Discover the Best Camping Shirts for Your Outdoor Adventures

Discover the Best Camping Shirts for Your Outdoor Adventures

An amazing outdoor adventure needs not only the right mindset but also the perfect gear. One oft-overlooked but crucial item is the best camping shirt. Don’t worry – as always, SunWaterDirt has you covered. 

We’ll tell you the benefits of investing in a high-quality camping shirt and what to look for in one.  We’ll look at the different types and what sizes they’re available in.

And, you’ll learn valuable care tips to keep your soon-to-be-favorite camping shirts in good condition for years to come. Finally, we’ll provide some style tips to help you look great while enjoying nature’s wonders. 

Keep reading for our recommendations on the best camping shirts and where to buy them. 

What to Look for in the Best Camping Shirts

With so many options available, it can be daunting to know what features are most important when selecting your ideal camping shirt. There are some general guidelines to keep in mind that will help you select the best shirt.


The fabric of your camping shirt plays a significant role in its performance and comfort. Popular materials include cotton, synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon, and natural fibers such as merino wool.

  • Cotton T-shirts: Cotton is soft, breathable, and affordable. But it may not be the best choice if you’re hiking in wet conditions since it takes longer to dry than other materials.
  • Synthetic Shirts: Synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon are lightweight, quick-drying, and wick moisture away from your skin effectively. They also provide excellent sun protection with UPF ratings. Brands like REI Co-op Sahara T-shirts offer great synthetic options.
  • Merino Wool: Merino wool offers superb temperature regulation that keeps you warm during colder climates and breathable during warmer weather. It also has natural odor control capabilities making it an excellent option for multi-day hikes or everyday wear outdoors.

Sun Protection & Breathability

A good hiking shirt should protect against harmful UV rays while still allowing air circulation around your body, which keeps you cool on hot days outdoors. Sun shirts with high UPF ratings block out more sunlight. They give better protection from sunburns during long hours under direct sunlight exposure.

Look for well-ventilated designs featuring mesh panels or vented back sections that promote airflow and moisture management. Arc’teryx Cormac Crew is a great example of such a shirt.

Fit & Comfort

A comfortable fit is crucial when choosing the perfect hiking shirt. A loose-fitting design allows for better air circulation. Close-fit options like Ibex Journey Tee provide more warmth during colder climates. Opt for shirts with stretchy fabric or ergonomic seams that move with your body to avoid chafing during high-output outdoor activities like trail running or climbing.

Sleeve Length & Style

Camping shirts come in various sleeve lengths and styles, including short sleeves, long sleeves, and button-up designs. Short-sleeved tees offer great breathability, while long-sleeved sun shirts provide UV and insect protection. 

Button-up designs also feature breast pockets for storing small items like maps or sunglasses while exploring the great outdoors. offers an extensive list of top-rated camping shirts based on material quality, comfort level, and durability among other factors making it easier to find your ideal match.

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Benefits of Camping Shirts

Wearing the right camping shirt can make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable and convenient. A good hiking shirt does everything from protecting you from the sun to moisture management. Let’s dive into some of these advantages:

  • Sun Protection: Many hiking shirts come with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings that protect you from harmful UV rays. Brands like REI Co-op Sahara T-shirts offer excellent sun protection.
  • Moisture Management: Synthetic fabrics such as polyester are known for their ability to wick sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable while you’re hiking or engaging in high-output outdoor activities. Quick-drying fabric is also essential when wearing wet shirts in colder climates.
  • Breathability & Comfort: The perfect hiking shirt should be made of lightweight fabric that allows air circulation, ensuring comfort as you move. For breathability, odor control, and everyday wear on the trail, Merino wool is an ideal choice.
  • Durability & Style: A quality camping shirt should withstand the rigors of the great outdoors without sacrificing style or comfort. Look for options with reinforced stitching and durable materials like recycled polyester used in popular choices such as the Arc’teryx Cormac Crew.

In addition to these practical benefits, a stylish camping shirt can express your love for the outdoors and make a statement. With various designs available, from classic button-up shirts to fun graphic tees, there’s a camping shirt out there for everyone.

Types of Camping Shirts

Every different type of camping shirt has its own unique benefits and features. We take a look at some of the most popular choices available below. 

Cotton T-Shirts

Although not suitable for strenuous outdoor activities, cotton t-shirts are still a great option for casual day hikes or relaxing at camp due to their comfort and softness. 

Synthetic Shirts

Synthetic shirts, made from materials like polyester or nylon, offer excellent moisture management properties that wick sweat away from your body. They also dry quickly after getting wet, making them a good choice for hot weather adventures. Some popular synthetic options include REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt, Arc’teryx Cormac Crew, and Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily.

