man wearing a brown hiking hat and a flannel looks to the right.

Guide To Picking The Perfect Hiking Hat - Conner Hats

Taking a walk in the great outdoors can clear your mind and improve your mood. And bringing along a few essentials– like a hiking hat– can make the fresh air even sweeter.

When you head out into nature, there are a few things you shouldn’t leave home without. The 10 essentials are the basics that every hiker should have. And there’s just one item that’s a solution to two of the most common essentials at one time– a hat! Hats can offer fantastic sun protection, and they also act as an extra layer to cover you from rain, snow, and wind.

Since your hat will likely accompany you on many a trek, use these guidelines to find one that’s up to the task.


First, Determine The Features You Need

Think about what your trip will look like, then match your search criteria to what you will need. How many miles are you going to hike? What type of climate will you be hiking in? Will it be hot? Or do you need a hiking hat for winter? Will it be sunny? Could it rain? 

If your adventure includes sweltering conditions, nonstop sun, and lots of sweating, make sure to look for a hat that is lightweight, soakable, and water resistant. It’s also important to consider the materials and design. Keep your eyes peeled for hats with cotton sweatbands that can help wick sweat away. The best hiking hat for hot weather will be breathable and UV resistant. You’ll also want to make sure your hat has a wide brim and is UPF-rated.

Just like too much heat can encumber a nice day outside, so can frigid temperatures. If you are looking to hike in cooler conditions, consider a hiking hat that will keep your head warm. The material you choose can help. Look for materials that are made of cotton, leather, or wool. These will lock in heat and keep you warm. In cold weather, waterproof or water-resistant hats are still important, especially if it might snow. UV rays can also be strong in the winter, so make sure to pay attention to the UPF rating. 

Go For Durable Materials

Just like with your go-to hiking outfit, you need to think about the materials of your hat when you go out for a stroll. Hiking hats should be made of a material that will be able to withstand all the elements that you may encounter in the great outdoors. You’ll want a hat that’s resistant to stains, ripping, tearing, and fading. Some great options a recycled plastic, wool (which you can waterproof for added durability, leather, and weathered cotton.

Always Choose A Hiking Hat With UPF Sun Protection

UV rays can cause long-term damage to your skin. And, they also cause painful burns that ruin a fun day of hiking. So, when you’re choosing your hat, always make sure that it is UPF-rated to 25 or more.

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This measurement demonstrates how much UV radiation a fabric blocks from reaching your skin. For example, a UPF 50+ fabric blocks 98% of the sun’s rays. Hats that state “sun protection” but don’t have a UPF rating might not actually offer the protection you need. So choose one that’s backed by a credible organization.

For additional sun protection, look for a hiking hat with a neck flap or a wide brim. The extra fabric will provide more shade to protect your entire face and even the front and back of your neck.


Look For A Lightweight Hat

Every gram counts when you’re hiking, especially if you’re looking to go longer distances. With food, water, layers of clothing, and first aid supplies, weight can add up quickly. You don't want to be burdened by your choice of hiking hat. So, it’s important to find a lightweight option. You can typically discern a light hat based on the materials it is made of. Recycled plastic is a fantastic choice for a lightweight, durable material.

 However, if you’re looking for the best hiking hat for winter, you don’t want to choose the absolute lightest hat on the market. Instead, look for relatively light options that offer more warmth, like wool or weathered cotton.

Pick Comfort Above All Else

Nothing can get in the way of an adventure like an itchy or badly-fit hat. No matter what features the hat has, you have to make sure it’s right for you. It doesn't matter if you have an ultra-light, waterproof hiking hat in a style you love if it does not feel good on your head. So, go for a hat that works for you. The perfect hiking hat is one that you can wear for hours on end, without complaint.

3 Hiking Hats For Women

1. BC Hats Cool As a Breeze Australian Leather Hat

Built to last, this hat is a backcountry necessity. Made of leather, but featuring a mesh crown, this hat provides protection and airflow. Plus, it is handmade with a coil in the brim so no matter how rough you are with it, it will bounce back up and maintain its shape. This hiking hat for women  is a great accessory. 

2. Bounty Hunter Water Resistant Cotton Hat

This is one of those hiking hats for women that’ll never let you down. Made with hardworking weathered cotton, the Bounty Hunter is water-resistant, UPF 50+, and features a shapeable brim. From short strolls to long mountain adventures, this will help you through any experience.

3. Mt. Warning Boho Wool Hat

With a whimsical design and formidable features, this is your perfect winter hiking hat. The wool offers a 50+ UPF rating to keep the winter rays off your face. Plus, the cotton provides warmth and insulation on even the most chilly days. If you end up breaking a sweat anyways, the Mt. Warning Boho Hat has an organic cotton sweatband to soak up any moisture that might give you a chill. Plus the hat band design makes it a great hiking hat for women who want to make a subtle statement. 

The 3 Best Men’s Hiking Hats

1. Weathered Cotton Bucket Hat

Weathered cotton is a mix of cotton and polyester. It’s what gives this hat a rustic and leather-like look. Furthermore, you don't have to worry one bit about this hat surviving the elements– or the bottom of your backpack. The Weathered Cotton Bucket Hat is “crushable” and is as tough as it looks. As if it can get any better than that, this hat also has an organic cotton sweatband to wick all that sweat off your head before it drips into your eyes. This is the go-to hiking hat for men.

2. Sun Shield Recycled Boater Hat

Looking for the best sun protection on the planet and for the planet? Well, look no further. This hat is one of the best hiking hats for men. With a removable sun shield and a UFP of 40+, a sunburn will be the least of your worries. Plus, this hat, as its name suggests, is made of recycled water bottles and features an algae foam inner band. With low-impact materials like this, you can feel good about protecting the land you love to explore.

3. Banjo Paterson Wool Hat

Did you know that wool is water-resistant? With this hat, you get water protection, the highest UPF protection (50+), and a classic and sophisticated style for any occasion. Named after Australian naturalist and poet, Banjo Paterson, this hat is perfect for any adventurer and outdoor enthusiast. 

Still searching for your perfect trail companion? Explore our entire range of UPF-rated hiking hats.
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1 comment

Cotton is ideal for dry climates. For wet climates waterproofed canvas is good but non-waterproofed cotton is useless. Cotton absorbs water, that’s why it’s used for towels.
Polyester isn’t a great environmental choice but it’s lightweight, blocks UV and doesn’t absorb water. In dry heat cotton would be a lot better.
Leather is great for fashion, too heavy to be ideal if you don’t care about that.
Wool is a very good all around outdoor fabric provided it hasn’t had all the lanolin processed out of it.
My opinions only, and I only know my own climate (Pacific Northwest rainforests and mountains).

Bill Jackson

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