The following 9 factors are important when shopping for a sun hat:
There are four main styles of sun hats. Here’s a quick overview:
- Bucket. The bucket style offers the best protection against the sun, with a wide brim.
- Cap. A simple baseball cap, or snapback hat, a cap is designed to protect your head from the sun. It has a brim at the front that covers your eyes, but not the back. Sun hats may have a concealed flap that can be pulled from the inside of the hat and extends up to the neck.
- Fedora. A Fedora is similar in size and shape as the bucket hat. It has a moderately-sized brim that wraps around it. This hat can also be dressed up easily.
- Flap. The flap sun hat is designed to provide maximum protection and covers the neck as well as the face. This hat is ideal for use in deserts or other extreme environments that require prolonged sun exposure.
When buying a sun hat, the material is crucial. You can learn about the most common materials used in sun protection hats to help you choose.
- Polyester / Nylon. Polyester and nylon are the most common and durable of all fabrics. They can be both water-repellent and moisture-wicking. Although not as breathable than cotton, most polyester sun hats have ventilation. These synthetic materials are extremely durable.
- Cotton / Linen. This fabric is natural and breathable, so it will feel great on your head. It is not as popular for hiking or traveling due to its slow drying time and susceptibility of tearing.
- Straw. Often handwoven in South American countries (i.e Ecuador, Panama, etc.). Straw is light and fashionable. Straw sun hats can be worn at pool parties and semi-formal outdoor events. This material is not lightweight and can’t be folded.
What do you think about wearing your sun hat? Are you just using it for vacation? Do you want to backpack across Europe? Does it need to fit in your carry-on luggage? Do you intend to wear it everywhere you go, whether you’re hiking with your family or throwing the ball around in the backyard?
No matter the reason for buying a sun hat, there are many styles that are more suitable for specific occasions. A sun hat designed for hiking will, for example, be lightweight and feature an interior sweatband. The chin strap also helps to secure the hat in case of sudden wind gusts.
4. Sun Protection
Sun hats are designed to protect your neck and face from the sun. You will need to ensure that your sun hat has at least a 50 UPF rating. A UPF rating of 50+ will block at least 97.5% of UV rays.
5. Hat & Brim Size
Sun hats are available in many sizes. This is where there are both advantages and disadvantages.
Consider how you will be wearing the sun hat when deciding on the brim size. A brim that is 3 inches or less will work well if you plan to use the sun hat for leisure, lounging, and not running. If you plan to hike, however, a brim that is less than 3 inches will be better.
A sun hat with a wider brim provides better protection but it is heavier and more likely to get caught in wind gusts. This can also limit mobility. These are all important factors to consider before you buy.
You will find most sun hats are light-colored. This is because it will reflect the sun’s heat and keep you cool. You will feel more heat from darker colors like dark brown, navy, black, camo, and the like.
We reviewed a variety of sun hat brands for men and found these to be the most popular and trusted:
- Alchemi Labs
- Frogg Toggs
- Dorfman Pacific
- Outdoor Research
- Peter Grimm
- San Diego Hat Company
- Sunday Afternoons
- The North Face
A sun hat purchased from these brands is more likely to be of higher quality and thoughtfully designed than one bought off-brand.
8. Additional Features
We have covered most of the important considerations, but here are some additional features that companies may add to their portfolio:
- Internal Sweatband. Keeping sweat from running down your neck or face is possible by placing a small piece of fabric on the inside of the cap. It will prevent sweat from seeping through to the outside.
- Vents Holes / Mesh. Improved circulation means lower temperatures in the hat, which results in less sweating and more comfort.
- Drawcord / Drawstring. A drawcord or chin strap is standard on almost all sun hats. It prevents your head from being blown off by sudden gusts of wind.
- Waterproof. A waterproof-treated sunhat can be used if you’re hiking in the rain and the drops of water will roll off the brim. This protects the structure of your hat and prevents it from bending down in the rain.
- Earflaps. The foldable ear flaps are often found on cap-style sun hats and offer some protection for your ears.
Sunhat’s prices vary depending on their material, style, and other features. Our research revealed that sun hats can cost between $15 and $150.