10 Best Hiking Hats For Men & Women

We share our favorites if you’re looking for the best hiking hat to wear to tackle the trails. We are out at least three or four times a week hiking, stand-up paddling, kayaking, or doing whatever we want in the great outdoors during the spring, summer, and fall.

We always have one thing with us: a proper hat for hiking. An excellent hat for hiking keeps the sun off your head, protects your eyes from the sun, and is all around very comfortable. If you’re having a bad hair day, wearing a hiking hat is the perfect solution. There are a million hats for hiking on the market, but a few of the best are here.


Featured Hiking Hats

Hiking Cap

best hiking hat

Wide Brim Hat


Best Hiking Hats

Hiking in Switzerland

Outdoor Research Swift Hiking Cap

Outdoor Research Swift Hiking Cap

Price: $28 | Material: Nylon | Style: Ball Cap

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Super Comfortable
  • Wonderful Value
  • Fits Under A Helmet
  • Easy To Wash

Cons

  • Ball Cap Style Lacks Protection
  • Stiff Brim For Packing

The Outdoor Research Swift Cap is super comfortable, ultralight, protective, and affordable. It’s a tremendous hat for hot weather or trail runners as it’s small enough to stash in a running vest. The affordable hiking hat extends far beyond the trail as it excels at water sports, mountaineering, and athletics.

Fit is exceptional thanks to the lightweight material, cut, and back head strap. Adjustments to the fit are easy and fast, with a simple slide buckle to keep the hat securely on the head. Material is exceptionally lightweight and comfortable against the head. It also effectively wicks away sweat, and the rear vent panels keep your head cool.

The only negative we can say about the hat is the lack of a wide brim, although Outdoor Research does make the Bugout Brim Hat. The bill is stiff, so it cannot stash in a pocket or backpack like some hiking hats. Despite the classic ball cap style, the fabric still offers a UPF 50 rating, and the brim provides shade to the face.

Shop For Outdoor Research Swift Cap


Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hiking Hat

Tilley LTM6 Hiking Hat

Price: $99 | Material: Nylon | Style: Sun Hat

Pros

  • Excellent Coverage
  • Wonderful Quality
  • Machine Washable
  • Versatile Hat
  • Looks Sharp
  • Breathable
  • Floats In Water

Cons

  • High Price
  • Non Performance Focus

Tilley hats are iconic and have long protected many faces from the harmful effects of the sun. They’ve tackled the world and have seen more than a few adventures. Their performance is exceptional as it provides beautiful protection, reliable durability, and comfort. LTM6 is a terrific choice for a hiking hat.

The durability and quality set Tilley apart from many other hats on the market. They back up that product, too, with a lifetime guarantee against wear and tear. The quality and durable material allow the hat to keep its shape and look stylish for a wide brim hat.

It handles heat exceptionally well despite its traditional stylings, and the vented airflow panels keep your head cool. Fit is lovely, and a broad interior band keeps the hat in place. It has some features that help, such as a foam top for floatation in the water, a hidden pocket for valuables, and a chin strap for a secure fit.

It does feel a little clunky, so the Tilley LTM6 is not great for those seeking a performance hat, such as trail runners or climbers. However, its design is terrific for travel, and it’s one of our favorite safari hats and everyday sun protection for activities like gardening or yard work. Of course, it’s tough not to mention the price as it is high, but the hat does have a lifetime guarantee.

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Salomon XA Cap

Price: $25 | Material: Polyester | Style: Running Cap

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Super Comfortable
  • Made For Runners
  • Integrated Sweatband
  • Excellent Fit
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Ball Cap Style Lacks Protection
  • Logo Durability
  • Hand Wash Only

Fast and light running hats are an excellent choice for hiking, and Salomon knows a thing or two about trail running. Their XA cap is ultralight, ready to tackle miles, wick away sweat, and protect the face. It’s an excellent option for fast and light hikers or anyone seeking a running cap.

The sharp-looking cap and the fit works for a wide range of head sizes. It is partly due to the design that allows for stretch in conjunction with a back of the head adjustment strap. A reliable fit ensures the cap stays in place and is comfortable during the time on the trail. Comfort is one of the standout features as the hat reall

The hat does have a pitfall or two regarding durability and care. In many hats users and our testing, the logo peels off the cap, which explains the hand wash only instructions. It doesn’t negatively affect the hat’s performance but the style. Durability issues are probably best described by using polyester, which is lightweight but lacks the strength of nylon.

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Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

Price: $40 | Material: Nylon | Style: Sun Hat

Pros

  • Excellent Coverage
  • Wonderful Value
  • Machine Washable
  • Versatile Hat
  • Breathable
  • Highly Adjustable

Cons

  • Non Performance Focus
  • Lack Versatility

A full-coverage hat like the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat is a vital asset for hikes in the desert or anywhere that lacks shade. The hat is an exceptional choice as it provides excellent protection from the sun thanks to a large cape that covers the neck. Performance is outstanding as the hat is lightweight, comfortable, breathable, and packable.

