According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. They go on to state that more than 2 people die of skin cancer every hour.
So whether you are going for a hike, hanging at the beach, or simply in the backyard gardening, a good sun hat provides adequate protection to both your head and neck from the sun’s dangerous UV rays.
In this guide, we will be reviewing a variety of sun hats, including the popular Columbia Bora Bora Booney II. Furthermore, we will also be going over key buying features and answering common questions about these hats.
In a Hurry? Our Top Picks
1. Best Overall: Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat
2. Best for Hiking: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
3. Best for the Beach: EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men
4. Best for Summer: ELLEWIN Men’s Summer Cap
5. Best Washable: Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
6. Best for Photographers: Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat
7. Best Lightweight Straw Hat: Brooklyn Surf Men’s Straw Hat
8. Best for Golf: Stetson Gambler Seagrass Outdoorsman Golfing Sun Hat
9. Best for Fishing: Rapiddominance Boonies Fishing Hat
In this table, we will compare the best sun hats against one another:
- Fabric: The material of the sun hat is important to consider. Some hats are made of straw, while others are made of a more breathable fabric like cotton.
- Colors: How many color options that you can select from. A sun hat should be a bright color so that it can reflect the sun’s rays.
- Blocks UV Rays: The UPF rating (if disclosed), or how well the hat will protect you from harmful UV rays.
- Best For: What we think the sun hat is best suited for.
- Adjustable: How, if possible, you can adjust the hat to better fit your head.
|Product||Fabric||Colors||UPF Rating||Best for||Adjustable|
|Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat||Nylon||15||UPF 50||Overall||Drawstring|
|Sunday Afternoons Adventure||Nylon||9||UPF 50||Hiking||Drawstring|
|EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men||Polyester||19||UPF 50||Beach||Drawstring|
|ELLEWIN Men’s Summer Cap||Polyester||8||UPF 50||Cap||Backstrap|
|Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat||Nylon||10||UPF 50||Washable||Drawstring|
|Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat||Nylon||10||UPF 50||Photographers||No|
|Brooklyn Surf Men’s Straw Hat||Other FIbers||1||Not Disclosed||Straw||Drawstring|
|Stetson Gambler Seagrass Outdoorsman Golfing Sun Hat||Straw||1||Not Disclosed||Golf||No|
|Rapiddominance Boonies Fishing Hat||Cotton||7||Not Disclosed||Fishing||No|
The Best Sun Hats for Men
|Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men's Sun Hat||Check Price|
Best for Hiking
|Sunday Afternoons Adventure||Check Price|
Best for the Beach
|EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men||Check Price|
|ELLEWIN Men’s Summer Cap||Check Price|
|Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat||Check Price|
Best for Photographers
|Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat||Check Price|
Best Straw Hat
|Brooklyn Surf Men's Straw Hat||Check Price|
Best for Golf
|Stetson Gambler Seagrass Outdoorsman Golfing Sun Hat||Check Price|
Best for Fishing
|Rapiddominance Boonies Fishing Hat||Check Price|
1. Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat
The most popular is also one of the best, and that will be the Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat. From the medium width brim to the poly sweatband, Colombia nails all the details perfectly:
Whether you are hiking, mountain biking, playing water sports, or simply lounging at the beach, the Bora Bora is equipped to handle just about any environment or activity. Made from polyester and nylon fabric, this naturally moisture-wicking fabric will dry quickly while providing adequate UV protection.
While synthetic fabrics are great at wicking moisture away from the skin, they do lack when it comes to ventilation. In order to prevent your head from overheating, the Bora Bora smartly has a large vent that wraps around 75% of the hat to keep you nice and cool.
In order to prevent the hat from flying off, Columbia also conveniently includes a chin cord that can be pulled to your preferred tightness.
Other Important Features:
- Comes in 5 different color variations
- Adjustable fit thanks to the drawcord on the back
- Nylon shell should last a lifetime thanks to increased durability
- Perfect hat for the sun
- Ventilation on the side and back keep you cool
- UPF 50 rating
- Not the best pick if you need to dress up
2. Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
When it comes to reviewing hiking hats, there is simply no better option than the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat. Made for the trails; this lightweight hat features lots of little details that make it a favorite among hikers.
When it comes to breathability, the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat has strategically placed mesh panels around the crown that allows air to flow in to keep sweat from building up when the trail gets strenuous.
Beyond the mesh panels, the adventure hat also has a neck cape that provides full coverage to the back of your head. But what’s nice about the cape is that it can be easily hooked up to the hat to increase breathability when you are hiking in shaded woods or simply getting a bit too warm.
