40+ Best Hiking Hats That Are Functional + Cool

By mattv


Hats do much more than protect facial skin from sun damage – they make being outside more comfortable. Air temperature is only a few degrees different between sun and shade but the shade can feel up to 20 degrees cooler

Many people just wear their favorite baseball or sun hat hiking. However, there are strong benefits to wearing a hat that is specifically designed for activity in the outdoors. 

Modern hiking hats are designed to keep you cool. The synthetic materials are lightweight and wick moisture. Many have an interior sweatband to quickly evaporate perspiration. Some also have mesh sections for air flow.

Hiking hats can protect from the sun while providing warmth or act as a wearable umbrella to keep off the rain.

Benefits Of A Hiking Hat

Compared to a conventional hat, hats designed for hiking have:

  • UPF 20-50+ sun protection
  • Lightweight material
  • Breathable material
  • Moisture-wicking interior + exterior
  • Ventilation mesh or panels
  • Keeps sweat, rain + snow out of your eyes
  • Water-resistant or waterproof fabrics keep your head dry

What To Look For In A Hiking Hat

There are a number of factors that you should consider before buying a new hiking hat.

The main focus should be on protection and comfort but there are other important features and components to look for.

A. Protection

The point of a top-quality hiking hat is to provide protection from the sun and weather.

Sun Protection

The first line of protection comes from the materials or fabric used in the hat. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating is a measurement of how much UV radiation can go through the fabric. Sun protection comes from a combination of fabric material, color, weight, and weave.

A fabric rated at UPF 30+ blocks about 96% of UV radiation. For 99% protection, look for UPF 50+.

Color is only one factor for UPF. Fabric type, weave tightness, and broad brims all provide additional protection from the sun. Technical synthetic fabrics are breathable and reflect radiation. 

Rain Protection

Hat coverage protects from the rain as well as the sun. Polyester and nylon are inherently water-resistant. Some hats increase that with a Durable Waterproof Coating (DWR).

There are also hats designed for the rain first, made of a waterproof breathable membrane like Gore-Tex. Rain hats also work for the sun, they will just feel a little warmer than hats designed exclusively for the sun.

Cold Protection

Here in Colorado, almost daily sun means hats are worn year-round. Not knit beanies but hats with brims for some shade for the eyes and face. We have rounded up some caps with warm fleece plus a bill. 

B. Brim Size, Shape + Style

This is pretty straightforward. A bigger, wider brim provides more shade and protection for the body and skin. A broad brim hiking hat is essential when the sun is out in full force in hot climates, at high elevation, or during the summer months.

An all around-brim hat provides 360-degree shade that covers the ears and neck. The wider the brim, the more shade you get. A baseball cap-style hat with a bill in the front protect only the face. 

Keep in mind that larger brims can impede your vision or be uncomfortable if you are carrying a large backpack. More hat also means more weight. There is a time and a place for caps as well as hats.

Legionnaire hats with an attached or removable cape offers the most protection.

C. Sizing + Fit

Like all clothing, a hat that fits is a comfortable hat. The degree of comfort is determined by the sizing, how the hat fits, and the materials used.

One size fits all is most often one size fits many. It is a good idea to measure and know your head size. Most hats provide the measurement instead of a size. Wrap a flexible measuring tape or a string around your head. Be sure to cross the middle of your forehead, across your temples, and around the back of your skull that sticks out the most.

Another option is to look for a hiking hat that is adjustable in size. Many have velcro, a buckle, or toggle to adjust the size and customize the fit. 

Avoid wearing hats that are too small or feel tight on your head. This feeling will only worsen over the course of a long hike.

Also, be sure that the hat isn’t too loose. That will just get irritating. A hat that is too loose will flop around, get in your eyes, and could blow away if it is windy. If you plan on hiking in windy conditions you may want a hiking hat with a chin cord.

