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Best Women’s Hiking Skirt

Best Women's Hiking Skirt

There is nothing quite so liberating as being able to hike in a skirt! A loose-fitting hiking skirt or skort will keep you comfortable in the hottest weather and look great in your photos, too! There are lots of criteria I use when shopping for a good quick-dry hiking skirt and in this article I am going to cover them all. I have some favorites I will share with you as well.

Product

Price

Rating

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE DYNAMA

$

THE COLUMBIA ANYTIME CASUAL SKORT

$$

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE PACER SKORT

$

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE TREKKIN INSULATED SKIRT

$$

THE SIERRA DESIGNS SILICONE TRAIL SKIRT

$$

Even guys are finally accepting that it is far more comfortable to hike in a skirt than pants or shorts! They need to call it a kilt, and we can let them 🙂 kilt hiking sounds more manly, anyway.

Of course, when hiking in a group, some precautions are needed or you will be forced to hike in the back to stay modest! I like to use a hiking skort, with the integrated shorts, or just throw on my biking shorts underneath the skirt.

I love to backpack in Central America and down there it is usually H-O-T! The climate changes with the elevation so layers are definitely needed to stay comfy. To give you an idea of my skirt layering system, here is a recent trip to climb an active volcano in Guatemala called Pacaya.

I started from the colonial city of Antigua early that morning in a group transport to the base of the volcano in my hiking skirt and sweat-wicking tank. Antigua is a FAR better place to stay than Guatemala city, and only about 40 minutes by bus from the airport, so if you plan on visiting, make this city your home base. It is colder than you would expect but during the days when the sun is shining you will want to be in light layers. Anyways, when we got to the start of the trail, through the forest, I was comfortable in just the skirt; as the trail left the tree line and began to climb to the black cone I slipped on my convertible pants under my skirt.

This was especially nice because we were in a mixed group and I did not feel like changing in front of a pack of Australian guys on a holiday from college!

A light wind shell and my Under Armor base layer made sure I was comfy all the way to the lava flows. We actually roasted marshmallows before we headed back down!

By the time we were back to Antigua and sharing a massive plate of nachos with beers in a cool bar called Mono Loco (The Crazy Monkey) I was back to my skirt and windbreaker.

So if you have been reading hiking skirt reviews like me, and want to know about some of the great brands, be sure to keep reading for my favorites!

So here is what I look for in an awesome hiking skirt!

THE ♥ OF THE MATTER

CONSTRUCTION: I look for sturdy stitching and durable fabric. This skirt is going to take some abuse so if the stitching is cheap it will fall apart quickly. The fabric should feel light but also not too thin; if it feels like I will tear something by brushing against a broken branch or rock, I usually return it.

QUICK-DRY: Synthetic fabrics just work better when you are hiking. In a light rain or mist on a warm day you can leave your rain gear in the pack because a quick-dry fabric will only take a moment to dry out. This will also allow the sweat to dry quicker, too. NOTE: I will include some rain options, too!

LENGTH: If I am choosing a skort, I can go with a shorter length, but with a traditional hiking skirt I like just above my knees in summer and below my knees about 3-4” in spring and fall.

WAIST: The waist needs to be lined with soft fabric or it will rub. Any tags close to the waist, especially in the back, will rub too, especially when the waist belt of your backpack gets involved!

POCKETS: My backpack has some small pockets on the hip belt, but I like to keep some small stuff in my pockets that I use a lot, like lip balm and small change for purchases. I always check the pockets before I buy because some manufacturers do not include adequate space!

REVERSIBLE: With this option you get two looks with one piece of gear!

TYPES OF HIKING SKIRTS

So to make things easier I am going to break down my favorites into a couple of categories; hiking skirts, hiking skorts, insulated skirts, and rain skirts. I like hiking dresses but that is a totally separate category that deserves its own article!

Hiking Skirts are traditional skirts made with quick dry fabrics.

Hiking Skorts are traditional skirts with integrated shorts beneath the apron

Insulated Skirts are thicker skirts, great for winter (with leggings, of course!)

Rain Skirts are waterproof OR very water resistant skirts

I am going to include a cool option for a rain skirt but if you are a DIY chick like myself try this great idea for a Tyvec rain kilt. Tyvec is great to have around for a backpacking trip, anyway. I like to carry a spare piece to use as a footprint for my tent or an impromptu picnic blanket!

WHERE TO BUY YOUR HIKING SKIRT

There are a ton of online sites where you can find a good hiking skirt, and if you want to try on every imaginable option head for REI. REI does not actually make a hiking skirt or hiking skort anymore but they carry all major brands. Sometimes you can find a discontinued model of REI hiking skirt or hiking skort online, but it could be a few years old. You can find a great deal on other brands of hiking skirts at REI if you check their garage sales online or their scratch-and-dent sales in the stores.

The best deals I find are on Amazon, or sometimes eBay. With eBay I have gotten a few counterfeit items so I tend to stick with Amazon just because they have a better return policy.

Well now that we have a good idea of what to look let’s get into my favs!

