View Full Version : I'm looking for a button up hiking shirt!

04-16-2015, 13:25
So I've been recently hiking in a nylon button up and like it very much. I think hiking in this as my primary hiking shirt would prove to be very versatile to me. I'm fair skinned so I really do enjoy the UPF protection and the coverage of long sleeves and a sun collar. I hiked in a Columbia silver ridge shirt and found it no hotter than my typical synthetic athletic t-shirt. I'm now a believer and convert. I also like more of the features of these kinds of shirts. I like the full button up for ventilation, the fact I can roll the sleeves up or down, chest pockets (outstanding feature), and sun collar. Furthermore, it's nice to be traveling with a technical shirt that doesn't look so "technical".

So I'm looking for a techincal long sleeve button down that'll fit some criteria for me.

- It needs to be for hot/sun use. Vents are huge plus. Lightweight and UPF protected. This IS my hiking shirt. The more it breaths the better.
- It needs to have sun collar. I think it's agreeable that any of these shirts that are made for hot/sun use will have a sun collar.
- It needs to have a front chest pocket or two. I prefer low key pockets. The one's on the Exofficio Air Strip shirts are ridiculously large.

Most importantly

- I would like a straight hem and not a baggy or relaxed fit. The biggest thing I dislike about my columbia shirt is the fit and hem. It's rather baggy, and has a long hem which goes to my thighs when untucked. I'm going to be mainly keeping the shirt untucked so I would like somthing a little more casual. Something that looks good tucked in or out. On top of that, something that doesn't have a relaxed fit. I don't like the fact I'm swimming in my columbia. And I tried sizing down.

So far I've only handled (in person) my Columbia Silver Ridge and most of Exofficio's offerings. They both had all the features I was looking for, however both just don't suit my in the fit department.

I've looked into railriders but cannot find much about their products off their website. I think their Men's Bone Flats Shirt might be exactly what I'm looking for.

Any input on options you guys have handled or are using would be great!

Feral Bill
04-16-2015, 13:32
Maybe this? http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/82305?feat=506874-GN3&page=cool-weave-plaid-shirt-long-sleeve
If you don't like it after trying it you can return it.

04-16-2015, 14:59
If you don't like Ex Officico, I can't help you. I think they are ideal.

04-16-2015, 15:07
I have one of these that I use for a l/s hiking shirt and I'm very pleased with its performance.

http://www.westmarine.com/buy/columbia--men-s-pfg-bahama-ii-long-sleeve-shirt--6917785?cm_mmc=PS-_-Google-_-Shopping_PLAs-_-6917785&adpos=1o9&creative=54604238404&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKEAjwu72pBRC9hsn2-e34vRUSJACnSYsTQWaZRcHm3bCKlTp9IzhsWfn_Fdyr3Q57J8K fbK6tyhoCWtHw_wcB

Old Hillwalker
04-16-2015, 15:12
Check out your local thrift shop. Some of the Hawaiian Aloha styled shirts are just the ticket for backpacking. Cheap and stylish too.

04-16-2015, 15:38
No particular recommendations, but make sure it's nylon, not polyester. Nylon is much more comfortable and doesn't hole the stink like poly does. Last year when I was shopping for the same thing, almost every single one was poly. I even ordered one online because it said nylon. When I got the shirt, it was poly - I returned it and demanded my shipping be refunded because of false advertising, and I was going to contact the state attorney general if they didn't. I finally found one - Columbia, it's a little bit heavier than I wanted, but it's a good shirt.

Just Bill
04-16-2015, 18:14



All of the above are on sale, although the fabric guru may be right about the poly long term. For your JMT hike (and even some eastern stuff) the bit of cotton in some of the blends might be a plus.

Not on sale- but keeps everyone happy on the Nylon content- UPF 40

Never owned a rail riders personally- but most at BPL had good things to say.

You won't get the UPF rating- but a cheap nylon dress shirt makes a decent sunshirt too.

Otherwise Columbia has a "fishing" line of shirts that would have the back vent and such.

YMMV but with a pack on- the vent is just more fabric to sweat out- and the mesh liners tend to hold sweat and get heavy.

My eyeball says a mens medium in Patagonia will fit you nice and be cut the way you're looking fer.

04-16-2015, 18:57
You already have a Columbia and don't seem to like the fit, but maybe a different model would fit differently.
My goto is the Columbia Tamiami (and it's fun to say). It's suppose to be a fishing shirt. I find they run a size big. I usually wear a medium and have to buy a small to avoid swimming in it. If you aren't picky about colors you can usually find one around $30.

04-16-2015, 20:14
It got this with my 20% online coupon. $50 marked down to $33.73 -20% = $26.73 paid.
I’m trying it out this weekend. I’ll let you know how I like it.

04-16-2015, 20:32
I use an ex officio reef runner.
You want the shirt loose fitting. When its hot, and you are sweating, and wind blows thru the venting, its like having air conditioning on inside the shirt.

Tight fitting l/s shirts are insanely hotter by comparison.

