When adventuring outside on a summer’s day, or spending a day hiking mountain trails, protecting yourself from the sun is important, and the best way to do that is having one of the best hiking hats. Your skin can be sensitive to the harmful rays, and that includes your head and neck area. It’s important to use a hat intended for protection, not just style.
Ideally, you want a hat that is light and durable; a hat that is well-fit so you don’t always have to adjust it. The best hiking hats are also the ones that breathable and keeps your head cool. With so many hats on the market it can be hard to choose.
Below is a list of the 10 best hiking hats on the market today. These hiking hats have wonderful features and designs. Hopefully this list helps narrow down your options and provides you with right information to purchase your next hat.
Top 11 Best Hiking Hats
|Tilley LTM6 Airflo||Check On Amazon
|Columbia Bora Bora II Booney||Check On Amazon
|Outdoor Research Swift Cap||Check On Amazon
|Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat||Check On Amazon
|Columbia Schooner Bank Cachalot III||Check On Amazon
|Outdoor Research Helios||Check On Amazon
|Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat||Check On Amazon
|Outdoor Research Cloud Forest Rain Hat||Check On Amazon|
|Arc'teryx Sinsola||Check On Amazon
|ExOfficio BugsAway Sol Cool Adventure Hat||Check On Amazon|
1. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
- UPF 50+ Sun Rating
- 31/4" Folding Clamshell Brim
- Sunglass Lock Keeps Glasses in Place
- Water and Stain Resistant
- Adjustable Sizing
This product is what we consider the best hiking hat because it provides an excellent level of breathability, venting, and packability, while also being extremely comfortable and light. The ultra adventure hat droops backward to ensure neck protection and comes equipped with a protective drawstring that works to keep the hat stable and securely placed on your head.
On top of having all these features it is extremely comfortable, making this hat truly an exceptional product. The comfortability of the material comes with UPF50 technology interwoven into the fabric keeping you protected from the sun indefinitely. The brim stays sturdy and rigid in the wind, standing strong for your protection and also packs down with ease, bouncing back to its original shape no matter how awkwardly packed.
We chose this hat as number one because of how well-rounded it is. If you want overall protection that covers all the bases of features that the industry of hiking hats offers, this is the one for you. It could be argued there are more stylish options, but we assure you, you’ll get the most out of this one.
Sample Customer Review… This turned out to be a fantastic hat for a family that doesn’t usually wear hats. It’s lightweight and provides sun protection and shade as promised. The adjustable chip strap keeps it from blowing off and gives you the freedom to take it off indoors and let it dangle–one less thing to keep track of! It packs well and washes up without complaint. We wore two of these hats in different colors and another model from the same manufacturer daily for about three weeks in sunny, dusty, sweaty conditions, and after a hand wash, they still look great.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
- OUTDOOR RESEARCH: We built a company from a feeling: the urge to get out. It's what drives us. Our tribe is devoted to exploring our outdoor passions and challenging ourselves in the mountains, water, and deserts of the planet we love so much.
This model is great when dealing with the elements. It’s durable while also being made of anti-glare material under its brim that helps you see well without having to strain your eyes. Its brim is strong and chin straps sturdy, making a windy hike no problem and the brim staying in place, protecting your eyes no matter how windy the day gets.
On top of being made for the elements, it has great breathability with air vents on each side of the hat to ensure constant air flow. The crown of the hat has a very absorbent sweatband that helps keep the sweat out of your eyes when the temperature rises or when you are facing the most strenuous part of the climb.
All these great features are hidden inside what seems to be a very stylish hat which is hard to come by when finding exceptional hiking headwear. This being said, it’s a great hat for just a trip around town or an exciting adventure. You can’t go wrong with the Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat.
