The Best Hiking Clothes for Women To Wear
When it comes to hiking, it takes a lot of effort to reach that beautiful summit. While the journey can hold just as much value in itself, it can also be a difficult experience if you aren’t properly prepared.
One of the most important ways to prepare for a hike is to wear the right clothes. Your favorite rain pants and down jacket may look and feel nice at first, but can they hold up to the heat of the hike?
Even many clothes branded for outdoor activities don’t actually have the performance qualities they need. Are they windproof? Can they wick moisture and help you thermoregulate? Can they provide plenty of stretch for those awkward steps and stay durable enough to make it through many more black diamond mountain slopes to come?
Today, Tasc Performance is here to help you find your new favorite hiking outfits for your next trek through a national park. We’re going to talk about practical features to look for and recommend some trendy athleisure styles for your next day on the trail.
What Features Do the Best Women’s Hiking Clothes Have?
Before we start grabbing some great styles, we need to make sure they’ve got what it takes to hold up to the hardest hikes.
Moisture-Wicking and Water-Repellent Fabric
Like it or not, sweat is an inevitable part of any hike. Even in cool weather on cloudy days, your body is likely to sweat as you exercise on the trail, and heat gets trapped in your clothes — but more on that later.
Moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics are essential for any active outing, including hikes. By absorbing sweat from your skin and quickly passing that moisture to the surface where it evaporates, these fabrics keep both you and your clothes dry. They’re essential materials for outer layer items like hiking pants and rain jackets, as well as lighter items like tights.
Of course, staying dry on a day hike or backpacking trip keeps you comfortable, but it’s also important for your health and performance as you exercise. When sweat sticks to your body or gets trapped in your clothes, it can inhibit your ability to thermoregulate (which is how your body maintains the right temperature).
Hiking Apparel Needs To Have a Comfortable Fit
We all know how important — and difficult — it is to find clothes that fit the right way. Balancing aesthetics with practical concerns can be darn tough, but with flexible stretch materials, it’s a whole lot simpler.
Clothes that fit too tightly and lack sufficient stretch are only going to hold you back as you hike and may even wear out more quickly. Look for a balanced fit, an elastic waistband or drawstring, and a material that includes four-way stretch.
Moisture-wicking is only half of the equation when it comes to taking care of your body temperature. You’re going to want breathable material when you hike, even in cold weather on the North face of a mountain.
Breathable fabrics allow hot air inside to flow out and fresh air to circulate in. This is an essential part of preventing overheating during exercise since the heat from our body as we exercise would otherwise build up without any escape.
Some materials are more breathable than others. For example, bamboo is exceptionally breathable, traditional cotton is moderately breathable, and silk is notorious for not being breathable.
Construction can play a role, too. Bamboo fleece is more insulating than a thin bamboo t-shirt, for example. However, all clothes need some level of breathability to ensure you feel fresh and cool inside.
UPF 50+ Sun Protection
Sun protection may not be your first thought when gearing up for a hike, but it shouldn’t be ignored. UV radiation can harm our skin with surprising ease, especially during prolonged exposure, such as while hiking for the better part of the day.
Sunscreen is always a smart choice, but you should also protect your skin by choosing appropriate clothes. Although it may be a shock to some, sun rays can penetrate clothes and harm your skin — just wearing long sleeves isn’t always enough.
UPF protection ratings measure how well clothes protect from harmful sunlight radiation. Bamboo once again shines, with a rating of 50+ (which is considered the highest tier of protection by the Skin Cancer Foundation).
We all love nature, and we love to enjoy it. With that love comes equal parts responsibility for taking care of it.
Sustainable materials aren’t always easy to find in today’s world. With seemingly convenient synthetic materials and traditional cotton around every corner, it may seem like we don’t have a choice. However, thanks to innovative technologies and recycling initiatives, it is now more possible than ever to shop sustainably.