It’s packed with features such as a sunglass keeper, internal sweatband, size adjustment band, chin strap, and foam top that allows the hat to float in water. The style of the hat may feel polarizing, but it is highly effective at sun protection. In many settings, the large brim and neck cape look goofy, but it feels right at home in the right environment.

It plays into our chief complaint as the hat lacks some versatility. In high UV environments like the desert, a glacier, or canoeing down a river, the hat feels right at home, but we’d never wear it in everyday life. Regardless, it’s an exceptional hat if you need reliable sun coverage for an excellent price.

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Arc’teryx Calvus Cap

Arc'teryx Calvus Cap

Price: $35 | Material: Polyester | Style: Running Cap

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Super Comfortable
  • Made For Runners
  • Integrated Sweatband
  • Style

Cons

  • Fit Feels A Little Off

The Calvus Cap is an ultralight running cap from Arc’teryx that is great for hiking. They use water-resistant Sorona® polyester fabric to create a water-resistant, lightweight, and breathable hat. It features moisture-wicking material and a spacer mesh sweatband for optimal comfort.

Arc’teryx is known for its exceptional quality, which is undoubtedly the case with the Cavlus Cap. It’s ready for fast-paced mountain training, so it’s lightweight and ready to tackle significant objectives. It’s also a sharp-looking hat with a short brim that feel great for running errands around town or the gym.

It does have some slight fit issues. There is too much fabric on the front of the hat, so it creates a small fold with open space. It is not enough to affect the performance or comfort of the hat, but it doesn’t look as sharp. The hiking hat still feels terrific on the head, and it’s very comfortable with an easy-to-adjust rear strap.

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Columbia Bora Bora II Hat

Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Safari Hat

Price: $30 | Material: Nylon/Polyester | Style: Sun Hat

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Excellent Value
  • Reliable Performance
  • Decent Features
  • Great Warm Weather Performance

Cons

  • Meh Quality
  • Shallow Cut
  • Non Performance Focus

Columbia makes some of the least attractive hiking gear if you care about looks. However, you get a lot of hats for a great price when it comes to the Columbia Bora Bora. It’s a great hiking sun hat. The easy-going floppy hat is easy to stuff and crush into a backpack when not in use. The synthetic material also does an excellent job of providing shade and resisting wrinkles.

The Bora Bora is made of nylon, is well vented, packs well, and features UPF technology. It comes with useful features such as a chin strap, integrated sweatband, and top vented panels. The panels are a mixed blessing as they allow some UV rays, and you’ll feel the sun on top of your head (skip if you’re bald).

The cut is a little off as a larger integrated sweatband, and a longer top would allow for a more secure fit. In strong winds or if you’re moving fast, that hat does not stay in place well. When it comes to the Bora Bora, you get what you pay for, and it lacks quality or any type of warranty. However, we’d be hard-pressed to say that the Tilley LTM6 above offers three times the performance at three times the price.

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Buff R-Flash Pack

Buff R-Flash Pack

Price: $30 | Material: Polyester | Style: Running Hat

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Exceptional Performance
  • Ultralight
  • Super Packable
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Soft Bill
  • Lacks Protection

The Buff Flash Cap is a lightweight running hat that provides exceptional performance. It’s ultra-comfortable and weighs only one ounce! Its weight and fabric do an extraordinary job in warm weather and effectively keep you cool. The hat features a soft bill for sun protection that can be folded up or stuffed in a pocket.

It’s light and soft enough to fit in the breast pocket of running vests or hiking backpacks, which is terrific for an easy on and off when not necessary on the trail. Fit is also exceptional and does an adequate job of keeping sweat out of the eyes. It also has UPF50+ for sun protection, and the lightweight fabric is easy to clean.

An ultralight running cap comes with some drawbacks as a hiking hat. The ball cap style does not offer anywhere near the sun protection of full brim hats. Its soft bill can also be slightly polarizing as it’s floppy and moves around.

Buff R-Flash Pack


Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Safari Hat

Price: $65 | Material: Gore-Tex | Style: Rain Hat

Pros

  • Water Protection
  • Good Quality
  • Reliable Performance
  • Decent Features
  • Comfortable
  • Decent Style

Cons

  • Warm For Hot Climates

The Seattle Sombrero is a hat designed to tackle wet environments and keep you dry. It will repel rain and then protect you from sun protection. The hat manages to do this and remains very comfortable. Gore-Tex allows the hat to offer ample water protection but stay light and packable.

We love this rain hat for hiking as it’s durable, lightweight, and floats in water. Two velcro straps secure the sides of the hat to lift the brim and offer a nice style. Outside of the Tilley, it’s our favorite looking full brim hiking hat. Other features include a chin strap for a secure fit and an integrated sweatband.

As it is a rain hat, the hat runs a little too warm in hot environments. However, it’s still pretty lightweight and does a decent job at ventilation. It offers far inferior warm weather performance to every other hiking hat we recommend. If your hikes lead you into wet environments, then the Seattle Sombrero is an easy choice.

