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Sun Hats

Top Picks

How we choose: The best sun hats highlighted here were selected based on 47 reviews of 33 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a sun hat that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Royal Robbins Bug Barrier Convertible Sun Hat

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Bug Barrier Convertible Sun Hat is a unisex sun hat, designed for outdoor activities where bug and sun protection are desired. It is a comfortable and lightweight hat that I have worn canoeing, camping, and hiking. It has a wide 4" brim, and is treated for insect repellency, and also has a 50+ UV sun protection value. A very positive feature is an integrated head net that can be tucked away alongside the crown when not in use. I have enjoyed using this hat, a change from my usual ball cap style, and feel it can be recommended for those looking for good sun protection while engaged in many different activities.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very comfortable and lightweight
  • Integrated bug head net
  • Good sun and bug protection (50+ UV protection)
  • Available in dark or light color

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can catch quite a bit of wind
  • Website does not provide sizing information

Introduction: The past six weeks have been the perfect time to test out this Royal Robbins Convertible Sun Hat! I have encountered record-breaking heat while camping, canoeing, and bird watching at home in Vermont and while visiting Colorado. The sun protection afforded by the large 4-inch brim has been appreciated, and on some of my buggier camping and paddling outings, I have relied on the integrated insect head net to protect me from carnivorous bugs. A Buggy Bog! Though I am a long-time aficionado of wearing ball caps while canoeing, hiking, and engaged in other outdoor pursuits, I am convinced that this Bug Barrier hat is well made, comfortable, and can be recommended for those seeking to avoid uncontrolled exposure to sun or bugs.

Read more: Royal Robbins Bug Barrier Convertible Sun Hat review (1)

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

The USPS creed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom…” may have been close, but they apparently weren’t referring to the Tilley LTM6, otherwise known as the Airflo Hat, when their proposition was adopted. It would have more closely resembled, “Bring on the blinding snow, drenching rain, and scorching heat…”

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable
  • Won't stretch
  • Guaranteed for life, 100% replaceable if it wears out!
  • Floats
  • Lightweight, 93g
  • Cool in warmer months, warm in cooler months
  • Hand-sewn and made in Canada
  • Blocks 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation

Reasons to Avoid

  • None, Zero, Zilch, Nada

The USPS creed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom…” may have been close, but they apparently weren’t referring to the Tilley LTM6, otherwise known as the Airflo Hat, when their proposition was adopted. It would have more closely resembled, “Bring on the blinding snow, drenching rain, and scorching heat…” I’ve respectively boasted upon many hats in my day; the Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat (Airflo) has outperformed each and every one! Cochise Stronghold Hiking Oak Creek Canyon, Bassett Peak Hiking Aravaipa Canyon Backpacking Aravaipa Canyon Backpacking Handcrafted in Canada, with “persnicketiness”, adds Tilley, of nylon, polyester mesh and polyethylene foam, this hat is designed to perform with outstanding results, or it...

Read more: Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat reviews (4)

Tilley LTM2 Airflow Hat

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The Tilley LTM2 provides the most sun protection of any hat I have owned, is extremely durable, water resistant, and very light and comfortable. It is expensive, does heat up a bit (Airflo works to a certain extent), and the wide brim doesn't work that well in wind or with a bug net. I expect to be wearing this on sunny trips for many years to come, backed up by the excellent Tilley lifetime guarantee.

Reasons to Buy

  • Broad brim provides maximum sun protection
  • Double-wire brim holds its shape
  • Water repellent
  • Comfortable
  • Long-lasting and guaranteed for life
  • Light (3.5 ounces)
  • Front and back cords for windy days
  • Floats if dropped in the river/lake
  • Washable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive
  • Airflo doesn't work as well as full mesh (duh!)
  • Sweatband can build up and wet cords
  • Brim can still bend slightly in high winds
  • "Secret" pocket not really useful to me
  • Wide brim doesn't work well with bug net
  • Looks a little goofy...or maybe that's me

My Scottish genes mean I burn easily so I can't begin to estimate the amount of sunscreen I have slathered on for backpacking trips over the years. I have migrated to long sleeve shirts, pants, and sun hats for a lot of my outdoor pursuits and now use them a lot for backpacking as well (supplemented by a small tube of sunscreen), except in midsummer forest trips where I go back to t-shirts and shorts. I finally splurged last year on a good sun hat—the legendary Tilley. I went for maximum protection with the LTM2 broad brim, and it didn't hurt that it had the venting Airflo design.

Read more: Tilley LTM2 Airflow Hat reviews (3)

Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

An all-around great hat for keeping the sun off my bald head and neck. Very comfortable, breathable, and lightweight.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfort
  • Wide brim coverage
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Highly packable without any damage

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sizing seems big. Recommend ordering a size down.

After many years of wearing ball caps, this summer I switched to a full-brim hat for summer hiking, canoeing, and other adventures. The main reason for the switch was because I was tired of lathering up my ears and neck with sunblock, only to get fried anyways. The OR Sombriolet has solved my issues and much more! (Very) leisurely paddling the Allegheny River. Fit and Comfort:I have a rather large head, measuring 24 1/4 inches or 61.6 cm or 7 3/4, depending on which measurement you use. I tried on the XL, because that is usually the size hat my head fits, but to my surprise, it was too big without liberally having to cinch it down.