Merino Wool Shirts

Merino wool shirts are known for their super soft feel, odor control properties, and natural temperature regulation. This means they’re a great option for colder climates or multi-day trips where washing your shirt may not be an option. Some popular Merino options include Smartwool Merino Sport 150 and Ibex Journey Tee.

Sun Protection Shirts

If you’re hiking in sunny conditions, sun protection shirts with UPF ratings can help shield your skin from harmful UV rays while keeping you cool and comfortable on the trail. These lightweight fabric options often come in both short sleeves and long sleeves. Popular choices include Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie and Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pro Long Sleeve Shirt.

Button-Up Shirts

Button-up shirts offer a more versatile and stylish option for outdoor enthusiasts who want to look good while exploring the great outdoors. Button-up shirts often have features like breast pockets, vented back panels, and roll-up sleeves. Some popular button-up options include the prAna Stretch Zion Long Sleeve Shirt and Outdoor Research Echo LS Duo Tee.

How to Choose the Right Size Camping Shirt

Accurately measuring yourself and being aware of the fit of different shirt styles is key to selecting a camping shirt that fits perfectly. Tips on how to properly size a camping shirt are below. 

Measure Yourself Accurately

To find your ideal shirt size, follow these simple steps:

  1. Chest: Wrap a measuring tape around your chest at its fullest point while keeping it parallel to the floor.
  2. Waist: Measure around your natural waistline (the narrowest part), making sure not to pull too tight or leave the tape measure too loose.
  3. Hips: Stand with your feet together and measure around the widest part of your hips, ensuring that there’s enough room for movement.
  4. Sleeve Length: Bend one arm slightly at elbow level and measure from center back neck across shoulder over elbow down to wrist bone.

Understand Different Types of Fits

Different types of camping shirts offer varying fits including close fit, comfortable fit, or loose fit. The fit often depends on the shirt’s design purpose, like whether it’s made primarily for sun protection or moisture management during high-output outdoor activities like trail running. Some examples are listed below:

  • REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt: A good choice for hot weather adventures, its lightweight fabric is made from recycled polyester which wicks sweat away quickly. It has a comfortable fit that allows freedom of movement.
  • Ibex Journey Tee: Made from merino wool, this shirt provides a super soft feel and excellent odor control; it’s ideal for colder climates with its close-fit design that retains warmth.
  • Arc’teryx Cormac Crew: A technical shirt designed for high-output outdoor activities like trail running, featuring quick-drying fabric and UPF rating to protect against UV rays; has a comfortable fit ensuring ease of movement during intense activity.

Check the Size Chart and Reviews

Once you have your measurements and understand different fits, consult the size chart provided by the brand or retailer. Remember sizing may vary between brands, so always double-check their specific charts. Additionally, read customer reviews to get an idea of how true-to-size the shirts are or if they tend to run large or small.

Care Tips for Your Camping Shirt

Taking proper care of your camping shirt is essential to ensure it lasts longer and maintains its appearance. Here are some helpful tips on how to properly care for your favorite outdoor gear:

Washing Your Camping Shirt

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions, as different fabrics require specific care methods. Generally, synthetic shirts like the REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt can be machine washed in cold water with mild detergent, while merino wool garments such as the Ibex Journey Tee may need a gentle cycle or handwashing.

  • Avoid using fabric softeners: They can affect moisture management properties and reduce the effectiveness of sun protection features.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Ensure all soap residue is removed from your hiking shirts by rinsing them well after washing.
  • Dry flat or hang dry: This helps maintain shape and prevents shrinking, especially when dealing with cotton shirts or blended materials.

Stain Removal Techniques for Hiking Shirts

If you do get a stubborn stain on your perfect hiking shirt during outdoor adventures, try these techniques. All hope may not be lost and you may be able to rescue the shirt. 

  • Mud stains: Gently brush off dried mud before soaking the affected area in warm water mixed with a small amount of laundry detergent for about an hour. Then wash as usual.
  • Grass stains: Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water (1:2 ratio) to the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash as usual.
  • Bloodstains: Rinse the stained area with cold water immediately. For persistent stains, a combination of hydrogen peroxide or baking soda and water may be used to pre-treat the fabric before washing.

Storage Tips for Camping Shirts

To keep your camping shirts in top condition when they’re not being worn during outdoor adventures, follow these storage tips:

  • Fold or roll neatly: This helps prevent wrinkles and creases on both short sleeves and long sleeves garments.
  • Avoid direct sunlight exposure: Store your sun shirts away from UV rays that can cause fading over time.
  • Maintain proper ventilation: Keep your hiking shirts in an airy space to avoid musty odors caused by moisture buildup.

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Styling Tips for Your Camping Shirt

A high-quality camping shirt can also be a style choice. Select a color and pattern that suits your personality while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.

Choose the Right Color and Pattern

Selecting colors and patterns that complement your skin tone and personal preference can make all the difference when choosing a stylish camping shirt. Earthy tones like greens, browns, or blues are always a good choice for outdoor adventures as they blend well with nature.

