Have you ever seen someone wearing a long sleeve shirt in the summer and not known why? I was curious about it too until I decided to try it out a few summers ago.
There are plenty of benefits to wearing sleeves while hiking, and today we’ll go over a few of them!
Reasons To Wear Long Sleeve Shirts In The Summer
1 – They Help Keep You Cool
It seems like a strange thing to think about right, but it’s actually true! Certain materials are great at helping our bodies regulate temperature.
If we take a look at common hiking materials like Polyester or Nylon, we can see their features that help with temperature control.
- Breathable – The fibers of the material are thin which allows it to be worn in warm weather without leading to a lot of sweat.
- Moisture-resistant – This fabric is amazing at wicking moisture away and leaving you a nice dry and cool shirt to wear.
- Durable – Even if you do sweat out on the trails, the material is durable, long-lasting, and won’t stretch out from wear.
- It Retains Its Shape – Just like mentioned above, since it’s so good at repelling extra sweat and moisture, it will hold its original shape for a long time.
2 – Sleeves Give Extra Protection Against The Sun
For most people, hiking in the summer means wearing sunscreen and trying to avoid getting burnt while out in the sun. Sun protection is important and having sleeves that cover our arms means we have an extra layer of protection.
If you’re in direct sunlight for hours at a time you should definitely consider buying sleeves for UV protection or a different shirt combined with sunscreen. I would recommend wearing sunscreen anyway since it really helps your skin.
Uv compression sleeves are a good option if you want sleeves that will actually help protect against rays. Polyester is one common material and is much better than materials like cotton or linen.
Cotton – Effective against 5% of UV rays
Polyester – Effective against 70% of UV rays
Tip: Choose lighter colors instead of dark to help reflect the heat away from your body.
3 – Long Sleeves Help Against Harsh Winds
If you live in a windy area I’m sure you know all about windburn and what a pain it can be. The few times it’s happened to me, my arms and face received the worst of it.
The easiest way to prevent windburn is to wear enough layers on your skin to prevent damage from the wind. This is simple enough for our arms, just wearing a shirt or a different layer of fabric will reduce most of the incoming wind.
A lot of times when I’m hiking I’m warm throughout, but then it cools off at the top of the mountain once it opens up and the wind starts roaring in.
With the right type of sleeves on you can stay at a comfortable temperature throughout the entire hike, instead of feeling cold once you reach the top of the trail.
4 – They Feels Comfortable To Wear
Now, before you call me crazy for suggesting it, you should actually try it out the next time you head on the trail. Having one extra layer has plenty of benefits while not adding much extra weight to your body.
If you do decide to try it out, find a breathable fabric that is moisture-wicking and will help with your body temperature.
The worst case is that it’s not really your thing and you can return back to the short sleeve life right after!
5 – They Give Other Forms Of Protection
Branches, spiderwebs, and bugs are a few of the other things you might run into while out hiking. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked straight through a spiderweb while hiking in the morning.
Having sleeves on makes it less of a pain when you encounter them on the trail. You’ll end up with fewer scratches on your arms from bushes, twigs, and trees that you’ll be walking near.
Long-sleeved shirts might not be the best at keeping insects away, but it will make it harder for them to get to your skin and bother you.
What Material Should You Wear In The Summer?
One of the best materials that you can wear during the hot summer months is Nylon. It has properties that help keep sweat and moisture away from your skin.
It’s also really quick to dry out which makes it a good choice when you want to regulate the temperature. It’ll help you stay warm when it’s colder out and help you stay cool when it’s hotter.
Polyester is another material that’s often found in hiking clothes because it’s great in the heat. Just like with Nylon, it’s a very breathable material that easily wicks away excess moisture.
Polyester is also more lightweight than Nylon but isn’t the best overall option for hiking in cold temperatures. One more benefit to wearing Polyester is the protection that it provides against UV rays.
If you’ve never considered wearing long sleeve shirts in summer, I definitely recommend giving it a chance. Years ago I had never considered wearing anything other than lightweight, short sleeve shirts in the summer, but I’ve since changed my ways.
As we just discovered, there are actually quite a few benefits to wearing sleeves including protection from the wind, the sun, and the heat.