Sample Customer Review… I have worn this hat through east Africa, Japan, and the US during summer in each and I will not travel without it. It fits well enough to not fly off in light wind without the strap, and the adjustable strap works well for high wind like on a boat. The open part where it cools on top is a lifesaver. Medium for most women is probably perfect. I will probably buy an extra in case something happens to mine and they stop making these. After wearing it a couple of weeks in a hot, humid, area, gross sunblock builds up, and sweat stains the light-colored hats. I used to shout on the stains, threw it in the washer with a general load, and let it air dry, which worked just fine. I have folded this hat into any number of small spaces and it doesn’t distort it terribly. It pretty much springs back to its usual shape when you go to put it on. There are no hidden pockets on the inside, but I think they would be detrimental anyway because of how well the top cools as is. I suggest a lighter color to help deter heat.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
3. Columbia Bora Bora II Booney
The Columbia Bora Bora II Booney is great because of its breathability. One of the best hiking hats for ventilation, guaranteed to keep your head cool. The hat also covers the majority of your head and neck and has UPF50 technology integrated into the hat material ensuring protection from the sun. The adjustable chin strap is surprisingly strong, keeping the hat right on your head despite the possibility of a windy day.
On top of having these great features, the hat also has incredible packability minimizing down to the size of your cell phone. The brand Columbia has a repertoire of hiking gear considered to be at the top of the industry, and this hat doesn’t fall short of that reputation. We are confident that this hat would be a great addition to any of your hiking adventures.
Sample Customer Review… I have had this hat for almost a year and used it almost exclusively for hiking trips. That means it gets stuffed into a pack, taken out as needed, and generally knocked around. It keeps the sun off your face and neck and it breathes nicely and dries quickly. Probably the thing I have been most impressed by, though, is the way it’s held its shape. you can roll it up to almost nothing to stuff into a pack and then take it out, shake it, and put it on- it’s as if you never rolled it. Great hat – highly recommended.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
4. Outdoor Research Helios
- Wide-brim sun protection with UPF 50+ fabric.
The Outdoor Research Helios is without a doubt, considered one of the best hiking hats for its comfortability and wide range of functionality. The design of the hat offers a shorter degree of protection than the back of the hat but can be worn with any backpack, or hiking gear you carry.
One of the problems with hiking hats is how they offer a wide proximity of protection, but can get in the way of your backpack or carried supplies, making the hat possibly fall off or repositioned to an uncomfortable position.
While still providing a legitimate amount of protection from the sun with its design and not being an inconvenience in length, it also is very durable and can take hit after hit. Meaning no matter how many times it’s accidentally crushed or folded up awkwardly, it will spring back into its original formation with ease.
It allows easy packability and can be stuffed into any little nook and cranny and afterward still look brand new. Alas, if sun protection is a serious requirement of your hiking headwear we wouldn’t recommend this particular hat, but it is still one of the best hiking hats because of its many unique features.
Sample Customer Review… I needed a hat that allowed me to have protection from the elements when walking. This particular model is comprised of 86% nylon and 14% polyester. It has an adjustable chin strap. I acquired the extra-large since it is easier to size down with the elastic strap. The underside has a darker piece of cloth which is anti-reflective. I find the hat to be very comfortable and gives me all-around protection against the sun for my face and neck. This has limited water resistance but is not waterproof. Since the material is of lightweight composition, I can easily fold it and place it into a pocket or strap it onto my bookbag. The material also dries very well.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
5. Tilley LTM6 Airflo
- 100% Supplex nylon
- Certified UPF 50+, 98% blockage of harmful UVA/UVB radiation
- Guaranteed for life
- Machine wash delicate cycle or hand wash (cool), reshape & air dry, no bleach
The LTM6 Airflo hiking hat is a wonderful example of detailed handmade craftsmanship that sets it apart from other hats in the industry. Made of UPF50 integrated nylon with specialty mesh inserts at the crown, and hidden small hook and loop pockets for small valuables, make this hat special.
Equipped with a Hydrofil sweat band to keep your head cool, ensure to keep the sweat out of your eyes and help keep you cool down working in tandem with the hat’s great ventilation system. The Hydrofil also has a built in floatation system, making sure that the hat stays bobbing on the water’s surface if it happens to fall into a body of water.
