Whether you’ve ever been thru-hiking before, or you’re new to hiking in general, you may consider getting one of the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking. And your mind may be reverting to that ankle-length hiking and walking skirts that were sported in the 1880s, but luckily times (and fashion) have changed! Contemporary lightweight hiking skirts have several benefits that make them a must-have item for your next hiking or backpacking adventure.
Top 7 Best Lightweight Hiking Skirts for Thru-Hiking
1. ExOfficio Kizmet Skort
Okay, okay. This ExOfficio Kizmet Skort isn’t technically a skirt, but the built-in shorts of this skort do prevent chafing if that’s a huge issue that you encounter on the trail. Nonetheless, the ExOfficio Kizmet has a slim and flattering fit, and it’s mostly made out of polyester, which will provide you with lots of stretch. It has an elastic waistband and a drawstring for a comfortable fit. Another benefit is that it is wrinkle-resistant and dries quickly if you need to change outfits or want to wear it again. Lastly, this hiking skort has large pockets for storing items, which makes it an all-around great thru-hiking garment.
- Mid-thigh length
- 15.87 ounces
- 5-inch inseam shorts
- 86% Polyester 14% Elastane
Sample Customer Review… I purchased this skirt in black, and I was so impressed by the fit and fabric that I looked to see where I could purchase another color. It came up Amazon so I got the pretty sage green and navy skorts. They will pretty much be my uniform of choice for the summer. Can be worn for golf and tennis yet cute enough for shopping and going to lunch!
I just needed a comfortable, clean, and classic-looking outdoor skirt, and this fits the bill. It’s stretchy enough to be comfy but still holds shape well.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. PrAna Arch Skort
The PrAna Arch Skort is perfect for hiking and being active. It has sweat-wicking material and moves with your body. The top has an elastic waistband and the sides of the skirt feature cinches that allow you to decide which length is best for you. The material is soft and the liner of the shorts won’t ride up, making them extra comfortable. The stylish design makes this a perfect skirt for hiking and enjoying your time anywhere the fun may take you.
- 81% Nylon, 10% Polyester, 9% Elastane
- Upper-thigh length
- 3-inch inseam
- 5.61 ounces
Sample Customer Review… Love this skort! I live in a very cold climate, so haven’t had enough opportunities to wear this as much as I would like (it’s May and still snowing here!) But I have a feeling this will be my go-to this summer! Great pockets, great quick-drying material. I bought the awesome green color. Cute enough to hike or bike in, then hang out in town. I own a lot of Prana clothing, this was my first skort purchase. Very pleased! (Get it, it’s adorable!)Review from Moosejaw.
3. Smartwool Merino Sport Lined Skirt
This Smartwool Merino Sport Lined Skirt is unique for two main reasons: it is made out of recycled polyester, and it is lined with Merino wool. Merino wool repels odors and wicks away moisture, making it perfect for athleisure or outdoor wear. Another feature is that it’s made with lightweight Merino Sport 150 mesh liner which makes the skirt more breathable. This material can come in handy during summer hikes.
This Smartwool Merino skirt is also stretchy and adjustable, and it has side pockets for storage. This is great for carrying your phone and keys in while hiking. The Merino skirt also comes in different colors if you’re looking for versatility. All in all, these are some really cool features for a lightweight hiking skirt!
- 4.3 ounces
- 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane
- Upper-thigh length
- 4-inch inseam
Sample Customer Review… This is the perfect length for running (can’t wait to try it hiking). I wore them 3 days in a row (13 miles, 8.5 miles, and 7.5 miles) with zero smell. I love the side pocket: one for a mask, one for my phone, and it doesn’t slide down even with my Samsung Galaxy S10. It’s super cute when paired with a pattern Smartwool tank for a run, post-run errands, or just hanging out. Highly recommended.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Skhoop Women’s Short Down Skirt
If you often hike in cold climates, this is the ideal skirt to add to your collection. This skirt is 500-fill down, longer, and warmer all around. It even has a DWR coating to keep the skirt and you dry and warm. This skirt is fuller coverage compared to other skirts, which adds extra warmth to the thighs.
