The best summer riding tops are technical, comfortable, smart and flattering, plus they’ll stand up to the test of daily wear in the summer months. Technical materials do a lot more than you might think and go a long way to keeping you cool and comfortable. Some fabrics are highly effective at wicking moisture away from your skin, which allows it to evaporate and provides a cooling effect – similar to a cooler rug.
Some materials also offer great protection from the sun – this is measured by a UPF rating ( this a bit like SPF – the higher the rating the more protection is offered). Other technical features include dirt- and dust-resistant finishes, which allow dirt to be brushed off without marking and prevents stains from things like sun cream or fly spray.
A smart, flattering fit is also important and goes a long way to keeping your comfortable. A slightly dipped hem at the rear will offer better coverage in the saddle, while capped or longer sleeves will offer more protection from the sun and in the case of a fall. And if you can find something that complements your summer breeches or riding tights, then you’re on to a style winner.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the best summer riding tops in a wide range of fits, so there’ll be something for everyone…
Apt Cavalier Sun shirt
Colours: Azure or stone | Sizes: 6–16 | RRP: £54.50 |
Made from an Italian sports fabric, these ultra-lightweight and breathable shirts have built-in UV protection to protect your skin from harmful rays. Designed with a looser silhouette than a fitted base layer, these tops are flattering and forgiving. The back includes an anti-bacterial sports mesh panel that helps to keep you cool, and the material is quick-drying as well as sand and dirt resistant.
View at aptcavalier.com
Ariat Sunstopper 2.0 ¼ zip
Colours: 14 options | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £45 |
This base layer features breathable tech mesh panelling in all the places you need it most and has a fabric finish that prevents the growth of bacterial odours. It features technology that reduces skin temperature, wicks away moisture and offers a UPF rating of 45 to provide protection against UV rays.
View at ariat.com
Aztec Diamond fitted tee
Colours: Black, burgundy, grey, navy, taupe | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £30 |
This is an updated design for Aztec Diamond’s fitted tee. It is made with a four-way stretch fabric to sculpt every figure and features advanced cooling technologies and breathable mesh panels.
View at aztecdiamondequestrian.com
Cerci Equestrian Fresh polo shirt
Colours: Burgundy or teal | Sizes: 6–16 | RRP: £154 |
Hand cut and made in London, this polo shirt is sweat-wicking, quick-drying and UV-protective with a UPF rating of 50+. The fabric has also undergone an antibacterial treatment to prevent sweat stains and odours, while soft threads and reduced internal labelling increase comfort.
View at cerciequestrian.co.uk
Coldstream Lennel base layer
Colours: Black, Windsor wine, navy/raspberry sorbet, grey or white | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £39.99 |
Crafted for ultimate performance, durability and comfort, this technical base layer has a tailored fit that delivers a sleek and stylish look. It has a UPF rating of 40+ and will help to regulate your temperature. It features flat lock seams and soft fabric that benefits from advanced moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool.
Derriere Activewear short sleeve top
Colours: Grey, navy or white | Sizes: XS–L | RRP: £44.99 |
This top is aimed at the “fashion-focused rider who requires sports performance”. It features flat seams that eliminate rubbing, chaffing and friction and offers a sculpted fit, while the collar, finished with a smart zip closure, creates a smart look . It is made of fast-drying fabric with temperature regulating properties and mesh detailing to maximise airflow and breathability, and keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
View at derriereequestrian.com
Dublin Maddison short sleeve technical airflow 1/4 zip top
Colours: Salmon orange | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £36.99 |
This slim-top top includes Dublin’s Comfort Dry technologyy and features a laser-perforated airflow mesh detailing as well as silver reflective tape detail on the back. Also available in a long-sleeved version.
DVR Equestrian Santos shirt
Colours: Tri or graphite | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £56.99 |
Originally designed for competition, this shirt has become a popular training option, too. The front and collar are made of a UPF 50 cooling fabric made with recycled ocean plastic, while the back and shoulders are mesh to aid cooling.