At Tasc Performance, these efforts are incredibly important to us and central to what we do. From our highly sustainable, chemical-free bamboo fabrics to our wind and solar-powered factories and water recycling plans, we’re committed to producing our styles with the long term health of the planet and the communities around us as a top priority.
Look for materials like organic cotton, bamboo, SmartWool, and recycled polyester instead of polyester, traditional cotton, and similar environmentally-harmful materials.
What Does Every Hiking Outfit Need?
Now that we know what sets apart high-quality hiking gear, we can talk about some of our favorite styles that you can try. Keep these items accessible in your daypack, or wear them at the start of your hike.
Shoes or Sandals and Hiking Socks
The grit of the hike comes down to the trail you’re trekking, which means your hiking shoes are of utmost importance. There are lots of different shoes to choose from, ranging from heavyweight hiking boots that cost hundreds of dollars and last decades to mid-weight trail running shoes or even sandals.
Ultimately, your shoe choice all comes down to the kind of trails you plan to tackle. If you’re hitting rugged hikes for long periods of time, potentially with harsh weather conditions, you’re definitely going to want something heavy-duty to help you avoid abrasion blisters, foot fatigue, and other issues on a multi-day hike.
For casual hikes, backcountry day trails, or even urban hikes, you can go with any versatile, ultralight athletic shoe paired with your best hiking pants and a hoodie.
Socks are an important consideration not to skimp out on. The qualities we mentioned above, moisture-wicking, breathability, and comfortable fit, are incredibly important when it comes to socks.
Try our Bambare Crew Socks to see how much of a difference exceptional material can make!
A High-Quality Sports Bra
A high-quality sports bra is something everyone should have in her wardrobe. Even if you aren’t planning to wear it out on its own, it’s the perfect solution for layering in any workout or even just for day-to-day activities in a mild climate.
Features like breathability, a soft surface, and moisture-wicking are a must, but perhaps most important is a balanced, comfortable fit.
Our Allways Sports Bra includes four-way stretch capabilities and a streamlined build that provides full coverage without extra padding or unnecessary hardware. It’s a must-have for hiking, where lightweight and heavy-hitting performance can make all the difference.
Hiking Shorts, Pants, or Leggings
You have a lot of options when it comes to bottoms.
Leggings are a favorite for many hikers since they are soft and stretchy, but a breathable, moisture-wicking material is a must, or you’ll overheat. Try our Allways Full-Length Pocket Leggings for a pair that can handle even the hardest hike.
Shorts and pants (such as joggers or sweatpants) are a perfectly good choice too. A pair of our Recess 2-in-1 Shorts provide the most lightweight option, with a super soft bamboo inner liner to keep your skin comfy.
If you want to feel like you never left your sleeping bag, slip on our supremely cozy Varsity Brushed Lightweight Jogger. Don’t worry — they breathe like the best sportswear.
Breathable Long-Sleeve Shirts
Over a sports bra or tank top or on its own, our NOLA Long Sleeve T-Shirt is ideal for any outdoor adventure. UPF 50+ sun protection on this midlayer takes care of your skin’s safety, while all the best features of our MOSOtech bamboo and organic cotton blend take care of the rest.
When styling this base layer, don’t be afraid to try some fun colors that will pop against the scenery for some great pics!
Merino Wool and Fleece Jackets for Warmth and Rain Protection
A key for any hiker is to be prepared for the elements, as they may not always be on your side. Bring along our Recess Half Zip Hooded Anorak for a lightweight, wind-resistant, water-resistant outer layer that’s as stylish as it is functional.
The Bottom Line
Despite what some outdoor enthusiasts may tell you, you don’t need to buy your clothes for hiking trips from a hiking-dedicated brand. The bottom line is that the same essential features found in athleisure and activewear are also the most essential when it comes to hiking clothes. At Tasc Performance, our high-performance fabrics and versatile styles have everything you need.
For more guides like this one for all things active lifestyle, check our Tasc Life blog!