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Best Women’s Hiking Shirts for Busty and Plus Size Women

Are you just getting started with hiking? Or looking for some fantastic women’s hiking shirts? If so, you’ve come to the right spot! Especially if you’re looking for the best women’s hiking shirts for busty and plus size women (like me!), this is for you!

I want to give a shout out here to Mirna Valerio, and Jenny Bruso of Unlikely Hikers, who along with others have done so much work to pressure brands to build out more plus size clothing for hiking and other outdoor activities! Without their work, there would be far fewer sizes available. Unlikely Hikers has a fantastic list of places and brands for all kinds of plus size activewear, check it out. The majority of American women wear size 14 or larger, so it’s high time gear was made for us!

Related: Best hiking pants for curvy and plus size women, what to wear for a hike in the Pacific Northwest

Before we go any further, I want to make it clear that you do not necessarily need a special shirt for hiking! Whatever workout gear you already have will work just fine. If you hike frequently or don’t have something that works for you, then it might be worth getting something specifically for hiking.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Another tip for happiness in hiking shirts is to bring a dry shirt to change into, in both winter and summer. There’s nothing worse than having a wet sweaty shirt you have to keep on to ride home in! You can bring any comfortable shirt to change into after. I keep it in the car and put it on as soon as I get back. If there’s a steep climb involved, I sometimes bring TWO extra shirts, one to change into for the hike down from a summit and the other at the car for when I’m done. This is totally unnecessary, but a great luxury that weighs almost nothing.

Best Women’s Hiking Shirt for Summer

A hiker on a rocky overlook near a glacier. The hiker is wearing a lightweight button up shirt over a tank top and hiking pants and a backpack and sunglasses
My summer hiking shirt uniform of a tank top and a lightweight long sleeve button up shirt (which I usually wear open)

One of the most important things to consider when looking at hiking shirts for summer is how the shirt falls relative to the straps on your pack and if that causes and chafing or discomfort. If you already have a backpack and shirt you like to wear, try them out together and see how it goes! This is especially true for sleeveless shirts. I’ve had some sleeveless shirts that are great and some that cause uncomfortable chafing with where the pack straps sit. If you’re going to wear a sleeveless shirt, give it a try with the pack to check for this before setting out on a hike!

I usually wear a tank top with a light weight long sleeve button up shirt over it (which I sometimes take off and carry in my pack if it’s not too exposed to sun and there aren’t too many bugs). I highly recommend having a very light weight long sleeved button up shirt to wear for summer hiking. If you’re thinking “busty women can’t wear button up shirts” I totally hear you! I have found that the Columbia brand ones actually fit me just fine. Another option is to just leave the shirt unbuttoned, which is actually what I prefer to do.

For the tank top, you can literally wear any tank top or t shirt you already have that’s comfortable. You do not need a special one for hiking! I hike at least once a week and all my tank tops are from Costco or Old Navy.

What I recommend for the best long sleeve button up women’s hiking shirt for summer for busty women is the Columbia Silver Ridge Long Sleeve shirt. The reasons I love this shirt are:

  • It’s very lightweight and light (white) in color, making it as cool as possible on hot days
  • It’s loose around the shoulders and upper back, which provides better bug protection than something that sits tight against your skin
  • I don’t have to use as much sunscreen because the shirt is protecting some of my skin (make sure you still put sunscreen on your neck, chest and anywhere else not under the shirt)
  • It’s available in regular and plus sizes (REI has regular and plus sizes up to 3X, Amazon does not have plus sizes)
  • If you pass a creek, you can take it off, dip it in the water and put it back on for maximum coolness! (although you can do this with any button up shirt)

Best Women’s Hiking Shirts for Winter

For winter, I like to have a variety of long sleeve shirts for hiking. Even though I get hot when I hike (even when it’s cold) I can’t stand having a short sleeve shirt on under a rainjacket! I like to have one really light weight long sleeve shirt and then a warmer one to wear if it’s colder. If you already have a long sleeve synthetic or wool shirt, there’s no reason not to stick with that one. I have several that I wear all the time from Costco and Target. If you do a lot of winter hiking, you might want to invest in a lightweight wool long sleeve shirt. I have to say that even though they’re expensive, they are super comfortable and worth the money if you’re going to use them a lot. The Smartwool one is truly amazing. REI has straight and plus sizes, but Amazon only has straight sizes.

Best Sports Bra for Busty Women

Finally a word about sports bras! Everyone has their preferences and you may already have a favorite! If you do, I highly recommend continuing to wear what already works for you. If you’re looking for one that works, after discovering the Natori Yogi Sports Bra I’ve never looked back. It’s a real bra (you can also wear it for non sporty things) and it’s super comfortable, even for a long day on the trail. These bras are also super durable and last a long time (longer than my other bras in fact).

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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years. I've been a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington and I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best low key adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!
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