Our guide to the best 15 Best Women’s Hiking Hats for Sun protection- 2021. Sunhats offer SPF protection against UV rays and also unexpected rainfalls.
Sunburn is no laughing matter, both in the hiking and backpacking world. What’s more, sunscreen isn’t enough, so a hiking hat is needed to offer maximum protection against UV rays.
The risk of skin cancer is real and not only do you need to apply sunscreen, protecting your skin from UV light when hiking will give you peace of mind.
You don’t just use protective hats for sunny weather. While they can come in handy for unexpected rainfalls, it also keeps your head dry.
There are tons of brands and models to choose from, and determining the right one is up to you. Most important, once you have your sun hat, you’ll need a good 3 season sleeping bag before heading into the backcountry.
Whether it’s a wide brim, straw hat, fishing hat, or baseball cap, we have them all. If you’re backpacking and need a good backpacking stove, then we have the latest here.
|Name Of Product||Style||Material||UPF||Weight||Best For||Price|
The Condor Performance Sun Hat
|Sun Hat||Polyester||50+||3.6oz||Hiking and Fishing||$74.50|
North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer
|Safari Hat||Polyester||40+||2.2oz||Sunny Camping, Thru-Hiking, Hiking, Backpacking, And Water Sports||$34.95|
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventures Hat
|Adventure Hat||Nylon and Polyester||50+||2.6oz||Backpacking And Thru-Hiking In The Sun||$32.01|
Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat
|Safari Hat||Nylon||50||3oz||Durability For Outdoor Activities, Hiking, And Backpacking||$83.90|
Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess
|Sun Hat||Nylon and Polyester||50+||2.6oz||Camping||$95.51|
Outdoor Research Women’s Oasis Sombrero Sun Hat
|Safari Hat||Nylon||50||3.2oz||Hiking and Paddling||$40.07|
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
|Sun Hat||Nylon and Polyester||50||50||Hiking and Paddling||$41.95|
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
|Adventure Hat||Nylon||50+||3oz||Water Sports, Backpacking, Hiking, And Camping||$38.00|
Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney
|Safari Hat||Nylon||50+||2oz||Low Budget Hiking||$49.99|
Tilley Wanderer Hat
|Safari Hat||Cotton||50||5oz||Hiking in Rain||$85.00|
Outdoor Research Bug Helios Ha
|Safari Hat||Nylon and Polyester||50+||3.7oz||Hiking and Fishing||$60.00|
Outdoor Research Women’s Solar Roller Sun Hat
|Sun Hat||Nylon||50+||2.3oz||Lightweight Hiking, Thru-Hiking, And Backpacking||$37.95|
Best Hiking Hats Reviewed
Now that you’ve reviewed the comparison table, below is our list of the 15 best women’s hiking hats we prepared for you. Also, we’ve listed some important features, discussed sun hats to hiking hats for you to consider before you break open your wallet.
Most Firm Hat: The Condor Performance Sun Hat
Features: Best for: Water sports and harsh winds while hiking Weight: 3.6 oz Brim measurement: 3” UPF: 50+ Material: 100% Recycled Polyester
The Condor Performance Sun Hat earned our most firm title, while it stays lightweight and durable in all conditions. We would use this hat for water sports since it floats and is washable.
But the biggest pro for us is the “No Flop Brim,” which literally doesn’t flop. You might use this in harsher conditions like the wind because the brim doesn’t fold and block your view.
It also offers a traditional wide brim hat look, with a cord and comes in Small to XXXL sizes. Nevertheless, the fact that the material is thick and not breathable, makes this hat better for cooler weather.
- Brim doesn’t fold from wind
- Durable and solid material with a lifetime warranty
- Keeps away perspiration
- This hat is a unisex model
- Sizes are small in comparison to other hats
- Material is thick, not very breathable
Best for backpacking: The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat
Best for: Sunny weather while hiking and water sports UPF: 40+ Weight: 2.2 oz Material: 97% recycled polyester/3% polyester mesh
Certainly, if a family camping vacation involves a big portion of your day under the sun, you’ll definitely need a substantial hat that can handle it. If active adventures like hiking and paddling are on your list, then consider getting The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat as our best backpacking hat of choice.
