Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt: Which Is The Better Choice?

Nylon vs. polyester hiking shirt: Which would bring more comfort when hiking? This post helps you choose a suitable outfit for the best hiking experience!

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Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt: Comparison Table

Before going any deeper, let’s check this detailed comparison table. It will give you an overview of how Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt differs.


Nylon Hiking Shirt

Polyester Hiking Shirt

Designed for
  • Hiking and doing normal activities like doing household chores and sports.
  • More suitable for industrial uses but also serve well as hiking outfits.
  • Commonly made of petroleum
  • Made from polymer garnished in air, coal production, and petroleum products.
Main Features
  • Possess a lustrous appearance with a wide range of sizes and colors
  • Lightweight and high comfort with a smooth, soft, and warm texture
  • First made into production in 1939
  • Very easy to clean and maintain
  • Won’t fade much in the sunlight
  • Feature a mildly slick and colorful appearance
  • A smooth and silky surface, which dries very quickly
  • First made into production in 1939
  • Easy to clean, but will gradually lose its color under sunlight in the long run
  • Excellent durability and flexibility
  • Can resist tears and scratches efficiently when hiking
  • Lower flammability, which melts quickly first before burning
  • Greater water absorption ability
  • Polyester usually comes at lower prices
  • Versatility and recognizability with numerous brands and options
  • Can resist the wrinkle and moisture better
  • Great ability to resist UV rays
  • Polyester can absorb and eliminate the bad smells
  • Nylon is commonly more expensive
  • Lower versatility with fewer options to choose from
  • Poor moisture absorption
  • It cannot absorb the body odors
  • Higher flammability, which melts and burns simultaneously
  • Poor water absorption ability
  • Less strong than the nylon hiking shirts

Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirts: What Do They Have In Common?

Since both categories are made from very similar materials and chemical reactions, they feature a lot of traits in common. Before dwelling on the core differences, it would help to discuss some of their basic qualities.

The most significant advantage of these two materials lies in their excellent durability and strength. Both nylon and polyester hiking shirts can resist scratches and pointy objects without getting any damage on the surface.

Nylon and polyester hiking shirts are flammable, but they can resist moisture and water very effectively. You should also note that either type of shirt is immune to allergic reactions.

Nylon and polyester contain finishing resins that may cause some unwanted symptoms in people with allergies. In addition, both shirts possess very poor breathability and may make you feel hot when running.

However, they are still more convenient than normal shirts due to the ease of maintenance and cleaning. These two shirt materials can resist mildew, thus saving you much more effort in cleaning time.

Lastly, both materials bring great comfort to hikers. Still, there’s a little difference in the surface, which I will discuss in the following sections.

Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt: What Are The Core Differences?

Despite many similarities, nylon still brings some slight edges regarding hiking clothes, especially durability and comfort. Now let me walk you through the most noticeable differences between these two categories.

Utility And Protection

There’s hardly any better choice than nylon regarding strength and durability. Nylon hiking shirts can well absorb abrasion and chemical damage.

Though polyester hiking shirts provide these features, they are not as durable.

Another feature worth noticing is flammability. Although both nylon and polyester shirts are flammable, the processes are not the same.

While polyester shirts burn and melt simultaneously, the nylon shirts will melt first before burning. If a fire accident happens, it may give you a few more seconds to take off the shirt.

Another thing you have to consider is UV light. While both shirts can absorb sunlight and harmful UV rays, nylon will gradually fade its color and texture when exposed to sunlight after an extended period.

Meanwhile, polyester hiking shirts stay intact and beautiful even when you wear them on a regular basis.


Though it depends entirely on how you feel, nylon hiking shirts bring greater comfort, according to many hikers. It features a silkier and softer surface, while the polyester hiking shirts have a mildly slick and harder texture.

In addition, nylon hiking shirts can partly absorb water and moisture while its counterpart cannot. You may overlook this trait, but it’s a significant advantage for hiking clothes.

When you stay active for an extended period and sweat, the nylon hiking shirts will absorb your sweat and make you feel more comfortable. However, polyester can absorb and reduce body odors, while nylon shirts cannot.

Price And Appearance

In general, nylon hiking shirts come at higher prices than polyester ones if they belong to the same product lines or brands. It may depend on the finishes, build quality, and design, but it’s commonly cheaper to produce polyester.

In addition, it’s easier to find various polyester shirts in different sizes and designs from many brands. Meanwhile, nylon shirts feature less availability and options for users to choose from.

Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt: Which Is The Right Choice For You?

Both nylon and polyester hiking shirts are great options for hikers due to the optimal comfort, durability, and utility they bring.

However, I’m slightly leaning towards the nylon hiking shirt for these reasons.

  • It gives you greater durability and a silkier, smoother surface.
  • It can absorb moisture and water, bringing you more comfort when hiking
  • It reduces the risk of fatal damage when the shirt catches fire.

However, nylon hiking shirts are less available and also more expensive than polyester products. If you prefer a cheap, versatile, and comfortable hiking outfit, go for the polyester hiking shirts.


I hope that the Nylon Vs. Polyester Hiking Shirt comparison provided can help you make the wisest buying decision for your needs. If you still need more information about these two products, follow this section to discover more.

What Material Is Best For A Hiking Shirt?

The favorite materials of hikers when choosing hiking outfits are nylon and polyester. You can also consider natural fabrics like bamboo or merino wool, which are very durable, comfortable, and cheap.

Is Nylon Or Polyester Better For Hiking?

Nylon is the best choice if your priorities are durability and comfort. However, it is more expensive and less common than polyester products.

In addition, polyester shirts can retain their beauty and color for longer.

Is Nylon Good For Hiking Shirts?

The answer is yes. Nylon shirts are very durable and comfortable with their smooth and silky texture. In addition, this material is immune to heat, scratches, and water, bringing you a safe and satisfying hiking experience.

Are Polyester Shirts Good For Hiking?

Polyester shirts are also an ideal choice for hiking due to their excellent durability and utility. They are immune to scratches and environmental forces, giving users more comfort when hiking.

Should The Hiking Shirt Be Tight Or Loose?

You should opt for a loose hiking shirt because too tight an outfit can reduce your breathability and increase your body temperature. Meanwhile, loose shirts help the airflow circulate inside and dry your body quickly.

What’s More Breathable Polyester Or Nylon?

Both materials feature poor breathability when hiking, but it also depends on the density of thickness of the shirt. Some brands prioritize breathability in their nylon and polyester products, while others don’t.

Is Nylon Or Polyester Better For Outdoors?

Nylon is the right choice if you regularly participate in outdoor activities. It is more durable and less prone to weather or environmental impacts like rain and sunlight.

Why Do Nylon Shirts Smell?

Nylon does not absorb and retain the odor as efficiently as polyester products. It also partly attracts the oil and bacteria from hikers’ skin. Therefore if you sweat a lot when running, the smells won’t fade away as quickly.

Are Polyester Shirts Good For Hot Weather?

Despite its low breathability, polyester shirts are very good for hot weather.

They can absorb the moisture to keep your body dry and clean from sweat, thus reducing the body temperature when hiking.

Is Nylon Or Polyester Better For Activewear?

Due to its higher durability and strength, nylon is a better choice for activewear.

It won’t tear and wear down as quickly as polyester products and give users more peace of mind.

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