This is a gear review of the Best Sun Hats for Hiking and Backpacking in 2022.
Sun hats do the simple task of preventing the hot sun from hitting the skin. This not only prevents sunburn but assists in keeping you cooler on a hot day.
Using an ultralight hiking umbrella is a great idea for sun protection in the hot deserts but for most people you will need a wide brim sun hat.
In this article, I have reviewed the best hiking hats for backpacking and hiking on the market right now in 2022.
Best Hats For Hiking 2022
The Best Hats For Hiking 2022 are:
Best Hiking Hat – Overall
Weight: 2.6 oz / 74 grams
> Can be folded down, and stored away easily
> Full wide brim coverage of face and neck
> Sunglasses Lock on the brim
> Water and Sweat Resistant
> Brim Size could be a little bigger
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat gives you great coverage when out hiking. It has a four-inch foldable clamshell brim and a six-inch neck cape.
Your head, neck, and face will all be protected and covered by this hat. Despite the large amount of coverage this sun hat provides, some people feel they want an even bigger brim for more protection against the sun.
The brim is foldable and this sun hat is extremely easy to carry or store in your backpack when not in use.
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is made of a mixture of nylon and polyester. On the top of the head, you will find mesh panels, this allows your head to breathe while wearing the hat. Add to that a good moisture-wicking headband.
It also has the highest UPF rating of UPF 50+, so you know that this hat will keep you protected. Alongside this, it also has a lock that will keep your sunglasses in place on your head.
Overall, the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is one of the best sun protection hats for Hiking on the market right now.
Best Wide Brim Hiking Hat
> 100% recycled material.
> 11 different sizes to choose from
> There is a small, hidden pocket that allows you to store any small items.
> They are a bit pricey compared to other hats we have on our list, yet you are paying for quality that should last.
The Tilley LTM6 Airflo Broad Brim Sun Hat has been on hiking trails all around the world and is one of the most popular hiking hats on the market.
It uses an eco-friendly design that uses 100% recycled nylon with a polyurethane membrane. This hat has the highest UPF rating of UPF 50+ to prevent skin cancer, and has mesh inserts near the crown of the hat.
Alongside this, there is a small, hidden hook and loop pocket that you can use to store your small personal belongings. There is also a moisture-wicking headband, that helps keep your head cool.
The Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat is water-resistant and available in a large range of sizes; there are around 11 sizes to choose from. Therefore, there will be a hat to fit everyone who wants one. It also has a style that has a more compact design with a smaller brim, the LTM 5.
Overall, the Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat is one of the most popular hiking hats that has been used all around the world by many hikers.
Best Backpacking Headwear for Sun Protection
Weight: 2.8 oz / 79 grams
> The velcro strap on this hat allows for a better fit around your head.
> Neck Cape covers your entire neck
> Not the most stylish hat.
The Outdoor Research Sun Runner is a very protective and versatile hat to be worn for hiking. This hat is versatile. There is a removable neck cape that assists in protecting the neck and shoulders from excessive sun.
The Outdoor Research Sun Runner hat looks like a standard baseball cap, but the neck cape gives you better protection from the sun when needed. Even with the cape on, this is a very lightweight hat to wear.
Hiking with a cape looks a little strange to some people, but if you are looking for protection, then this hat could be for you.
It comes with a good-sized brim that wasn’t too big to restrict vision. A velcro strap on the back allows you to fit this cap nicely to your head.
Overall, the Outdoor Research Sun Runner is another very good baseball-style sun hat with a cape that provides great ultralight sun protection.
Best Hiking Cap for Backpacking
> Classic basketball-looking design
> A soft sweatband inside this cap quickly absorbs any sweat off your head
> Comes in one size that fit most people but very large and very small heads may not like the fit.
The Outdoor Research Swift Cap is a classic-looking cap that still helps protect your head from the sun. This kind of sun cap has been designed for runners and hikers who are moving quickly and lightly.
The sun cap is light to wear and airy. It is well suited as an ultralight backpacking sun hat.
The soft sweatband found inside the hat works well to absorb any sweat.
The shell of this hat has the highest UPF rating of UPF 50+, and the outer lining is made from 100% nylon.
It is very quick-drying and offers great protection from any UV light rays. The other lining you will notice on this hat is mesh, and this is what gives this hat its airy feel.