D. Hat Materials

Synthetic Fabrics

Most hiking hats are made of synthetic fabrics so they wick moisture, dry quickly, and resist water. The fabric contents vary but they are all polyester or nylon, a version of polyester. Nylon is somewhat softer, stretchier, and stronger than polyester but polyester is more water- and abrasion-resistant. Some hats are all nylon, all polyester, a mix of the two. Some hats add elastane or spandex for stretch.

Many hiking hats add an inner synthetic layer to absorb and wick away sweat so look for that as a feature. Some hats have aquatic adventures in mind and have a foam-reinforced brim that floats in water.

Natural Fabrics

Natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and wool have their benefits but not as hiking hats.

Are straw hats good for hiking?

They can be. Straw hats look great and provide plenty of sun protection. On the other hand, they weigh more than synthetic hats, are less durable, and should never get wet – straw hats absorb water and lose their shape.

Sunday Afternoons Islander Hat made of 100% natural tripilla straw. Like many of the recommended hats it has a UPF 50+ sun rating, 3″ brim, and elasticized inner sweatband. However, it weighs twice as much at 5.2 ounces/147.4 grams.

If the pros outweigh the cons for you, get a straw hiking hat. It’s all about comfort first.

E. Durability

For any hiking gear, hiking footwear, or hiking clothing, durability should be important to you and guide your decisions. Hiking equipment is expensive, so seek value.

A durable hiking hat will provide hours of service. Perhaps years. Why buy, wear, and destroy multiple hats per season if you can find one that will have a longer lifespan?

So, what factors make a hat durable and last longer?

  • Durable fabric (Nylon is the strongest)
  • Quality thread and stitching
  • A tight weave
  • Crushable fabric that can maintain hat shape
  • Color
    • Light colors get dirty faster (cleaning can age the hat)
    • Dark colors get bleached by the sun (ruins fabric)
  • Washable fabric (most baseballs do not wash well)

Inner sweatbands help extend the life of hats because the salt can damage the outer fabric. 

Spot cleaning the inside and outside of the hat will help keep it looking and feeling fresh longer.

F. Breathability + Ventilation

A well ventilated and breathable hat is going to be more comfortable. If you are hiking in fair weather, hot climates, or warmer months of the year it is important to have a hat that breathes and delivers airflow. 

A hot, sweaty hat that doesn’t breathe is not comfortable. Sweating can cause sunblock and insect repellent to get in your eyes which is not pleasant and could be a health hazard.

Synthetic hats are lightweight, dry quickly, and breathe. Mesh panels add air flow and cut weight but keep in mind that mesh provides minimal sun protection.

G. Does Hat Color Matter?

Common knowledge states that light colors are more comfortable in the heat. The reasoning behind that is actually why dark colors provide more sun protection. Dark and bright colors absorb UV rays while lighter shades reflect them.

However, mosquitos and bugs are another consideration. They are attracted to dark and bright colors. Light, subdued shades like white, beige, khaki, light gray, and even pastel yellow are less attractive to those biting bugs. Other than black, these hues are the most common for hiking hats.

So colors does matter but not that much. Where color is essential is under the brim. Dark fabric under the brim reduces glare and makes it easier to see.

H. Style

Looking good and feeling good are important. Not all hiking hats are stylish. At the end of the day, protection is more important than style. If you can have both, perfect.

In this selection best hiking hats, we attempted to zero in on as many hats that we could find that approach a semi-cool rating at a minimum.

When you buy a hiking hat take a good long look in the mirror before you hit the trails. Be honest, and ask yourself, “is this a hat I am okay with wearing over the long term”?

Protection and comfort should definitely be the number one priority. But it is also important to find a hat that you can feel okay with wearing on your hikes. The last thing you want to do is change your mind and waste your money. Or worse, not wearing the hat and suffering health consequences.

Alright, we have covered everything you should look for in a hiking hat. These are the best hiking hats to take out on the trails. Not only does our list of hats offer excellent performance, but they also look like cool hiking hats.

I. Packability

It is uncommon to travel with a hat box these days but maybe it shouldn’t be. Many hats claim to crushable and packable but in my experience that just means the brim is floppy, the fabric gets wrinkled, and durability is compromised. Even for packable hats, I prefer to clip all hats to the outside of my pack rather than stow it away inside. Seem cap-style hats can be folded into the brim and placed at the top of a hip or backpack.