Another unique aspect of the hat is that it comes in a whopping 9 different sizes which is three times the average size scale, practically guaranteeing you’ll be able to find a size that works for you. Like many other hats on our list, there are too many unique beneficial features that come with the Tilley LTM6 Airflo, so we had to include it.
Sample Customer Review… If you want a comfortable hat that shields you from the hot sun and looks good, this is the one to buy. We live in Florida and spend a lot of time outdoors, and I wouldn’t venture out without it firmly planted on my head. The chin strap keeps it from blowing off in strong winds, and it can be tucked back inside when not needed. The hat is also easy to keep clean. Just put it into the washer according to the instructions, and it comes out looking like new, even when it has been soiled by a lot of perspiration and other dirt picked up when wearing it for a long time. The airflow ventilation works like a charm, even in our hot Florida climate, and the construction is an excellent testimony to the competence and care given in design and manufacture. When traveling, I just roll the brim up and crush the top down and then put it into the suitcase or carry-on bag. This is one tough and versatile hat, and I’m so happy with it that I now have two, one in the closet by the front door and one in the car. You can’t go wrong by buying this hat.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
6. Arc’teryx Sinsola
- SINSOLA HAT - The Sinsola is a go-to bucket hat for long days in the sun.
- HIKING TREKKING - For technical hiking, trekking, durable and protective designs for remote and varied conditions.
- SYNTHETIC FIBRE - Engineered materials that offer enhanced properties or performance.
Sadly, the majority of hiking hats are made with men in mind or are considered unisex. Thankfully the makers of the Arc’teryx Sinsola thought there should be at least one women-oriented hiking hat on the market and took up the responsibility to make a great one. They did just that with this hiking hat having a distinctly feminine style and being so comfortable.
Like a few other hiking hats in this article, the crushability is impressive and can be tucked, crammed, or shoved into any bag and be brought out looking like new. Despite being so easily packable, comfortable, and stylish, it isn’t as rugged as some other models found on this list. Despite this small setback, we felt it was important to include an exclusively female hat that we still found exceptional.
Sample Customer Review… I love my new Sinsola hat. I use it when taking walks in the summer sun. The brim is wide enough to keep the sun off of my face without looking ridiculous. The little strap has saved me from chasing after this hat when it’s windy. I love this color. I have a pair of leggings in the same color, so I knew I’d like this hat. It can get a little warm wearing this hat when it’s really hot, but I’d rather be a little hotter than getting sunburned. So many times the part of my hair gets burned, so I can’t just use a visor. This hat is cooler though than other similar hats. I replaced an older, less expensive hat with this one and the Sinsola is much more comfortable in the heat.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
7. Outdoor Research Swift Cap
- Our Classic Training Ball Cap Our Most Popular Training Hat, The Swift Cap Has Sun Protect
- Our Classic Training Ball Cap Our Most Popular Training Hat, The Swift Cap Has Sun Protect
- Our Classic Training Ball Cap Our Most Popular Training Hat, The Swift Cap Has Sun Protect
The Outdoor Research Swift Cap provides the style of a ball cap and the comfort of a hiking hat. This hat is made from nylon fabric, which means that it will resist water in case it gets damp or wet. This Swift Cap is also equipped with a 3-panel mesh. This inclusion of mesh makes the hat breathable and able to wick away moisture for a comfortable, dry, and fresh feel that you will greatly appreciate while on the trail (especially on those hot summer days).
The bill on the Swift Cap protrudes out to almost 3 inches. Such a long bill provides you with some protection against rain, wind, and sunlight. In addition, the hat’s fabric provides UV protection with a UPF rating of more than 50.
This is a great hiking hat, but it’s even better for those hikers who have smaller heads. The Swift Cap has an adjustable back buckle, so you can achieve your most comfortable fit. All in all, the Outdoor Research Swift Cap will give you great comfort and protection against nature’s elements while you hike on the trail.