It helps make this hat breathable. The brim is also very stiff and slightly curved, which helps shield your face.
Overall, the Outdoor Research Swift Cap is one of the best hiking baseball caps on the market and a great ultralight sun hat.
Best Waterproof Sun Hat
Weight: 3.2 oz / 91 grams
> Can be used in all weather
> Waterproof Gore-Tex
> Good sun protection and rain protection
> Not as breathable as most of the other hats
The Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat is a waterproof sun hat, but it is not for everyone. The hat lacks some of the breathability and ventilation of many of the other hats in this review but when it rains, they perform quite well.
When heading out into rainy weather many of us like to use a hat to keep the rain out of our eyes and off our face. As a result we wear a hat underneath our rain jackets. As long as it is not too windy this waterproof rain hat will help with keeping your head dry.
Overall, the Outdoor Research Seattle Rain hat is a good waterproof rain hat for those that live in rainy areas and want to use the same hat in all weather.
Weight: 3 oz / 95 grams
> Great Sun Protection
> Breathable and good ventilation
> Good fit
> No sunglass strap like the ultra
The Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat is very similar to the Ultra but it has a slightly longer neck cape and a slightly wider brim than the ultra. But unlike the ultra, it is lacking the sunglass holder on the brim.
Made with water-resistant nylon and a UPF rating of 50+ there is a lot to like about this hat. But the lighter weight, sunglass straps, and better foldability of the ultra make it a better option for most people. There is also a good moisture-wicking headband on the Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat.
Overall, the Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat is a very popular sun hat that not only gives good sun protection but has good ventilation too.
> Comfortable and Breathable
> Foam Brim allows the hat to float
> Dark Grey Underside reduces glare
> Brim may lose shape after multiple washes
The Outdoor Research Sombriolet sun hat is comfortable to wear. The inner mesh design positions the crown of the hat, just above your head which allows warm air to escape. This is a breathable wide brim hat.
A cord keeps this hat secured to your head on those windy days. Also, the brim of this hat contains foams, which makes it floatable if you lose it in any water.
Overall, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet is a good option for someone wanting good sun protection and a durable hat.
> The inner headband, quickly removes any moisture from the skin into the fabric
> Mesh panels let cool air in and hot air out
> Good UV Protection
> Some people think this sun hat just looks plain and dull.
The Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat is another very popular hiking hat. Go for a hike anywhere in the world and you are sure to see someone wearing one of these hats. The Columbia Bora Bora Booney II uses 100% Nylon with a chin strap that can be used to secure this hat tightly to your head. The mesh vent panels allow any breeze to whip in and around your head, to help keep you cool.
Alongside this, the wide brim will protect you from the sun’s glare and block out all UV rays.
Overall, the Columbia Bora Bora Booney II is one of the best wide brim sun hats for great protection from sun.
> The brim is extra wide for more sun protection
> The cape will help you protect your neck and shoulders from the sun.
> Will float in water.
> The headband within the hat helps remove sweat and keeps you cool and dry.
> The appearance of this hat is very simple, and you can look a little strange with the cape down.
The REI Co-op Sahara Cape Hat is a great wide-brimmed sun hat for backpacking and hiking.
This sun hat does a good job of protecting your head, neck, and shoulders. It has a removable cape that gives added protection from the sun if needed.
Alongside this, mesh panels help to remove any unwanted heat that may build up from your head and the sun. There is also foam in the brim, that will keep it afloat if it makes contact with water.
Overall, the REI Co-op Sahara Cape Hat is another good wide brim sun hat best suited for hiking and backpacking.
More Hats for Hiking to Consider
- Patagonia Baggies Brimmer
- Patagonia P6 Logo LoPro Trucker Hat
- Outdoor Research Helios
- The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer
- Sunday Afternoons Havana
- Outdoor Research Oasis
Buying the right sun hat is important. The sun hat is going to protect you from the harsh UV rays from the sun and also do the job of keeping you cool.
This way your head will remain cool while wearing the sun hat, thus creating a more enjoyable hiking experience.
There are many features to consider when using a hiking hat such as:
- Ventilation and Breathability
- Width of the Brim
- Ear and neck coverings
- Fit / Sizing and Chin Strap
- Sun protection / UPF ratings
- Waterproof Hats
- Price and Value
Alongside this, you want a hat that is made from very light materials. Which will then make wearing the hat more comfortable. Almost all the materials used in backpacking hats are synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester.
