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On those sunny warm days, a quality sun hat is an effective way protect your head, neck and face from the harmful rays. There are many different styles and designs – ranging from classic ball caps and straw hats, to safari-style floppy hats and fishing headgear. Whether you’re out on the water, doing yardwork, hiking or attending other outdoor events, these sun hats are a useful accessory to have.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Siggi Summer Bill Flap Cap
If you’re headed to the sand to catch some rays and want to do so in style, the Siggi Summer Bill Flap Cap is for you. The wide-brimmed floppy hat extends down past the neck for dual protection from the sun and has an adjustable (or removable) neck cord to keep the hat in place. The interior brim features polka-dotted patterns, the back as a fashionable oversized bow and there's a small opening as well that allows room for pony tails or larger hair styles. In addition to navy, the hat comes in a variety of other colors and patterns such as pale pink, aquamarine and black.
Best Beach Hat: Sun Blocker Unisex Outdoor Sun Protection
With a maximum of 50UPF protection from the sun and an affordable price tag, it’s no wonder that the Sunblocker floppy safari-style hat is a prime beach hat choice. The design features a much wider brim than some of its competition – adding protection on the shoulders. The unisex hat is made entirely of nylon – making it water, stain, and rip-resistant and can be rolled or folded into a backpack or purse. Two mesh sides allow for ventilation and sweat bands help to absorb moisture, while the oversized flap protects the neck. The hat comes in six different earth-toned colors. Note that it runs slightly large (24-inch head circumference).
Best Budget: HindaWi Sun Hats
For a foldable and affordable sun hat that will pack nicely into your suitcase or carry-on but still provide a sense of style and most importantly – sun protection – the HindaWi Visor is a great budget-friendly option. Available in eight different colors ranging from gray or khaki to purple and sky blue, the underside of the visor has a colorful floral pattern for an added splash of fun. Unlike most visors that leave the majority of the top of the head exposed, the HindiWI only has an opening at the rear of the hat (to allow a ponytail through) with Velcro closure and has an extra-long brim that measures 4.7 inches for maximum protection.
Best for Hiking: Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats
Columbia is known for making a variety of quality outdoor clothing and products and the Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats are yet another example. Made entirely of water- and rip-resistant nylon, these brimmed sun hats are perfect for hiking, camping or any long periods of time spent outdoors. The floppy-brimmed hat adds up to 50UPF protection to the ears, face and head, folds up for easy storage, and comes in navy blue, cream white and gray. An adjustable chin strap keeps the hat from slipping off, while a built-in mesh sweat band adds ventilation. Although the hat is not particularly stylish, it is extremely functional.
Best for Water Activities: SHINE HAI Fishing Protection Hat
If you’re spending time out on the water, the sun’s reflection is even more intense and the SHINE HAI Fishing Protection Hat is a must. Whether boating, kayaking or fishing, the hat will protect your neck, face, ears and head from the sun. The hat has a breathable face and neck flap to protect from both sun and wind, while the top has sweat-absorbing mesh to help keep you cool, but quickly dries. An adjustable neck strap helps hold the hat in place during windy days and the neck and face flaps are attached using Velcro and can be removed. The lightweight hat folds up to pack easily into backpacks.
Wide Brimmed Straw Hat: Super Lifeguard Summer Safari
For an organic look, the Super Lifeguard Summer Safari is a classic, straw-brimmed hat that provides maximum protection to the face and head. The unisex hat has an extremely large five-inch brim with an elastic sweat band on the inside and a cotton chin strap to hold it in place (but no interior ventilation besides the natural spaces between the straw). The lifeguard hat works well if you’re out on the lawnmower, in the garden, at the beach, festivals or for those who frequently work outdoors. However, the large brim means it isn’t ideal in high winds and the design makes it difficult to travel with.
Best Long Bill Baseball: Ellewin Baseball Cap Quick Dry Mesh Back
If you’re actively walking, biking or jogging in the sun or just prefer a long-billed baseball cap, the Ellewin Quick Dry Cap is simple and affordable. The cap is very lightweight and features a thee-panel bill, an unstructured mesh crown for breathability and quick drying material that absorbs sweat. The foldable unisex hat travels easily by tucking into a glove compartment or backpack and comes in more than 20 colors ranging from black and beige to pink and light blue. It is available with or without the mesh. The material offers 50UPF sun block protection to the head and face, however, your neck remains exposed to the sunlight.
Best for Style: Panama Jack Men’s Sun Hat
While most sun hats are functional in protecting UV rays, they aren’t particularly stylish, however, the Panama Jack Men’s Sun Hat is a shining exception and a classic favorite.The hat has a 2 3/8-inch brim (so a tad smaller than some of the safari-style options), but the material maintains UPF50 solar protection. The cotton hat has metal grommets for ventilation and a fashionable buckle around the crown. It's well-constructed with quality stitching and durable material. However, it's important to note that the hat cannot be folded or bent, so be careful when packing it for trips.
Products We Tested
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent nine hours testing a top-rated sun hat. To get the most thorough feedback, our testers made sure to wear it on the brightest, sunniest days. We had them consider its most important features — from its material to how effective it was at blocking sunlight. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Sun Hat
Activity When choosing a sun hat, think about what you’ll be doing while you’re wearing it. If you’re out on the water, you’ll want a hat that protects your ears and neck from the reflective waves. If you’re just heading out for a jog, keep an eye out for a long-bill, baseball-style cap with a visor to protect your face, a secure fit, and an outlet for pulled-back hair.
Hairstyle It sounds like a silly consideration, but anyone with long hair knows that wearing it down in the summer is unbearable. Keep an eye out for a hat that has an outlet for a ponytail. (Luckily, a few great picks on our list have just that!)
Price No hat is worth spending a fortune on, but it’s better to pay a little more for a hat that you feel comfortable and confident in than to buy a cheaper hat you won’t wind up wearing. Find one that works for your lifestyle and you’re all but guaranteed to make sun protection a daily habit.
Test Results: Siggi Summer Bill Flap Cap (Best Overall)
What We Like
Effective at protecting you from sun
What We Don't Like
According to our testers, this hat does exactly what it promises: protects you from the sun. “My face, the back of my neck, some of the front of my neck, my ears, and my inner shoulders were completely blocked from the sun,” explained one reviewer. “I didn't even feel like I needed to put sunblock on my face.” This hat was also comfortable, with one reviewer describing the fabric as “pleasant to the touch — not rough or scratchy.” One thing our testers weren’t a fan of, however, was that the hat wrinkled easily and became floppy and flat with wear.