Best Hiking Dresses: 6 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.

They’re a really comfortable option for warm weather hiking clothing. Hiking dresses 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?

Crabtree Falls Trail-Last View Point of Falls

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 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.

Woman Hiking - Best Hiking Bras

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 allow you 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?

hiking backpack forest

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.

Hikers Crossing a Stream

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

Woman Hiking - What to Eat Before, During & After a Hike

There are a few things to look for when choosing the best dress for hiking. Here are the top considerations:

* Fit

* Straps

* Pockets

* Bust size

* Material

* Length

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

Exercise Dress from Outdoor Voices

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

Backcountry On The Go Hiking 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

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

REI Co-Op 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.

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.