CAMPING & HIKING

Best Sun Hat: Sun Protection All Year Round

Man wearing beach sun hat
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Which is the best sun hat that can protect you from the harsh rays of the sun? To the uninitiated eye, all hats look the same. But we all know that not all hats are created equal. Hats are readily available for any gender or age so you need to look for a sun hat that will fit your head really well.

To find a good fitting hat, you need to measure you’re the size of your head to get a hat that corresponds to its size. A good sun hat does not only look good, it also provides good sun protection, is comfortable and durable. How do you buy a sun hat? Here are factors you need to consider when buying them.

Best Features of a Sun Hat

Protection

A sun hat’s purpose is to protect the face, neck and ears from harmful UV rays which can cause sunburns and sun damage. Some hats use fabrics that UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings that can help block the sun’s UV rays. Generally speaking, the more UPF, the more sun protection. UPF rating of 30+ blocks 96% of the sun while a UPF 50 rating blocks 99%.

Beautiful woman wearing sun hat

Aside from the UPF, you also need a hat with a wide brim for better coverage. A wide brim will cover a bigger portion of your face so you won’t have to apply sunscreen all the time. A smaller brimmed hat like a bucket hat looks cool but has a smaller brim offering less protection from the sun.If you prefer a hat that does not cover a lot of your face, ears, nape and shoulders, make sure to apply sunscreen periodically to avoid getting sunburned.

Breathability

Wearing a sun hat on a hot day is a good way to protect your face. However, it can get really hot while wearing a hat. Breathability is an important factor when choosing a sun hat because it prevents you from overheating. Choose a sunhat that is made from breathable materials. If possible, look for hats with ventilation panels since they will help with breathability to keep you cool.

Comfort

Before buying the best hat for sun protection, it is very important to know what you’re going to use it for. If you’re going mountaineering, for example, you might not want to buy a wide brimmed hat because it will make it harder for you to look up. If you’re buying a hat for running, you might want something that fits snugly and breathable so that it won’t fly off while cooling you down.

There are also hats that are made with moisture wicking materials. This is a good consideration if you sweat a lot. Moisture wicking fabric keeps you dry by absorbing wetness for better comfort and cooling abilities.

Senior wearing sun hat

For any type of hat you will buy it is always important to consider comfort. A bad fitting hat will cause headaches. If it is too big, it will become unstable and you will need to constantly pull it down your head which can be inconvenient and annoying. To find a comfortable hat, measure your head properly and follow fitting guidelines of the hat manufacturer so that you can find the correct size and fit.

Durability

Some sun hats can be very expensive. This is understandable, especially if they have many features and are made from quality fabric. However, they also have to be durable. It might not seem so, but hats take a lot of abuse. They provide protection from the elements, get wet with sweat and have to endure being machine or hand washed.

Many sun hats are light in color. We suggest getting one in white since it will reflect the heat. The bad news about white or light colored hats is dirt. They get dirty easily so if you want a hat in these colors find something that is machine or hand washable and also quick-drying.

Cowboy sun hat

It is also important to consider the material of the hat. For adventurous types, it is best that their sun hats be made from lightweight breathable material for comfort. These hats are usually more expensive, but if you buy a $10 straw hat from the gas station, it might not live to see your next hiking trip since straw is not durable.

Style

Style is also important when buying a sun hat. Before getting it, make sure you don’t look like a joke when wearing it. But if you don’t care, we won’t say anything. Before purchasing a hat, get a second opinion or find similar styles to try which looks good on you.

There are many different styles of sun hats ranging from wide brimmed hats, caps to hats with capes. Before choosing a style, consider the activity you will be doing. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors you might want to consider hats with capes.

They will protect your nape while offering additional defense against insects. For general outdoor activities, wide brimmed hats are a good idea. They offer good protection while remaining stylish. They are also very versatile and can be used for various outdoor activities like war games, fishing, hiking and backpacking.

Sun hat for gentlemen

Caps are best suited for joggers. Look for caps with a low profile so that they won’t fly away easily. For those who like to run at night, reflective logos are a good idea for added visibility.

Now that we know which features to consider, it is time to look at different hats that could be your next adventure partner. These sun hats are versatile and can be used in many different outdoor activities. Playing and having fun under the sun can be a sweaty activity but these hats will protect you and keep you comfortable.

Sun Hat Reviews

Cosmos® Tactical Head Wear/Boonie/Jungle Hat Cap

Cosmos Tactical Head WearSpecific Features: Inner Diameter measures 7 1/2″, Brim measures 2 1/2″ Wide, Crown measures 3 1/4″ High, Adjustable chin strap ensures a secure fit, Foldable, very convenient to take it anywhere, Wide brim and screened side vents are sure to keep you cool in the blazing sun

Best Used For: Keeping out of the sun during fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, war games and general outdoor use.