View at dvrequestrian.com
Dymond Horsewear sleeveless base layer
Colours: Navy, olive or dark grey | Sizes: 6/8–14 | RRP: £30 |
Made with a long-lasting and durable material that drys quickly and keeps its shape, this top offers UPF 30+.
View at dymondhorsewear.com
Equestrian Stockholm UV-protection top
Colours: Soft lemon yellow, royal classic navy, silver cloud grey, champagne, emerald, pistachio, black or midnight blue | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £59 |
Available in a variety of colours, this top is made of a fast-drying, eco-friendly material that breathes well and has a cooling effect. The top is UPF 35 and cools your skin temperature. The material also contains recycled coffee beans, which functions as an odour control to keep your top fresher for longer.
View at equestrianstockholm.com
Equetech Tropics mesh polo neck top
Colours: Black/grey | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £33.50 |
With semi-sheer mesh back and sleeves, this top is styled in a lightweight stretch fabric featuring a tropical leaf print and been designed so you can enjoy it away from the yard, too.
Georgian Dollar polo shirt
Colours: Navy | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £52 |
This 100% cotton polo has a flattering and feminine fit and features white contrast collar and sleeves for a smart look.
View at georgiandollar.co.uk
Ginger & Jardine bamboo sleeveless polo shirt
Colours: White/pink, cream/blue or pink/blue | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £29.95 |
Made from super-soft bamboo fabric, this top is lightweight and has excellent moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties. It has a good length of body to ensure ample coverage and allow it to be tucked in.
View at gingerandjardine.co.uk
Gray Equestrian short sleeve base layer
Colours: Grey, light blue, light pink or purple | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £30 |
This short-sleeved version of Gray Equestrian’s original technical base layer is made of lightweight technical fabric that keeps you cool. It is stretchy and has flat seams for added comfort.
View at grayequestrian.co.uk
Honest Riders training layer
Colours: Navy, black, grey or mulberry | Sizes: XS–XXXL | RRP: £38 |
Made from soft, lightweight eco-friendly bamboo fabric that’s sustainable, wicks sweat, has antibacterial properties, this top offers UV protection of UPF 50. It also has mesh sleeves and back panels to help keep you cool, hidden pockets either side and cuff thumbholes.
View at honestriders.co.uk
Horseware Aveen short sleeve tech top
Colours: Navy, blue or green/navy | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £34.95 |
This high-performance, mid-layer is made of antibacterial, breathable and wicking material with UPF30 treatment and mesh side panelling. The high-neck collar has an auto-lock zip and zip guard for maximum comfort. Also available in a long-sleeved version.
Kerrits Cool Ride Ice Fil lite short sleeve riding shirt
Colours: Bluebird or willow | Sizes: S–XL | RRP: £37.50 |
This technical riding shirt is designed to wick moisture, lower skin temperature by up to 5°C and provide UPF30 sun protection. It has a relaxed but feminine fit, long zip for extra ventilation, longer sleeves for protection, stock tie loop and high collar.
View at glazeandgordon.com
LeMieux ActiveWear short sleeve base layer
Colours: Azure, sage or musk | Sizes: 4–16 | RRP: £39.95 |
Ideal for the active rider, the lightweight, sweat-wicking material and under arm vents encourage air flow. The close fitting four-way stretch jersey fabric has a soft touch for ultimate comfort, while the shaped collar and zip detailing give the shirt an elegant finishing touch.
Mochara technical sleeveless base layer
Colours: Berry, snow white, charcoal grey, jet black, baby pink, slate grey, rose or navy | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £36 |
Suitable for a range of sporting activities, this top is treated with a UPF40+ finish to prevent UV rays penetrating through the fabric and reduce heat absorption. The technical wicking fabric will keep you dry, too.