When reading the reviews from other hikers, people loved this hat for many reasons and had one of the highest average review ratings across several retailers, including Amazon, REI Co-Op, Backcountry, and more.
While we think that the Adventure Hat reviewed here is a better pick, some men may want to opt for the alternative Ultra Adventure Hat. That hat features a clamshell folding brim, sunglass lock, neck flap, and a reflective coating for high visibility. No matter which hat you decide to go with, both are great options for the trail.
Other Important Features:
- Adjustable buckle to fit just about all head circumferences
- The polyester fabric allows for a stain-resistant and water-repellent finish
- Works well in all sorts of weather conditions
- Available in 11 different colors
- Foam padding core makes it float in water
- The cinch cord ensures it doesn’t blow off your head
- The neck flap is adjustable and offers full coverage
- The foam core can float if it becomes submerged
- Not the most flattering design for other uses
3. EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men
If you plan on heading to the beach, then you need to get a sun hat that has a wider brim that provides a greater level of protection. With a 3.8″ average brim width, the EINSKEY beach hat is perfect to wear when at the beach.
Unlike cotton hats that begin to sag and lose their structure as soon as they get wet, the EINSKEY hat was made for the water and the beach. When wet, the water on the brim of the hat will bead up and roll off – making it a great hat to wear in the water as well.
Thanks to the drawstring closure and the rear adjustable drawstring around the top, the hat will stay secured to your head and won’t blow away with a sudden gust of wind due to the large brim.
Able to be folded in half for quick storage, the EINSKEY takes up very little space in your suitcase, making it great to take with you on a tropical vacation.
While we think that this summer hat is perfect for the beach, many other men have found it a perfect pick for a wide variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, and more.
Other Important Features:
- Won’t droop in rainy weather
- Protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays
- Mesh panels allow for cool ventilation
- Straps ensure a secure and close fit
- Nice detailed stitching throughout the entire construction of the hat
- The water-repellent coating should resist stains
- Unisex for both men and women
- Lightweight design
- The secure fit will prevent it from blowing off
- Limited color options
- Hand wash only
4. ELLEWIN Men’s Summer Cap
This cap not only provides great protection from the sun but is also extremely versatile and breathable. Able to have a flap buttoned onto the back of the hat and the front, you can get full coverage for your head when outside for extended periods.
Made from a super lightweight mesh, the breathable mesh face and neck cover are great for those men who want more comprehensive coverage for their skin.
When heading out into the woods, the weight of your gear is important. While some men weigh items down to the grams (this hat weighs a reportedly 61 grams), the small and unobtrusive size makes it easy to fit in the side of your backpack if necessary. The foldable brim allows you to store this hat in your back pocket easily.
With vents on the entire side of the hat, hair is able to flow into the top of the cap allowing you to be both cool and comfortable. If you are wearing the cap with the attached back and front mesh, you will be happy to learn that the fabric has several holes for ventilation in order to allow air to flow freely.
Other Important Features:
- Blocks the sun’s harmful rays from every angle
- Comes with a windproof strap for security
- Cap is foldable and crushable
- Has a nice bit of stretch in the material in order to provide a close fit
- Slide buckle back closure
- Sweatband lined on the interior
- Foldable brim makes for a compact size when traveling
- Great for all sorts of outdoor activities
- Can’t really be worn with nice attire
6. Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
When it comes to reviewing hats for the sun, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet hat is a simple-get-the-job-done type of hat. With a wide brim and made from synthetic materials, it can withstand harsh elements when outside for extended periods.
Whether you sweat profusely or you want to make sure that the hat retains its shape after a sudden downpour, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat shouldn’t falter at all. Made from a blend of synthetic materials (86% ripstop nylon and 14% polyester), it will naturally wick moisture away from both your head and face to keep you comfortable.
Unlike other synthetic fabrics that hand wash only, thanks to the reliance on ripstop nylon, you can place this into the washer to remove any sweat rings that may show up on the surface.
While other sun hats we reviewed will have large side panels that allow air to flow easily around your head to keep you cool, Outdoor Research took a different approach with the hat design of the Sombriolet Sun Hat. Here they have small side vents on the side of the hat that should allow for heat to escape.