Best Sun Hats For Hiking

All of the hats listed here:

  • Provide UPF protection
  • Wick away moisture
  • Are lightweight
  • Dry quickly
  • Resist water

These features are not mentioned in the recommendations because every single hat has them. The UPF, weight, and brim length are posted when the information is available. Otherwise marked as n/l for not listed.

In this first section, we are going to take a look at the best hiking hats with the traditional round brim that protects the ears and neck as well the face. These hats work for men and women, but keep reading for some women-specific hats. There are also hiking hats for kids way at the bottom of the page.

With an extra inch of brim at the back, the Sombriolet gives the most neck coverage you can get without a cape. The classic hat is recreated out of nylon for a cool shape with technical features.

MSRP: $42

UPF: 50+

Weight: 3.1oz/88g

Fabric: 89% nylon/11% polyester

Brim: 3.125″ front/4.125″ back

What We Like: Side vents, removable chin cord, inner sweatband, 8 colors

What We Don’t: Brim could be a bit wider, large logo

This is the most popular hiking sun hat by Outdoor Research. The simple style is appealing, as is the removable chin cord.

MSRP: $38

UPF: 50+

Weight: 2.3oz/65g

Fabric: 89% nylon/11% polyester

Brim: 2.75″

What We Like: Ultra lightweight, removable chin cord, packable, floats

What We Don’t: Brim could be a bit wider, large logo

This is the ultimate hiking hat made by Tilley in Canada. Out of all their options, we rate this one as the best Tilley hat for hiking and one of the very best sun hats. All Tilley hats are guaranteed for life upon registration.

MSRP: $99

UPF: 50+

Weight: 4oz/1134oz

Fabric: 100% recycled nylon

Brim: 3.5″ front + back/2.5″ sides

What We Like: Panama style, 10 sizes, PFC-free DWR, chin cord tucks away, inner sweatband, hidden pocket

What We Don’t: Slightly heavier than some hats

This high coverage hat is on trend for trail and town. The Breeze Brimmer is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for safe and effective UV protection so check out the kids and women’s versions too.

MSRP: $30-40

UPF: 40

Weight: 2.9oz/82g

Fabric: 100% recycled nylon

Brim: 2.9″

What We Like: Lightweight, interior mesh + sweatband wick moisture, durable 70D ripstop nylon

What We Don’t: Limited colors

A boonie hat is wide-brimmed sun hat commonly used by the military in hot locales. This Booney takes that style and adds vents at the crown. Go for the camo pattern or others.

MSRP: $20-40

UPF: 50

Weight: Not listed

Fabric: 100% nylon

Brim: 3″

What We LikeColorful patterns, cool style, adjustable fit, DWR, sweat-activated cooling sweatband

What We Don’t: Not readily available

The Bora Bora Booney is so popular that they made a second one. The II eliminates the second crown layer, uses a more flexible fabric, and has more visible mesh. The original has a DWR coating for increased water repellency.

MSRP: $30-40

UPF: 50

Weight: Not listed

Fabric: 100% textured nylon poplin

Brim: 3″

What We Like: Mesh upper, sweat-wicking upper, durable 70D nylon ripstop

What We Don’t: Floppy brim, mesh has no UPF protection

Best Women’s Hats For Hiking

Most hats are unisex but a few are designed for smaller heads and with bigger brims. The color choices also tend to differ. Here are some women-specific hats to consider.

7. Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Hat

A 3.5″ by 4.75″ brim provides a portable oasis. An air vent and sweat-wicking headband provide even more relieve from the sun and heat.

MSRP: $42

UPF: 50+

Weight: 3.4oz/96g

Fabric: 86% nylon, 14% polyester

Brim: 3.5″ front/4.75″ back

What We Like: Wide brim, adjustable size, air vent, lots of colors, floats

What We Don’t: Slightly heavier than other options

8. Outdoor Research Women’s Solar Roller Sun Hat

Similar to the OR Helios Hat, there is a 3″ brim all the way around, moisture-wicking headband, and eyelets for ventilation.

