The 12 Best Beach Hats of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Madewell Packable Mesa Straw Hat at Shopbop

"Streamlined and minimalist, but has that easygoing look we love."

Best Budget: Columbia Bora Bora Booney at Amazon

"An affordable hat that's great for hiking, gardening, or trips to tropical climates."

Best Straw: Furtalk Women’s Beach Hat at Amazon

"Is foldable for travel and comes with UPF 50 protection built in."

Best Fedora: Wallaroo Hat Company Victoria Hat at Amazon

"The poly-straw fedora has a three-inch brim to protect your body against the sun's rays."

Best Visor: Hat Attack Women’s Rollup Mini Visor at Bloomingdale's

"Its 360-degree band protects your neck, unlike other visors that only have a band in the back."

Best Bucket Hat: Hat Attack Washed Cotton Crusher at Amazon

"It’s lightweight and cool, which makes it perfect for everyday wear."

Best for Men: O’Neill Men’s Straw Lifeguard Sonoma Hat at Tillys

"Inside, a black liner helps wick sweat away from your eyes and forehead."

Best for Women: Sloggers Women’s Wide Brim Hat at Amazon

"It’s well-made and has a comfortable elastic band to keep it extra secure around your head."

Best for Kids: Sunday Afternoons Play Hat at Amazon

"Has a breakaway chin strap that will stay on when needed, or can be unbuckled if your kid trips."

Best for Babies: Brook + Bay Kids Sun Hat at Amazon

"Features a clever design that helps protect the sides of the face where the brim and flap meet."

Our Top Picks

01 of 12

Best Overall: Madewell Packable Mesa Straw Hat

Madewell Packable Mesa Straw Hat

Courtesy of Madewell 

You’ve heard of a little black dress, sure, but we never knew we needed a little black hat until we saw this one. Madewell is a go-to when it comes to stylish accessories, and their seasonal hat collections are both practical and chic. The much-loved brand’s Packable Mesa Straw hat is streamlined and minimalist, but has that easygoing look we love. We appreciate the black twist on the usual straw color, and it has a 3.5-inch brim that’s in line with the Skin Care Foundation recommendations to keep the delicate skin on your shoulders and neck protected.

02 of 12

Best Budget: Columbia Bora Bora Booney

If you’re after a well-priced, all-around hat for sun protection, it doesn’t get much better at the intersection of price point and practicality than Columbia’s Bora Bora Booney hat. It’s a great pick for hiking, gardening, or trips to tropical climates, thanks to a mesh breeze-inducing vent that keeps airflow going (the last thing you need on a hot day is more sweat, after all). It also is made from fabric that protects wearers against UVA and UVB rays. There’s an adjustable drawcord and toggle in the back too, so you can get it fitting perfectly before you head out. This hat is available in many different colors including navy, steel, beet, and sage.

03 of 12

Best Straw: Furtalk Women’s Beach Hat

Floppy straw sunhats have that chic, carefree look we love in a hat, and the somewhat oddly named Furtalk’s sunhat line is full of great styles. This Instagram-worthy sunhat is foldable for travel—or just throw it in the backseat of your car for your next adventure—and comes with UPF 50 protection built in. The back has a cute tie for a little extra jauntiness as well, and the chinstrap is removable, so you can add or subtract it as the wind dictates.

04 of 12

Best Fedora: Wallaroo Hat Company Victoria Hat

Wallaroo Hat Company is one of the brands recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as one of the best of the best when it comes to sun protection. The poly-straw fedora is designed with the foundation’s recommendation of a three-inch brim for protecting your neck and shoulders as well as your head, and has UPF 50+ exposure to help shield you against the sun’s rays. Whether you go for the traditional tan fedora or opt for one of the line’s other 10 colors, there’s one available to go with every outfit.

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05 of 12

Best Visor: Hat Attack Women’s Rollup Mini Visor

Hat Attack Women’s Rollup Mini Visor

 Courtesy of Bloomingdales

Hat Attack genuinely makes some of the best hats out there—they’re right at the intersection of practical, protective, and stylish—and while they might be a bit of a splurge, they’re worth it. The brand’s take on a visor is perfectly chic, with a 360-degree band so your neck stays protected, unlike with visors that only have a band in the back. We love that it gives you a way to rock that top knot while keeping your skin safe from the sun. It’s also packable, so feel free to throw it in your tote for a day out—it’ll spring right back into shape when you’re ready to wear it.