Since the North Face Breeze Brimmer is meant for any type of activity, it’s designed to provide excellent ventilation with a side mesh vent and a sweatband to absorb perspiration.
Not to mention, an extra pro for the is the adjustable band and wide hat’s brim that offers enough coverage to shield the sunlight away from your eyes.
A point that is overlooked is that some brands only make men’s or unisex hats. Given that women love outdoor activities too, Northface Breeze Brimmer comes in a women’s version too.
- Tighten it in the back for extra security
- Cooling airy mesh over the whole brim handles sweat easily
- Perfect amount of coverage over face and neck
- Affordable price and lightweight
- Limited color options
Best for portability: Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
Best for: Paddling, hiking Brim measurement: 3” Neck cape measurement: 6” UPF: 50+ Brim: Visor style Material: 88% nylon/12% polyester
Certainly, one of our favorites and perhaps the winner in our portability competition is the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat.
While it lacks a stylish design, it’s one of the best women’s hiking hats (if you ask us) because it’s lightweight, has a UPF+ 50 rating, and is moisture-wicking.
So far, we rarely get to see a clamshell brim that we can take on backpacking and thru-hiking trips.
Overall, we recommend this hat and the fact that it comes with a neck cape and sun protection is why we put it on our list of the 15 best women’s hiking hats.
- The brim is collapsible and can be folded in half for extra portability
- The hat has a sunglasses lock
- It is adjustable in sizing since there is a strap in the back
- Water and stain-resistant
- Design could look better
Best for durability: Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat
Best for: Durability for hiking and backpacking Weight: 3 oz Brim measurement: 3.5” UPF: 50+ with UVA and UVB block Material: 100% Supplex nylon
Are you looking for a hat to last a lifetime? Without a doubt, we recommend the Tilley hat as the cowboy headcover!
Tilley made a name for itself, unquestionably, through quality and modern designs,
At first, their hats were made in Canada, but the company has replaced their manufacturing in China a few years ago. Since then, a few customers have complained about the brand’s quality.
However, this once-popular brand where users raved about their quality, isn’t made to the same standards. Even though the quality isn’t the same, this is still a very durable hat.
It comes in a traditional Aussie hat form and blocks 98% UV and UVB rays, thus offering maximum sun protection.
Also, it’s available in this model, TMH55 Mash-Up Airflo Intermediate Brim, which has a cool secret safe pocket built into the hat.
- Wind cords included for stabilization
- Durable 100% Supplex nylon
- Mesh crown for generating maximum airflow
- Hand wash only
Best for Camping: Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess
Best for: Hiking, UPF: 50 Material: 50% Nylon, 50% Polyester
Seeing the Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess hat made us think of endless summer days on the beach. In particular, it held up against sweat, seawater, and sun rays without fading or falling apart.
Therefore, we believe this sun hat might be one of the best designs out there. We love that it’s durable, lightweight, and stylish.
What’s more, the Shade Goddess has built-in integrated sleeves so you can lock your sunglass in place on the headband. Additionally, its one-size-fits-most means ultimate sizing adjustability.
An important detail we girls with long hair love is the ponytail hole in the back, in case you want your hair off your neck. Details like the printed design under the brim make this hat fun to wear.
- Includes neck cape, sunglasses lock, and ponytail hole
- Offers size adjustability
- Comes in different colors and prints
- Luxurious design with high-quality materials
- Inner headband generates a lot of heat when wearing
Best with Chin Strap: Outdoor Research Women’s Oasis Sombrero Sun Hat
Best for: Windy weather hiking UPF: 50+ Material: 86% Nylon, 14% Polyester
Another feminine design on our list of the 15 best-hiking hats is the Outdoor Research Women’s Oasis Sombrero Sun Hat, it offers a floral design and wide brim. They filled the brim with foam so it doesn’t bend, even after machine washing.