Other Important Features:
- Foam brim allows it to float in the water should it fly off
- Secured to your head by a drawcord that is adjustable
- Easily packable and crushable so you can always take it with you
- The brim is 3″ in width
- UPF 50 sun rating protects against harmful UV radiation
- Simple, yet modern design
- Moderately priced
- No brim wire makes it washable
- A bit pricey
6. Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat
Whether you are shooting sports scenes, landscapes, city streets, or on a safari and want to capture fast-moving wildlife, the Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat is a photographer’s unsung hero. Here’s why:
Unlike a traditional ball cap that you need to quickly turn around or take off in order to snap a quick picture, the Tilley Airflow Bucket Sun Hat has a flexible brim that makes it incredibly easy to take a look into the viewfinder when snapping a pic. Whether you have a flash mounted on the top of the camera body or are shooting in portrait orientation, the fumbling over a stiff brimmed wool cap will be a thing of the past.
But what is nice about the brim on the Airflow Bucket Sun Hat is that it’s not all droopy like traditional bucket hats. Instead, it’s got enough stiffness to both shade your face and protect your skin when you are out shooting subjects all day long.
With a classic fedora-like design of all the sun hats we reviewed, this is definitely one of the most stylish options out there. But not only is the style a borderline fashion statement, it is also expertly made.
Relying on a blend of nylon (95%) and spandex (5%), it will naturally repel water. Furthermore, the hat features Tilley’s proprietary hydrofil sweatband that will work to wick moisture away. A great little feature that will prevent sweat from dripping down your forehead and onto the camera body.
As for ventilation on this hat, Tilley went with the traditional oversized eyelets that are placed on the top of the hat.
Other Important Features:
- Double wind cords have a reflective yarn sewn in for high visibility in night
- Backed by a lifetime guarantee
- A secret pocket is woven into the hat to store a few valuables
- Will float if it falls into the water
- Brim won’t get in the way when using a DSLR
- Shade provides a clearer vision
- Stylish design allows it to be dressed up
- Won’t be able to fit into a camera bag
7. Brooklyn Surf Men’s Straw Hat
This thick straw hat from Brooklyn Surf is a perfect accessory to bring with you to the beach or music festival thanks to its low price, wide brim, and stylish design.
Unlike some of the other heavier hats out there that can cause a massive indentation around your head when worn for hours, the raffia straw fibers are both wide and lightweight, making this hat a joy to wear.
But unlike so many other large brim sun hats that are too unwieldy, most men find the 4.5″ brim on this hat large but not too big like a sombrero. Unlike the ladies with a floppy sun hat, the brim will remain rigid and won’t falter even if it is exposed to rain for an extended period.
The sweatband will work to absorb sweat and prevent it from dripping into your face. A great little feature whether you are at a multi-day music festival or simply gardening out in your backyard.
While the edge binding around the brim may be a small style detail that some men dislike, its function is critical. The edge binding helps to protect the raffia straw from fraying over time.
Other Important Features:
- A logoless option is available for men who like a more minimalist look
- The drawstring chin strap is adjustable
- Large brim sun hat provides great protection
- Summer staple
- A casual alternative to the Panama hat
- Not a packable hat like others reviewed
- Limited functionality
- One size fits most
8. Stetson Gambler Seagrass Outdoorsman Golfing Sun Hat
Truth be told, it was a toss-up between this hat and the Nike Golf Bucket Hat – both were great hats for sun protection. However, the style between both were worlds apart. Our recommendation here is that if you want a golf hat that is more about performance, then go with the Nike Golf Bucket Hat – it’s one of the best golf hats out there.
However, if you want a classic hat that reminds you of the legendary Greg Norman, then you simply can’t beat the Stetson Gambler Seagrass hat – here’s why:
Founded in 1865, Stetson makes a variety of hats, with their most popular being traditional cowboy hats. Drawing on a level of craftsmanship that not only sets trends but can last a lifetime, the Stetson Gambler is the perfect hat to wear when hitting the links.
Whether you are playing 18 holes with your buddies or working on your golf game by yourself, the Stetson Gambler will provide adequate protection from the sun to ensure that you don’t get burned on the top of your head, neck, or face. In order to provide this protection, instead of having an empty shell to the straw hat, Stetson has sewn a sun-blocking fabric into the top of the hat and brim.
Available in two sizes (Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large), the Stetson Gambler will fit securely onto just about any head size thanks to the stretch fabric that wraps around the inside of the hat. Given that this hat doesn’t come with a drawstring, you will want to make sure you follow the sizing chart provided by Stetson before making your purchase.
