The 8 Best Hiking Hats of 2019
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Tilley Endurables Airflo Hat at Amazon
“The best-selling option from respected hat manufacturer Tilley.”
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Bora Bora II Booney Hat at Amazon
“We particularly like the Bora Bora II’s packability.”
Best Budget: Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat at Amazon
“Despite its low cost, it is a quality option for anyone with limited cash to spare.”
Best Sun Protection: Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat at Amazon
“Stops the back of your neck from — no matter what angle the sun is shining from.”
Best Anti-Bug: UShake Mosquito Head Net Hat at Amazon
“The answer for anyone hiking in insect-infected territory.”
Best Style (Men): Dorfman Pacific Men’s Outback Hat at Amazon
“Allows you to create a variety of different looks that will take you from backwoods to bar without missing a beat.”
Best Style (Women): Columbia Women’s Global Adventure Packable Hat at Amazon
“Resembles a classic, wide-brimmed, straw sun hat and adds a touch of timeless elegance to your expedition outfit.”
Best Cold Weather: Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie at Amazon
“This beanie only requires two thin layers to keep you toasty in subzero conditions.”
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Tilley Endurables Airflo Hat
The Airflo Hat is the best-selling option from respected hat manufacturer Tilley. Its broad brim shades your face and neck while the lightweight 100 percent supplex nylon fabric carries the highest possible UPF rating (50+) and blocks 98 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you’re planning an expedition to a tropical country, you’ll be grateful for the extra ventilation provided by the 3/4” mesh strip around the crown. Meanwhile, the hydrofil sweatband wicks moisture and keeps your brow sweat-free.
The hat also performs when the weather isn’t perfect. A water-repellent finish keeps the rain off while front and back wind cords prevent it from being whisked away by sudden gusts. If it does end up in the water, it’s fully buoyant. You can use the secret, Velcro-sealed pocket in the crown to secure small essentials such as emergency cash or park permits. The Airflo comes in a range of colors including olive, khaki, and black. Lighter colors have a dark under-brim for added glare protection and all versions are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Bora Bora II Booney Hat
The Columbia Bora Bora II Booney has a wide brim and is made of lightweight, UPF 50-certified Omni-Shade material (100 percent textured nylon poplin). The hat’s Omni-Wick sweatband draws moisture away from your skin and into the fabric where it spreads and evaporates quickly — keeping you cool and dry even when the sun is blazing.
The hat also has a mesh panel that runs around the sides and back. This helps to vent hot air away from your head (although it’s important to be aware that the mesh itself is not UPF protected). Other highlights include an adjustable chin strap for securing the hat on windy days and a toggle at the back for achieving a customized fit. We particularly like the Bora Bora II’s packability. Simply fold it flat and tuck it into a jacket or backpack pocket whenever you’re not using it. Colors range from traditional fossil (khaki) to high-visibility raw honey (yellow).
Best Budget: Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat
The Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat retails for less than $20 — making it considerably cheaper than the top-of-the-line hats on this list. Despite its low cost, it is a quality option for anyone with limited cash to spare (or as a backup for your primary hat on remote expeditions). It’s made from 100 percent polyester and is lightweight, quick-drying and comfortable to wear. Whether you fold it, roll it, or pack it completely flat, it will still look good when you reach your destination.
Most importantly, the hat has a wide brim and UPF 50+ sun protection. A mesh strip around the crown provides effective ventilation in hot weather and the drawstring chin strap saves it from flying off on windy days. This hat is one-size-fits-all but has a bungee cord for adjusting the fit around your head. Twelve colors allow you to match it to the rest of your hiking gear, whether you’re a fan of traditional dark khaki or like to turn heads with shades like rose red or bright orange.
Best Sun Protection: Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
Anyone planning on spending extended periods of time in the sun (or with particularly fair skin) will benefit from the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat’s increased coverage. Like the others on this list, it offers UPF 50+ protection. It also pairs its 3/4-inch reverse clamshell brim with a six-inch neck cape to stop the back of your neck from burning — no matter what angle the sun is shining from. The mesh ventilation strip on the hat’s crown also boasts a UPF 50+ rating, while reflective detailing on the sides provides after-dark visibility.