Due to the darker fabric under the brim, this feature protects your eyes from any glare.
If you ask us, it’s a great idea to have adjustable an chin strap because you it might need some readjusting every now and then.
Again, our highlight is the design, since this outdoor hat comes in different colors, so you can choose whatever matches your other gear.
- The brim is stiff, filled with foam
- Irregular size: the back brim acts as a neck cape and is longer than the front
- Machine washable and won’t lose shape after washing
- Affordable and feminine design
- Detachable chin strap
- You can use it for water sports too since it floats and withstands saltwater
- Chinstrap clasp will slide off the strap
- Doesn’t offer any side ventilation
Best air circulation hat: Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
Best for: Travel, hiking, camping, and ourdoor activities UPF: 50 with UVA and UVB block Material: Nylon & polyester
Although not perfect, OR Sombriolet Sun Hat comes very close if you enjoy working and playing outdoors. Most important is too much sun exposure, can wear you down unless you take measures to deal with that.
While this hat may seem expensive if you are young or inexperienced, but once a dermatologist starts slicing off bits of your skin, you may realize this sun hat is cheap health insurance.
The crown has some of the best venting combined with a high UPF rating we’re so far reviewed. In spite of how the hat’s crown looks, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat offers maximum breathability with airflow to your head with four wide side vents around the crown of the hat.
Another important feature is the Sombriolet uses modern materials combined with traditional design to produce a sun hat that shades everything, from the top of your head down to your shirt collar.
Due to the polyester/nylon fabric, it can take a beating from the sun and not shrink when you wash it. Glare is reduced as a result of the darker lining under the brim.
Fit-wise, this sun hat exceeded our expectations since the hatband is adjustable and will accommodate small or XL hat sizes. Also, the outer brim is somewhat moldable and can be reshaped to its original shape.
In case your sun hat ever goes overboard, the foam brim adds a bit of stiffness to give it buoyancy.
Conversely, the brim flops down over your eyes or up over your forehead in breezy weather, so you no longer have sun protection and a size adjusting strap in the back.
- Offers different sizes and colors
- Adjustable chin and head strap to keep it in place
- Not waterproof
Best Affordable Sun Hat: Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney
Best for: Travel, hiking, camping, and backpacking on a budget UPF: 50 with UVA and UVB block Material: 100% Nylon
With a low price and the aesthetics of a fishing hat, we think this hat might be perfect for recreational hikes. This is why we put the Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney in our hiking hats for women’s best choices as the affordability winner.
It offers users both a custom fit and sun protection. Furthermore, the Bora Bora Booney wicks away moisture management and has detachable cord if you want to remove it.
Overall, it’s reasonably priced and great for the person who doesn’t spend much time outdoors.
- Breathable nylon fabric that wicks sweat and moisture
- Flexible brim for portability and packability
- Includes a chin string that you can remove
- Side ventilation is too big might be a problem for rain
Best for Adventures: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
Best for: Hiking, camping, and backpacking Brim measurement: 4” Neck cape measurement: 7.5” UPF: 50+ Material: 100% Nylon
Another one of the Sunday Afternoons family hiking hats is the Adventure hat, which reminds us of the Shade Goddess and Ultra Adventure design. We like this hat because it’s a unisex design, so even your husband can wear it without feeling embarrassed.
The super-wide brim that forms into a neck cape can keep those pesky rays away on any adventure. We believe this hat might live up to its name, perfect for any hiking adventure, and that’s why we named it our best adventure hat. It’s affordable and chic, but repels water and doesn’t allow stains to form on it.
- Affordable with cool design
- Extra breathability with side mesh and ability to lift neck cape
- Adjustable hatband and flap
- Unisex model
- Poor stitching
Best for rain: Tilley Wanderer Hat
Best for: Hiking in the rain Brim measurement: 2.4” UPF: 50
We love this hat because it seems durable and doesn’t just offer sun protection. The Tilley Wanderer hat might also provide rain protection for any backpacking or hiking adventure out there.