- 100% polyester
- Mid-thigh length
- 12 ounces
Sample Customer Review… Received my black Skhoop down skirt in a jiffy and I love it! I’m leaving a review as I wish I could’ve had help with a review on sizing. I’m 5’6” 126lbs with a straight athletic build, depending on the brand I can wear a 0-4 in bottoms, but usually, a 4 and I ordered the small and it fits perfectly. You can actually wear it higher on the waist or pull it down lower on the hips due to the elastic back. I didn’t really care for how it fits the model in the derrière and the way the elastic pulled at the waist, but took a chance that it was just her body…and it was her body! It fits fine and is much smoother at the waistband and rear! I also really like the dual zippers along both sides. It makes it easier to sit or climb up into a high vehicle Yay!! If they had grey, navy, or other fun colors I’d be ordering more because this little thing is so comfy, flattering, and very warm!!!!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Smartwool Diamond Peak Quilted Skirt
This Diamond Peak Quilted Skirt by Smartwool is made up of quilted fabric with a blend of Merino wool and polyester. Doesn’t that just sound comfy? This skirt is durable, stretchy, and adjustable. It even has a hidden pocket in the waistband to store items. The one downside is that this product is a bit expensive so if you’re looking for an affordable skirt, then this may not be the product for you. Nonetheless, this is the perfect skirt if you’re going to be taking hikes during the fall or the winter seasons.
- 70% polyester, 30% merino wool
- Mid-thigh length
- 5.76 ounces
Sample Customer Review…I love the light quilting to the front and back panels. The entire skirt has a bit of stretch overall. The side panels could be a little thicker, with less sheen to give it an even richer look. However, I did receive compliments on it each time I’ve worn it out & about. It’s great when layered over some wool tights with knee-high boots. It’s also great over yoga pants in the winter when heading to & from hot yoga to keep the bottom & thighs warm. Feels true to size.Review from Smartwool.
6. Mountain Hardwear Dynama Skirt
This Mountain Hardwear Dynama Skirt can’t go wrong when it comes to finding the perfect skirt for thru-hiking. It is lightweight and perfect for all outdoor adventures. It is mid-thigh length, offering comfortable coverage while still being breathable. It also comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty, which is an amazing bonus. This skirt is comfy and easy to move in, making it perfect to add to your collection.
- 96% nylon, 4% elastane
- 5 ounces
- Mid-thigh length
Sample Customer Review… I saw a woman recently wearing this skirt and I had to have it. I searched at Moosejaw where she said she had bought hers but of course they didn’t have it. I lucked out finding it on Amazon. I originally ordered a size Medium because I am a 28″ waist but I returned and ordered the size small instead. It is much more figure-flattering. The shipping was fast and the refund was quick and easy. I highly recommend this skirt for a look that is a little sporty but very feminine.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
7. Skirt Sports Happy Girl Skirt
This Skirt Sports Happy Girl Skirt contains polyester and spandex material, giving it the ability to stretch with you and not immobilize you on the trail. This is also technically a skort, as it has built-in semi-compression shorts that prevent chafing. It comes in many different colors and designs and it is at a modest length. With this skirt, you can prevent chafing and hike in style. Lastly, this Skirt Sports hiking skirt/skort has pockets (including a zippered one for valuable items), is moisture-wicking, and adjustable!
- 7-inch inseam shorts
- Mid-thigh length
- 6.7 ounces
Sample Customer Review… I started running three years ago, and have never been thrilled with my body type. Most products for running are so short and or tight, I never felt comfortable in running clothes, until I met the Happy Girl Skirt by Skirt Sports. I wear these exclusively during warm weather runs. The skirt is long, and the compression shorts under stay put. I never get too hot and have never had a problem with chafing in these skorts. I feel well covered but athletic and feminine. At my last race, I had multiple women compliment the skort and comment on how easy it looked to run in – I took 3rd in my age division, so it obviously didn’t slow me down!
