Best Hiking Dresses: 15 Top-Rated & Comfy Trail Picks (2023)
Have you ever thought about hitting the trails in a hiking dress? Believe it or not, hiking dresses do exist. You may even wonder why you’ve never worn one before.
A hiking dress is a really comfortable option for warm weather hiking clothing. They are for every body type and can allow for more freedom of movement.
In this article we’re talking all about hiking dresses. You’ll learn what to look for and what kind of hiking dress styles exist, as well as our top picks.
Whether you want to look stylish or simply want the extra breeze and air flow, there’s the perfect hiking dress for you for your next hike. Let’s get into it.
What Do Female Hikers Wear?
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Female hikers can wear many different types of hiking attire depending on the season, the weather, the hiking trail, and of course, the mood.
While some some women might be more comfortable hiking in leggings or hiking shorts, other women are more comfortable in hiking skirts or dresses.
The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting hiking clothes is that you choose the proper materials for the trail and the weather.
Regardless of whether it’s hot or cold, look for materials that are moisture-wicking and breathable. A quick-dry fabric is also a good choice.
Popular synthetic materials include polyester, spandex and nylon. Merino wool is also a great choice, even for summer hiking.
It’s also a good idea to look for hiking clothes that are not restrictive and allow for a full range of motion. They should be comfortable, too.
Clothing with hand pockets are a bonus. Pockets are a great addition for keeping your phone and snacks handy for when you need them.
Is It Okay to Hike in a Dress?
If you love to wear skirts and dresses in your everyday life, then you’ll love wearing hiking skirts and dresses on the trails. It’s totally okay to hike in a dress.
In fact, there are many dresses that are made specifically for hiking. They’re manufactured with performance fabrics and are great for the trails.
There are many benefits to hiking in a dress. Importantly, you won’t experience clothing-related chafing in a dress.
Additionally, there’s plenty of air flow to keep you cool and dry while on a sweaty hike in hot weather.
Hiking dresses are practical when you need to relieve yourself or wash off in the woods. They’re also good when you need to change into camp clothes.
Honestly, a one-piece outfit is just easy. Easy to plan, easy to wear, and easy to change in and out of when camping or backpacking on a multi-day hike.
However, there are a few cons to hiking dresses, like initial inner-thigh chafing that typically goes away once you get used to hiking in dresses.
Dresses don’t offer much protection from mosquitoes or bugs, but this is a problem with shorts, too.
How to Choose The Best Dress for Hiking
There are a few things to look for when choosing the best dress for hiking. Here are the top considerations:
* Bust size
Some women prefer loose-fitting, breezy dresses, while other women prefer more form-fitting options.
When reviewing hiking dresses by fit and style, be sure to read reviews to get a feel for how the dress truly feels to wearers.
If you have a large bust, it may seem difficult to find a hiking dress. But rest assured, they are out there!
Features like adjustable straps and a built-in sports bra can be helpful for those with a large bust.
Look for synthetic and stretchy materials like nylon, spandex and polyester. These materials perform best and feel great on the trails.
Additionally, pay attention to any extra features you might want like shorts liners, functional pockets, etc.
Best Hiking Dresses
The best hiking dresses are made of the right material for breathability and moisture-wicking. They are also functional.
Look for dresses that have built-in shelf bras, secure pockets, and other features like adjustable straps or built-in liners.
The dresses on this list combine multiple features and come in different fits and styles for any lovers of dresses.
Best of all, they can all be dressed up for town or worn alone on the trails paired with your trail runners.
#1: PrAna Women’s Skypath Dress
PrAna makes excellent outdoor attire and the Skypath Dress is no exception. It’s lightweight and flowy. It’s also made from 100% polyester.
Even better, it’s super cute! You’d never know this was an outdoor activity dress just by looking at this dress.
This dress is made from a stretch jersey knit and is super comfortable. It comes in 6 colors and patterns in sizes from XS to XL.
The dress is tank-style with an open back design. It’s perfect to wear on casual hikes during the hot summer months.
The Skypath dress has an interior shelf bra with a mesh lining for support and breathability. You don’t need wear a hiking bra if you don’t want to.
The built-in bra has optional padding to eliminate the need for a traditional bra entirely.
#2: The Exercise Dress
If you’re looking for a fun, sporty dress to wear on the trails, the Exercise Dress is for you. This dress is also great for exercising or generally being active outside.
Made from a breathable lightweight nylon and spandex material, this dress is perfect for women on the go.
As a bonus, the Exercise Dress is comfortable enough for lounging around the house. Even wear this dress during a mid-day nap.
This dress has adjustable racerback straps for a personalized fit. It also has a shorts liner with pockets for your phone.