Layer Up Wisely

Layering is crucial when dressing for outdoor activities since temperatures can vary throughout the day. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer made from synthetic fabrics or merino wool, followed by an insulating middle layer if needed (e.g., fleece). Finally, top it off with a waterproof outer shell if necessary.

  • Tank Top: A tank top made from recycled polyester can be worn alone during hot weather or used as an excellent base layer in colder climates. 
  • Cotton T-Shirt: While cotton shirts may not be ideal for high-output outdoor activities because they tend to hold onto sweat, they’re perfect for everyday wear around camp after you’re done hiking.
  • Synthetic Shirts: These quick-drying fabric options provide superior moisture management, making them perfect for long hikes where staying dry is essential.
  • Button-Up Shirts: A button-up shirt made from lightweight fabric is a stylish option that offers sun protection. It can be worn over a tank top or t-shirt for added warmth.

Accessorize Appropriately

The right accessories can add to your camping outfit while also providing additional functionality. Consider adding the following items to complete your look:

  • Hat: A wide-brimmed hat not only adds style but also protects against harmful UV rays during sunny day hikes.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes with sunglasses designed specifically for outdoor activities. This will ensure they have proper UV protection and are comfortable to wear hiking.
  • Belt or Waist Pack: Keep essentials close at hand with a belt or waist pack that matches your outfit. It will allow you to carry small items such as keys, snacks, or sunscreen without weighing down your pockets.

Balance Functionality with Style

Finding the perfect balance between function and fashion when styling your camping shirt is key. Remember, comfort should always come first. Choose clothing materials like merino wool, synthetic fabrics, or recycled polyester that provide moisture-wicking properties, all while looking great outdoors.

Incorporating these styling tips into your next outdoor adventure will ensure you’re dressed comfortably yet fashionably so you can focus on enjoying all the beauty nature has to offer. 

Where to Buy the Best Camping Shirts

Finding quality camping shirts at an affordable price is key to enjoying your outdoor adventures in style. Navigating the vast array of camping shirts can be daunting, but we have a great list of places that carry stylish, budget-friendly, high-quality campaign shirts. 

Specialty Outdoor Stores

Specialty outdoor stores like REI, Backcountry, and Moosejaw offer a wide selection of high-quality camping shirts from top brands such as Patagonia, Columbia, The North Face, and more. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the perfect hiking shirt based on your needs and personal preference.

Online Retailers

If you prefer shopping online, consider checking out popular retailers like Amazon or even brand-specific websites like Icebreaker Merino Wool Clothing Store. Always read customer reviews for insights into sizing accuracy and overall satisfaction with specific products before making a purchase.

  • TIP: Don’t forget about seasonal sales events (e.g., Black Friday) when shopping online. These are great opportunities for scoring deals on outdoor gear.

Local Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops

For those on a tight budget or looking for eco-friendly options, local thrift stores and consignment shops can be treasure troves of gently used camping shirts at an affordable price. Keep an eye out for quality brands like Patagonia. These brands’ products often stand the test of time.

Custom Camping Shirts

If you’re interested in creating your own unique camping shirt design, websites such as CustomInk allow you to upload your artwork or choose from pre-made templates to create personalized hiking t-shirts. Ordered in bulk, these shirts can be perfect for group trips or special occasions.

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FAQs about Camping Shirts

Why are collared camping shirts so popular?

Collared camping shirts have gained popularity due to their casual, relaxed style and versatility. They feature an open-collar design that provides comfort and breathability, making them perfect for outdoor activities like camping or hiking. Additionally, they can be dressed up or down easily, offering a fashionable option for various occasions.

What type of shirt is best for hiking?

The best type of shirt for hiking is one made from moisture-wicking materials such as polyester or merino wool. These fabrics help regulate body temperature by quickly wicking sweat away from the skin and drying fast. Look for lightweight, breathable designs with UPF sun protection and odor-resistant properties.

What is the best material for camp shirts?

The ideal material for camp shirts depends on personal preference and intended use. For hot weather conditions, opt for lightweight synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. These have excellent moisture-wicking capabilities. In cooler climates, consider natural fibers such as merino wool which provide insulation while still being breathable.

What is the best shirt for hiking odor control?

To combat odors during hikes, choose a shirt made from merino wool or treated with antimicrobial technology. Merino wool has natural antibacterial properties that minimize odor buildup over time. The shirt will still maintain its softness, even after multiple wears, without washing. REI offers a great selection of hiking shirts with odor-control features.

If you’re looking for high-quality camping shirts, check out Our selection of comfortable and functional options. Whether you’re hiking, trail running, or just exploring nature with friends and family, the range of synthetic fabrics our shirts are made of will keep you cool in hot weather and provide UV protection from harmful rays.

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