The Best Sun Hat for Hikers for 2023

Are you getting ready to hit the trails? Bring a sun hat to shield yourself from the sun's harmful rays.

The Best Sun Hat for Hikers for 2022

In addition to sunscreen, most dermatologists recommend wearing sun hats and sun-protective clothing. You should always use a sun hat on your skin, including the skin on your head and neck, whenever you engage in outdoor recreation, whether it be on a path, in a canoe, or even simply in your garden. Well, not all brands can assure you of the highest level of protection you need.

However, after reading this guide, you’ll be aware of the requirements for selecting a sun hat and should be able to do so successfully.

How We Picked

  • Sun Protection

    Protecting your face and neck is paramount. Therefore, a sun hat that doesn't guarantee you maximum sun protection is not worth splurging on.

  • Lightweight and breathable

    While your sun hat should shield you from harmful rays, it should also be breathable for better aeration and lightness, allowing you to wear it for extended periods.

  • Comfortable

    Having your sun hat positioned and sitting well on your head will help reduce stress while hiking as it provides convenience.

  • Price

    Depending on how often you want to use a sun hat, the amount of money you want to invest in it should be considered.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

This product gives room for adjustment to fit a variety of head sizes.

The integrated sleeves on the Sunday Afternoon hat are cleverly designed to keep your sunglasses in place.

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The comfort of this unisex hat is appreciated because you can wear it all day long, especially with adjustable tightness. It has a handy sunglasses holder. Additionally, it has a solid brim at the front to block sun rays while preserving complete peripheral vision, and the neck guard keeps you cooler.

Runner Up

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

This sun hat is wearable in the heat of the summer, but a bit pricey.

The Sunbriolet incorporates flexible and circumferential piping along the brim edge to provide wind resistance.

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The Outdoor Research Sombriolet comes in three sizes: medium fits skulls with a circumference of 22.5 inches, large fits heads with a 23-inch circumference, and XL fits heads with a circumference of 24 inches.

Most Cost-Effective

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

This model is capable of shrinking and expanding to fit any head size.

The Columbia Booney hat has an elastic band on the inside that allows you to adjust the size as needed.

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The quick-drying UPF 50 nylon fabric of the Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat incorporates mesh panels and an Omni-Wick sweatband to keep your head cool while providing sun protection. While this hat's base contains an adjustable rope, allowing it to suit any adult head, there is only one size available, even though it comes in numerous colors.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

This product gives room for adjustment to fit a variety of head sizes.

Buy Now

Runner Up

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

This sun hat is wearable in the heat of the summer, but a bit pricey.

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

This model is capable of shrinking and expanding to fit any head size.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

We figured you would be interested in a sun protection hat that floats and prevents you from being burned on a day on the water since so many of these hats are made for those who like kayaking, fishing, and other water sports. Therefore, you should generally consider this guide necessary if you’ve ever considered going hiking.

Sun hat vs. bucket hat

Generally speaking, bucket hats are better suited for fashion or sports. They can be constructed from a variety of materials, including leather, canvas, and even warm fleeces and furs. The brim of a bucket hat is often smaller and serves more as a direct barrier between the sun and the wearer’s face and neck.

On the other hand, for greater covering and protection, sun hats frequently have larger brims. In the past, wicker or another natural fiber was used to make traditional sun hats. Sun hats are frequently spotted on the beach or in the garden and are more often used for leisure and sun protection than for fashion or sport. They are available in a range of colors and sizes as well.

Is it worth splurging on?

While hiking, it’s crucial to shield your face from the sun’s rays because they might cause minor burns. Consequently, wearing a sunhat is necessary. Your face, head, and neck will be shielded from the sun’s harmful rays by a suitable hiking hat. Especially if you’re trekking in a hot region, this is crucial. Additionally, a hat with ear flaps is an excellent choice if you’re trekking in a cold climate. It’s worth plugging in since it will keep your head and ears warm without making you feel too hot.

Is it multipurpose?

In addition to shielding your face from the sun and keeping your head warm in cold weather, a decent hiking hat can also help keep the rain off your head. It could take some getting used to if you’re not used to wearing a hat. You will, however, wonder how you ever hiked without one once you begin wearing one.

Why You Should Trust Us

We spoke with numerous board-certified dermatologists to gather their advice on sun exposure, what makes an excellent sun hat, and design elements that set one hat apart from another to compile this guide. Additionally, we questioned outdoor sportsmen, including ultramarathon runners, about the distinction between a hat that looks good in the store and one that truly performs in the field. They often use sun hats, and they all have favorite brands, which makes these methods for our research so crucial. We also bought and wore sun hats on hikes.

We also examined feedback from many customers on four review websites. To assist you in locating the ideal sun hat for you, we’ve chosen the best four hats.

 

How We Picked

Sun protection – without compromising on visibility

The most crucial aspect to consider when selecting a sun hat is keeping your face and neck covered when hiking in direct sunlight. This is so that you can stay cooler and avoid sunburn by keeping your head in the shade. Dehydration and heatstroke can be avoided as a result of this. If you take off and then put back on your hat while standing in direct sunshine, you’ll probably notice a difference in the warmth of your head.