You can get this cute and comfortable sport dress in sizes ranging from XXS to XL. It comes in 15 different colors.
Although this is a sport dress, it can be worn for many occasions. You can easily dress it up for a night out or wear it alone at the gym.
#3: PrAna Women’s Opal Dress
Another great hiking dress is from PrAna. The Opal Dress is a v-neck racerback style that is perfect for hiking, watersports, camping and working out.
The top-rated Opal dress comes in six different colors and patterns. It’s available in sizes that range from XS to XL.
The Opal dress is also lightweight and flowy. It’s another perfect option for those hot summer days on the hiking trails.
This dress has a built-in bra, but it doesn’t come with optional bra padding. Some women may want additional support of a regular bra with this dress.
Made from a stretch jersey knit polyester material, the Opal dress is comfortable, fitted, moisture-wicking and quick-drying.
This particular PrAna dress runs a little small and since it has a slim fit, it’s best to order a size larger than you normally would.
#4: Backcountry On The Go Dress
The On the Go Dress from Backcountry will have you feeling comfortable and carefree on the trails or in town.
This racerback dress is made from soft, breathable material that’s moisture-wicking to keep you cool and dry. Plus, it’s water resistant for drizzly days.
If you like the feeling of an oversized tee shirt or tank top, you’ll love this loose fitting dress. As an added bonus, it has pockets, too.
Backcountry designed the On The Go Dress to be both versatile and comfortable. They hit the nail on the head with this one.
This dress comes in three colors and ranges in size from XS to XXL.
#5: Magnolia Spring Dress
The Magnolia Spring Dress from Patagonia is an adorable dress that you can take from the trail to a night out on the town effortlessly.
This is one of the most comfortable and cutest hiking dresses on the list.
This stretchy dress features has a built-in shelf bra, criss-cross back straps, and a flowy skirt that falls mid-thigh.
The Magnolia Spring Dress is made from a recycled polyester and spandex blend. It comes in 2 different designs and sizes from XS to XL.
This dress is a cute sundress-style dress that’s perfect for the trails, to wear over a swimsuit, for kayaking and canoeing, and much more.
#6: Sahara Dress
The v-neck Sahara Dress from REI is a super-cute dress that’s versatile, stretchy, and as a bonus, has lots of pockets.
This hiking dress is made from a polyester and spandex blend. An elastic waist has a hip belt to help you cinch the fabric for a more tailored fit, if you like.
The fabric has been treated with a water repellant to help keep you dry in a pop-up rain shower. It also offers UPF 50 sun protection.
Key features include a back vent, a zipper pocket within the right pocket to help keep key items, like keys, secure, and seams that help keep chafing to a minimum.
This dress comes in three colors and in sizes from XS to XL. This dress is made from eco-friendly materials so you can be kind to the environment in this dress.
#7: Avalanche Woven Tank Dress
The Avalanche Woven Tank Dress is a super-cute dress that effortlessly goes from trail to town. No need to bring a change of clothes for an in-town meal.
This versatile hiking dress is made from a blend of polyester and spandex so it’s great for everyday wear and it helps keep you cool on the hiking trails.
A stretch elastic waist has a drawstring so you can cinch it in for a look and feel that’s customized to your own body.
Side pockets allow you to stow away small items like your phone or car keys as you tackle your next hike.
This dress comes in three colors and patterns, including pink, black and beige garden. This hiking dress also comes in four sizes, from S to XL.
#8: Lightbare A-Line Hiking Dress
The Lightbare A-Line Hiking Dress is so cute that it’s hard to believe that it’s also perfect for a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and camping.
This knit dress has a polyester lining and is made with UPF 50+ sun protective fabric to protect you from the sun’s rays as you hike your favorite trails.
This fun and flirty dress is moisture wicking and quick drying to keep you cool and dry while you’re outside enjoying the day.
Two side pockets allow you to easily stash small items, like your phone, your car keys, maybe a hiking snack, like a granola bar.
This dress comes in five different colors and patterns, including black and stone blue. This dress is available in six sizes too, from S to 3XL.
#9: North Face EA Arque Hike Dress
The EA Arque Hike Dress from North Face was literally made for the hiking trails when you want to feel comfortable and have unrestricted movement.
This hiking dress is super-soft, stretchy, moisture wicking and quick drying. It’s also made from 89% recycled materials, so it’s sustainable, too.
This dress is made with an internal bodysuit that provides extra support and incorporates compression shorts with a drop-in pocket on each thigh.
This fitted dress has a racerback design that can easily be paired with a racerback hiking bra for extra lift and support on the trails.
The EA Arque Hike Dress comes in three colors and patterns, including blue coral and basic black. This dress also comes in eight sizes, from XS to 3XL.