If you love the safari and thin brim look, then this hat is the one for you. It can wick away moisture with its Durable water repellant, a finish that Tilley has been using for decades.
But that’s not all, it will provide SPF50 sun protection too.
- Durability for life with a guarantee
- Water and sun repellant
- Comes with 8 side vents and clasps for keeping the brim sides up
- On the pricey side
Best for Hiking: Millet Trekker II Cap
Best for: Hiking and backpacking Weight: 2.8 oz UPF: 40+
The Millet Trekker 2 is our favorite in hiking trucker hats. This brand is on top of its game when talking about hiking hats. Even though its unisex, the detachable neck cape helps keep the heat off your neck. When not in use, you can store inside a hidden pocket in the back.
Even though it offers only UPF 40+, they made it from stretch material that adapts to the shape of your head so no readjusting should be needed. Our best trucker hat choice is also lightweight with just 2.8 oz, perfect for a trekking adventure.
- Unisex trucker hat model
- Comes with a neck cape pocket
- Only 40+ UPF
- Forms stains from use
Best Tulip Sun Hat: Duluth Women’s Crusher Packable Tulip Hat
Best for: Hiking and backpacking in the sun UPF: 50+ Material: 100% Cotton
The Women’s Crusher Packable Tulip hat should be the king of chic, when out on the trail. We love how it looks since it offers mesh sides and an array of colors to choose from. If you’re looking for a feminine model with sun protection in mind, then this is the one. You might also stabilize it on your head with a movable chin strap.
What we don’t like is the cotton material that makes it both heavy and hard to dry. But the fact that you can pack it down to virtually nothing, is why it ended up on our best women’s hiking hats list.
Best Sun Hat for Trail Running: Kuhl Sun Dagger
Best for: Trail running and hotter climates UPF: 45+ Material: 100% Nylon
The Kuhl Sun Dagger is a sun protection hat that earned its position as the best for trail running on our list. It offers protection from both the sun’s rays and hot weather. This isn’t a hat for winter hiking. If you bring it with you, then you’ll feel cold because of the side mesh and cooling headband.
Overall, it’s designed for tropical climates. Especially, since it has a cooling sweatband integrated into the design, and an irregular brim that protects your nose. If you’re considering buying a hat for trail running, then add this one in your list, since it locks to your head with a neck and back strap.
Best Sun Hat with Bug Net: Outdoor Research Bug Helios Hat
Best for: Hiking in bug-infested areas, backpacking, paddkling and fly-fishing UPF: 50+ Weight: 3.7 oz Material: 89% nylon 11% polyester, recycled
Undoubtedly, our best bug-repelling choice of hat that keeps those creepy stingers away is the Outdoor Research Bug Helios.
Together with its sun protection UPF 50+ fabric, and a drawcord as a chin strap, it’s ideal for backpacking through swamps and tropical forests. On the negative side, a stylish design wasn’t emphasized when they made this hat.
Still, Outdoor Research Helios did pay attention to protecting you from mosquitoes and other flying pests by adding a net over the brim. Truth be told, we like this hat because it has a band to store the bug net when not used.
This means, when purchasing it, you get a 2 in 1: a bug hat for fly-fishing and a sun hat for hiking. In a similar fashion to the other sun hats, there is a dark lining on the undersides of the brim.
However, the brim doesn’t protect the nose from the sun during the late afternoons since it is not wide enough. Furthermore, the brim easily flips up whenever there is a moderate breeze.
The TransAction sweatband could use improvement because it didn’t absorb sweat that drips into the eyes. Lastly, since there are no side vents or grommets for heat to escape, this sun hat is better suited for temperatures under 75 degrees.
In truth, we probably wouldn’t have bought this hat based on the drawbacks.
