Clothes for Hiking in Hot Weather: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for Clothes for Hiking in Hot Weather? As the sun blazes overhead and the great outdoors beckon, staying comfortable and protected on hot-weather hikes is essential. Choosing the right hiking attire can make all the difference in keeping you cool, dry, and sun-safe while exploring arid landscapes or basking in summer’s warmth.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of lightweight, moisture-wicking, and sun-protective clothing designed to enhance your hot-weather hiking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned trailblazer or a novice hiker, we’re here to help you make informed choices for your next adventure under the sun.

Join us as we explore the gear and clothing that can keep you cool and comfortable while you conquer those scorching trails.

Choosing the right fabric

clothes for hiking in hot weather

When it comes to hiking in hot weather, choosing the right fabric for your clothes is crucial. The fabric you wear can greatly impact your comfort and overall hiking experience. Here are some factors to consider when selecting fabrics for hiking in hot weather.

Lightweight and breathable materials

Opt for lightweight and breathable materials that allow air to circulate and keep you cool. Fabrics like nylon, polyester, and merino wool are excellent choices as they are lightweight and have moisture-wicking properties.

These fabrics help to keep sweat away from your body, allowing it to evaporate quickly and keeping you dry and comfortable.

Moisture-wicking fabrics

Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to pull moisture away from your skin and onto the surface of the fabric, where it can evaporate. This helps to regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating.

Look for clothes made from moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or merino wool to keep you cool and dry during your hike.

UV protection

When hiking in hot weather, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Choose clothes that offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) protection.

UPF-rated clothing provides an extra layer of protection against the sun’s rays, reducing your risk of sunburn and skin damage. Look for clothes labeled with a UPF rating of 30 or higher for optimal sun protection.

Optimal clothing coverage

clothes for hiking in hot weather

In hot weather, it may seem counterintuitive to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, but they can actually provide better protection and comfort during your hike.

Long-sleeved shirts

Wearing long-sleeved shirts made from lightweight and breathable fabrics can help protect your skin from the sun’s rays and prevent sunburn.

Look for shirts with a loose fit and a UPF rating for added sun protection. Additionally, long-sleeved shirts can also provide a barrier against insects and vegetation, reducing the risk of bug bites and scratches.

Convertible pants

Convertible pants are a versatile option for hiking in hot weather. These pants feature zip-off legs, allowing you to easily convert them into shorts when the temperature rises.

Look for pants made from lightweight and quick-drying materials for maximum comfort. Convertible pants give you the flexibility to adapt to changing weather conditions and keep you comfortable throughout your hike.

Wide-brimmed hats

Protecting your head and face from the sun is essential when hiking in hot weather. Opt for a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade and helps to keep you cool. Look for hats made from lightweight and breathable materials like nylon or polyester.

A wide-brimmed hat not only protects you from the sun but also helps to keep sweat out of your eyes, allowing you to focus on the trail ahead.

Proper footwear

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for a comfortable and safe hiking experience in hot weather. It’s not merely about the comfort of your every step, but also about ensuring your safety on rugged terrain, as well as safeguarding your feet from the potential hazards posed by the unforgiving heat.

Lightweight and breathable shoes

Opt for lightweight and breathable shoes that allow air to circulate and prevent your feet from overheating.

Look for hiking shoes or trail runners made from mesh or synthetic materials that offer good ventilation. These shoes are designed to provide support and traction while keeping your feet cool and comfortable.

Good traction

When hiking in hot weather, you may encounter slippery or uneven terrain. It’s important to choose shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

Look for shoes with a durable rubber outsole and multidirectional lugs that provide excellent grip on various surfaces. Good traction will help you navigate the trail with confidence and reduce the risk of injuries.

Layering for temperature control

clothes for hiking in hot weather

Layering your clothing is essential for temperature control when hiking in hot weather. It allows you to adjust your clothing according to your activity level and the changing weather conditions.

Base layer

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer that helps to keep sweat away from your skin. Look for lightweight and breathable fabrics like polyester or merino wool. This layer should fit snugly against your skin and provide a comfortable base for the rest of your clothing.

Insulating layer

In hot weather, you may not need an insulating layer, but it’s always a good idea to carry one in case the temperature drops or you encounter cooler areas. Choose a lightweight and packable insulating layer like a fleece jacket or a down vest that can be easily stowed in your backpack.

Outer layer

Your outer layer should provide protection against wind, rain, and sun. Look for a lightweight and breathable jacket or a rain shell that is waterproof and windproof. This layer should also have good ventilation options like pit zips or mesh-lined pockets to allow heat to escape and keep you comfortable.

Accessories for sun protection

Accessories for sun protection
In addition to clothing, there are several accessories that can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.


Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection. Sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the sun but also reduce glare, allowing you to see more clearly on bright and sunny days. Look for sunglasses with polarized lenses for added clarity and comfort.


Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin before heading out on your hike. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you are sweating heavily.

Bandanas or neck gaiters

Wearing a bandana or a neck gaiter can provide additional protection for your neck and face. Look for lightweight and breathable options that offer UPF protection. These accessories can also be soaked in water and worn around your neck to help keep you cool during hot hikes.

Choosing the right backpack

Choosing the right backpack
A well-designed backpack can make a significant difference in your hiking experience, especially in hot weather.

Lightweight and breathable

Choose a backpack made from lightweight and breathable materials that won’t weigh you down or trap heat against your back. Look for backpacks with mesh panels or ventilation channels that allow air to circulate and keep you cool.

Adjustable straps

Opt for a backpack with adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit and distribute the weight evenly. Properly adjusted straps can help prevent discomfort and reduce strain on your shoulders and back.

Proper ventilation

Look for backpacks with proper ventilation systems like a suspended mesh back panel or a trampoline-style suspension. These features create a gap between your back and the backpack, allowing air to flow and keeping you cooler during your hike.


clothes for hiking in hot weather

When hiking in hot weather, choosing the right clothes and accessories is essential for your comfort and safety. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics that wick away moisture and provide UV protection. Wear long-sleeved shirts, convertible pants, and wide-brimmed hats for optimal clothing coverage.

Choose footwear with good traction and proper ventilation. Layer your clothing for temperature control and don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses, sunscreen, and accessories like bandanas or neck gaiters.

Lastly, choose a backpack that is lightweight, breathable, and properly fitted for a more enjoyable hiking experience. With the right gear, you can stay cool and comfortable while exploring the great outdoors in hot weather.


  • What do you wear hiking in extreme heat?

    Look for shirts, shorts and pants in white, tan or khaki. Wear loose, breathable clothing: Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that breathes well will help your body regulate temperature. Nylon and polyester are good choices.

  • What do people wear hiking in the summer?

    Moisture-wicking layers will draw sweat away from your body and quick-drying materials will help you keep you dry. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail in summer taught me that nothing ever dries out completely in high heat and humidity but at least synthetic loose fitting clothing is still somewhat comfortable to wear.

  • What do you wear to hike in cool weather?

    Beanie or headband.
    Neck gaiter.
    Polarized sunglasses.
    Gloves or mittens.
    Synthetic underwear/sports bra.
    Base layer top: wool or synthetic.
    Base layer bottoms: wool or synthetic.
    Insulating mid-layer: down or synthetic jacket or fleece.

  • What are best pants for hiking in hot weather?

    Additionally, convertible hiking pants are typically made from lightweight, breathable and quick-drying materials such as nylon or polyester. These technical fabrics wick away moisture, keeping hikers dry and comfortable even in hot and humid conditions.

Originally posted 2023-05-30 08:31:38.

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