MSRP: $38

UPF: 50+

Weight: 2.3oz/65g

Fabric: 100% Supplex nylon

Brim: 3″

What We Like: Lightweight, removable chin cord

What We Don’t: Embroidery (but that could just be me)

9. adidas Women’s Superlite Relaxed Fit Performance Hat

It can be difficult to find a cap that works for smaller heads. adidas has those ladies (and gents) covered with a lightweight cap designed to shed heat.

MSRP: $20-$26

UPF: 50

Weight: Not listed

Fabric: 87% polyester/13% spandex

Brim: Not listed

What We Like: Ventilation side panels, stretchy fabric, reflective strip, 18 colors

What We Don’t: May be too small, especially for women with thick hair

Bucket Hats For Hiking

Want a hat with a shorter brim that still provides coverage from the sun? A bucket hat fits the bill. The brim isn’t as long as some sun hats but the downward slope creates extra shade. They are also packable and crushable. Many bucket hats are cotton or canvas but these are the best for hiking.

10. REI Co-op Sahara Bucket Hat

It’s a bucket hat but better – with air vents all-around the crown and a foam brim that floats. If you’re looking for a smaller hat with plenty of protection, this is the one.

MSRP: $35-$30 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% polyester | Brim: 2.5″

What We Like: Mesh liner, adjustable size with rear toggle, S/M and L/XL sizes
What We Don’t
: Would like more colors

11. Sunday Afternoon Solar Bucket

MSRP: $36 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 2.2oz/62g | Fabric: 100% nylon | Brim: 2.75″

What We Like: Crown ventilation, sizing buckle at the back, packable
What We Don’t: Attached chin cord, no size small

12. Outdoor Research Sun Bucket

MSRP: $32 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 2.3oz./65g | Fabric: 86% nylon/14% polyester ripstop | Brim: 2.5″

What We Like: Removable chin cord, inner sweatband
What We Don’t: Can be too warm

Check out the Swift Bucket for a rounder look and no chin cord.

13. Patagonia Wavefarer Bucket Hat

MSRP: $45 | UPF: n/l | Weight: 2.2oz/62g | Fabric: 100% recycled nylon faille

What We Like: Made from recycled fishing nets, packs into its own pocket, PFC-free DWR coating
What We Don’t: Runs large, pricier than other bucket hats

Best Baseball Caps For Hiking

Regular baseball hats can get hot and sweaty. If you like the style of a baseball hat there are many options that are designed for hiking. They are made of materials that will keep you cool and wick sweat and moisture away from your skin. These are the best baseball hats for hiking.

14. Sunday Afternoons Aerial Cap

With the exception of a mesh strip, this performance hat looks just like an ordinary baseball cap. The lack of a logo is another selling feature.

MSRP $32 | UPF 50+ | Weight 1.9oz/54g | Fabric 100% polyester | Bill 2.5″

What We Like Breathable material, inner sweatband, weighs 1.9 oz
What We Don’t Like
Limited colors, adjustable closure doesn’t aways stay in place

15. Janji AFO Hyperlight Cap

MSRP: $38 | UPF: 25 | Weight: 1oz/29g | Fabric: 88% recycled polyester/12% elastane | Bill: 2.275″

What We Like: Foam brim keeps shape, bungee + toggle closure, ultralight – only 1ounce
What We Don’t: Only available in neon yellow and burgundy

16. Outdoor Research Swift Cap

MSRP: $38 | UPF: 25 | Weight: 1oz/29g | Fabric: 88% recycled polyester/12% elastane | Bill: 2.275″

What We Like: 5-panel hat with mesh sides, inner sweatband
What We Don’t: Buckle closure can move or come undone, sits low

17. KUHL Renegade Cap

MSRP: $35 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 95% nylon/5% spandex | Bill: n/l

