As an avid hiker, I always pack a hat and sometimes two, depending on the type of hiking we will be doing. Being comfortable on the trail is key to an enjoyable experience. Sunglasses alone aren’t always enough. With over 57.9 million hikers in the US (31% women for 17.9 million) per the National Park Service, it is important to get the right gear.
Why Are Hiking Hats Important?
Hiking hats are essential for several reasons. They can protect you from the sun, rain, wind, and other elements you may encounter on the trail. Hats also keep you cool and comfortable on the trail, and they can even improve your performance.
One of the main reasons to wear a hiking hat is to protect your head from the sun. The sun’s rays can cause sunburn, heatstroke, and other health problems. A wide-brim hat can help block the sun’s rays and keep your head cool. Blocking the sun’s rays is my first reason for wearing a hat.
If you’re hiking in wet weather, a hat can help to keep your head dry. A hat with waterproof or water-resistant fabric is a must in the rain, and the brim will keep it off your face. There have been numerous times on the trail when we have got caught in the rain and downpour.
A hiking hat can also help to keep you cool and comfortable. A hat with a breathable fabric will help to wick away sweat, and a brim will get the sun out of your face. A hat can also help to improve your performance by keeping you cool and comfortable.
If you’re planning on hiking, you should pack a hat. It’s an essential piece of gear that can keep you comfortable on the trail and protects against the elements.
Additional tips for choosing a hiking hat:
- Consider the climate you’ll be hiking in. If you’re hiking in hot weather, choose a hat with a wide brim and breathable fabric. If you’re hiking in cold weather, choose a hat with a warm, insulating material.
- Consider the activities you’ll be doing. If you’re doing a lot of sun exposure, choose a hat with a UPF rating 50+. If you’re doing a lot of strenuous activity, choose a lightweight and breathable hat.
- Consider your style. There are a variety of hiking hats available, so find a hat you love.
What Are The Best Hats for Hiking?
Following are nine hats that are great for hiking. You will see three Mission hats on the list. These hats are fabulous with their cooling technology—a game-changer on hot days. We own several on this list. These are some of the best, depending on what you are looking for in a hat.
Columbia Bora Booney
Stars: 4.6 (16.4k+ ratings)
You don’t have to be in Bora Bora to enjoy the benefits of this breathable, sweat-wicking headband, and sun-protecting hat.
BREATHABILITY: A high-tech, highly functional hat that features mesh venting for added breathability. The UPF 50 materials block harmful UVA and UVB rays.
ADJUSTABLE: An adjustable neck cord and adjustable sizing toggle at the back allow for tailored fitting. Columbia offers our Bora Bora Booney Hat in multiple colors. One size fits all.
Gear Top UPF 50+ Wide Brim
Stars: 4.5 (26.6k+ ratings)
COOL & VENTILATED: The only outdoor hiking hat you need! Keep cool & ventilated even on the hottest & most humid adventures! Adjustable drawstring ensures your cooling hat stays on without moving.
LIGHTWEIGHT: The only sunhats women need for any adventure! You can trust our sun hats to keep you heat protected. Lightweight & portable, you can easily fold & fit it into any purse, backpack, or carry bag.
QUICK DRYING: Leave it in the sun for a minute or two & it dries in no time! Designed for the outdoors – enjoy the elements without a worry with our quick-drying, windproof, & breathable. These are perfect fishing gifts for men.
Mission Cooling Bucket Hat UPF 50
Stars: 4.5 (22.8k+ ratings)
COOLS INSTANTLY – No matter what the weather throws at you, stay active longer with a refreshing MISSION Cooling Bucket Hat, now with 9 Sun Hat patterns!
COOLING ACTIVATION – When activated with water MISSION performance fabric cools up to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 1 minute! Activate quickly in 3 easy steps: Wet it, Wring it, and Wave it. This cooling boonie hat stays cool for up to 2 hours!
SUN PROTECTION – A 3” brim and UPF 50 fabric offers excellent sun protection for the face, ears, and neck. Your sunscreen will wash away, but you can always keep safe and cool under this shady sun hat!
Einskey Waterproof Sun Hat
Stars: 4.6 (28.9k+ ratings)
SUN PROTECTION & WATER REPELLENT: Wide brim 3.9 inches keeps your face and neck safe from harmful rays. Water repellent polyester material could prevent rainwater from seeping into your head.