- Protects against bug bites with integrated bug net
- Bug net can be hidden under band
- Comes with an adjustable chin strap
Best Lightweight Sun Hat: Outdoor Research Women’s Solar Roller Sun Hat
Best for: Lightweight summer hiking UPF: 50+ Brim measurement: 3” Weight: 2.3 oz Material: 100% Supplex Nylon
Built to last and lightweight, the Outdoor Research Women’s Solar Roller Sun Hat is our lightweight champion. As a female model on the market, it comes in many sizes, colors, and designs you’re looking for.
We might point out the brim, is 3 inches in width, and has an underside in a darker color to prevent glare. Despite this detail, what we don’t like is that it’s too soft. When hiking in mid-season with crazy winds, you might find it flopping around and blocking your eyes.
Other than that, if you’re looking for a fishing hat that will withstand almost anything, for your next thru-hike, the Solar Roller is the one we would choose.
Hiking Hats Buying Guide
Now that we’ve reviewed all of our top 15 women’s hiking hats, we will help you choose the right one with our buying guide. Next up are the specs you need to think about and what features you need before venturing into the backcountry.
What do I need to consider when buying a hiking hat?
Indeed, two most important features of a sun hat are protection for the top of your head and face. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sunburn, wrinkles, and age spots (gasp!).
Still, another deciding factor is the outdoor activity you engage in. Buying a water hat for desert hikes is a wasted purchase, and no one wants that.
Brim length, stiffness, and position
Generally, the brim plays a crucial role in determining the use of a hiking hat. While a trucker hat’s brim extends out front, it doesn’t offer sun protection for the sides of your face or back of your neck.
Sadly, neither will fedoras or sun hats cover your neck, therefore we recommend using a wide brim sun or safari hat for hotter climates. If that still doesn’t do the trick, purchase an adventure hat or one with a neck flap.
The brim’s stiffness is also significant since no one wants their super long brim in their face all the time when hiking.
UV protection and UPF
For one things, no one buys a hat to look good in the hiking community. Because its primary purpose is to protect you from sunburn and harmful UVA/UVB rays that cause skin cancer. Therefore we believe picking hiking hats with both UVA/UVB filters and high UPF protection is a must.
Wearing a sun hat offers only partial protection, and you should also wear sunscreen whenever your adventures lead you outdoors.
Water resistance and waterproofness
Equally important is to find a hat that has a DWR coating, waterproof, or have Gore-tex water resistant fabrics. Of course you want a hiking hat with moisture wicking capabilities too.
In effect, these hats are perfect for blocking moisture or rain from getting to your head and hair. Also, these fabrics will wick away any sweat, cooling your head off.
If you tend to hike in the rain or live in a humid climate, then purchase a water-resistant or waterproof hiking hat.
Sun Hat Material
As you could see from our table, most hiking hats are made from nylon or polyester. Only a few are made of cotton, which makes them heavy, and as a result, not ideal for sweaty summer days crossing the desert.
Above all, for a hiking hat, look for a style that is quick-drying and breathable. No one wants sweat soaked hat on their head while hiking!
Weight plays a role when thru-hiking, lightweight hiking or backpacking are in play. Thus, there are fantastic sun hats with collapsible brims and lightweight 2 oz hats on the market. Just look for light materials and always check the weight section before buying.
What is my priority when buying a hiking hat?
It’s time to get real and be realistic with yourself: What will I use my hiking hat for? If you want one for gardening and thru-hiking at the same time, then pick a hat that can covers you neck and is sweat-wicking.
But if you’re debating between fashion and protection, then hands down, protection.
Also, sun protective hats is cheaper than a visit to the dermatologist. In the same way, no one wants to spend money to have bits of your skin scraped off for lab testing.
To be sure your hat fits, it should fit comfortably on your head, without pinching or barely resting on your crown. In the same way, select one that offers several sizes and/or a model with an adjustable hatband. Select a design with attention to stretchy lightweight fabric and the straps don’t dig into your head or skin.