What We Like: Classic style, DWR-finish, anti-abrasion fabric, stretch
What We Don’t: Crown seams can bunch up

18. Columbia Coolhead II Ball Hat

MSRP: $32 | UPF: 50 | Weight: 2.4oz/68g | Fabric: 92% polyester/8% elastane | Bill: 2.75″

What We Like: Classic cap with button top, 5+ colors, bill holds shape
What We Don’t Like: Prominent logo

19. Beautifully Warm Quick-Dry Backless Running Ball Cap

This is the breathable version of the Beautifully Warm Culture Cap, with plenty of room for the thick hair, curls, and protective styles. The backless ball cap offers more coverage and style than visors.

MSRP: $32 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% polyester mesh | Bill: 2.75″

What We Like: Clever design, reflective strip, hook-and-loop closure doesn’t stick to hair
What We Don’t
: White version is see-through

The Best Trucker Hats For Hiking

Trucker hats were designed to be cool in the hot sun with a polyester front and mesh back. The style and fit can be hit-or-miss but give one a try for a hat that looks good everywhere. Keep in mind that mesh lets the sun through.

20. Columbia PFG Mesh Fish Ball Cap

Very lightweight hat can go anywhere. A little bit of stretch keeps it comfortable for all-day wear. For a more hiking-style version, check out the tree flag.

MSRP: $32 | UPF: n/l | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 98% cotton/2% polyurethane

What We Like: S/M + L/XL sizes, L/XL fits thick hair + larger heads, so many colors
What We Don’t
: Not adjustable but also comes as a snap back

21. Black Diamond Flat Bill Trucker Hat

MSRP: $40 | UPF: n/l | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% polyester knit + mesh

What We Like: Classic trucker style, snap back, available in Women’s
What We Don’t: No inner sweat band

22. Carhartt Canvas Mesh-Back Cap

MSRP: $20 | UPF: n/l | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 59% cotton/39% polyester/2% spandex

What We Like: Interior sweatband dries quickly and has an antimicrobial finish, curved bill, small logo
What We Don’t: Fits big

23. Patagonia Duckbill Trucker Hat

MSRP: $39 | UPF: n/l | Weight: 2.3oz/65g | Fabric: 100% recycled polyester

What We Like: Sweat-wicking band with odor control, open mesh, DWR, back buckle, foam brim floats
What We Don’t: Fits small

Best 5-Panel Hiking Hats

5-panel hats are the modern style of baseball hats. Most have a flat brim but there are some curved options too.

24. Kuhl Engineered Hat

Kuhl makes technical clothing that doesn’t look technical. This cool hat is ultra lightweight and defies the stink that caps can get.

MSRP: $35 | UPF: 20 | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% recycled polyester | Bill: 2.8″

What We Like: Elastic headband, antimicrobial finish, flexible foam brim floats
What We Don’t Like: Brim doesn’t hold its’ shape

25. Tillak Wallowa Trail Hat

MSRP: $40 | UPF: n/l | Weight: 1.69oz/48g | Fabric: 100% nylon/ stretch mesh

What We Like: Lightweight, recycled plastic bill sheds water + keeps shape
What We Don’t Like: One size doesn’t fit all heads

26. REI Co-op Screeline Cap

MSRP: $30 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% nylon/100% polyester mesh liner

What We Like: Folding brim also floats, side vents, sunglass loop
What We Don’t: Folding brim caps always look weird

27. Arc’teryx Calidum 5-Panel Cap

MSRP: $45 | UPF: n/l | Weight: 1.8oz/52g | Fabric: 92% polyester/8% elastane

What We Like: Made of durable, breathable, stretchy climbing harness mesh,
What We Don’t Like: Nothing yet

Baseball Caps for Cold Weather

Cold weather isn’t always gray. These caps are made with warm breathable fleece plus a brim to block the sun. Some have ear flaps that can be pulled down to use or up and away.

28. REI Co-op Swiftland Earflap Running Hat

Making a cap with a brim and ear flaps look good is a challenge. REI has risen to that challenge with this cold-weather version of the popular Swiftland Cap.