06 of 12

Best Bucket Hat: Hat Attack Washed Cotton Crusher

Bucket hats are back in a big way, and Hat Attack’s take on them is perfect for sunny summer days. This hat features a 3.5-inch down-turned brim to keep your face shaded in the hot sun. It’s made from 100% cotton, so it breathes easily in the heat, and nine colors give you plenty of options to wear with your favorite outfits. Wearers say it’s lightweight and cool, which makes it perfect for everyday wear, from the pool to the trail and back to the garden. One note, however: follow the spot cleaning instructions to avoid disappointment in the washer—some reviewers say it shrinks after a wash. 

07 of 12

Best for Men: O’Neill Men’s Straw Lifeguard Sonoma Hat

O’Neill Men’s Straw Lifeguard Sonoma Hat

 Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

With rugged looks and a lot of practical protection, this men’s straw lifeguard-style sun hat is a great all-around pick for long days in the sun. And surf brand O'Neill's definitely knows what they’re doing when it comes to great protective headwear. There’s a drawstring closure if you’re wearing it while hiking or fishing, and it’s made from 100 percent sea straw for an all-natural aesthetic. Inside, a black liner helps wick sweat away from your eyes and forehead—whether you’re lifeguarding or just taking a walk around the block. 

08 of 12

Best for Women: Sloggers Women’s Wide Brim Hat

With an appropriately wide brim and UPF 50+ sun protection built-in, Sloggers’ sun hats are great for staying protected while you’re gardening or taking an afternoon walk in the sun. It’s well-made and has a comfortable elastic band to keep it secure around your head. This women's sun hat also handily comes with a lanyard in case it’s windy out. Not windy or don’t love the look? Just tuck it up into the hat! One tip, however: this hat generally fits best on smaller heads. 

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09 of 12

Best for Kids: Sunday Afternoons Play Hat

In youthful shades of pink and purple, Sunday Afternoons’ play hat is perfect for, well, a sunny Sunday afternoon. It’s water- and stain-resistant, so this hat won't damage when touched by pretty much anything a kid can get into. It has great ventilation around the crown, although the size small doesn’t have mesh venting. There's also a breakaway chin strap that will stay on when needed, or can be unbuckled if there's going to be harm caused by a trip or snag. Of course, it’s made from UPF 50+ protection so tender skin stays protected, too. 

10 of 12

Best for Babies: Brook + Bay Kids Sun Hat

A chubby-cheeked baby tends to look particularly adorable in a sun hat, so it’s a good thing they serve a practical purpose too. Brook + Bay’s take is highly regarded for its protective design and comfort for little ones taking in their first warm weather days. It’s made with UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s rays, and it has a wide brim in front to shade the face, as well as a neck flap in the back and a chin strap to keep everything in place. What we like in particular is the clever design that helps protect the sides of the face where the brim and flap meet—a genius touch to keep little ones even safer. This hat comes in nine adorable colors and designs, including cars, light pink, animals, and royal blue.

11 of 12

Best Rancher Hat: Treasure & Bond Frayed Pattern Panama Hat

Treasure & Bond Frayed Pattern Panama Hat

Courtesy of Nordstroms 

Rancher styles, which often come in felted wool or other heavier materials, are popular for colder months but we love to use them during warmer months, too. This wide-brimmed Panama hat has a chic patterned brim that stretches out a whopping 4 inches for some serious sun protection. Plus, it features a geometric design and has a frayed trim to give a little extra style to your outfit.

12 of 12

Best Baseball Cap: Ellewin Basball Cap

Baseball caps are a go-to style addition to casual outfits, and Ellewin’s is loved by wearers for its sun protection and sporty style. It has UPF 50+ protection that’ll keep your skin and scalp shielded against the sun. There's also a three-panel bill that’s cleverly designed to be able to be folded up and stuffed in a tote bag, backpack, or pocket. The mesh around the sides of the hat helps the head breathe so you can stay comfortable after a few hours in the sun, and a flexible strap means it’ll never be too tight or too loose. 

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