Best Hiking Hats

If you are going outdoors on any adventure during any season, you want to make sure that you are properly protected from the sun. A hiking hat can be one of the best pieces of gear that you can equip yourself with to protect you from the sun as it can protect you from heat stroke, sunburns, and can even protect you in a rainstorm. Now a hiking hat is much different from a normal baseball cap as a hiking hat has a much wider brim and protects you from the sun from 360 degrees of protection. A baseball cap only protects the front of your face leaving your neck exposed to the sun, so it may not be the most stylish option but a hiking hat is definitely the safest option. If you agree, then the hats below are for you!

Standout Picks

Tirrinia Outdoor Sun Protection Fishing Cap
This one size fits all hat looks trendy and stylish but there is more to it than just style. It has a sweatband which keeps moisture away, can float on water, has a chain strap cord lock and is extremely light-weight. Made up entirely of Nylon, it offers UPF 50+ UV ray protection with a brim that is soft and flexible making it easy to store.
Amazon Link
$14.99
LC-dolida Fishing Hat
For those of you who do not like a full-fledged hat as the other ones we have seen thus far and have a preference for caps as opposed to hats, this is for you. It offers 360 degrees UV protection and effectively protects your face, neck, head, eyes, and shoulders. It also serves as an effective tool against wind, dust, light, sand, and insects. The flap and mask are removable in case you do not feel the need for them. It can be used by all sexes and the super light fabric of the cap will keep your head dry at all times. It can be used in virtually all outdoor activities in addition to hiking.
Amazon Link
Lenikis Unisex Outdoor Hat
This hat is made up of polyester and offers comprehensive protection from the dangerous ultraviolet rays. It is breathable, light and long-lasting. Its soft material also guarantees comfort.
Amazon Link
$13.99
Camo Coll Outdoor Hat
The Camo Coll Outdoor UPF 50+ Boonie Hat is one of your best friends during a day trip on a very sunny day. It blocks out the sun effectively and ensures that your sunscreen does not have to do all the work. Its adjustable drawstring means that you can use it on ferries and cruises without worrying about the wind blowing your hat away as you take that picturesque selfie. It is excellent for virtually all outdoor activities and a must have in particular if you are planning a series of hikes.
Amazon Link
Home Prefer Unisex Sun Hat
This windproof hat with mesh eyelets comes with an adjustable and detachable drawcord. It is extremely practical and easy to assemble. The neck flap can be hidden if you wish to. The hat offers adequate protection against the sun and has large flaps which protect your face from the sun.
Amazon Link
$12.99
Columbia Unisex Hat UV Sun Protection
An instantly recognizable and very popular silhouette, seen in the jungles of Colombia, mountain regions around the world, this hiking hat works wherever the wearer needs top performing protection and comfort. Lightweight, very comfortable, highly protective unisex hat for all outdoor activities. A multi-functional hat giving protection from UV for the neck and face. Blocks out a huge 98% of skin damaging UVB & UVA and has the honor of being recommended by the Foundation for Skin Cancer. Though firstly for protection during long hot days fishing, this hat works for all outdoor activities where you will need protection. A designed in sweatband from Omni Wick works in conjunction with a strategically placed ventilation mesh which gives you 100% comfortable FIt with protection. The toggle can be adjusted to FIT any head size and an adjustable chin strap further ensures this is a FIT for all people. The price is reasonable, customer reviews are very positive that this hat gives great protection, comfort, and a combination of practicality and durability.
Dorfman Pacific Men's Outback Hat with Chin Cord
This hiking hat is the more stylish of the options listed. Not only is it stylish but it also offers great protection and is very durable. Most likely if you decide to go ahead with this hat, you will have it for quite some time and bring it on many adventures to come.
Amazon Link
$38.00
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
Outdoor Research’s Sombriolet hat is a great all-around hat for people who need good protection while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s got a lot of sun protection developed into it, and its design helps to keep it on even when the wind really starts blowing hard. Plus, it’s designed to be very comfortable, and it does have more style to it than some of the other options on our list. It’s very versatile and works great for a lot of outdoor activities, so if you like to change things up a lot, this just might be the hat for you.
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
Outdoor Research’s Sun Runner Cap is designed to offer a lot of versatility and protection when it comes to dealing with the outdoor weather. It also comes with an affordable price tag, and it offers a bevy of features that make it an excellent outdoor hat. You get a lot of adjustable features with this hat, including a neck flap you can remove when you don’t want or need the extra sun protection. The ability to remove the neck flap means you get a bit of extra style when you want it, or if you need the sun protection, put it back on so your neck stays safe. Also, the hat is designed to be lightweight, and you get more color choices with this hat than many of the other products on our list. You’ll get a lot of versatility with the way you want to use this hat, and also a lot of sun protection.
Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat
Sunday Afternoon’s Ultra Adventure hat is one of the best performing all-around hats, and it does a great job of blocking out the sun. It’s very protective and great at blocking out the sun’s harmful rays, and it won’t cause your head to overheat. You’ll stay very comfortable while you use it, and your head will stay cool and dry. This hat ventilates well and also is designed to be lightweight. It’s also made to very durable and easy to pack. What is most impressive about this hat is its combination of great breathability and UPF protection.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Protection