MSRP: $35 | UPF: 20 | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% recycled polyester | Bill: 2.8″

What We Like: Earflaps, wind + water-resistant, breathable, soft + warm, ponytail port, reflective strip
What We Don’t Like: About as good as it gets for a cap with ear flaps but it doesn’t work for me

29. Outdoor Research Trail Mix Cap

MSRP: $32 | UPF: 30 | Weight: 1.7oz/47g | Fabric: 100% polyester fleece

What We Like For cold + sunny days, warm + breathable fleece, lightweight
What We Don’t Like No ear flaps (but that could also be a pro)

30. Trailheads Trailblazer Adventure Hat (Men’s | Women’s)

MSRP: $36-$38 | UPF: n/l | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 94% polyester 6% spandex | Bill: 3″

What We Like: Ear warmer drops down or flips up, ponytail port for women, reflective strip
What We Don’t: Elastic inner band instead of adjustable closure

The Best Hiking Hats For Rain

Hats aren’t just for the sun. They block the rain too, helping you get out there on drizzly days and stay comfortable in a sudden downpour. These hats also work for sun but the waterproofing means they won’t be as breathable as a sun hat.

All of these picks are made with a waterproof/breathable membrane with microscopic pores that repel water and let out moisture vapor. All Gore-Tex fabrics are waterproof and breathable membranes but not all waterproof/breathable membranes are Gore-Tex – many companies have their own version.

31. Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 Rain Hat

Designed for performance, this rain hat is made of the same stretchy, soft, and lightweight Gore-Tex Paclite as rain shells and waterproof shoes. The moisture-wicking and quick drying lining works for sunny weather and high output activities.

MSRP: $60 | UPF: n/l | Weight 2.4oz/89g | Fabric: Gore-Tex Paclite/100% recycled polyester lining | Brim: 4″

What We Like: Widest brim on this list, removable chin cinch, stretchy fabric
What We Don’t
: Only available in one size

32. REI Co-op Sahara Rain Hat

Waterproof on the outside and moisture wicking on the inside, this hat is ready for all weather. If there’s too much water, the foam floats. Available in 4 sizes for just the right fit.

MSRP: $50 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% nylon | Brim: 3.25″ front/4.25″ back

What We Like Waterproof/breathable membrane, DWR, change hat shape with side snaps
What We Don’t Like
Warmer than a sun hat but that is expected

33. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Storm Bucket Hat

Be ready for the rain and the sun with 100% waterproof and seam-sealed hat that also provides 50+ UPF protection. A mesh liner manages perspiration in all conditions.

MSRP: $54 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 2.5oz/70.8g | Fabric: 78% nylon/22% polyester | Brim: 3″

What We Like: PFC-free DWR, waterproof/breathable membrane, internal adjustable sizing
What We Don’t
: Warmer than a sun hat but that is expected

For even more protection, the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Storm Hat has al the same features plus an attached 6″ neck cape.

34. Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Rain Hat

With 3-layers of GORE-TEX, the Backpacker Magazine award-wining “Sea Som” doesn’t even need DWR. With breathable tricot interior and UPF 50 protection, it is just as ready to take on the sun. It also inspired baseball cap and cape versions.

MSRP: $65 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 3.2oz/91g | Fabric: Gore-Tex | Brim: 3″ front/3.75″ back

What We Like: Moisture-wicking lining, can pull the sides up, floats, 4 sizes
What We Don’t
: Velcro strips on side, no size adjustment

35. Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Cap

MSRP: $50 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 2.1oz/60g | Fabric: Gore-Tex | Bill: 3″

What We Like: Waterproof, moisture-wicking sweatband, colors
What We Don’t: Only one size with buckle at back

36. Outdoor Research Seattle Cape Hat

MSRP $65 | UPF 50+ | Weight 3.1oz./87g | Fabric Gore-Tex | Brim 3″ front/7″ back

What We Like Fisherman style, keeps rain off neck, removable chin cord
What We Don’t Like Not necessary for light rain

Best Legionnaire Hats (Caps With Capes)

Extreme hot weather demands superior protection and comfort. These desert hiking hats are great for hot climates, with additional coverage for the ears and neck. Some legionnaire hats come with an attached cae while others are removable.

