Home » BACKPACK / CAMP — General » Hiking » Women’s Hiking Outfits – 10 Ideas You Can Try When Hitting the Trails

Women’s Hiking Outfits – 10 Ideas You Can Try When Hitting the Trails

by | May 19, 2022 | Hiking, Women's — General, Women's Jackets, Women's Pants, Women's Shirts, Women's Socks | 0 comments

When it comes to dressing for our favorite sports, hobbies, and outdoor activities, the process can be fairly simple. Going to yoga class? Throw on a tank and yoga pants or leggings and you are out the door. Swimming laps? A suit, coverup, and flip-flops will have you on your way. Going for a run? A tank top with a built-in sports bra, shorts with a hidden pocket for your keys, and a solid pair of running shoes will have you clocking miles in no time.

Dressing for hiking is, unfortunately, not as simple for women, but that does not mean it has to be impossible! Women’s hiking outfits and hiking gear are designed with certain goals in mind: protection from the elements, storage for small items, comfort and mobility.

Dressing for hiking requires a little more effort and strategy. You will need to consider the location, terrain, weather forecast, and your own storage needs before you head out. We have the best recommendations when it comes to womens hiking outfits and gear that are sure to help you enjoy your next adventure on the trails!


Start with a great base tee (or tank)

A first layer is incredibly important as it is the closest to your skin, so the base shirt matters! As tempting as it may be to sport a cute hiking outfit and a “Hiker Girl” t-shirt on the trail, think twice before you leave the house in cotton.

Cotton t-shirts, like the kind you find with cute logos and graphics, bring home from concerts, or receive in the “swag bag” from your last 5k, will hold on to water as you hike. The result will be you feeling even warmer and sweatier on a hot day or colder and wetter on a cool rainy day or while winter hiking.

The base layer under your hiking jacket should be designed for wicking, which means it draws moisture away from the skin and to the outer layer of the fabric, allowing it to dry more quickly. Remember that if temperatures rise, you may shed other layers and hike in only this top, so it should also offer an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).

Patagonia’s Cool Capilene Daily Shirt

We love Patagonia’s Cool Capilene Daily Shirt for women, which should be a staple of any hiker’s wardrobe. Available in seven colors at an affordable price point, this hiking shirt has minimal stitching to prevent chafing and is made of a quick-drying recycled polyester jersey. It is the perfect base layer for a hiking outfit.


Add longer layers

Hiking outfits are all about the layers, which is one of the reasons hiking jackets are so popular. The temperature can change drastically from the time you set out in the early morning to the final leg of your hike in the afternoon, and it could also change as elevation changes if you are hiking mountain trails. You could also be battling wind or rain during your hike, so you need a jacket or outer layer that will stand up to the elements.

An outer layer over your base short or long sleeve tee will protect you and keep you warm. For winter hikers, an insulated jacket is also critical.

Atom SL Anorak

The Atom SL Anorak from Arc’teryx is one of the best outer layers for hiking, available in three color choices and seven sizes (from 2XS to 2XL). Both lightweight and incredibly durable, this outer layer piece is built to withstand the elements with its quick drying fabric. It is also designed to be packable, making it a good choice for women on longer hikes who might want to store it in a backpack.

Since this piece is designed with a trim fit in mind, reference the measurements and sizing guide provided by Arc’teryx before ordering: you may need to size up on this hiking jacket.

Remember that a “rain jacket” may not always provide everything you need in a hiking jacket. The waterproof jacket you already own could double as a hiking jacket, but give some thought to the fit, UPF, and other characteristics to determine if it will work.


Consider convertible pants

It is hard to imagine a time when we did not have this option. One of the best innovations in outdoor gear is convertible pants. Many hiking pants are designed with a zippered area in the middle of the leg where you can remove the lower half to convert the pants into shorts. This is especially helpful when hikers are traveling through extreme temperature changes and may want pants in the morning and shorts by the afternoon.

Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Convertible Pants

Outdoor Research makes some of our favorite convertible pants, in three great go-with-anything colors (mushroom, pewter, and black).  Available in sizes 0 to 14, this Ferrosi pant from Outdoor Research will be a staple of your hiking wardrobe, especially because they can become hiking shorts in a matter of seconds!

The quick-drying material also offers UPF 50+ protection, and these hiking pants for women also have plenty of stretch to move with you on the trails. This is a huge step up from basic rain pants and we recommend the investment.


Seek out brands with sun protection

Almost any hiking clothing and gear you purchase these days will have some sun protection, but they are not all equal. Whenever possible look for UPF 50+ rating, especially if you have fair skin that burns easily.

Everyone needs protection from overexposure to the sun, and while you may already be in the habit of slathering on sunscreen, you should also aim to buy clothing for the trail that offers additional protection.

Kuhl offers a great variety of activewear with sun protection, and the Konstance long-sleeved tee is a perfect staple piece for women hikers. Available in 9 colors (as well as tank and short sleeve styles), this shirt is UPF 50+ rated, soft, and comfortable. Note: This garment may be best for hiking in cooler temperatures as it does hold some heat.