This is unarguably the most important factor while choosing a hat. It cannot be overstated. A staggering number of people simply overlook this when it comes to headwear and simply go for the most aesthetically appealing one or the cheapest one. This is WRONG! It is imperative that we all understand that overexposure to the sun can have disastrous consequences, skin cancer being one of them. A desire for tan or a cheaper price cannot even come close to offsetting the risk of skin cancer. This is not to say that you cannot have other factors that influence the choice of your hiking hat, but your priority should be the amount of protection it offers from the dangerous ultraviolet rays.

Whenever you see a hat, make sure you ask for the Ultraviolet Protection Factor(UPF) rating of the hat. It is absolutely essential that your hat has a UPF rating of 40 to 50+ which is considered to be in the excellent range as it blocks 97.5 to 98% of potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation. There is more on UPF in the FAQ section.

On a final note – and I have to mention this because a surprisingly large number of people seem to think this – sunscreens are not a substitute for a hiking hat. Without getting into a discussion about the chemicals in sunscreens or their effectiveness (that is for another day), a hat protects you from the sun in a way no sunscreen can. I cannot stress this enough, please make sure that your hiking hat has the best possible UPF rating.

Breathability

Another overlooked factor while shopping around is the quality of ventilation it provides. You might be wondering as to what relevance ventilation could possibly have in this context because we will be able to breathe regardless of the hat, right? Well, not quite. An ideal hiking hat should have little holes on the side called eyelets. This is to facilitate air circulation. It helps you keep cool and prevents you from sweating excessively.

Not only is constant sweat pouring onto your face irksome, but it also causes a loss of fluids. When you are on a hike, one of the last things you want is for your body to get dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to fainting, nausea and in extreme cases even death. We tend to miss the importance of such things, make sure you do not! Seemingly minor things can have far-reaching repercussions.

Materials

Hats are usually made of polyester, cotton or a blend of both. In more cases than not, it is a blend of both. Nylon hats are relatively new to the market. What material is best for you again depends on what your needs are; every material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

For example, polyester is washable, dries quickly, does not fade easily and tends to last long. However, it does not absorb moisture as well as other materials.

On the other hand, cotton is easier on the skin – a cotton that is unlikely to cause your scalp to itch or something of that sort if your skin is sensitive; it is breathable as it facilitates good air circulation; it makes you feel uncomfortable in hot weather. It has its downsides in that it shrinks easily and it is prone to deteriorate as a result of mildew attack. It also tends to fade more easily than polyester and is also prone to wrinkles because of its very nature.

Nylon is easy to clean and is very strong. It also tends to be light in weight – this is an advantage because you do not want your hat to bog you down on a hike. Nylon also combats mildew and fungi better than cotton does. However, it does not absorb water well.

All of that considered, which material should you go for? It must be reiterated that it really depends on the individual. However, a blend of polyester and cotton would not be a bad choice. You get the best of both worlds. Nylon is gaining popularity and has been a success though, and it is a force to be reckoned with.

