Updated on

While it may not be the first thing you think about, a hat should always be present on the packing list for your hiking trip. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable and keeping your head and eyes protected from harsh sun rays or unexpected rainfall should always be a priority. The best hiking hats come in all shapes and sizes and they fit comfortably while offering maximum protection from the elements. Depending on where you plan to hike, you may choose a minimalist model similar to a baseball cap or a full coverage hat that offers 360 degrees of protection.

We’ve selected the best hiking hats for men so you can avoid applying multiple layers of sunscreen before your hike (but always make sure to use at least one layer of sunblock on your face before your hike!). Whether you are looking for a full-on nose to neck cover or something more fashion friendly, there is something here for you.

For more of our top hiking apparel recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Hats for Women

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Hats

  1. Tilley LTM6 Airflo
  2. Outdoor Research Swift Cap
  3. Columbia Mesh
  4. Tilley Airflo Medium Brim
  5. REI Co-op Screeline Cap
  6. KUHL Renegade Cap
  7. Outdoor Research Bugout
  8. REI Co-op Sahara Cape
  9. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure
  10. Patagonia Duckbill Cap

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Hat

PictureNameFabricStyleQuick DryingPriceRating
Tilley LTM6 AirfloNylonSun Hat/Safari HatYes$$$4.8
Outdoor Research Swift CapNylonBall CapYes$4.8
Columbia Mesh98% Polyester, 2% PolyurethaneBall CapNo$4.8
Tilley Airflo Medium BrimNylonSun HatYes$$$4.9
REI Co-op Screeline CapNylonBall CapYes$4.8
KUHL Renegade Cap95% Nylon, 5% SpandexBall CapYes$4.8
Outdoor Research BugoutNylonSun HatYes$$4.9
REI Co-op Sahara CapeMeshSun Hat/Safari HatYes$$4.9
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure78% Nylon, 22% PolyesterRain HatYes$$5.0
Patagonia Duckbill CapNylonBall CapYes$4.8
PictureNameFabricStyleQuick DryingPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Hats for Hiking

Tilley LTM6 Airflo

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Sun Hat/Safari Hat
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Great Durability
  • Easy To Dry And Machine Washable
  • Broad Rim

BEST FOR: FACING THE ELEMENTS

The Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat harbors a set of features useful for any outdoor situation you find yourself in. To start off, it offers nice protection against ultraviolet light. This, along with mesh on the crown, allows you to hike in the sun as long as you want without worrying about harmful rays or hot temperature. A soft band will take care of perspiration, and the wide brim of the hat will keep your face and neck in the shade. 

If you like boating, the LTM6 has something to offer as well. Its closed-cell foam will make it float on water so you can retrieve it if it happens to fall in. Under-the-chin cords will keep it on your head so the hat doesn’t fall off in the first place in case of windy conditions. And if you want sneaky security for your valuables, such as an ID or a few bucks, there’s even a hidden pocket in the crown where you can stash your cash!

Outdoor Research Swift Cap

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Ball Cap
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Rugged And Stylish
  • Comfortable And Breathable Mesh
  • Compact And Easy To Stow

BEST FOR: THE CASUAL RUNNER

The Outdoor Research Swift Cap is a ball cap that is sometimes compared to a tent. Why? For all the good reasons. With a 3-panel mesh, it is breathable and can wick away moisture so you feel fresh and comfortable. The additional three layers above the forehead and scalp area have rainfly properties to repel water and wind. As for sunlight, a 2.75-inch bill prevents it from scorching your skin. Plus, the fabric has useful UV protection of more than UPF 50. So it’s basically like a tent for your head!

Some people have small heads, and the Swift Cap accounts for that. An adjustable buckle back closure can be tightened so that everyone can find a fit that works. And if it gets dusty, the cap is easily washable and quick-drying for utmost convenience.

Columbia Mesh

Specs
  • Fabric: 98% Polyester, 2% Polyurethane
  • Style: Ball Cap
  • Quick Drying: No
Features
  • Ventilated Back Panel
  • Stylish Design
  • Great Secure Fit With Spandex

BEST FOR: ALL DAY HIKES

With its stretchy mesh, the Columbia Mesh ball cap is a great choice for long-distance hikes and full days on the dock or in the park. The secret of this performance is the FlexFit design that uses woven spandex for ventilation. Another material it uses is cotton, which is naturally a very breathable fabric. Plus, an ergonomic shape ensures comfort over a long time, as well as a great fit – even for people with big head circumferences. 