04-16-2015, 21:57
Not looking for something tight fitting. But I have a pretty lean athletic build and most shirts I've found are baggy in weird places. I don't mind a relaxed fit. Understand the whole "airy" thing. But I feel like my silver ridge shirt is tight on the shoulders and can fit two of me around the torso. And I know its gonna get a little looser with wearing it a few days at a time. I tried downsizing but too tight in certain places

Sheriff Cougar
04-16-2015, 22:53
I decided to forgo the pullover outer shirts for something that would be cooler and found some really nice Columbia Timiami Fishing shirts that have the vented back and snap buttons. It is super lightweight and quick drying and easy to wear. I first purchased them at Dick's Sporting Goods, left there and went to a Tomlinson's store. They had the exact same thing for 1/2 the price. So I took the ones back to Dicks and bought the ones at Tomlinsons. You can find them at Bass Pro also but they like their merchandise as much as Dicks. http://www.gearone.com/apparel/fishing-shirts/columbia-short-sleeve-tamiami-ii-fishing-shirt-men-s-fm-7266

Sheriff Cougar
04-16-2015, 22:56
Here is a better link for the Columbia Tamiami shirt: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3993928&cp=4413874.4413878&fg=Category

04-17-2015, 00:57
hit up your local thrift store! most poly button down dress shirts are ~4 bucks and ~7 ounces.

04-17-2015, 07:29
Have a look at RailRiders.com. Website has plenty of info. Also, Section Hikers Backing Blog featured a discussion about both the pants and the shirts. I have both. Check the sizing chart carefully.

04-17-2015, 07:48
I hike in a shirt I use for fly fishing made by SIMMs. Seems to meet your criteria. Also Orvis will carry similar shirts.

04-17-2015, 07:49
I've never been disappointed with Railriders. You need to buy early in the season, though. From my experience it seems that once an item is out of stock, its stays that way.

04-17-2015, 14:03
I'm sportin' this one.


04-17-2015, 16:48

No personal experience but Duluth Trading is a reputable company.

04-17-2015, 20:28
I think Duluth Trading Company does with shirts and jackets like some companies do with shoes - they keep changing models. I bought 2 button shirts from Duluth last fall. Very nice, light weight shirts, 86% nylon and 14% Spandex with 2 vertical zip pockets. I'm glad I bought 2 because I can't find the same shirts in their listing now

04-17-2015, 21:12
I second Judy's comment regarding the stink factor of polyester relative to nylon. I have pretty much converted to Merino wool at this point, but If looking for a collared synthetic shirt I would definitely go for supplex nylon, like the EMS one.

kayak karl
04-17-2015, 21:26
Check out your local thrift shop. Some of the Hawaiian Aloha styled shirts are just the ticket for backpacking. Cheap and stylish too. Yep, got 3 at Goodwill for $10

04-18-2015, 01:53
Try Walmart. They have fishing shirts that are very light weight as well. Look in their fishing area not their clothes section.

05-08-2015, 12:09
So guys, I picked up a new hiking shirt for myself. I ordered online which I don't like buying clothes online but gave it a shot.

I picked up a long sleeve EMS trailhead shirt. I got the monument color which is a nice light gray. So far, the shirt is everything I've been looking for. The nylon fabric has a great feel too. Very comfortable against the skin. The fit as with most of these button ups runs a little big so I downsized from a medium to a small and it fits really well. Not baggy and with a straight hem doesn't run too long. It has vents and two chest pockets. A nice zippered one (great feature) and then a velcro close one. Pretty simply shirt, has the tabs and buttons to roll up the sleeves.

So far, I really like and after wearing it for a few hours I may get another one or two in different colors. The blue one looks nice. The colors online are a little darker than in person, and its not a bad thing imo.

Anyways, scored it for $44 on sale. check it out.


05-08-2015, 12:33
Check out your local thrift shop. Some of the Hawaiian Aloha styled shirts are just the ticket for backpacking. Cheap and stylish too.

Yep, got 3 at Goodwill for $10

Been leaning towards these as well, as it accomadates my growing belly better than the traditional poly t-shirt.

05-08-2015, 13:21
I wore a Railriders Ecomesh shirt on the CT last year and I love it. I believe that it is cooler than the merino wool t shirt that I was previously using. Comfortable, dryed quickly, and did not hold the stink. I have ordered a Railriders Journeyman shirt, which is button up, but as yet have not used it hiking.

05-08-2015, 14:07
RailRiders is having a sale. They're worth at least looking at.

05-08-2015, 14:50
The "REI Sahara Tech Long-Sleeve Shirt" is pretty nice. I'm not crazy about the Velcro tabs on the two front pockets...would prefer traditional flaps and buttons. But overall a darn good garment.

Mr Liberty
05-10-2015, 20:15
I've got an ExOfficio AirStrip Lite (mine's a 2013, the new ones seem to be slightly different but should be about the same). I love the features and the fabric (I can wear it for 2 weeks and with a quick rinse and wring-out it looks and smells exactly the same as when I started) but the fit is awkward. I have a more slim build, and even after a local tailor was done with it (first time visiting them; they were terrible, will never go back) it still fits like like a sail. On the plus side, it's very breathable.

TL;DR: If you get an ExOfficio, buy a size smaller.

Francis Sawyer
05-11-2015, 09:04
I just can't imagine putting this much effort into getting just the right shirt. Holy crap! Buy an underarmor shirt and move on.

05-12-2015, 04:47
I've got a North Face Sequoia Shirt. It's really good. 100% nylon and loads of vents (some zip-up ones on the flanks are a nice touch). Dries super quick and has functional pockets.

The Splitter
05-12-2015, 14:20
The older Columbia Silver Ridge shirt had a much more athletic fit to it than the new ones do. I bought some replacements to my old ones and they're now a lot more roomy in the waist than before. Check out the Columbia High Speed Low Drag Offshore shirt, it has (or at lead had when I bought mine) a more athletic cut.