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Best Women’s Sun Shirt for Hiking: Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow Hoody (Review)

I’ve been wearing the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody religiously during my outdoor adventures over the past 3 years, so I feel confident bestowing it with the title of the best women’s hiking sun shirt. Not only does the hoody do a fantastic job at providing sun protection, but it’s also the most comfortable hiking shirt that I own.

Woman taking a selfie wearing a green hat, a blue Black Diamond women's alpenglow hoody, and a cobalt blue running vest with sunglasses and the desert in the background.
Hiking the Serpents Trail in Colorado National Monument

I live in Colorado where we’re lucky to have over 300 days of sunshine each year, but with all of that sunshine means it’s extra important to wear sun protection when hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Whether I’m hiking in the desert or in the mountains, sun protection is always at the front of my mind before I hit the trail!

Keep reading to find out why the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody is the first shirt I reach for when heading out for a hike!

Woman wearing a blue Black Diamond alpenglow hoody and a big blue backpack stands overlooking a mountain basin with blue alpine lakes.
Backpacking the Seven Lakes Basin & High Divide Trail in Olympic National Park

About the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow Hoody

There’s a lot to love about this sun shirt, so let’s dive into the technical specs:

Sizing & Fit:

Sizing for the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody is fairly limited and ranges from XS-XL. I wear a S, which is true to size for me when it comes to tops. 

One of the reasons that I think the Alpenglow hoody is so well made is because of the hem on the sleeves and waist. Instead of having a small hemline, the bottom of the sleeves and waist double-back to create a roughly 3” hemline. Not only does this create a flattering fit, but it also makes the hem more durable to heavy wear and tear.


The Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody comes in a variety of trendy colors, including Mulberry (a pretty mauve), Baja Sunrise (a deep, rusty coral), and Clean Blue (a bold royal blue with purple undertones). I have the Blue Ash, which is a light, dusty blue. I love this color because it helps reflect the sun, but doesn’t show dirt like a white hoody would.

Woman wearing an olive green hat that says Wild with a pine tree for the I and sunglasses takes a selfie in front of mountains and an alpine lake in Idaho.


Like most good sun shirts, the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody is designed to help you stay cool. When you look at the fabric up close you can see a tiny diamond weaved pattern that helps keep it breathable. The shirt is made with fabric, which according to Black Diamond, “reflects 71% of near-infrared rays and reduces wearer’s perceived temperature.”

The fabric also contains Polygiene odor control treatment, which means you can wear the sun shirt multiple times before washing it and it won’t smell. This makes it the best women’s sun shirt to wear on backpacking trips!


The Alpenglow hoody is rated to SPF 50 and comes with an attached hood for added sun protection. The hood is meant to be worn under your helmet if you’re wearing your hoody to go rock climbing or mountaineering. There’s also a small zippered pocket near the right hip that can fit a credit card or key. The total weight is 245g.

A woman wearing a black sports bra and skirt and man wearing a gray sun shirt and hiking pants stand in front of the Grand Canyon at sunset with pink and purple light in the canyon.
My husband has the men’s version of the Black Diamond Alpenglow hoody and loves it as well!

What I Love

Now that you know all of the technical specs, let’s talk about why I am obsessed with the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody.

I really can’t express enough how comfortable this shirt is- it seriously feels like you’re wearing nothing. The shirt is lightweight, soft, and very breathable so you can wear it on a warm sunny day and not overheat even though it has long sleeves. I find that a lot of sun protection clothing really isn’t very breathable, and the Alpenglow hoody is certainly an exception to that.

Because the Alpenglow hoody is lightweight and has a loose fit, you can wear a tank top underneath if you need to. It also provides a lot of coverage on the chest and back of the neck when the hood is up, but it’s loose at the neck so it doesn’t feel suffocating.

My Alpenglow hoody has held up well over the past three years with moderate-heavy wear. There is a small snag in the fabric on the front of the shirt, but that is the only real sign of wear. I always air-dry it after washing, which I think has helped to maintain the shirt’s longevity. 

Whether I’m hiking in the desert in Southern Utah, or the mountains of Colorado, my Alpenglow hoody is a staple piece of hiking clothing.

How much does the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody cost?

The Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody retails full-price for $95, but you can often find it on sale. Since it’s such a popular top and has been on the market for years you may also be able to find it at a used gear consignment shop, which can be found in most outdoorsy towns and cities.

I totally recognize that spending $95 for a hiking shirt that you are going to be sweating in is a steep price, but I think the durability, comfort, and functionality of the Alpenglow hoody makes it worth it if you’re not able to find it on sale. It’s a quality piece of sun protection clothing that will hold up for years on the trail! A high-quality sun shirt is a must when hiking in the desert. It also makes a great holiday gift for your favorite hiker.

Woman wearing a blue ash Black Diamond women's alpenglow hoody and a wide-brim black hat stands at the base of a rocky canyon with tan and yellow walls.

Purchase the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow Hoody

You can purchase the Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow hoody here:

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