Value

You may be surprised to see that price is slightly low on this list, but take it from me – a few extra dollars are totally worth the reduced risk of skin cancer and dehydration, not to mention better comfort. You should be able to get an ideal product as per your choice and specifications in the $12-$15 price range.

When it comes to looking for a hiking hat do not focus primarily on the price as the main concern is the type of protection you will get from the hat. Most of the time when looking for a hat to purchase, they are quite affordable and will not break the bank, so keep in mind what type of activities you will be doing this summer season and if the hat you are looking at will complement those activities.

Top Ten Hiking Hats

1. Sun Blocker Unisex Neck Flap

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$14.99
Tirrinia Outdoor Sun Protection Fishing Cap
Amazon Link

This one size fits all hat looks trendy and stylish but there is more to it than just style. It has a sweatband which keeps moisture away, can float on water, has a chain strap cord lock and is extremely light-weight. Made up entirely of Nylon, it offers UPF 50+ UV ray protection with a brim that is soft and flexible making it easy to store.

Read more

Protection
This hat looks trendier and more stylish than many of the other hats. Not everyone cares about style or prioritizes it while buying hats for hiking; however, there are undoubtedly those that do. Therefore, for the image-conscious, this hat offers enviable style. This is excellent protection against potentially skin cancer-causing harmful UV rays.

Breathability
This hat is very breathable and has two convenient mesh pockets at the top of the hat to allow for fresh air to flow in and out and keep your head cool.

Materials
Made up entirely of Nylon. As we have discussed, Nylon resists wrinkles and shrinkage. They are a good option to buy and are growing in popularity.

The brim of the hat is soft and flexible. This makes it easy to store and stash the hat away. As aforementioned, being unable to store the hat away for fear of damaging is one of the worst feelings as a hat owner. Luckily, this hat has that base covered.

Value
This is higher than some of the other hats we have seen here so far. It looks trendy and stylish so chances are you will not mind shelling out a couple of extra dollars for it.

Amazon Link
$14.99

2. UV Protection Sun Cap

Where to buy
Amazon Link
LC-dolida Fishing Hat
Amazon Link

For those of you who do not like a full-fledged hat as the other ones we have seen thus far and have a preference for caps as opposed to hats, this is for you. It offers 360 degrees UV protection and effectively protects your face, neck, head, eyes, and shoulders. It also serves as an effective tool against wind, dust, light, sand, and insects. The flap and mask are removable in case you do not feel the need for them. It can be used by all sexes and the super light fabric of the cap will keep your head dry at all times. It can be used in virtually all outdoor activities in addition to hiking.

Read more

Protection
360-degree design protection and anti-UV hat. It offers a more complete face and neck protection because of its design than many other hats/caps in this price range. This hat covers the nose and front part. Generally, hats do not have this feature.

Breathability
Breathable cotton super light fabric makes it simple to breathe even when the face is fully covered; hence, you do not have to worry about suffocating. It is also efficient in preventing the sweat from falling onto your face.

Materials
This hat is made from a durable material. The material is a little thinner than other hats on our list but overall it offers great protection.

Value
At this price, you cannot possibly ask for much more. It has most of the essential features every good hiking hat has and is priced reasonable enough so as to not burn a hole in your pocket.

Amazon Link

3. Lenikis Unisex Outdoor Activities

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$13.99
Lenikis Unisex Outdoor Hat
Amazon Link

This hat is made up of polyester and offers comprehensive protection from the dangerous ultraviolet rays. It is breathable, light and long-lasting. Its soft material also guarantees comfort.

Read more

Protection
As discussed, this level of protection is good to keep harmful UV rays out.
This hiking hat comes with a neck flap. Do not worry about your neck and face having 2 different colors by the end of your hike! This hat will adequately protect both.

Breathability
Do not worry about feeling suffocated, this hat offers plenty of breathability and ventilation thanks to its mesh; and its light weight means it will not fatigue your head.

Materials
Its fabric is extremely soft, which makes it very comfortable to use. It is long lasting and very durable. You could wear it in a desert for a year and still be protected on the last day as well as you were on the first day.