Other Important Features:
- A classy design that looks timeless compared to other golf bucket hats
- A leather band around the crown offers a nice touch
- Available in two sizes
- Seagrass straw is lightweight and stylish
- Interior lining provides strong sun protection
- A great alternative to performance golf hats
- Not a rain hat nor any water repellent properties
- Can’t store it in your golf bag
Rapiddominance Boonies Fishing Hat
While many fishermen may prefer the Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat for coverage, there is no denying the functionality and comfort found in the Rapiddominance Boonies fishing hat. A classic fishing bucking hat that has large loops around the crown that allows for you to attach on some lures for decoration (or function if you prefer).
Relying on a 100% cotton fabric body, this hat is both breathable and much softer, thanks to the natural fiber. Now we don’t recommend hiking in this hat or doing any intense activities as the cotton will absorb rather than wick away the moisture.
In order to make sure that the hat doesn’t fall off your head while you are reeling in the big one, the adjustable chin strap can be pulled up to provide a more secure fit.
While the brim on this hat isn’t nearly as wide as some of the others reviewed, the Rapiddominance Boonies fishing hat has a brim that is 2.5″ wide. It should work well for a fishing hat, but perhaps not ideal if you are at the beach.
Unlike so many other fishing hats that are often one size fits most, this fishing hat is available in 4 different sizes (SM-XL) along with 8 color options. Many of the colors on this hat are military or tactical inspired and come in various camo varieties.
Other Important Features:
- Flappy brim allows it to crush down and store easily into a small bag (great if hiking to a remote fishing location)
- Ventilation holes on the side to allow for increased airflow
- Most color and size options are priced under $20
- The hat is made from 100% cotton
- Outer loops for lure decoration or function
- Narrow brim limits utility outside of fishing
- No net to repel insects and mosquitoes
6 Tips for Buying a Sun Hat
Consider the following styles when making your selection:
- Bucket: With a wide brim around the entire hat, the bucket style provides complete protection from the sun.
- Cap: Like a simple baseball cap or snapback hat, a cap for sun protection has a hidden flap that you can pull down from inside to protect your neck.
- Flap: Designed for ultimate protection, the flap sun hat covers both the neck and face. This style is for deserts and other intense environments where sun exposure is prolonged.
Material is important when buying a sun hat. Take a moment to consider the following:
- Artificial: Manmade fabric such as polyester and nylon are both moisture-wicking and water-repellant. Synthetic fibers are washable.
- Natural Fabrics: These fabrics will be lightweight, breathable, and will feel more comfortable against your skin. However, natural fibers like cotton are not moisture-wicking, making them suitable for casual or light activity only.
- Straw: Often handwoven in South American countries, straw is lightweight and stylish. This material is excellent for pool parties or semi-formal outdoor gatherings. Unfortunately, straw does not travel well and shouldn’t be folded.
3. Hat & Brim Size
A larger brim (greater than 3″) is good for lounging or light activity as it is heavier and more likely to be caught by a sudden gust of wind. However, for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities, a more modest brim (less than 3″) can still provide adequate protection but not get in the way.
When buying a sun hat, go with a lighter color here. It’ll reflect the sun’s rays and keep you noticeably cooler.
5. Additional Features
While we covered many of the key considerations above, here are a few additional features to be mindful of:
- Ventilation: Better ventilation allows for lower temperatures inside the hat and ultimately less sweating and increased comfort.
- Waterproof: If you are hiking and find yourself in a sudden rainstorm, a waterproof-treated sun hat will allow the droplets to roll off the brim. This ensures that the structure of the hat remains and doesn’t droop down when wet.
- Earflaps: Foldable ear flaps, often found on cap-style sun hats, offer a little bit of extra protection to the sides of your head.
There is no definitive answer to this question as different materials and colors can block different levels of UV rays. However, generally speaking, darker colors and thicker materials are more effective at blocking UV rays than lighter colors and thinner materials. Additionally, tightly woven fabrics tend to be better at blocking UV rays than loosely woven fabrics. Therefore, it is important to consider both the color and the fabric when choosing a sun hat to ensure that you are getting the best possible UV protection.
Yes, sun hats are effective at protecting the head, face, and neck from the harmful effects of UV rays. However, it is important to choose a sun hat that is made from a material that blocks UV rays and is the right size to provide adequate coverage. Additionally, it is important to remember that a sun hat should not be the only form of protection against UV rays – it should be used in conjunction with other sun safety measures, such as sunscreen, to ensure the best possible protection.
You should wear a sun hat whenever you are outdoors and exposed to direct sunlight. This is especially important during the summer months when the UV rays are strongest. However, even during the winter months, it is important to protect your head, face, and neck from the sun.