View at mochara.co.uk
Mountain Horse Tyra tech top
Colours: Blue, dark navy or pink/gold | Sizes: XS–XXL | RRP: £27 |
Made with stretchy quick-drying fabric that has a hydrophilic finish to wick away moisture, this top has a feminine fit, V-shaped neck and laser cut details on the short sleeves.
Musto Evolution Sunblock short sleeve polo 2.0
Colours: Brilliant blue, true navy, white, charcoal, true red or blue curacao | Sizes: 8–18 | RRP: From £30 |
With a UPF of 50, this top is a great shield to the sun and is made of fast-wicking and -drying fabric to keep you dry, cool and comfortable during intense activity.
View at musto.com
Pikeur Jarla sleeveless polo shirt
Colours: Black, white, dark green, aquamarine, night sky or light aubergine | Sizes: 6–18 | RRP: £49.75 |
Soft and comfortable to wear, this stylish polo has subtle contrasting binding at the shoulder and button band. Highly breathable and made of a four-way stretch polyester microfibre fabric that absorbs sweat and dries quickly, the Jarla is soft and comfortable to wear.
View at sportsdirect.com
PS of Sweden Alessandra summer base layer
Colours: Navy or aqua | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £65 |
This comfortable, wicking and breathable base layer has a flattering slim fit with a half-zip and a stand-up collar. Designed to accentuate the shoulders and slim the torso, the top has decorative stitch details and an inspiring quote is printed tone-in-tone at the back.
View at psofsweden.com
QHP Noëlla sport shirt
Colours: Green or navy | Sizes: 6–16 | RRP: £34.95 |
Made with a crystal print on the inside that keeps your skin cool and fresh, this tailored shirt also has a reflective insert that gives a subtle shine.
View at qhp.nl
Shires Aubrion Elverson Tech T-shirt
Colours: Navy, pink or aqua | Sizes: XXS–XXL | RRP: £17.99 |
This V-neck T-shirt has a relaxed fit and is made from lightweight, quick-dry fabric. It features sporty side paneling and has flat seams for added comfort.
Stierna Jessica sleeveless top
Colours: Navy, white, pink or lemon | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £52 |
The fabric of this fitted top is permeated with natural bamboo charcoal, which is naturally antibacterial and has anti-odour properties to keep you fresh and cool. It is UPF30+ and highly effective at transporting moisture, as well as having chafe-free seams and an asymmetrical hem for a better riding fit.
Stockinjur short-sleeved base layer
Colours: Black, navy, dove, charcoal, plum, olive, blackcurrant or cranberry | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £36 |
Made of the same technical, regenerated nylon-based Lycra as Stockinjur leggings, which offers muscular compression, this baselayer has a soft feel and is resistant to creasing and staining. It offers UPF 50+ and wicks away moisture effectively.
View at stockinjur.com
Toggi Summer Reflector
Colours: Grey | Sizes: 8–18 | RRP: £39.50 |
Crafted from super-sleek, stretch fabric. Featuring mesh panelling at the sides and sleeves and a practical zip neck. Reflective prints aid visibility and on temporary features include fusible hems and a grown on collar.
Uhip technical short sleeve top
Colours: Navy, pink orange or black | Sizes: 34–46 | RRP: €41 |
This lightweight, feminine short-sleeved top is made of quick-drying functional material. The synthetic fibre used is a hydrophobic, which means that it resists water penetration, and is highly effective at wicking away moisture, which helps to keep you cool. There are mesh panels on the upper back and along the sides for maximum ventilation and comfort.
View at uhipwear.com
You might also like:
Check out our selection of comfortable, breathable and stylish riding tights that will keep you looking and feeling cool this
Check out this selection of everyday riding and training breeches to wear this summer
If your horse is sensitive to the sun, don’t miss this selection of horse-friendly suncream to help keep your horse
Check out this selection of the best cooler rugs to keep your horse at the optimum temperature after exercise, while
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on completely ad-free