Value
While there are cheaper alternatives available in this price range, it is fairly reasonably priced given its durability.

Amazon Link
$13.99

4. Camo Coll Boonie

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Camo Coll Outdoor Hat
Amazon Link

The Camo Coll Outdoor UPF 50+ Boonie Hat is one of your best friends during a day trip on a very sunny day. It blocks out the sun effectively and ensures that your sunscreen does not have to do all the work. Its adjustable drawstring means that you can use it on ferries and cruises without worrying about the wind blowing your hat away as you take that picturesque selfie. It is excellent for virtually all outdoor activities and a must have in particular if you are planning a series of hikes.

Read more

Protection
UPF 50 plus UV protection is good for a hat in this price range. It will block most of the harmful UV rays.

Breathability
This hiking hat offers great breathability as it has a mesh strip on the top of the hat to ensure that fresh air is able to flow in and out and keep your head cool and refreshed on your next hike.

Materials
100% Polyester. Most hats have polyester in them, particularly in the brim, linings, and mesh. It is standard for a hat.

Value
At this price, you will not find many cheaper hats that offer these many features. For the excellent sun protection alone, I would say it is worth it.

Amazon Link

5. Home Prefer Unisex

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$12.99
Home Prefer Unisex Sun Hat
Amazon Link

This windproof hat with mesh eyelets comes with an adjustable and detachable drawcord. It is extremely practical and easy to assemble. The neck flap can be hidden if you wish to. The hat offers adequate protection against the sun and has large flaps which protect your face from the sun.

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Protection
The neck flap offers considerable protection for the neck. If you are averse to neck flaps for some reason then you can always choose to hide them. The hat’s flaps form the crux of the protection offered. The flaps will not allow the sun to touch the sides of your face and the hat’s considerable brim also helps in keeping the sun at bay.

Breathability
The mesh vent will keep you cool by keeping sweat at bay.

Materials
There is a blend of cotton and polyester. It is light and comfortable for hiking(and other outdoor activities) purposes.

Value
Fairly priced. Some would say it costs a couple of dollars too much, but when you intend to buy a hiking hat with the long term in mind, then a couple of dollars here and there should not really be a consideration, especially with a hat with features as good as this one.

Amazon Link
$12.99

6. Columbia Sportswear Booney 11

Where to buy
Columbia Unisex Hat UV Sun Protection
Amazon Link

An instantly recognizable and very popular silhouette, seen in the jungles of Colombia, mountain regions around the world, this hiking hat works wherever the wearer needs top performing protection and comfort.

Lightweight, very comfortable, highly protective unisex hat for all outdoor activities. A multi-functional hat giving protection from UV for the neck and face. Blocks out a huge 98% of skin damaging UVB & UVA and has the honor of being recommended by the Foundation for Skin Cancer. Though firstly for protection during long hot days fishing, this hat works for all outdoor activities where you will need protection. A designed in sweatband from Omni Wick works in conjunction with a strategically placed ventilation mesh which gives you 100% comfortable FIt with protection. The toggle can be adjusted to FIT any head size and an adjustable chin strap further ensures this is a FIT for all people.

The price is reasonable, customer reviews are very positive that this hat gives great protection, comfort, and a combination of practicality and durability.

Read more

Protection
The hat casts a broad shadow to cover the head and neck while ensuring 98% defense against UVA rays and UVB rays. The rim can be manipulated to drop down around the head or the brim can be raised to cast a broader shadow. For outdoor people looking for full protection, this is a very good option.

Nylon textile is fully windproof and used in all types of clothing which need to give defense against the wind. Even though this hat is for wearing in the hot sun, in such weather conditions it is not unusual to have a warm air breeze which can dry out the skin and make it further vulnerable to sun damage.

The hat makers have not designed in the drop down neck flap, instead, the design/brim is styled to throw a broad shadow to cover the neck. This means less material/weight for those times when you want to fold up the hat and stow it away.

Breathability
The hat has a ventilative mesh built into the front and rear, this means that sweat is quickly evaporated and avoids sweat dripping down the forehead and into the eyes.