Sample Customer Review… I generally don’t wear hats when playing sports or running as I think you heat up a lot quicker. Recently, I thought I’d give it another shot. I purchased the Outdoor Research cap as I liked its clean look and the ventilation the whole cap provided. I took it out on a long run and was surprised by its performance. The cap is light and the solid portion of fabric running down the middle of the cap provided enough protection from the sun. The strap on the back was easily adjustable and it neatly tucks into a hidden slot for a clean, fitted look. A great product, I may end up purchasing other colors in this model.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
8. Columbia Schooner Bank Cachalot III
- Omni-Wick Sweatband
- Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
- Adjustable drawcord and toggle at back
This Schooner Bank Cachalot III by Columbia is a unique hiking hat, as it’s equipped with a neck cape even though its style is reminiscent of a ball cap. The neck cape is a protective feature that shields you from water, wind, and sunlight. Nevertheless, this hiking hat is made from 50% nylon and 50% polyester, making this hat an excellent moisture-wicking accessory that you need in your hiking gear.
There is even an Omni-wick (a term coined by Columbia that describes the moisture-wicking technology of its products) sweatband inside the hat that will remove sweat from your forehead and into the surface of the fabric where it will evaporate, keeping your head dry and cool. The Schooner Bank Cachalot III works like magic!
Another cool feature of the Schooner Bank Cachalot III is that it offers protection from those harmful UVA and UVB rays, which are known for causing long-term skin damage, with its built-in UPF 50 material. This hat is also adjustable, as it has a drawstring closure on the back that you can adjust to your desired and most comfortable fit. All of the great benefits of this hiking hat will make it the perfect addition to your hiking wardrobe and a necessity on the trail.
Sample Customer Review… Bought this hat for sun protection while fly fishing. Very comfortable to wear and provides excellent protection. When the flap is not needed it can be tucked under the cap and is comfortable to wear. It is lightweight and the fabric launders well and will quickly dry. If worn when there is a noticeable wind you may want to secure the hat to your person with a hat keeper/tender. The flaps make it susceptible to being easily blown off of your head. A must-have item for solar protection.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
9. Outdoor Research Cloud Forest Rain Hat
- Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Wicking, Quick-Drying, TransAction Headband
- Design Features: Dark Fabric Under Brim, Relective OR Logo
- Functional Details: One-Handed Drawcord Adjustment,Removable Chin Cord,Packable
You can leave the umbrella at home because this Cloud Forest Rain Hat by Outdoor Research is completely waterproof! The Cloud Forest Rain Hat is solely made from nylon, so it does a fantastic job at repelling water and keeping you nice and dry on a rainy day hike. Also, a built-in moisture-wicking headband keeps rain and sweat from getting in your eyes and blurring your vision, which is a great advantage to have in a hiking hat.
Another cool feature of the Outdoor Research Cloud Forest Rain Hat is that it is lightweight and won’t be heavy on your head. The hat is also adjustable, as it’s equipped with a drawcord that will help you adjust the hat to your most comfortable fit. It also comes with a chin cord that can be removed or used to help the hat stay on your head in windy weather conditions. So, if you need a hiking hat that will protect you against wind, cold, and rain, then the Outdoor Research Cloud Forest Rain Hat is the best hiking hat for you.
Sample Customer Review… I love walking in all seasons. This darling hat is PERFECT for rainy morning walks and hikes in the Pacific NW, without an umbrella. During a hike, I hardly knew it was raining! It is waterproof, breathable, and lightweight, and keeps water off my glasses 🙂 It’s so comfortable that I may use it as a sun hat too. When it’s windy, a bit of rain blows into my face, but that is no fault of this hat. Worth every penny, and the gray matches everything! I bought a second one for my hubby too.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
10. Coolibar Crushable Ventilated Hat
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Coolibar Crushable Ventilated Hat is one of the premier lightweight hiking hats for men. Coolibar created this hat to fit into any tight space while retaining its shape. This means no matter where and how you pack this hat, once removed the hat’s shape will hold and will offer just as much sun protection. Coolibar’s hat also boasts a 50+ UPF rating which guarantees thorough protection from the Sun. Along with superior protection and packability, the mesh material offers superior ventilation which ensures your head will remain nice and cool throughout your journey.