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REI Screeline

REI Hiking Hat

Price: $27 | Material: Nylon | Style: Hiking Hat

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Excellent Value
  • Reliable Performance
  • Decent Features
  • Great Warm Weather Performance
  • Foldable

Cons

  • Lacks Fit For Running

Fast and light hiking hats are an excellent choice, and REI makes one that is feature-rich for hiking. The fundamental standout feature of the hat is its ability to fold. With the lightweight material and a crease in the bill, the hat folds down to the size of a napkin.

It’s an excellent option for fast and light hikers. Despite its foldable nature, the hat offers a lot of features too. It has a hidden pocket for a key, sunglass loops, and floatation foam in the brim. All those features are nifty for a hat that can fit in your pocket.

The hat sizing and fit work for a wide range of head sizes. It is in part due to the design that allows for stretch in conjunction with a back of the head adjustment strap. Our only negative is the slightly loose fit that makes it ill-suited for running. It’s not as streamlined as some of the running caps above.

Shop For REI Screeline Hiking Cap


Patagonia Classic LoPro

Patagonia Classic

Price: $35 | Material: Cotton/Polyester | Style: Trucker Hat

Pros

  • Good Quality
  • Classic Ball Cap
  • Offers Decent Ventilation
  • Great Style

Cons

  • Stiff
  • A Little Warm
  • Lacks Features
  • Ball Cap Performance

This hat has a lot of style for the best outdoor hat. Although it’s not as lightweight or explicitly built for hiking, there’s no denying that the Patagonia Classic LoPro hat is a CLASSIC. Whether it has the bear, buffalo, or Patagonia on the front, there’s one thing for sure – you look terrific wearing this hat.

The brim is made with fully traceable 100% recycled fishing nets, and the mid crown is all organic cotton. I love these hiking hats as they are breathable in the back but sturdy enough to handle anything.

At 3.2 oz, it’s not the lightest hiking hat on this list, but we can argue that it’s the best looking. Patagonia is also one of our favorite outdoor brands as they are Fair Trade Certified.

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What Makes a Great Hiking Hat?

Men's Hiking Clothes Hat

Sun Protection

A hat’s intention on the trail is to provide sun protection. At a minimum, every hat needs to shield the eyes from the sun to aid in vision. A hiking hat should also cover high-exposure areas such as the forehead and nose.

Three hat designs offer varying levels of sun protection. Ball caps provide the least protection but often look the best and remain very comfortable. Wide brim hats offer more protection, but the size catches the wind and inhibits running or other sports. Finally, cape hats offer the most protection and deal with wind better, but they look very goofy.


Moisture Management

After sun protection, we expect a hat to help deal with sweat. Hiking is an aerobic activity, so a good hiking hat must feature an interior band to deal with sweat effectively. Synthetic materials can absorb and help evaporate sweat, so the forehead remains dry.

If you go shopping for a hiking hat, be sure to inspect the interior or design of the hat to see if it will wick sweat. It is one of the primary reasons traditional cotton ball caps are not great for hiking.

A lot of these synthetic hats are antimicrobial and dry fast. On long backcountry hikes, it’s great to have that you can rinse in a river or lake, so you’re ready to tackle the next day. A quick dip of a hat in water is also a great way to refresh yourself on a hot day. We’ve even taken to stuffing snow in our hats to cool off during heat waves in the mountains.


Waterproof

You never know when rain is going to hit. If you’re in an area where it’s prone to rain, make sure to look for a hiking hat with water protection. The Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero is tremendous for rain protection. It has a sizeable Gore-Tex brim that will keep your face and head dry.


Comfort

If you’re going to be wearing something on your head all day, it needs to be comfortable. Hiking also involves a lot of movement, so even a slight discomfort can lead to chafing, rashes, or pain.

A lightweight hat excels at moving with the head and remaining comfortable all day long. As far as the comfort, it’s tough to beat the Outdoor Research Swift Cap.


Material

We recommend synthetic materials for hats as they offer superior performance to cotton. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as cotton is generally disliked within the hiking community.

Synthetics come with their issues, but as of now, we don’t know of any lightweight wool hiking hats. We’d love to hear about it and test the hat out if you have a recommendation.


Care

Any experienced hiker can attest that they put their clothing and gear through the wringer. Hats see a lot of UV rays, wear, dirt, and sweat, so it’s easy for them to get dirty quickly.

When we get home, we want the ability to throw our hats in the washer and restore them to a like-new condition. Hand washing only hats can be a pain, and traditional ball caps are difficult to wash (use a dishwasher, actually).


Why You Need a Hiking Hat

Everyone going out for a day outside needs to consider buying one of these hiking hats. A hiking hat is an essential piece of protection from the elements of the wilderness.

Hiking hats are one of those backpacking essentials you don’t want to forget. The good news is that the best hiking hats are an affordable investment and last for years, so you only have to buy one before you head out!

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Hiking Hats For Men & Women”

  1. Awesome selection of hiking hats. I’ve got the same hiking hat that Northface has on this list. Aside from regular hats, i also have ones from a sustainable clothing brand which is https://bit.ly/3t3q7Zo. Out here in Arizona, we really care about our environment and we really love the great outdoors. I think showing support for Sustainable brands will really help us to improve Nature’s standing.

  2. Awesome! Hadn’t looked at their hats. We both have the Coalatree trailhead pants and love them!

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