Other notable features include a moisture-wicking sweatband, a buckle at the back of the hat for adjusting the fit and integrated sleeves that keep your sunglasses secure when they’re on top of your head. The hat’s nylon and polyester blend is both water and stain resistant, and the slim silhouette makes it a more stylish choice than most other neck cape hats. The brim folds in half for compact packing. Choose from a range of colors including jade, pumice (light gray) and cinder (dark gray).
Need some more help finding what you’re looking for? Read through our best sun hats article.
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Best Anti-Bug: UShake Mosquito Head Net Hat
Loved for its clever design and affordable price-tag, the UShake Mosquito Head Net Hat is the answer for anyone hiking in insect-infected territory (whether you’re heading to malarial Africa or keeping black flies at bay in Alaska). A snap-closure compartment in between the brim and the crown conceals a full-head polyester mesh mosquito net. It measures 13.4 inches in length and has a toggle closure at the bottom to keep insects from flying inside. Despite its tight weave, the net is cool and well ventilated.
When you don’t need the net, tuck it away and use the hat to keep the sun off. It has a large, 360 degrees brim and is UPF 50+ certified, while the 100 percent nylon fabric dries quickly if you’re caught in a tropical downpour. Tighten the drawstring chin strap to keep the hat in place. It comes in green, dark gray or khaki and is meant to fit head circumferences of 22.8 to 23.3 inches. A 12-month guarantee promises a full refund if you have any issues within the first year.
Best Style (Men): Dorfman Pacific Men’s Outback Hat
For outdoorsmen who count Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee amongst their style icons, the Dorfman Pacific Men’s Outback Hat is a sure winner. It’s 52 percent cotton for great breathability and 48 percent polyester for increased strength and tear-resistance. Available in weathered brown or black, the hat’s rugged appearance adds to its handsomeness while the broad rim is instantly shapeable — allowing you to create a variety of different looks that will take you from backwoods to bar without missing a beat.
The hat is as practical as it is fashionable — it’s really an all-weather, all-season workhorse capable of protecting you from sun, wind, and rain. It offers UPF 50+ protection, has a moisture-wicking browband and lining and an adjustable chin strap. Unlike many hiking hats, the Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat doesn’t rely on a toggle or buckle to adjust the fit. Instead, it comes in six specifically tailored sizes ranging from small to extra, extra, extra large. If you’re planning on doing most of your hiking in hot climates, bear in mind that it lacks ventilation panels.
Shop for more men’s hats with our guide to the best men’s beanies.
Best Style (Women): Columbia Women’s Global Adventure Packable Hat
Ladies who are looking for a hiking hat that won’t cramp their style will love the Columbia Women’s Global Adventure Packable Hat. Made of woven paper and polyester, it resembles a classic, wide-brimmed, straw sun hat and adds a touch of timeless elegance to your expedition outfit. We love that the brim is stiff enough not to droop but can still be packed easily into your carry-on or backpack. Whether you pack it flat or fold it, it quickly regains its original shape.
There are four beautiful colors to choose from: nocturnal (navy), white, straw or wineberry. All of them are complemented by faux leather detailing around the base of the crown and a faux leather chin strap complete with a wooden bead for tightening it on windy days. The hat combines its attractive appearance with Columbia hallmarks such as Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection and an Omni-Wick sweatband.
Although it’s not waterproof, the hat dries well if you get caught out in the rain. There are two available sizes — small/medium and large/extra large.
Best Cold Weather: Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie
Cold-weather hikers will want to ditch the above entries in favor of a warmer option like the Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie. It’s made from 100 percent merino wool, a textile famous for its softness, breathability, and lightness. It’s also incredibly warm — so much so that this beanie only requires two thin layers to keep you toasty in subzero conditions. When a challenging trail has you sweating despite the cold, the beanie’s moisture-wicking, anti-microbial properties keep you dry and odor-free.
UPF 50+ protection prevents your head from getting burned when the sun shines (although the hat’s lack of a brim means you’ll still need to apply sunscreen to your face and neck). One size fits ,all and the simple design suits both men and women. Unroll the single cuff for a different look or for added coverage in inclement weather. There are 11 stylish colors to choose from, including charcoal gray, radiant violent, emerald green and navy.
Still can’t decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best winter hats can help you find what you’re looking for.