Materials
Constructed from Nylon Poplin, this hat jumps straight into the top for durability, hard wearing, can be rolled up and folded and will return back to shape. Polin nylon will not absorb sweat, moisture passes through the texture and quickly evaporates. Wash this hat in running water and wear it immediately on a hot sunny day because it will dry out very quickly.

The synthetic material construction means that moisture cannot be retained in the way in which a cotton hat will absorb water and that natural ventilation will work to wick moisture so that the wearer will feel dry and comfortable and any friction caused by a damp material is not evident. Designed strategically into the head is a durable sweatband that will collect sweat and wick the moisture.

Value
The hat is marked up at a real buyer friendly tag and the buyer will get many years of protection and comfort.

7. Dorfman Pacific

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$38.00
Dorfman Pacific Men's Outback Hat with Chin Cord
Amazon Link

This hiking hat is the more stylish of the options listed. Not only is it stylish but it also offers great protection and is very durable. Most likely if you decide to go ahead with this hat, you will have it for quite some time and bring it on many adventures to come.

Read more

Protection
This hiking hat from Dorfman is not only stylish but offers great protection from the sun as it comes with a wide brim that will offer sun coverage to 360 degrees of your head. Even though the sun is your number one priority that you want this hat to protect against, this hat also will protect you against the rain, wind, and any other weather condition that mother nature wants to send your way.

Breathability
This hat is not as breathable as some other hats on our list, but still offers you a small amount of breathability. It is made from a thicker material so you may have some issues where you will need to take it off for a second or two to air it out.

Materials
This hiking hat is made of cotton and polyester. It also is made to be 50+ SPF protection to ensure you get maximum protection from the sun.

Value
This hat is a bit more expensive than some other options on our list, but for the quality of the hat and also the style, it is worth the price. If you are looking for a hiking hat to last you quite some time and also keep you stylish than this is the hat for you.

Amazon Link
$38.00

8. Outdoor Research Sombriolet

Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
Amazon Link

Outdoor Research’s Sombriolet hat is a great all-around hat for people who need good protection while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s got a lot of sun protection developed into it, and its design helps to keep it on even when the wind really starts blowing hard. Plus, it’s designed to be very comfortable, and it does have more style to it than some of the other options on our list. It’s very versatile and works great for a lot of outdoor activities, so if you like to change things up a lot, this just might be the hat for you.

Read more

Protection
This hat doesn’t feature a neck flap, but it is designed with a nice, wide brim that’s there to offer plenty of sun protection while you are outside. While it doesn’t provide as much protection as other hats with flaps and capes for your neck do, this hat is designed to be very stylish, and it still offers a decent amount of sun protection around the neck because of its brim. However, if you are prone to getting sunburns, then you might want to consider a hat with a neck cape on it.

Breathability
The Sombriolet offers a lot of breathability with its design and is one of the most breathable hats on our list. You won’t need to worry about your head sweating too much, or getting too hot and uncomfortable when you wear this hat since the ventilation system works to push moisture out of the hat, and the hat includes moisture-wicking technology. This hat is made with a mesh-lined crown, and it features vents all the way around the hat. That means you get some of the best ventilation around designed into this outdoor hat, and you’ll always feel comfortable when you wear this hat.

Materials
This hat is comprised out of 50% nylon and 50% cotton, and the lining on the interior of the hat is made out of 100% nylon materials. The fabric on the hat is designed to be water-resistant, breathable, and moisture-wicking. The hat dries quickly if you tend to sweat often or you wind up getting the hat wet from your outdoor activities. Plus, this hat is very lightweight and comfortable, which is a huge plus.

Value
The price of the Sombriolet is very competitive when compared to some of the other products on our list. It comes with a bevy of features, great sun protection, lots of breathability, and it’s designed to stay on your head whenever the wind gusts get strong. You won’t need to worry about losing this hat, and you’ll make a sound investment if you decide to purchase it.