Best Women's Hiking Skirt

FIRST LOVE – HIKING SKIRT – THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE DYNAMA

Mountain Hardware is one of my favorite brands for anything outdoors-related. The fabric they use for the Dynama is heavenly, smooth and stretchy and comfortable. Hand-warming pockets are a big plus, too!

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE DYNAMA

WHAT I LOOOOVED…

  • Nylon/Polyester blend
  • DWR treatment so water beads on the surface!
  • Two drawstrings at the hem
  • Quality stitching and fabric

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Careful with the pockets, things will fall out!

SECOND LOVE – HIKING SKIRTS – THE SMARTWOOL WOMEN’S HORIZON LINE SKIRT

The Smartwool Horizon Line is a lightweight merino wool blend skirt that is divine against your skin. I tend to use this skirt on shorter hikes or as a great general purpose throw-on skirt. The merino wool wicks sweat but will get soaked pretty quick in a light rain – pair this with one of my rain skirt choices or check out the article on making your own rain skirt if you want to use the Horizon Line for longer distances!

THE SMARTWOOL WOMEN’S HORIZON LINE SKIRT

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • Wide waistband
  • Rounded hem is a nice touch
  • Merino wool is SO comfortable!

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Not as durable as my first choice

FIRST LOVE – HIKING SKORTS – THE COLUMBIA ANYTIME CASUAL SKORT

The Columbia Anytime Casual Skort is an awesome introduction to skort hiking that is not too hard on the budget, either! I can usually find this skort for under $30. One of the things I like the most about the Columbia Anytime is the drawstrings on the thighs; these allow you to adjust the length of the hem in a few moments! When I am hiking uphill or crossing a deep stream I like to raise them slightly. This is a great value and a super Skort for your next hiking trip!

Columbia Womens Anytime Casual Skort

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • Fully synthetic and quick drying
  • Shorter than average – but with the built in biker shorts, there are no worries about exposing too much!
  • Great for warmer weather

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Vanity Sizing – these skorts run BIG so size down for normal fit
  • Depending on your shape, the biker shorts can ride up (try them on before you commit!)

SECOND LOVE – HIKING SKORTS – THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE PACER SKORT

I think we might even see Mountain Hardware again after this, too! I LOOOVE their products and the Pacer skort is no exception. This is the ideal Skort and while it is a little more expensive than my first love (and does not come with those cool side hem adjustments) I think for a more durable product this hiking skort is worth the extra $$!

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE PACER SKORT

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • Fun prints make this a great skort to go from trail to town with
  • Best summer skort – mesh panels on the side keep you cool and comfy on the hottest days!

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Only one pocket (internal)

FIRST LOVE – INSULATED HIKING SKIRTS – THE BIG AGNES ZIRKEL CIRCLE INSULATED SKIRT

Big Agnes makes some of the finest down sleeping bags on the market and their Zirkel Circle insulated hiking skirt uses all that great technology to keep you warm wherever you choose to hike! This is a great over skirt as well – the down packs to a small size, so if you are snowshoeing or on a Nordic trail with legging and a skort, pull this out on your breaks to stay warm!

big agnes womens zirkel circle skirt

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • 700 fill down is the warmest available
  • Downtek® water repellent down is great for snow days!
  • Vertical baffles
  • Integrated zipper pocket perfect for your cell and lip balm

NOT SO MUCH…

  • $$$ - Most expensive skirt in my Loves

SECOND LOVE – INSULATED HIKING SKIRTS – THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE TREKKIN INSULATED SKIRT

The MH Trekkin insulated Skirt is a great mid-season hiking skirt. When the leaves just start to turn and the wind has a breathless hint of winter this is the skirt to pull out for your hike! I love the design and the fit is great for my hips!

THE MOUNTAIN HARDWARE TREKKIN INSULATED SKIRT

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • Internal waistband pocket
  • Light insulation is great for high activity days
  • Adjustable drawstring
  • Comfy knit panels at waist!

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Not as warm as my first love….

FIRST LOVE – RAIN SKIRTS – THE SIERRA DESIGNS SILICONE TRAIL SKIRT

I love my Tyvec Wrap SO much that I am just going to include this for rain skirts – the Sierra Designs Silicone Trail Skirt is awesome and also made for a great stand-alone skirt. Many of the rain skirts on the market are actually wraps – you pull them on over your other skirt when it rains. The Silicone Trail is cool because you go from rain to sun with no worries and no wet wrap to stash in your backpack!

Sierra Designs Women's Silicone Trail Skirt

WHAT I LOOOVED…

  • Silicone impregnanted rear panels are PERFECT for damp trail days when you want to plop down on a log or rock for a break!
  • Great zippered pockets on rear hips
  • Low profile and sleek
  • Pocket large enough for a folded map!

NOT SO MUCH…

  • Runs large

So there you have it, all my loves for best trail skirt or hiking skort! There are plenty of brands on the market, so be sure to use my checklist at the beginning to ensure you get a great hiking skirt! Also, don’t be afraid to try some mix-and-match options from my list. For example, the Trekkin insulated skirt works very well with a low-profile skort, giving you some great cold weather options! Good luck shopping 🙂 and send me an email with any comments!

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DThompson

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