You should take your field of vision into account while attempting to shield your face from the sun. To protect yourself from the sun, it’s best to wear a wide-brimmed hat made of tightly woven, opaque materials. Four-inch wide brims are commonly used to provide sun protection.

Additionally, it is advisable to check that the brim is not too wide or floppy to obstruct your field of vision whenever you are trekking.

Comfort – type of fabric, adjustability, fit, etc

While hiking, having your sun hat in the right place and comfortably sitting on your head will help you feel less stressed because it is convenient. For instance, if you’re going to run, you’ll need a hat that fits well, is lightweight, and won’t fly off in the wind.

In addition to providing effective sun protection, a sun hat for hiking should be composed of a material that is soft to the touch, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and abrasion-resistant. The materials used to make the best sun protection hats prevent both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun.

A sweatband that is cozy and adjustable should be included on your sun hat. If you want to be able to customize the fit of the hat to your head, especially if you plan to hike for an extended amount of time, an adjustable hiking hat is an excellent option.

Also, find a model with a white or light-colored top that will reflect heat from the sun and has a darker tint underneath to absorb UV rays that bounce back toward your eyes and face for the best sun protection.

Style/design

It’s acceptable to be concerned with your fashion preferences, but be sure they don’t get in the way of the key components of a good sun hat. For the sake of an acceptable design, several models have sacrificed comfort and sun protection.

Lightweight and breathable

You’ll be able to wear your hat for longer if it is more breathable and allows some of the heat to escape. A hiking hat should be constructed of breathable material and have significant air vents on both sides. These will enable fresh air to circulate within while allowing heated air and sweat to escape, reducing overheating. It’s vital to remember that the requirement for a sun hat may not always outweigh the expense, depending on the situation.

Durability

If you invest in a high-quality sun hat, it should last you for a very long time and has accompanied you on many travels in the past. This occasionally depends on the design and material employed. Utilizing a durable fabric guarantees that it is long-lasting and offers excellent sun protection.

Size

Make sure the hat is neither too loose so that it falls off nor too tight so that it causes you to feel uncomfortable throughout the day. In windy situations, a proper fit is essential to guarantee that the hat stays put and doesn’t blow off. Knowing your head’s circumference will help you choose the correct hat size.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

Best Pick

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat

This product gives room for adjustment to fit a variety of head sizes.

The integrated sleeves on the Sunday Afternoon hat are cleverly designed to keep your sunglasses in place.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

Do you like weighing things and spending all day outside with a rucksack on your back? If so, the lightweight Sunday Afternoon's Sun Hat is perfect for you.

Why It’s Great

This sun hat has a 50+ UPF breathable sun rating, a 4-inch brim, strategic mesh ventilation, and a 7 1/2-inch by 12-inch neck flap with a lift-up tab to keep you covered and protected wherever your trip takes you. It offers complete coverage while still allowing you to see where you're going. We appreciate that it is lightweight, dries quickly, folds down to a small size, and can be worn in three various ways, even though it isn't particularly attractive.

Potential Flaws

Even though this particular model is really attractive, certain types of sunglasses have trouble staying in the hat band as they are supposed to. Its cloth can only be hand-cleaned and reveals sweat stains rapidly.

Other Features

The Ultra Adventure offers adequate coverage for the face, ears, neck, and upper shoulders with its 314-inch clamshell brim and flowing flap/neck skirt. The rigid brim of the hat shields the wearer from the wind and reaches to the ears, shielding them and providing ample side views for navigating and spotting wildlife. Since you can't put your sunglasses on top of the bill and behind your ears, this sun hat also has a sunglass lock to keep them secure. If you're the kind to take your sunglasses off occasionally throughout the day, this function is really helpful.


This sun hat design allows you to quickly strap and buckle to change the band's size to fit your head. The neck flap may be folded flat and compactly for convenient storage, and it is backpacker-friendly when tucked inside the hatband. The sun hat by Sunday Afternoon has several layers of cloth that can keep your head warm. Most of the time, this will prevent the heat from reaching your head. However, it might also contain some of the heat produced by your head. However, the majority of the cooling effects of the airflow through the lining should be favorable.

Runner Up - Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Runner Up

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

This sun hat is wearable in the heat of the summer, but a bit pricey.

The Sunbriolet incorporates flexible and circumferential piping along the brim edge to provide wind resistance.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

If you enjoy engaging in other water sports and long-distance camping in sunny climates, this outdoor hat is the finest choice.

Why It’s Great

This hat has a broad brim and is ideal for water sports and trekking. Where you need protection the most, the front and back have longer foam-reinforced brims. The brim is sturdy enough to withstand wind or rain gusts thanks to foam reinforcement inside and piping around the edge. Additionally, it prevents the brim from obstructing your view. In addition, the bottom of the brim is dark to reduce glare from snow or water.

Potential Flaws

The Sunbriolet sun hat can be worn on bright days and during a variety of aquatic activities; however, it is missing a cape that would shield your neck from the sun. We also observed that it only offers a limited amount of size adjustment to accommodate various head sizes.