You may notice that every hat in this collection has a dark gray underside. The reason for this is to absorb light and decrease any glare.
Ventilation and Breathability
Ventilation and breathability are two features that work hand in hand. There is nothing worse than wearing a hat that makes you feel hot and clammy. To prevent that many manufacturers use a material that is breathable to prevent sweat from building up. Some form of mesh is the most common breathable material but it also limits the sun protection and UPF protection that the hat will give.
While breathability is important it could be said that ventilation is more important. And this comes in as an important feature when the weather becomes a little more hot and humid. The air needs to circulate and remove the sweat and cool you down. Some simply pop a few holes on the top of the hat to assist with ventilation.
Width of the Brim
A good-sized brim should protect your face quite well. Most have a standard brim size of around 2 inches to 3 inches / 5cm – 8cm. Unless there is a separate legionnaire-style ear and neck covering then you need to think about your neck. It often gets overlooked and that’s where more people tend to get burnt.
Ear and Neck Covering
The first time I wore a hiking hat with a removable ear and neck covering I felt very unstylish. But I stayed cool and wasn’t sunburnt after hiking all day in a hot desert. In fact, if hiking in a desert I would recommend a hiking hat with an ear and neck covering. They are great for protection from the sun. When the neck and ear coverings are made with light and breathable material that provide maximum ventilation you will appreciate this feature.
Fit / Size / Chin Straps
We all have different-sized heads and preferences for how a hiking hat will fit. Many of the hats in this review are not only unisex but adjustable to fit different size heads. Drawstrings are used as chin straps on some of the hats to prevent the hat from coming off your head in strong wind.
Sun Protection / UPF Rating
A good sun hat will protect you from those harsh UV rays, which will prevent you from sunburn and sunstroke. Most are rated above UPF rating 50+.
All the ultralight hiking hats in this review are designed for either hiking or adventure spots and are lightweight. The heaviest hiking hats in this review are still under 4 ounces / 110 grams but most a quite a bit lighter than that.
Compact / Packable
You will not be wearing your hiking hat all day when out on the trails so how does it function after it has been stuffed into your backpack for a day and then you remove it and find that it
When not using your hiking hat it should be able to be stored in such a way that it will not crumple the such a way that it is no longer functional. As a result, all hiking hats should be able to be crunched into a small size and able to be unpacked and usable right away. When you no longer need your hat, can you throw it into your backpack and push it into a small corner of your pack and still be able to take it out later and have the hat return to its original size and shape.
Most Sun Hats are more practical than stylish. The primary reason for wearing a hiking hat might be to protect you from the sun but if the sun hat doesn’t fit your style then you may not wear it that much. Many of the hats in this review are offered in several colors and several different styles. If you want a baseball cap style hat, legionnaire style sun hat, or a Panama style sun hat then you should find something in the review to fit your personal style.
Some hiking hats are not always the most durable items. When using thin and lightweight materials they are prone to holes. Add to that being covered in sweat, dirt, sunscreen, insect repellent and more will speed up the wear process. If you are anything like me you have lost count of how many times you have bumped your head on a low-hanging tree branch while wearing a hat. As a result hiking hats do not seem to last as long as they should. Keep this in mind when purchasing a hat.
Waterproof Hiking Hats are not very common or popular. The purpose is to keep the rain off your head but a wide brim can assist with keeping the rain off your neck and shoulders. A waterproof hat when used in conjunction with a good lightweight rain jacket can assist with keeping you dry in bad weather.
Price / Value
All the Hiking Hats in this list cost less than $100 with most being significantly less. Many of the best hiking hats cost around $30.
The best sun hats for hiking 2022 are:
Frequently Asked Questions
It may be surprising, but darker-colored sun hats are better than white or pastel-colored sun hats. This is because the darker colors absorb more of the UV rays, which then block the rays from touching your skin. But light or white colored hats reflect more sunlight which can make the hat cooler.
You want the hat to be snug on your head. You want the hat to be comfortable, yet quite secure on your head, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off your head if there is a breeze. The use of a strap can stop the hat from blowing off your head when it is windy.