They’ve included a head strap in case of strong wind, so you can guarantee that through wind or snow, the Coolibar Crushable Ventilated hat will be firmly secured to your head. Coolibar’s hiking hat should be your go-to if looking for something light and durable while being relatively inexpensive.
Sample Customer Review… This hat has a wide brim. It arrived very well packed. It’s obvious that it is a quality-made hat so I’m pleased. It will do exactly what I need it to do, block the sun well from my face and ears. It’s comfortable. I ordered the large and it’s snug, fits well. UPF 50 is a bonus and they guarantee it for life. Who could prove the sunblock wears off but regardless the hat’s wide brim had plenty of coverage so I’m pleased.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
11. Filson Summer Packer
- Filson has the perfect field hat for those warmer months.
- 8-oz. dry finish Shelter Cloth is lightweight, water-repellent, breathable fabric.
- UPF 50+ weather protection.
- Integrated grommets for added breathability.
- Lined with a cotton sweatband.
Filson Summer Packer is a modern take on the classic hiking hat. North Face produces and assembles the hiking hat within the US. The shape and build of the hat mimic older, more classic styles while updating the technology and material. The Filson Summer packer hat offers a 50 UPF rating while also being extremely lightweight(8 oz).
The hat is constructed from cotton which makes it very light but also causes the hat to be more susceptible to rain and sweat. The brim is on the slightly smaller size 2.25” but still offers full protection from the sun. If you are looking for the classic adventurer look while still staying safe from the Sun, the Filson Summer packer is the hat for you.
Sample Customer Review… Great hat with solid Filson materials and stitching, comfortable, looks good, not hot in the sun, provides good sun protection, rolls up, and comes back into shape. Pricy? No, it;’s Filson and will last forever.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Buyer’s Guide – Things to Consider When Purchasing The Best Hiking Hat
The sun can be extremely damaging to the skin therefore while the baseball caps might look more stylish, a wide-brimmed hat is recommended. We recommend a brim between 2.5 to 4 inches along with ensuring the brim doesn’t hinder your vision while hiking. We’ve also seen certain hiking hats come with insect repellent which could also be useful when hiking.
The best hiking hat should offer material with a high UPF rating along with being comfortable while wearing or holding. Hiking hats are sometimes equipped with sweatbands to prevent sweat from dripping down your head. Nylon and mesh are the most common materials used in hiking hats. Nylon is lightweight and quick-drying while the mesh allows more breathability for hotter climates.
We can tell how effective a hiking hat is by comparing its UPF scores to benchmarks. The UPF score allows us to tell how much of the sun’s light is actually reaching your skin. In general anything below 15 UPF is considered non-protective while anything above 50+ UPF will block up to 98% of the Sun’s rays.
When shopping for a hiking hat, comfort is arguably the most important aspect. An ill fitting hat could cause multiple problems. If your hiking hat is too tight, it could cause headaches and discomfort. On the other hand, if your hiking hat is too loose it could be blown off or obstruct your vision. It is very important to pick the comfortable and correct fitting hiking hat.
The look of your hiking hat isn’t as important as the previous conditions but it never hurts to look good. The specific colors aren’t too important but in general lighter colors help keep your head cool, while dark brims offer protection from glare and reflections off the water.
A good hiking hat should last you a long time. Hiking hats are built to be durable and accompany you on all your journeys. The lighter color hats are more susceptible to getting dirty so if you aren’t interested in cleaning your hiking hat, we recommend leaning towards the darker colors. Nylon and mesh tend to last you much longer compared to straw hats or other cheaper materials.
While a hiking hat might not be the most essential piece of gear you might need to be prepared for your hiking adventure, in its own way, they are still very important and valuable. We hope that this article was able to help you make a confident and informed decision when deciding which hiking hat will meet your specific needs.
We value your head being protected from the elements and want you to be able to rely on your hat to be durable, and of course comfortable. We are confident that all 10 of these options do represent the best hiking hats on the market that provide those necessary features and more. May your head and neck be protected, your comfort level high, and hiking style impeccable. Cheers to your next hiking adventure!
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Written by Will Chambers; Contributor: Raj Vora