Other Features

This sun hat has an adjustable back strap that allows you to modify the fit and a detachable chin cord that keeps it in place while hiking in windy situations. Additionally, the wide-brim hat has foam inserts that will help it float if it accidentally falls into the water. With four vents for ventilation, this hat includes a mesh-lined crown. When sized properly, it is pretty comfy. To be safe, size it up because it tends to run a little small. A cinch cord with elastic allows you to adjust the fit of the hat by pulling it tighter around your head. Additionally, the hat has a detachable cinch cord that may be used to tighten it under the chin to prevent wind from blowing it off.

The front and back brim measurements of the Sombriolet are 3.125 inches and 4.125 inches, respectively. Thanks to the varying breadth, your neck will receive sufficient sun protection, while you won't have to worry about the front obstructing your eyesight. Additionally, the Sombriolet is UPF 50+ rated and has a dark gray underside that absorbs light and reduces glare on all models.

Most Cost-Effective - Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

Most Cost-Effective

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

This model is capable of shrinking and expanding to fit any head size.

The Columbia Booney hat has an elastic band on the inside that allows you to adjust the size as needed.

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Who It’s For

The Columbia Booney Sun hat is the ideal choice for persons with big heads and who may not want to make any adjustments while hiking.

Why It’s Great

In comparison to our top pick, the Columbia Booney has more ventilation and is probably more fashionable. It has a substantial layer of mesh that almost completely encircles the hat's crown, offering excellent ventilation. It also features a quick-drying UPF 50+ nylon fabric with mesh panels and a substantial sweatband that dries rapidly and will wipe away any sweat that may remain while trekking.

Potential Flaws

Although this sun hat is available in more colors than the other sun hats on this list, it only comes in one size. Additionally, this hat doesn't have a rigid brim, which means it flaps in the wind and exposes the nose to the sun. In addition, it took longer for it to get back to looking like a normal hat, and wrinkles lingered longer than on many of the other hats. Furthermore, while it offers less sun protection than our previous picks, it lacks a sunglasses lock, so it might not be the best option for those who wear sunglasses.

Other Features

Although there are many different colors available, there is only one size. With a toggle at the rear and an adjustable drawcord, the headband may be adjusted to fit heads with a circumference ranging from 21¼ to 24½ inches. You may alter the fit to your head because the toggle and chin strap are also movable. It has a three-inch wide brim all around. The entire back portion of the crown is covered in mesh breathability. And this hat has excellent ventilation. Even after being wet, it dries rapidly.

Almost Made The Cut - Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat

Almost Made The Cut

Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat

Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat

The Tilley Airflo hat is made to be functional and versatile for every outdoor excursion.

The Tilley Airflo Hats are cool and comfortable due to the mesh in the crown.

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Who It’s For

This sun hat has a design and does not shrink. So, if you're not worried about your sun hat has an extra feature, you should probably opt for this model.

Why It’s Great

This hat looks great. It will keep the sun off your face and make you seem attractive. The brim is 3½ inches wide in the front and back and tapers to 2½ inches on the sides. Additionally, the LTM6 Airflow uses closed-cell foam all around the crown to maintain its form. This hat is nicely made and very long-lasting. As a result, it can withstand years of abuse.

Potential Flaws

Because this model does not feature a cape or a sunglass lock, it seems pricey. Additionally, we discovered that it lifts against tall bags, so you might want to reduce your backpack. Additionally, before cleaning the hat, the foam insert in the crown must be taken out.

Other Features

Tilley hats come in a staggering eleven sizes to ensure that you get the ideal fit. Although the hat's material is thicker than some designs, it is nevertheless relatively light. To promote good airflow and keep your head cool, the hat's crown incorporates a mesh ring at the top. All of this contributes to the hat's excellent comfort.

The Tilley LTM6 Airflo is composed of UPF50-rated nylon, but what sets the hat out is the meticulous attention to detail that was paid to it during manufacture. These considerate features include closed-cell foam in the top that will keep the hat afloat if it falls off your head and lands on water, mesh inserts at the crown, a secret hook-and-loop pocket for small valuables, a wicking Hydrofil sweatband to keep your head cool, and more.

Care and Maintenance

How to wash and dry — is it machine washable?

Before you wash your sun hat, check to see if it is machine washable (not all models are). On the other hand, you can wash your sun hat by hand using cool water, a soft brush, like a toothbrush, and gentle dish soap to get into any particularly tough spots.

Never use bleaches or fabric softeners, because they may cause some solutions in your main hat to degrade. Reshape the hat while it’s still damp after washing it, being careful to minimize creases.

How often to clean

Cleaning your hat regularly is a good idea because it will help avoid the buildup of salt from perspiration, which can damage the fabric and cause the hat to become completely discolored.

Where and how to store when not in use

You can store your hats in several places, but make sure they are fully dry and well-positioned. However, your hats can be stored in storage organizers, wall hooks, or hat boxes.

What to do in case of stains or odor

Use more detergent diluted in water to spot-clean the extra-duty areas, and scrape the area with a toothbrush or other small brush. The hat should then be soaked for a few hours, with periodic inspections to determine which areas require additional care. The hat should then be rinsed in warm or cool water and dried with a towel.