To top things off, this ball cap is also exceptionally stylish. Another popular feature of this cap is its long and curved bill that effectively shades your face from the sun and keeps the rain out of your eyes. Plus, this ball cap comes with all these fantastic features for an affordable price that can’t be beat!

Tilley Airflo Medium Brim

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Sun Hat
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Stain Resistant And Water Repellent
  • Great For All Weather Conditions
  • Comfortable Fit With Ventilation Panel

BEST FOR: THE ALL-ROUND TRAVELLER

Although similar to the Tilley LTM6 Airflo, the Tilley Airflo Medium Brim hat is geared more towards warm-weather hiking. It is lightweight and easy to take care of, which is great for the summer. A Hydrofil band is included in the design to wick away sweat, and a mesh insert supplies coolness around the crown. This hat is guaranteed to protect you against sun rays with its UPF 50+ rating. And in case the sun is not there, a water-repellent finish also wards off against showers and stains. 

Your valuables will also be safeguarded by a hidden pocket. Another small, but useful feature includes cords that keep the wind from snatching the hat off your head. And even if it does fly off and you’re in the middle of fishing, the hat will float on water instead of sinking.

REI Co-op Screeline Cap

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Ball Cap
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Foldable Design For Easy Packing
  • Floating Brim
  • Hoops To Hold Sunglasses In Place

BEST FOR: STYLE AND FUNCTIONALITY

The Screeline cap from REI Co-op combines comfort, convenience, and a military-esque style. It includes specific loops to hold your sunglasses in place so you can put them on when needed and forget about them at other times. An adjustable buckle strap also adds aesthetic points while letting you get the perfect fit for your head, big or small.

To keep your head cool, this cap uses an innovative solution other than your typical mesh – side vents. The cap’s brim even has a few vents to keep the air flowing. Plus, this hat will float on water, so you won’t lose it. It’s also easy to fold, so you can efficiently pack it up and take it on all your awesome adventures!

KUHL Renegade Cap

Specs
  • Fabric: 95% Nylon, 5% Spandex
  • Style: Ball Cap
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Quick And Easy One Hand Strap System
  • Great Texture And Feel
  • Good Anti-abrasion Protection

BEST FOR: THE NO-FRILLS MINIMALIST

Despite the simple looks, the KUHL Renegade cap offers the essentials of comfort for a hike. Its panels are made to tailor to your head from all sides, and with the help of a strap you can quickly perfect the fit. This is a cap you can wear both on the trails and in town because of its versatile shape – a flatter than most bill and not much height. It uses a durable water-repellent fabric that shields from rain and wicks away perspiration. 

To further the cap’s durable properties, it is made with an anti-abrasion fabric. Thus, you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear of the Renegade. Finally, it has a UPF 50+ rating – ready and able to protect you from the sun! All in all, the Renegade will not disappoint.

Outdoor Research Bugout

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Sun Hat
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Great Protection Against UV Rays
  • Mosquito/Insect Repellent
  • Side Mesh For Good Ventilation

BEST FOR: FIGHTING INSECTS

Buzzing and biting insects like mosquitoes and ticks could finally stop plaguing you on the trails with this innovative hat design! The Outdoor Research Bugout brim hat has an EPA-registered treatment that repels all those annoying creatures from your face and neck. 

Take note that this bug-repellent treatment works up to 70 washes, after which you’re on your own (but seriously, who washes their hat that many times anyway?). What will not wash out is the UPF 50+ sun protection, so you can keep wearing this hat to protect your head from the sun even if you do end up washing it obsessively. 

If you need coolness during a hot summer day, the Bugout has mesh side panels for breathability. Its brim is foam-stiffened so it shades your ears and neck, but also so it floats in water. You can go boating and swimming without worrying about losing your hat in the waves. And finally, chin cords are a classic addition to this brim style hat so high winds won’t steal it from you if you cinch it down tight.