All of these desert hats are made out of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and water-resistant nylon.

37. Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

This is a cool 2-in-1 hat: wear it with or without the cape. The cap has mesh side panels and an inner sweatband like the OR Swift Cap. The drawstring is on the cape to keep it in place in the wind.

MSRP: $38 | UPF: 40+ | Weight 79g/2.8oz | Fabric: 100% nylon Brim: 2.75″ brim | Cape: 10.75″ cape

What We Like: Cape snaps on and off, lightweight,
What We Don’t
: Visible snaps on brim

38. The North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat

MSRP: $40 | UPF: 40+ | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 68% recycled nylon/26% nylon/6% elastane Brim: 2.9″

What We Like: Cool cap shape, cape rolls up and tucks away
What We Don’t: One size doesn’t fit all

39. Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

MSRP: $42 | UPF: 50+ | Weight: 30z/85g Fabric: Nylon/polyester Brim: 4″ brim | Cape: 7.5″ cape

What We Like: Large brim, long built-in cape
What We Don’t: No points for style

40. REI Co-op Sahara Sun Hat with Cape

MSRP: $40 | UPF: 50 | Weight: n/l | Fabric: 100% polyester Brim: 3.25″ front/3.75″ back

What We Like Classic hat, detachable cape, air vent at the crown, floats
What We Don’t Like Nothing

The Best Hiking Hats For Kids

Hiking hats are probably even more critical for kids. Younger children can overheat more quickly than adults and are generally sensitive to the sun.

The best hiking hat for kids is the one that they will wear. Cinching up the chin strip only works for a few years. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun colors, patterns, and styles that make sun hats more appealing.

There are a few different features to look for when it comes to hats for babies, toddlers, and children. The odds are small but a chin strap that gets stuck on something can do damage. Most of these hats feature breakaway chin straps that release under pressure. If that feature is not available, the strap can be removed.

If the sun hat is going to worn in a stroller or hiking backpack, look for a soft cape at the back instead of brim that sticks out. For water play, a hat with a floating brim will last longer than one that sinks.

Here are some great hats for kids from baseball cap-style to hats with wide brims and long neck capes.

1. Best Kids’ Sun Hat

This is the most popular kids’ sun hat. The full brim and long neck make the parents happy while the colors and prints appeal to kids. Sunday Afternoons guarantees their materials and workmanship for life so the Play Hat should last through couple of children.

Sunday Afternoons Play Hat

This full coverage hat also manages to be lightweight. Mesh panels cut weight and enhance breathability while the DWR coating repels moisture and stains. The chin strap keeps the hat on reluctant babes but also breaks away under pressure.

MSRP $32 | UPF 50+ | Weight 1.8oz/51g | Fabric Solids 100% nylon/Prints 100% polyester Bill 2.75″- 3.75″, 5.5″-6″ neck veil (depending on size)

What We Like Long brim + neck, DWR, adjustable sizing, floats, comfortable while sitting in a stroller
What We Don’t Style may not appeal to picky kids (ask me how I know)

The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is the same style designed for sun and rain.

Check REI | Check Amazon | Check Backcountry

For an even longer neck veil, check out the Outdoor Research Sun Go Away Hat.

2. The Go-Anywhere Hiking Hat For Boys + Girls

Military-inspired booney hats provide ample coverage with a classic style.

Outdoor Research Rambler Sun Hat

With a longer brim at the back, the Rambler is a stylish way to get neck protection.

MSRP $34 | UPF 40+ | Weight 2oz/57g | Fabric 100% Supplex nylon Brim 2.75″ front/4″ back

What We Like Looks good, floats, bright colors, removable break away chin cord
What We Don’t Only for ages 4-7

For more colors, check out the Sunday Afternoons Clear Creek Bonnie Hat.