Read more: Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat reviews (2)

Tilley T3 Cotton Duck Hat

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Don't be like me...get a T3! Quality and attention to detail throughout. Buy one excellent hat—instead of a cheap disposable one, every year.

Reasons to Buy

  • Tough canvas, high quality thread, cord and brass fittings
  • Well constructed
  • Time-proven design
  • Guaranteed, insured, registered
  • Multiple size options available

Reasons to Avoid

  • Style may not suit some
  • This may not be the best model, for your specific needs
  • Quality is reflected in the initial purchase price

Even as a younger man, I accepted the need for a hat in the mountains or on the trail. Sun protection reduced the risk of burning, or more serious skin ailments. It reduced fatigue and eye strain. A hat kept your head warmer, or cooled you down when you dunked it in a river, waterfall, or stream. I never packed an outdoor bag which didn't contain at least one hat...but I never, ever, spent proper money on a summer sun hat.   Tea is optional... Probably too late in the day, I recently bought a Tilley T3 and I really wish I'd done this 20 years ago.

Read more: Tilley T3 Cotton Duck Hat reviews (2)

Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

After trying on every hat in REI (I'm not a hat person), I decided on this one in khaki. It was pricey at $45 at the time I bought it. They are cheaper now. I think they are $24.95. At the time I needed a sun hat so I had to buy one that day. I ended up loving the hat and wear it on every sunny hike. It always is with me on every hike as well.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn't make my head sweat
  • Customized sing elastic cord built in the hat
  • Neck adjusting cord
  • Breathable

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

I bought this sun hat last summer. I don't wear hats, so just getting used to wearing a hat took a little while. I like the hat and it does come in handy on very hot sunny days. Sometimes I wear a thin scarf over my head and then wear the hat to keep neck from getting sunburned as well. I love that the hat has an elastic cinch strap built to customize fit around head.  This hat serves the purpose as far as sun hats go. I will be using it this season too. It is pretty well made and lightweight. 

Read more: Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat reviews (3)

Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

This is the enzyme-washed version of the legendary T3 hat. A little softer, a little broken in...ready for anything.

Reasons to Buy

  • Top quality materials
  • Natural fibres
  • Superb Canadian construction/build
  • Lifetime guarantee, which you will probably never need

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the thinnest,
  • -or lightest
  • Not inexpensive
  • Shape and style are personal

I bought a slightly smaller Tilley, for those colder, windy days when a snug fit is preferable to the extra comfort of a loose fit in the heat. I have already reviewed the wonderful T3 hat and the design is perfect for my needs, with its round crown and three-inch brim. The Wanderer is great for the days just after I've cut my hair—or for when I would be constantly adjusting the T3 to keep it on my head. The principal difference between the two styles is the finish. The Wanderer is a pre-aged version of the T3, inasmuch as it has been softened by the washing process.

Read more: Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat review (1)

Kavu Chillba

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Best rain and snow hat ever invented!!! The interior has a adjustable net which allows for ventilation or you can snug down if you want to retain heat. It is very waterproof and the exterior will shake off, unless you have been in heavy rain for over four hours, in which case it dries very fast. The huge diameter allows you to eat in the snow or rain keeping your lunch dry! The large diameter also allows downpours to run off away from the back of your coat, over the back of your pack (vs between you and your pack) or over the back of a Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair.

Read more: Kavu Chillba reviews (3)

Outdoor Research Nomad Sun Hat

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

A very solid option for warm weather treks and keeping the sun off your face. Generous vents and lightweight fabrics also make it a very cool option due to lots of air flow on top. I also like how robust the cord and cord lock are. Primary gripe is limited sizing options.

Reasons to Buy

  • Sun protection
  • Ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to keep secured

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sizing
  • Big vent holes = less sun protection?

The Outdoor Research Nomad is a hat made for sun protection and warm weather. It sports a three-inch brim, generous mesh ventilation panels, a cord and cord-lock to keep it from flying off your head, and only weighs about three ounces.  Outdoor Research says this hat is made from 60% recycled nylon, and that it’s water resistant, breathable, lightweight, wicking, quick to dry, and UPF 50+ sun protection. OR also touts its TransAction Headband (the headband is made from a soft, stretchy synthetic material).

Read more: Outdoor Research Nomad Sun Hat review (1)

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

With the wide brim all the way around and the back flap, constructed of UPF 50+ soft nylon fabric, with multiple sizings and an adjustable strap in the back to help it fit your specific head, and a chin-strap to keep it on, this is the most comfortable and functional sun hat for kayaking or canoeing, hiking or trekking, or even gardening or yard work, that I've found.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent UPF protection and coverage
  • Adjustable and comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not waterproof—buy the waterproof version if you're going to be in frequent downpours
  • Can get hot when hiking, even with the side vents

My dermatologist said that I needed to get a sun hat with a wide (3.5+ inch) brim and made of UPF protective fabric. The Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat fills that bill and it's comfortable enough to wear most of the time. I get hot when hiking, even with the cream-colored hat, so I have to take it off occasionally to vent, but soon it goes back on. I rarely take it off when kayaking or canoeing. The side vents seem to be enough to keep me comfortable on the water.  The fit is marvelous—multiple sizes allow a reasonably approximate fit, and then the adjustable strap in the back puts it just how I want it.  I've not had to fool with it since I set it up for my head.

Read more: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat reviews (2)

More Reviews of Sun Hats

Trailspace reviewers have shared 47 reviews of 33 different sun hats.

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Other Types of Hats & Headwear

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