The Cosmos® Tactical Head Wear/Boonie/Jungle Hat Cap is the ultimate cap for adventurers, fishermen and outdoorsmen. This hat has everything you need to keep you comfortable as you tackle obstacles or wait for the fish to bite.

The hat features ventilation holes to keep you cool while letting some of the breeze in. The chin strap provides extra security so that the hat does not go flying away when it’s windy. It is also adjustable so that the cap fits snugly to your head protecting it from the harmful rays of the sun.

The wide brim and screened side vents offer maximum protection from harmful UV rays which can cause sunburn while the screened vents keep you cool while the sun is out. Overall, it is a durable hat that is very versatile and affordable and will keep you protected from the sun’s scorching rays. It is great for everyday use and various outdoor activities.

Related: N/A

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Men’s Schooner Bank Cachalot III Hat

Columbia Mens Schooner HatSpecific Features: Shell is 100 percent textured nylon poplin, adjustable drawcord and toggle at back, Omni-shade UPF 50 sun protection, omni-wick sweatband and mesh

Best Used For: Outdoor activity that requires sun protection like kayaking, fishing, barbecuing, war games, hiking and backpacking.

Don’t let the harsh rays of the sun keep you from having fun or enjoying the outdoors. Columbia Men’s Schooner Bank Cachalot III Hat with SPF 50 sun protection will keep you from getting sunburned so that you can enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. This hat is on the expensive side of the scale but it does offer a lot in terms of protection and safety.

It features a rear cape so that your neck is protected too. It sports a generous bill so that your face gets enough shade from the sun. The omni-wick sweat band and mesh helps to keep cool by absorbing moisture and sweat quickly to keep you cool, dry and comfortable. It can also help prevent sweat from getting into your eyes.

The adjustable drawstring keeps the hat in place for added protection against sun and wind. While the hat is expensive, it does keep your face, neck and ears from getting sunburned. Colombia is known for making durable products and this hat is no exception.

Related: The Columbia Men’s Coolhead Cachalot Cap is essentially the same as the above but features side mesh panels for better cooling. It also has an Omni-Freeze ZERO fabrication lowers the material’s temperature for cooling comfort.

Check the price on Amazon

KAVU Men’s Fishermans Chillba Bucket Hat

KAVU Mens Fishermans Bucket HatSpecific Features: 100% Taslan, Reversible and collapsible for versatility, Drawcord Chinstrap with Toggle lock, Stainless steel ring to hold shape, Constructed with lightweight laundered quick-dry Teslan

Best Used For: Fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, backpacking and other outdoor activity that needs sun protection.

The KAVU Men’s Fishermans Chillba Bucket Hat straddles the fine line between geeky and cool. It looks like a traditional fisherman’s hat but there is no clear transition from the top of the hat to the brim. It is just a gentle curve which is probably why it’s called a bucket hat.

Despite its name, the Chillba hat can be worn by men and women. The hat is very portable; you can stuff it in your pocket or backpack without fearing loss of shape. The hat is also reversible so you can have two-looks in one. It also features a chin strap that can keep the hat from slipping or getting blown off.

The Chillba is also constructed from 100% Teslan, a lightweight material that is also quick-drying. However, the hat is a bit on the expensive side and at this price you would think that KAVU would at least make it breathable.

Walking or working under the sun in this hat can be uncomfortable and wet since it also does not absorb sweat very well. This makes a good hat if you don’t mind having to take it off to wipe away sweat or to fan yourself to keep from overheating.

Related: The KAVU Men’s Pack Hat is made from 100% Nylon and is a cadet-style hat with a short foam bill. It is also flexible and packable for people who want an easy to carry or store hat.

Check the price on Amazon

Under Armour Men’s Shadow Run Cap

Under Armour Mens Shadow CapSpecific Features: 88% Polyester/12% Elastane, Unstructured fit conforms to your head for lower profile, Built with lightweight, moisture wicking performance fabric, Reflective UA logo on front and wordmark on back for increased visibility on low-light runs, Mesh ventilation on the sides, Adjustable closure for a customized fit

Best Used For: Running including night running, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, kayaking or any activity that requires sun protection.

Wear this hat to feel cool, dry and light. It features a breathable fabric that helps to wick away sweat, dry quickly and regulate body temperature. The Under Armour Men’s Shadow Run Cap is the perfect running companion. However, you can still wear it during long walks, hiking, backpacking, camping and other outdoor activity.

The hat is designed with an unstructured fit so that it fits your head with a low profile. The hat is constructed using moisture wicking material so that it helps to absorb sweat quickly making you feel cooler. The reflective UA logo is also advantageous especially during low-light conditions for increased visibility.

The Shadow Run Cap features mesh ventilation on the sides for breathability. The Velcro strap on the back makes the cap adjustable so that it fits different head sizes. Overall, it is a good looking lightweight hat best used for running and other outdoor sports and activities.