Don’t skimp on shoes

When you dress for a day of hiking, the most important thing you put on may very well be your shoes: they can make or break your day on the trails.

A poorly fitted or cheaply designed pair of hiking shoes or boots is an absolute nightmare for women when it comes to a long day of hiking. Proper hiking footwear should be one of your top priorities when it comes to a hiking outfit!

Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Merrell is a trusted footwear brand, with hiking shoe and hiking boot designed to keep your feet protected and comfortable on the trails. The women’s Moab 2 is an excellent choice for hikers, with a slip-resistant rubber sole as well as a lightweight foam midsole.

These durable boots stand up to the weather while also offering all of the support and cushion you need to stay comfortable.


Socks matter, too!

One mistake new hikers can make is paying attention to shoes but skimping on a quality hiking sock. Trust the more experienced voices when they tell you that socks matter, too!

A quality pair of socks will protect and cushion your feet during long days of hiking, and a cheap pair could leave you with blistered, hot, and sweaty feet at the end of the day.

DARN TOUGH (Style 1903) Women's Hiker Hike/Trek Sock - Slate, Small

We love the micro crew sock from Darn Tough, a brand where the name says it all! These socks stay cool during summer hiking and warm in the winter thanks to their fast action wicking, and they are also odor-resistant and come with a lifetime guarantee. Available in six colors and three sizes, the Darn Tough Micro Crew Sock will become one of your favorite hiking staples.


Hats for hikers

Hats can serve many purposes for hikers, from shielding your eyes in bright sunlight to protecting your scalp from sunburn to adding a layer of warmth in cold weather. When considering hats for hiking you want to be sure they are lightweight and easy to store in your backpack (or fold up in a pocket) for times when you may not want to wear one.

Women also want to look for hats that are water-repellent in a breathable material and also comfortable to wear. Just as you would not want to hit the hiking trail in a pair of shoes that are too tight, you certainly would not want an uncomfortable hat bothering you all day.

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat, Moisture Wicking Fabric, UV Sun...

Columbia’s Bora Bora Booney Hat is the perfect choice for all of your favorite outdoor adventures. It is affordable, comes in 15 impressive color selections, and uses Omni-Wick technology to keep your head dry. A wide brim shields your face from the sun and this versatile hat also boasts a UPF 50 rating.


Dress your skin

Even with the UV protection in your clothing, you should still be sure you are using quality sunscreen before you head out to hike. Consider this the true “base layer” of your hiking outfit!

You should also take sunscreen to reapply on longer hikes, so keeping travel-size bottles on hand is always a good idea.

BLUE LIZARD SENSITIVE Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 30+, Water...

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is one of our favorites for keeping your skin protected not only on hikes but any time you are going to be outdoors, whether swimming in the ocean, cycling your neighborhood trails, or doing yoga in the park.

Blue Lizard makes a product that is safe for the environment, with no oxybenzone or octinoxate. You can feel confident this product will not damage delicate coral reefs if you wear it in the ocean, and you can also rest assured it will protect you from sunburn on the trail.

Finding a quality sunscreen is especially important for people with sensitive skin, and this gentle formula has no added fragrance or parabens. Dermatologists recommend Blue Lizard for the best in head-to-toe protection.


Shades for the sun

Sunglasses are another important accessory for your hiking outfit and certainly not just for looks! Eye protection is critical, just like skin protection when you are spending a great deal of time outdoors.

You also want glasses that will stand up to the elements and, if you take a tumble, ones that will not sink in a creek or river. That is why we love the shades from Rheos, who make floating polarized sunglasses that are perfect for outdoor adventures.

Rheos Coopers shades

Rheos Waders come in seven different frame color designs and offer the protection you need for your eyes while hiking (and they are stylish to boot!) These glasses are durable and affordable, and we also love that Rheos donates a portion of every sale to protect waterways.


Pack those pockets

Last but not least, once you slip into the perfect convertible hiking pants (or turn them immediately into shorts) you will have numerous pockets you can use to stash important gear. Beyond the basics such as your phone, keys, or wallet, you may want to carry along some sunscreen, ChapStick, or even a few extra bandages for the trail.

LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters,...

Every hiker should consider a good multitool, and the Leatherman Wave Plus has certainly helped plenty of hikers and backpackers out of a jam. This useful tool is a pocket-sized classic with 18 different tools packed into a compact and lightweight design you can easily slip into a pocket.

The best hiking clothes will keep you safe, warm (or cool), and dry on the trail, and with our recommendations, you will be able to tackle any day hike in comfort and style.

Join our Facebook Group – Outdoor Gear Reviews, Deals, Hacks & Advice- Backpacking, Hiking & Camping to get the latest reviews, deals, and discounts on backpacking, camping, and hiking gear. Share tips, and advice and to show our love, we also give monthly gear giveaways.

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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