3. Budget Sun Hat For Kids

Connectyle Outdoor UV Sun Hat

Investing in top-quality gear does’t always make sense for kids. Clothes can quickly get damaged or outgrown and especially in the case of hats, lost. This hat has all the sun protection of other boonie-style hats at a fraction of the price.

MSRP $13 | UPF 50+ | Weight 2.89oz/57g | Fabric 100% polyester Brim 3″

What We Like Mesh panels, adjustable crown, lots of colors
What We Don’t Floppy, toggle chin cord does breakaway;

4. Kids’ Bucket Hat for Hiking

Patagonia Trim Brim Bucket Hat

MSRP $45 | UPF 40+ | Weight 2.6oz/74g | Fabric 100% recycled nylon | Brim n/l

full-brimmed safari-style hat, DWR-coating, removable breakaway chin cord, won’t chafe when worn, internal sweatband, can adjust size at back, odor control

Reversible version in baby sizes

5. Best Full Coverage Sun Hat For Kids

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

For the strongest sun, this legionnaire hat has an attached cape to protect the face, shoulders, and neck. It is ideal for kids who resist sunscreen.

MSRP $30 | UPF 50+ | Weight 2oz/57g | Fabric 100% Supplex nylon Brim n/l

What We Like 4 sizes, moisture-wicking headband, cape closes at front
What We Don’t Cape is attached – you won’t lose it but you can’t take it off

6. Best Lightweight Baseball Cap for Kids

Sunday Afternoons Impulse Cap

This hiking hat recreates the always popular baseball cap in an ultralight microfiber with 99% sun protection and mesh ventilation. it is so lightweight and breathable that I rebuy this hat every time it gets lost. Protect the neck with a bandana.

MSRP $24 | UPF 50+ | Weight 1.9oz/54g | Fabric 100% polyester | Brim 2.5″x7.5″

What We Like Large brim, adjustable sizing, fits big kids
What We Don’t Pastel color selection

If the blue and coral colors aren’t quite right, try the comparable Outdoor Research Swift Cap.

7. Trucker Hat

Patagonia Trucker Hat

Normally cotton isn’t ideal for a sun hat but the CoolMax moisture-wicking headband keeps the temperature down. If regular trucker hats are always too big, this also works for adults with smaller heads.

MSRP $17-$35 | UPF n/l | Weight 3.3oz/94g | Fabric Organic cotton front crown + bill/recycled polyester mesh back | Brim 3″

What We Like. Large brim, generous sizing means hat fits for a long time, plenty of colors and designs
What We Don’t Can be too big for some kids heads

8. Best Rain Hat for Sun

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Rain Hat

Another pick from the adult section, this hat works for those days when the sun is shining and it is raining at the same time.

MSRP $42 | UPF 50+ | Weight 3.2oz/91g | Fabric 100% nylon | Brim n/l but wider at back than front

What We Like Internal sweatband, stiff brim also floats, internal size adjustment, breakaway cord, side flaps can be pulled up
What We Don’t Visible velcro when brim is down

9. Sun Hat vs Rain Hat

Is it rain rain go away or sun sun go away?

Depending on where you are, opt for a sun hat that repels rain or a rain hat with UPF protection. The rain hat features a polyurethane (PU) coating for better water resistance while the sun hat has an interior sweatband to wick away moisture in the heat.

Outdoor Research Sun Sun
Go Away Hat

MSRP $36 | UPF 40+
Weight 1.58oz/45g
Fabric 60% recycled nylon/40% nylon
Brim 3″ brim/6.5″ cape

+ Adjustable elastic

Outdoor Research Rain Rain
Go Away Hat

MSRP $40 | UPF 30+
Weight 2.5oz/72g
Fabric 100% nylon with PU coating
Brim n/l

+ Foam-stiffened brim

This concludes our guide to the best hiking hats. We hope that one of these suits your fancy. It is important to stay protected out on the hiking trails so get a quality hat. If you are not sure about the cool factor, then clip a second hat to your backpack for your photo sessions. Problem solved. Easy.

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