Hiking is a fun activity, but it may not be enjoyable when your clothes are uncomfortable and cause irritation to your skin. So, if you’ve experienced this and are wondering whether nylon is suitable for hiking, you’ve come to the right place.
Wearing cotton, denim, or silk is a big no when hiking, but is nylon the best material to wear? How comfortable is it? What are the cons of wearing a nylon cloth?
Let’s find all about it as choosing the right fabric for hiking will make or break your outdoor fun experience.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearing Nylon For Hiking
While nylon is an excellent material to wear for hiking enthusiasts, there are a couple of things to consider before buying one. It may not be ideal for all the seasons, so you must carefully choose the right one for you. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of wearing nylon during hiking.
Pros of Nylon for Hiking
Nylon is suitable compared to polyester and has slightly better properties than polyester in certain aspects, but both are suitable for hiking. That said, there are several advantages of using nylon for hiking and some of them are:
Breathable and durable
It’s essential to wear loose-fitting and comfortable gear when hiking for more effortless mobility. The best thing about nylon is its breathability and durability. They can withstand heavy abrasion, so you don’t have to worry about buying a new one frequently. Due to these properties, hikers often choose nylon over other fabrics.
Though hiking is challenging, you can enjoy it to your fullest without having to deal with irritation and uneasiness with the right clothes. Nylon resists water and quickly dries up, if any. So you won’t feel the cloth wet and sticking to your body during hiking.
Wrinkle-resistant and easy to wash
Nylon doesn’t get wrinkled quickly, and it’s easy to wash too. It doesn’t get worn out after multiple washes, and you can machine wash it without much effort.
Cons of Nylon for Hiking
Nylon is a highly durable and comfortable fabric for hiking, especially during summer. However, here are some of the downsides of nylon:
Not very lightweight
Nylon may not be the most lightweight fabric, so it may not be as breathable as you expect it to be.
Long drying time
Compared to polyester, nylon does take a long time to dry, so only go with nylon during summers for better comfort and durability. It cannot be worn during winters as it takes longer to dry if it gets wet.
Not ideal for winters
Due to its long drying time, it may not be ideal for wearing when hiking during winters.
How to Choose the Right Fabric for Hiking?
It’s natural to want to look pretty wearing flimsy shoes and fashionable clothing. But you don’t want to feel uncomfortable and itchy and ruin your hiking experience because of the wrong fabric, do you? Here are some of the parameters you need to keep in mind while choosing the suitable fabric for hiking.
1. Resistant to Odor
You need to check if the material is resistant to odor. It’s a vital property to keep in mind, or you may end up smelling bad halfway through your hiking journey. See if the fabric has anti-microbial properties before buying one. What’s good about nylon is that it is odor-resistant.
Loose-fitted clothes keep you comfortable and help you walk on the trails with ease. Skin-tight clothes may look good on you, but they are not breathable and can hinder your hiking experience. Always choose a fabric that has enough room to breathe for more comfort.
Another key parameter is to check if the fabric is durable enough to withstand rugged trails. If the hiking trail is not well-maintained or rugged, wearing a fabric that doesn’t tear easily is always better. That said, nylon works the best when it comes to durability.
4. Weight and Drying Time
Clothes for hiking should be lightweight and have a quick drying time, so even if it gets wet when hiking, it dries quickly, making you less uncomfortable. So, always choose a lightweight fabric with good moisture-absorption properties.
5. Moisture-wicking performance
Hiking gears are often hydrophobic and resist water seeping into the fabric. Nylon is an excellent moisture-wicking fabric for sweat management, and you can feel dry and feel good even when you’re sweating a lot. Such fabric reduces discomfort and stains due to sweat.
6. Ease of Wash
You need to choose a fabric that is easy to take care of. Few fabrics have special drying instructions that should be followed and buying such can be high maintenance. If you want something easy to clean with little maintenance, nylon does the job well.
Concluding Thoughts: Rayon For Hiking
Along with prepping your hiking kit, you need to choose suitable clothing for a pleasant hiking experience. If you sweat a lot, you need to go for a fabric with moisture-wicking properties. If you go hiking during winters, you need a fabric with good insulation with comfortable base layers.
And when you go hiking during summer, you need light and breathable material. Most of these properties are found in nylon, suitable for hiking. But keep in mind the cons before buying one for your next adventure. Ensure all your base and hiking layers are of the quality fabric to avoid discomfort.
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I am Jordan James, I am a writer and researcher over here at Outside Origin. I love spending time in nature and just being outside. I have hiked many trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Pennine Way, Half Dome to name a few.