9. Outdoor Research Sun Runner

Where to buy
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
Amazon Link

Outdoor Research’s Sun Runner Cap is designed to offer a lot of versatility and protection when it comes to dealing with the outdoor weather. It also comes with an affordable price tag, and it offers a bevy of features that make it an excellent outdoor hat. You get a lot of adjustable features with this hat, including a neck flap you can remove when you don’t want or need the extra sun protection. The ability to remove the neck flap means you get a bit of extra style when you want it, or if you need the sun protection, put it back on so your neck stays safe. Also, the hat is designed to be lightweight, and you get more color choices with this hat than many of the other products on our list. You’ll get a lot of versatility with the way you want to use this hat, and also a lot of sun protection.

Read more

Protection
The neck flap on this hat is removable, so that is a very nice feature for people who want to seem stylish. You only really need to wear the neck flap when you feel you need it so you can get the sun protection you need for the back of your neck if you have sensitive skin. However, if you are in a position where you don’t want the flap on or don’t need it, you’ll be able to adjust that part of the hat easily. Since neck flaps can often make hats look less than stylish, this is a very nice feature for people who are very worried about fashion.

Breathability
The Sun Runner does come designed to be breathable, but the neck cape on the hat doesn’t feel all that breathable when you wear the hat. It seems that the neck cape can cut off the airflow designed into the hat, and the manufacturers didn’t think about making the neck cape on this hat as breathable as it should be. However, the hat does still breathe with the cape on, it just isn’t quite as breathable as some of the other options on our list.

Materials
Outdoor Research’s Sun Runner Cap is made out of 100% nylon materials and comes with a snap-on sun skirt to help protect your neck against the sun when you are adventuring in the great outdoors. You get a hat that is basically convertible, and it is designed with a lightweight fabric. It’s also nice that you can remove and adjust the sun skirt, and only use it when you feel you really need the sun protection. That gives you some options with style and a bit of versatility with this hat, which will make you breathe a sigh of relief if you really worry about fashion.

Value
Outdoor Research’s Sun Runner Cap is priced competitively and isn’t any more expensive than most of the other hats on our list. With it falling into the average price range, it makes a pretty good value buy. It offers you plenty of sun protection and it also breathes well. Also, you can remove the sun flap from this hat when you don’t want it, which will help cut back on some worries if you are concerned about fashion.

10. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure

Where to buy
Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat
Amazon Link

Sunday Afternoon’s Ultra Adventure hat is one of the best performing all-around hats, and it does a great job of blocking out the sun. It’s very protective and great at blocking out the sun’s harmful rays, and it won’t cause your head to overheat. You’ll stay very comfortable while you use it, and your head will stay cool and dry. This hat ventilates well and also is designed to be lightweight. It’s also made to very durable and easy to pack. What is most impressive about this hat is its combination of great breathability and UPF protection.

Read more

Protection
There is a six-inch neck cape designed into this hat. The material on the neck flap is designed with UPF 50+ sun protection so your neck will stay protected against the sun. You won’t need to worry about any sunburns or other problems when you’ve got this hat covering your head and neck. The cape on the hat can occasionally blow up from the wind, but otherwise, this hat offers a lot of great sun protection.

Breathability
The Ultra Adventure is one of the most breathable hats on our list, and its design guarantees it will ventilate well. It features mesh panels on the top of the hat, and it also has very light nylon and polyester material design that makes it breathable. You also get a nice tapered hat style, and that can help with the ventilation as well, especially around your neck.

Materials
The Ultra Adventure is comprised out of 88% nylon materials and 12% polyester dobby. This combination of fabrics makes this hat inherently breathable, which is a nice touch because you’ll never overheat when you wear it. It also is designed to be water and stain resistant and features a sunglasses lock. Besides its great breathability, it also has a UPF 50+ sun rating.

Value
Sunday Afternoon’s Ultra Adventure hat isn’t overpriced at all for all of the great features you get. It’s very competitive compared to some of the other products on our list. Plus, it features a lot of great sun protection combined with an excellent ventilation system, which makes this hat a very affordable one for the nice amount of protection you get.

Sources

  1. Stephanie Dyson, BEST HIKING HATS OF 2019,