COMFORABLE & BREATHABLE: The mesh panel design allows for moisture and heat to easily escape these hats. Built-in sweatband removes sweat from eyes and face.
PACKABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT: The bucket hat can be folded in half and easily carried inside your bags. A great choice for regular daily use and outdoor activities, especially like fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and gardening.
Hillman Super Wide Brim Hat UPF 50+
Stars: 4.3 (10.5k+ ratings)
FULL SUN PROTECTION – This large sun hat comes with 5.5” wide front/side floppy brim to protect you from all angles of the blazing sun. Also be used on rainy days. It is 50+ UPF for complete UV ray protection of your face, ears, and neck
STAY COOL: Our UV sun hat has mesh panels that span the entire circumference of your head, letting your head stay breathable and cool, even on the hottest and most humid days.
HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS & BREATHABLE: 100% Nylon will ensure efficient moisture wicking. It is lightweight, washable and quick drying, and water/stain resistant
Kastking Sol Armis UPF 50 Boonie Hat
Stars: 4.6 (8.9k+ ratings)
UPF 50 PROTECTION– The KastKing Sol Armis Boonie sun hat for men and women is rated UPF 50 to ensure you are protected from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Wear this UV Sun Protection hat as a beach hat, fishing hat, hiking hat, or safari hat.
COOL and COMFORTABLE– Lightweight, breathable material and vented mesh sides help boost air flow and make sure you are cool and dry on hot sunny days. We have also incorporated a moisture-wicking head band to keep sweat out of your eyes.
ADJUSTABLE FIT – This one-size-fits-all all hat can be adjusted with the elastic drawstring inside the headband and locked in place with the rear-mounted toggle button. An adjustable chin strap ensures your hat will not be lost on a windy day
Mission Cooling Performance Hat
Stars: 4.3 (12.6k+ ratings)
COOLING COMFORT TECHNOLOGY – Stay active longer even when the temperature rises with a cooling and invigorating MISSION Cooling Performance Hat!
GET OUTDOORS! – The perfect hot weather hat to keep your hair, sweat, and the sun out of your face! Wear it for Running, Sports, Gardening, Golf, Construction Work, Baseball, Hiking, Football, the Beach, Fishing on the Lake, or keeping you cooler for any summer work or play!
COOL OFF QUICKLY – When activated with water, MISSION performance fabric cools up to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 1 minute! Activate quickly in 3 easy steps: Wet it, Wring it out, and Wave it. This hat stays cool for up to 2 hours!
Calamus UPF 50 Boonie Sun Hat
Stars: 4.6 (3.3k+ ratings)
Key Features – UPF 50 Sun protection– Mesh venting promotes air flow – Light as a feather -Moisture wicking head band – Adjustable draw cord for a great fit – Adjustable chin strap.
UPF 50 Protection – The Calamus Boonie Sun Hat for men and women is rated UPF 50 to ensure you are protected from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Cool and Comfortable – We use lightweight, breathable material with vented mesh sides to help boost airflow. Helping to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable on those hot sunny days.
Moisture Wicking Headband – For extra comfort, the Calamus Boonie hat has a moisture-wicking material sewn into the headband. This helps to quickly absorb moisture and prevents sweat from distorting your vision or causing discomfort.
Mission Cooling Boonie Hat
Stars: 4.5 (3.4k+ ratings)
COOLING ENGINE DESIGN – The laser-perforated mesh panels in the crown maximize airflow and breathability to keep you cool and comfortable all day long. Combined with our HydroActive Cooling Fabric, this hat will feel like a fresh breeze!
COOLING ACTIVATION – When activated with water, MISSION performance fabric cools up to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 1 minute! Activate quickly in 3 easy steps: Wet it, Wring it, and Wave it. This boonie hat stays cool for up to 2 hours!
The importance of a reliable, durable, and comfortable hiking hat cannot be overstated. It is an essential gear that protects against harmful UV rays, intense heat, cold, or unexpected rain while enhancing your overall hiking experience. We take different ones with us depending on the type of hiking and conditions we will be hiking in.
With an array of features, styles, materials, and prices, the nine hats we’ve outlined in this article offer the best in class for 2023.
Each hat has unique attributes making it stand out in its own right. Remember, the best hiking hat fits well, meets your needs and preferences, and feels comfortable during outdoor adventures.
Here’s to safe and enjoyable hiking experiences in 2023 and beyond. Happy Hiking!