Related: The Under Armour Men’s Shadow ArmourVent Cap is the same as the above but features the ArmourVent mesh which delivers true breathability in a light, stretchy, durable and fast-drying fabric.

Check the price on Amazon

Headsweats Performance Sports Hat

Headsweats Performance Sports HatSpecific Features: Headsweats Proprietary Eventure Fabric Technology, Classic Style, superior run-hat fit, Eventure knit shell and Eventure terry sweatband for super fast moisture wicking, Flat front panel perfect for custom logo application, Black undervisor to reduce glare, adjustable rear buckle with ponytail opening, Machine washable, air dry, does not shrink

Best Used For: Running, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, any activity that requires sun protection. Also ideal for people who want to customize or personalize their hats.

This hat is used by athletes, runners, triathletes, rowers, fishermen, backpackers, hikers and many others. The Headsweats Performance Sports Hat is very versatile with a good blend of design and innovation. The fit of this hat is comfortable it makes you forget you’re wearing it.

The Eventure terry sweatband is moisture wicking so that sweat is absorbed before it gets into your eyes. The black undervisor helps to reduce glare while you’re outdoors. The back has an adjustable rear buckle with a ponytail opening that women users will love.

The hat is low maintenance and is machine washable, dries quickly and non-shrinking. For those who want to personalize their caps, the front panel is blank making it a perfect place to sew on patches for branding and marketing giveaways.

Related: The Headsweats Go Hat sports the same features above. The only differences are the colored panels on the top of the hat and brim for added personalization and style.

Check the price on Amazon

Jacobson Hat Company Men’s Adult Deluxe Coolie Hat

Jacobson Hat Company Coolie HatSpecific Features: Tight weave and durable construction, 8″ high, 16″ wide, Internal frame for stable fit, Fantastic costume accessory, excellent sun protection, soft chin strap

Best Used For: Gardening, costume accessory

The Jacobson Hat Company Men’s Adult Deluxe Coolie Hat is big enough to protect the user’s ears, face and most of his neck. Many people will find the design funny but it actually has a purpose. The triangular structure of the hat is designed to help heat escape quickly.

The hat has a tightly weaved so that no water can seep inside. The soft chin strap keeps the hat in place while providing extra security during windy season. While it can’t be used for running, people can use it while fishing, gardening or farming.

If you’re on the adventurous side, we can easily see it being worn while hiking or backpacking. The internal frame is stable so the hat sits securely on your head.

Related: N/A

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

A good sun hat offers protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun without compromising breathability, comfort, durability and style. The hat’s brim and fabric works together to block the sun for maximum protection. Buy a sun hat to use for hiking, kayaking, backpacking, mountaineering and other outdoor activities.

Model wears sun hat

You need a good hat that can keep up with you as you go on many different adventures.  Which do you think is the best sun hat?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Zoey Hansen

    I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would love to put me in a Boonie Hat, but with such a variety outside of the Boonie I’m not going to let that happen. I think I could probably pull off most hats (though maybe not that Schooner above). As with my shoes, I think that there are hats for every occasion, and that means that not all rugged or sporty outside activities should get shoved into one category. I liked that Headsweats ball cap style hat, even if I didn’t love the name.

  • Jerry Mueller

    My girlfriend adores hats. Her favorite quote: “hats are like a halo of happiness,” says a lot! I know many people who have a similar view on hats. I think those hats are an extension of who we are, lol! So I can understand why some are not keen on Boonie hats when there are a lot more to choose from. Coolie hats, anyone? 🙂

  • Adam White

    Some of these are some pretty good looking hats. I do have a question about the Jacobson hat. Is there a specific reason the hat is shaped like that? It’s just a curious shape and I’m not sure I’ve actually seen a hat like that. Just wondering about the specific reason for the shape. Thanks!

  • Tonya Murphy

    Ok I really like the hats pictured in the first couple photographs at the top. Those are incredibly stylish and I could see myself wearing them. Function and style is something I look for on everything I purchase. I want to protect my skin and look good while doing it, of course

  • Jerry Mueller

    If you’re familiar with South-east Asian history, countries in the region have similar-shaped hats such as in Vietnam and the Philippines, to name a few. These Asian conical hats are usually made of breathable and native materials and are usually worn by farmers and the the nobility of old. It’s cone shape makes the wearer feel cooler and has cultural significance.
    Here in the West, it stands out, right? I’ve worn one and indeed, it’s a lot cooler than hats made of cloth. 🙂

  • Jerry Mueller

    Wearing a hat is a must especially when you’re trekking outdoors. The sun’s rays can be damaging to the skin and should be worn with sunscreen. With global warming, it’s more imperative to wear hats these days. They not only protect you from the sun, but also from rain, snow and the wind.

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