#10: REI Active Pursuits Training Dress
The REI Active Pursuits Training Dress is just right for “active pursuits” as the name of this seriously cute dress so accurately suggests.
This hiking dress is stretchy, breathable, lightweight and moisture wicking. It’s made from a cooling blend of recycled polyester and spandex.
As a bonus, this tank dress has a unitard liner made of breathable fabrics. As a double bonus, there’s a drop-in phone-size pocket on each thigh.
Need one more pocket? You got it. There’s a secure zipper pocket on the right side of this hiking dress, which is perfect for your keys, lip balm or cash.
The REI Active Pursuits Training Dress comes in five colors, including cassia bark (orange) and fjord (green). This dress also comes in eight sizes, from SX to 3XL.
#11: alder Get Dirty Dress 2.0
The alder Get Dirty Dress is designed for those who want to do just that, to get dirty, like on the hiking trails and at the camp site.
Even if you don’t want to get dirty, this cute dress is perfect for active outdoor adventures, like hiking, biking, climbing and backpacking.
This dress is made from a moisture wicking blend of recycled polyester and spandex to keep you cool. It also has two pockets, one on each side of the dress.
Make note, this dress does not have sewn-in liner shorts, but you will want to wear a pair, particularly for uphill climbs and hikes to summit views.
The Get Dirty Dress comes in three colors, including forest green and plum. This hiking dress also comes in 10 sizes, from XS to 6XL.
#12: Mountain Hardwear Dynama Dress
The Mountain Hardwear Dynama Dress is a dress that offers a perfect combination of comfort and coverage, which is a must on the hiking trails.
This dress is made of a blend of nylon and elastane, so of course it’s quick drying and moisture wicking. The fabric also has a water repellent finish.
A stretchy liner – essentially a built-in bodysuit – allows for unrestricted movement as well as comfort that lasts from dawn to dusk, even well beyond.
The liner shorts have a drop-in pocket on either side, which is just the right size for your phone, car keys, even lip balm or cash.
This hiking dress is available in three colors and patterns, including black and calla (coral). This dress comes in five sizes, from XS to XL.
#13: CHICHO Workout Dress
The CHICHO Workout Dress is billed as a “workout dress,” but it’s oh so perfect for getting outside on the hiking trails. It’s definitely a hiking dress.
This A-line style dress is made with a blend of polyester and spandex, so it’s breathable, stretchy, moisture wicking and quick drying.
This dress comes with a separate pair of stretchy shorts to allow for full coverage and free movement. The shorts have a drop-in pocket on each side.
This CHICHO Workout Dress has a racerback design that can easily be paired with a racerback hiking bra for extra lift and support on the trails.
This hiking dress comes in four colors and patterns, including black and floral or geometric prints. This dress is available in four sizes, from S to XL.
#14: Patagonia Fleetwith Dress
The Fleetwith Dress is a wildly popular dress from Patagonia that’s just right for hiking, camping and all kinds of super-fun outdoor adventures.
This dress is made from a blend of recycled polyester and spandex. It’s quick drying, moisture wicking, and as a bonus, it does not wrinkle easily.
A drawcord at the waist of this hiking dress makes it easy to cinch in for a more fitted look and feel.
This hiking dress has three pockets including two side pockets and one concealed zipper pocket for small items, like keys, cash and lip balm.
This tank style dress comes in four colors and patterns, including wavy blue and evening mauve. This dress is available in five sizes, from XS to XL.
#15: Backcountry Destination Dress
The Destination Dress from Backcountry is an active dress designed to keep up with your outdoor adventures, whether hiking, climbing or backpacking.
This athletic dress is made from a quick drying and moisture wicking blend of spandex and nylon to keep you cool and comfortable when out on the trails.
As a bonus, this dress has a UPF 50+ rating to help protect you from the sun’s rays when spending time outside with friends and family.
A built-in liner short allows for free movement and extra coverage. A hidden side pocket allows you to stow away small items, like keys or your phone.
This super-cute hiking dress comes in three colors, including elm green and purple sage. This dress is available in five sizes, from XS to XL.
Wrap-Up: Best Hiking Dresses
The best hiking dress for you will fit well, feel nice, and provide ample coverage and comfort for a long hike or an entire day on the trail.
Hiking dresses are great for warm weather, added range of motion, and for easily transitioning from the trail to in-town activities.
No matter your reason for wanting a hiking dress, the good news is that we’re sure there’s something you’ll love in this list.
Erin Gifford is the editor of Go Hike Virginia. She has completed more than 300 hikes in Virginia. She is also the author of three hiking guidebooks from Falcon Guides. Need help finding a hike? Check out the Trail Finder feature or send Erin a message.