man wearing a white sailing hat and white T-shirt looks down

The Best Sailing Hats: Protect Yourself from the Sun and Wind

A true sailor knows that staying safe from sun and wind isn’t just nice- it can make or break your boating experience.

That’s why finding yourself the perfect sailing hat is non-negotiable. Whether it’s your first or 50th, use these guidelines to pick the best sailing hat for you. Here are the boxes that any hat you pick should check off:

A Wide Brim And UPF Rating

One of the best types of hats for sailing is a wide-brimmed hat with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) protection. Hats with a wide brim provide excellent coverage for your face, neck, and ears, shielding them from the harmful rays of the sun. But, not all wide-brimmed styles are the same. That’s why it’s essential to pick one with a UPF rating from a trustworthy organization, such as ARPANSAS. A UPF rating of 25+ is the best place to start. And for ultimate protection, pick a hat with a rating of UPF 50+. This will protect you from 99% of harmful UV rays.

Breathable and Lightweight

When choosing a hat for sailing, it's important to consider the materials used. Breathable and lightweight materials are ideal for keeping you comfortable on the water. Look for hats made from materials like hemp or recycled plastic bottles as they allow air to flow through and prevent overheating. These materials are also quick-drying, which is essential for staying comfortable in wet conditions. 

You can also look for styles that feature a small amount of mesh around the crown. This will allow for additional cooling while ensuring that your hat still offers quality sun protection. Just beware of sailing hats that are made entirely of mesh or see-through materials. They may feel great on your head, but chances are, they won’t protect you from dangerous UV rays.

Additionally, lightweight hats won't weigh you down or feel cumbersome while you're out on the boat. A hat that’s not on your head won’t protect you. So make sure it’s lightweight enough to wear all day long.

Adjustable Straps Or Chin Cords

When sailing, it's important to have a hat that stays securely in place, even in windy conditions. Look for hats that have adjustable straps or chin cords, as these will help keep your hat from blowing off in strong winds. These features allow you to customize the fit of the hat to ensure it stays snugly on your head. Whether you're racing or leisurely cruising, having a hat that stays put will provide you with peace of mind and allow you to fully enjoy your time on the water. Don't let the wind ruin your sailing experience - choose a hat with adjustable straps or chin cords to keep it securely in place.

Hats with a water-resistant or quick-drying feature

When sailing, it's important to choose a hat that can withstand the elements, including water. Look for hats that are made with water-resistant materials or have a quick-drying feature. This will ensure that your hat stays dry and comfortable, even if it gets wet from splashes or rain. Water-resistant hats are also great for protecting your head and face from the wind, as they will help to keep you warm and dry. With a water-resistant or quick-drying hat, you can focus on enjoying your time on the water without worrying about your hat getting soaked or taking a long time to dry. Hats made from recycled plastic bottles are great examples of this feature. Stay protected and comfortable with a hat that’s designed to withstand the challenges of sailing.

Bonus: Hats with a neck flap or cape for added sun protection

When spending long hours out on the water, it's important to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. Hats with a neck flap or cape are a great option for added sun protection. These hats provide coverage not only for your face and head but also for your neck and ears, which are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection. The neck flap or cape can be easily tucked away when not needed but can be pulled out and secured in place when the sun is at its strongest. This added protection will help prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin damage. Stay safe and stylish with a hat that offers both sun protection and a secure fit.

Our Picks For Best Sailing Hats

woman wearing a grey boating hat and a brown top smiles at the camera

Tarpon Springs Floating Sailing Hat

Can one hat check every box (plus some)? This one does. Made from durable, waterproof, and breathable recycled plastic, this hat features a wide brim and UPF 50+ rating for ultimate protection. In addition, the mesh crown detail will keep you sweat-free. Use the adjustable strap to keep your head covered in any weather. And, if this hat does happen to end up overboard, it’ll be easy to find. That’s right- it floats!


Man wearing a sailing hat with a neck flap and a blue long-sleeve shirt walks through a field of grass

Sun Shield Boater Hat

Looking for the best sun protection around? This is the hat for you. With all the benefits of recycled plastic bottle material, this high-quality hat will last for a trip around the Earth, and then some. It features UPF 50+ protection. And, while the wide brim covers your entire face, the stowable neck flap offers next-level coverage for the back of your neck. Never feel the pain of a fresh sunburn after a day on the water again.


Man wearing a recycled plastic fedora and printed button down sits next to a pond

Boat Yard Outdoor Fedora

Want a fresh take on a classic sailing style? This updated fedora is for you. With a slightly smaller, but still protective, brim, it’s a great pick for those with smaller heads. Fedoras are traditionally made from straw or raffia, which are fantastic materials. But, when you want top-notch water resistance, a different style is needed. That’s why this fedora is made entirely of recycled plastic bottles. It’s quick-drying and sweat-stain-resistant. So you’ll never have to worry about the waves again.

Ready for a hat that’s designed for your favorite activity? Shop our bestselling line of sailing hats.
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1 comment

How do I get the Size of my head.

William Phelan

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