REI Co-op Sahara Cape

Specs
  • Fabric: Mesh
  • Style: Sun Hat/Safari Hat
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Eco-friendly Materials
  • Cape Is Storable Under Crown
  • Adjustable Fit With Bungee At Back

BEST FOR: LONG WALKS IN THE SUN

The REI Co-op Sahara cape cap is a versatile solution to sunny conditions. For one, it has strong protection against sunlight, so you don’t have to worry about harmful UV rays. Also, this sun hat has a deployable cape that shields your ears and neck from sunburn. And when you don’t need the extra protection, you can easily tuck the cape under the crown of the hat. For those hot days when you need to cool off, you will appreciate the breathable vents on the sides. 

A polyester lining inside the hat also helps regulate your temperature by wicking away moisture. If you want a comfortable fit, it has a bungee on the back so you can dial it in just right. The army green color of the hat is great for fishing or hunting since it helps blend into the scenery.

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure

Specs
  • Fabric: 78% Nylon, 22% Polyester
  • Style: Rain Hat
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Eco-friendly Materials
  • Reflective Panels To Be Seen In The Dark
  • Keeps Cool With Breathable Mesh

BEST FOR: THE SUN AND THE TWILIGHT

Getting straight to business, the Sunday Afternoon Ultra Adventure storm hat is 100% waterproof thanks to its taped seams. And it doesn’t only keep external moisture out – it also repels internal moisture. A breathable fabric and mesh will wick away perspiration from your head and provide some coolness in the middle of a hot summer day. 

This hat will also protect your neck with its cape. The cape extends to a reverse-clamshell brim that is foldable so you can easily store it anywhere. As for smaller features, the hat has an adjustable strap and a chin cord – just like other hats on this list. However, the Ultra Adventure has unique reflective elements, so you can safely hike or bike in the dark.

Patagonia Duckbill Cap

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Style: Ball Cap
  • Quick Drying: Yes
Features
  • Moisture-wicking Band
  • Foldable And Compact Design
  • Excellent Heat Reduction Mesh

BEST FOR: PACKABILITY

If you are always on the go and like efficient things that don’t take up your space, then the Patagonia Duckbill cap might be worth your time. It uses an open tricot mesh that reflects and dissipates heat. Because of this mesh, the cap is easy to fold and pack – even into your pocket. And when you need it, it will bounce back into shape all ready to go. 

The cap’s bill is short, and while it won’t cover your face and ears, it is enough to cover your eyes and not obstruct your view. It is designed to give you full awareness of any overhead branches on your running path. The bill’s dark color further reduces glare for maximum comfort for your eyes. As per usual, the cap has a moisture-wicking band and a back buckle to adjust the fit.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A HIKING HAT

MATERIALS

Most hiking hats are built with synthetic materials that are lightweight and quick-drying. Nylon is the most common fabric available on the market, but hats are often made with a mix of more materials than just nylon. Mesh is useful for hiking in warm temperatures, as it allows for the air to pass through. Some hats come with a water repellent coating, helpful when the weather is unpredictable. Some brands state that their fabrics are “blue design approved” which refers to a certified sustainable production process.

 

SHAPE

Hats come in a variety of shapes. Traditional ball caps or sun hats are ideal when walking in mild temperatures, as only your eyes are protected. For full protection against sun rays, a rain hat is a better option, as it covers your ears and neck as well. Some hats also come with an integrated insect repellent, useful if you are hiking in humid environments where mosquitos are a threat.

 

UV PROTECTION

Hats with a wide brim will protect you from dangerous ultraviolet rays. UV light contains a level of radiation that can cause harm to the skin with over exposure. Hiking hats save you not only from direct UV rays, but also from the reflection that comes from sand, rocks, or snow.

 

PORTABILITY

When deciding on what to hear hiking, take portability into consideration. Big hiking hats are not as portable as one may think. With capes that reach the lower part of your neck, they can occupy a lot of precious space when stored. If packing light and small is a priority, opt for a hat that has a foldable design. This way, you can reduce the bulk to a minimum when you are not using the hat.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BRIM

That frontal visor of a hat that protects forehead and eyes from sun rays.

HYDROFIL

A water repellent substance, used in hats to wick moisture and sweat.

UPF RATING

A rating that measures to what level a fabric protects you from the sun. The UPF rating refers to the quantity of UV radiation that reaches the skin. Hat labels that state “UPF 50+” offer maximum protection.

UV RAYS

Ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. Overexposure to UV light can be harmful to the skin.

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

3K Shares
Tweet4
Pin3K
Share44
Email
Flip