Of course, no one wants a sunburn and if you have fair or sensitive skin, then your priority would be to select a sun hat with a wide brim, neck cape, and high UPF rating. Moreover, a dark underside brim will help with glare and reflection.
Opt for hats with an SPF 15 or higher, that covers your face and neck simultaneously, but also have UVA/UVB and high UPF protection.
Looking for something that will last a lifetime or that won’t fall apart while thru-hiking in the rain for a month? Search for durable stitches and materials, when looking for a women’s hiking hat.
Obviously, living in a hot climate or engaging in high-intensity training like trail running, can exhaust you if your head is sweating and your hat isn’t breathable. Therefore, choose sun hats that mesh above the brim or sides, with moisture-wicking fabric, and are lightweight.
By all means, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look stylish on your beach camping trip. With this purpose in mind, search for sun hats with cute prints and colors that match your backpack or camp outfit.
Another thing to consider when searching for a hiking hat for traveling, backpacking, or thru-hiking is how portable your hat is. Besides, who wants a hat that can’t be reshaped or not foldable?
Seeing that there are multiple folding sun hats, look for one that has a reshape-able or mold-able brim and takes up minimal space.
Accordingly, we have a bit of advice for hiking in the heat of summer in areas where you need to repel nasty bugs like mosquitoes, deer flies, and midges. Spray DEET insect-repellant on the undersides of the broad brims of your sun hat, in order to keep a 12-inch no-fly zone away from your face. This means less chemical exposure to your face and skin.
Similarly, if your hat has a neck flap, spray above and below. By spraying insect-repellant on the undersides of your brims versus your face, when you sweat, any protection DEET provides isn’t wiped away or stings your eyes.
What will I use my hiking hat for?
Another critical factor in determining what model of outdoor hat to choose is to know what you will use it for.
Here is a short informative table, to explain what type of hat is perfect for any outdoor activity. Of course, if you need a daypack, we have a buying guide here.
|Type of Activity||Type of Hat||Our Top Pick|
|Hiking||Ball Cap, Sun Hat, Adventure Hat, Bucket Hat, Safari Hats||Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat|
|Camping||Trucker Cap, Sun Hat, Adventure Hat, Bucket Hat, Visor Hats, Safari Hats||Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess|
|Backpacking||Ultralight Sun Hat, Adventure Hat, Visor Hats, Safari Hats||The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat|
|Trekking||Visor Hats, Safari Hats||Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess|
|Thu-Hiking||Adventure Hat, Visor Hats, Safari Hats||The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat|
|Fishing/Hunting||Fishing Hat, Sun Hat, Adventure Hat, Bucket Hat, Hunting Hats, Safari Hats||Outdoor Research Bug Helios Hat|
|Trail Running||Ball Cap, Visor Hats, Safari Hats||Kuhl Sun Dagger|
|Ultralight Hiking||Sun Hat, Visor Hats, Safari Hats||Outdoor Research Women’s Solar Roller Sun Hat|
Conclusion: The best women’s hiking hat
We have finally concluded, the winner and number one hiking hat in the women’s category are The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat.
Why? Since it’s super lightweight, has a wide brim that covers your face and neck, and can be used for almost any wilderness adventure: Hiking, backpacking, thru-hiking, trekking, and water sports.
Certainly, the highlight is how light this hat is, and with a chin strap that stays in place all day. This product is top-notch, and by all means, check it out. In short, you will see it fulfills all the requirements of a backpacking and hiking hat.
We understand that you’re a hat head, but before buying one of our hiking hats, consider the benefits, features, and uses of the product. Now that you have our guide, it’s time to start trying on hats for the right style, size, and fit.
Finally, don’t forget, whichever hat you choose, you should still be wearing good sunblock or UVA/UVB sunscreen. Also, sunny places near the equator, beaches, and lakes, or where white limestone, water, and boat decks, all reflect a lot of sunlight back up at you, slather on sunscreen.
In the final words of the song, Everybody’s Free by Baz Luhrmann, Wear Sunscreen.
Last update on 2021-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API