes a hiking outfit suitable for summer?

A great summer hiking outfit features lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away moisture, along with UV protection to shield you from the sun’s harmful rays.

2: How important are hiking shoes for summer treks?

Extremely! Opt for hiking shoes that offer breathability, good grip, and are lightweight to keep your feet comfortable and cool during hot weather hikes.

3: Can I wear shorts for summer hiking?

Absolutely, shorts are a fantastic choice for summer hikes, providing they’re made of quick-drying, durable materials. Just remember to apply sunscreen on your legs!


Hiking apparel is essential for getting the most out of your outdoor excursion into the backcountry terrain and mountain trails. What to wear for summer hike will never be a problem with this guide. For hot weather and challenging trails, prioritize lightweight, comfortable, and flexible clothing for summer hiking outfits.

You don’t need to invest in expensive brands, but choose breathable fabrics that wick away moisture.Look for lightweight synthetic blends or merino wool materials that regulate body temperature and ensure breathability, even in scorching temperatures.

Opt for outfits that provide freedom of movement and adaptability to environmental changes. Dressing smartly in outfits for the summer heat and terrain will enhance your hiking experience, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest, and don’t forget your sun hat for sun protection.

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Last update on 2024-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API