This is a well-made product. I have owned my three skorts for two years, and wear them 3-4 times per week from April to October and they still look brand new. I have run 200+ mile relays in this skort and am currently training for a half marathon.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Benefits of The Best Lightweight Hiking Skirts for Thru-Hiking
Ventilation is a huge benefit of the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking. Unlike pants or shorts, skirts are open at the bottom, giving you more ventilation. Their openness, if you will, decreases sweating and chafing, especially if you’re outdoors on a hot day. And because skirts don’t cling to your legs as pants or shorts do, you will have more agility, mobility, and flexibility while hiking.
When hiking in cold weather, you definitely want to layer up! If you’re wearing more than one pair of pants to stay warm, you could cause chafing (which can be painful and uncomfortable) and inhibit your mobility. You could also overheat! Layering a hiking skirt over a pair of base layer pants or leggings may be much more comfortable and effective for staying warm outdoors.
Also, hiking skirts are great for layering when you’re in an area that may be mosquito-infested or has poisonous wildlife. Your bare legs are vulnerable to these types of dangers, so even if you’re wearing a hiking skirt at first, you can simply slip a pair of long pants or leggings underneath the skirt to protect your skin.
Ease of Self Relief
Even though you’ve been on rugged terrain, faced freezing rain, and maybe even braved an encounter with a not-so-friendly wildlife creature, you’re only human after all, which means you may have to go take a little bathroom break during your excursions. Hiking skirts make self relief so much easier because, unlike those occasions when you’re wearing pants or shorts, you don’t have to bare your bottom in the woods just to use the bathroom. Wearing a hiking skirt just simply requires that you squat or stand in order to do your business and keep it moving!
Now that you are cognizant of the benefits of hiking skirts, let’s look at some things you should consider before buying one of the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking.
Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Searching For the Best Lightweight Hiking Skirts for Thru-Hiking
Many hiking skirts include built-in shorts. These skorts reduce chafing and help you avoid awkward moments on windy days. Skorts are great for full coverage when climbing over rocks and up cliffs. True hiking skirts lack these built-in shorts, allowing for more ventilation and bathroom ease.
The material of your skirt should depend on the season or weather conditions in which you’re hiking. For warm weather, get a stretchy hiking skirt that is form-fitting and made from nylon or synthetic fabric. Fabrics like these dry quickly and provide you with more mobility, unlike moisture-retaining and slow-drying cotton skirts. Some hiking skirts made of synthetic fabrics also provide UV protection! Be sure to avoid cotton materials. Cotton wicks up moisture and holds it so that it can’t evaporate. This material will weigh you down and stick to your skin.
When hiking in cold weather, wool is a great material to look for in a hiking skirt. Wear base layer pants or leggings underneath the skirt to keep warm and to prevent getting ill.
Some good features to look for in the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking are adjustable fit, flare, and pockets. If you have a hard time finding a hiking skirt that offers just the right fit, you may want to look for a skirt that has an adjustable velcro waist or drawstrings to help you achieve your desired fit.
Typically, hiking skirts have a flared bottom rather than a straight bottom. These flare bottoms give you more freedom of movement, although you may prefer the slim fit of a straight-bottom hiking skirt depending on your style. Also, the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking have pockets for storage. Just make sure that these pockets are deep enough to carry items to be advantageous to you.
In order to have a lightweight and breathable hiking skirt, you need one that weighs about 2 to 8 ounces.
If you’re an avid, thrill-seeking hiker, or if you’re more of an enthusiastic newbie to hiking, you should consider buying one of the best lightweight hiking skirts for thru-hiking! It has several benefits that will be of great convenience to you during your hiking adventures. Just be sure to choose one that best fits your needs and desires.
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Written by Artesa Cox and Hannah Ness