9 Best Sun Hats for Men that Provide Superior Protection

Our top picks:

  1. Best Overall: Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat
  2. Best for Hiking: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
  3. Best for the Beach: EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.  They go on to state that more than 2 people die of skin cancer every hour.

So whether you are going for a hike, hanging at the beach, or simply in the backyard gardening, a good sun hat provides adequate protection to both your head and neck from the sun’s dangerous UV rays.

In this guide, we will be reviewing a variety of sun hats, including the popular Columbia Bora Bora Booney II.  Furthermore, we will be also going over key considerations you need to take into account when buying a sun hat and answer a few of the popular questions people have about these hats.

Let’s begin:

Review Roundup

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat, Moisture...
Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat
  • Perfect hat for the sun
  • Ventilation on the side and back keep you cool
  • UPF 50 rating
BUY ON AMAZON
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, Medium,...
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
  • Neck flap is adjustable and offers full coverage
  • Foam core can float if it becomes submerged
  • Lightweight
BUY ON AMAZON
EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun...
EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men
  • Unisex for both men and women
  • Lightweight design
  • The secure fit will prevent it from blowing off
BUY ON AMAZON
ELLEWIN Outdoor Fishing Flap Hat UPF50 Sun Cap...
ELLEWIN Men’s Summer Cap
  • Foldable brim makes for a compact size when traveling
  • Affordable
  • Great for all sorts of outdoor activities
BUY ON AMAZON
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat - Breathable...
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
  • Simple, yet modern design
  • Moderately priced
  • No brim wire makes it washable
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Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat,Khaki/Olive,7.5
Tilley Airflo Bucket Sun Hat
  • Brim won’t get in the way when using a DSLR
  • Shade provides a clearer vision
  • Stylish design allows it to be dressed up
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Brooklyn Surf Men's Straw Sun Lifeguard Beach Hat...
Brooklyn Surf Men’s Straw Hat
  • Large brim sun hat provides great protection
  • Summer staple
  • A casual alternative to the Panama hat
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Stetson Gambler Seagrass Outdoorsman...
Stetson Gambler Golfing Sun Hat
  • Seagrass straw is lightweight and stylish
  • Interior lining provides strong sun protection
  • A great alternative to performance golf hats
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Rapiddominance Boonies, Khaki, Medium
Rapiddominance Boonies Fishing Hat
  • The hat is made from 100% cotton
  • Outer loops for lure decoration or function
  • Affordable
BUY ON AMAZON

How to Buy A Sun Hat

When buying a sun hat, we found that the following 9 considerations are among the most important in order to find a hat to meet your needs:

1. Style

Sun hats come in 4 main styles, here’s a quick look at each:

  • Bucket: With wide brim around the entire hat, the bucket style provides the most complete protection from the sun.
  • Cap: Like a simple baseball cap or snapback hat, a cap has a brim in the front to protect your face but no protection on the back.  Some sun hats do have a hidden flap that can be pulled down from inside the hat that extends to the neck.
  • Fedora: Similar in size and shape to the bucket hat, a Fedora has a moderately sized brim that wraps around the hat and is a bit more stylish and can be easily dressed up.
  • Flap: Designed for ultimate protection, the flap sun hat covers both the neck and face.  Designed for traversing deserts and other intense environments where sun exposure is prolonged.

2. Material

Material is important when buying a sun hat.  Having an impact on breathability, washability, and style presentation, take a moment to know the common materials used in a variety of sun protection hats:

  • Polyester / Nylon: The most durable and common, polyester and nylon are both moisture-wicking and a natural water repellant (source).  While not as breathable as cotton, many polyester sun hats will have ventilation throughout the hat.  These synthetic materials are also incredibly durable.
  • Cotton / Linen: This natural and breathable fabric will feel great against your head.  However, the slow drying times and susceptibility to tearing make it not as prevalent for both hiking and traveling.
  • Straw: Often handwoven in South American countries (i.e Ecuador, Panama, etc.), straw is lightweight and stylish.  Straw sun hats are great for pool parties or semi-formal outdoor gatherings.  Just know that this material doesn’t travel well and cannot be folded.

3. Intent

How do you plan on wearing your sun hat?  Is it just for vacation?  Backpacking across Europe?  Does it need to fit in your carry-on luggage?  Or do you plan on wearing it every time you go out hiking or just in the back yard when you are throwing the football to your kids?

Whatever the reason you are buying the sun hat, different styles are better suited for different occasions.  For instance, a sun hat for hikes will be lightweight, have an interior sweatband, and have a chin-strap that secures the hat in the event of a sudden breeze.

4. Sun Protection

The primary purpose of a sun hat is to provide adequate protection to both your face and neck from the sun.  Therefore, you will want to make sure that the sun hat you buy has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) Rating of 50 or more.  A UPF rating of 50+ will block 97.5%+ of the UV rays.

5. Hat & Brim Size

Sun hats come in many different sizes which is a tug and pull of advantages and disadvantages.

When settling on a brim size, think about how you plan on wearing the sun hat.  If you are going to the beach or just plan on lounging in the hat and not running around, then a brim larger than 3″ will be fine.  However, if you are going on a hike, then a narrow brim less than 3″ will be a better choice.

While a sun hat with a wide brim offers better protection, the hat becomes heavier, more likely to be caught in a sudden gust of wind, and generally limits mobility.  So think about these factors before purchasing.

6. Color

When selecting a sun hat, you will find that most are light in color as it will reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cool. Darker colors such as dark brown, black, navy, camo, etc. will absorb the rays and transmit more heat to your head.

7. Brand

As we reviewed and researched several sun hat brands for men, we found the following to be among the most trusted and popular:

  • Alchemi Labs
  • Billabong
  • Columbia
  • EINSKEY
  • Frogg Toggs
  • Dorfman Pacific
  • Henschel
  • KUHL
  • Outdoor Research
  • Patagonia
  • Peter Grimm
  • Pistil
  • Quiksilver
  • San Diego Hat Company
  • Sunday Afternoons
  • The North Face
  • Tilley
  • Volcom

Buying a sun hat from one of these brands will often result in a higher quality of craftsmanship and thought out design than an off-brand sun hat.

8. Additional Features

While we covered many of the key considerations above, here are a few additional features that some companies add to their hats:

  • Internal Sweatband: This little strip of fabric around the inside of the hat will be helpful in preventing sweat from dripping down your face or neck.  Furthermore, it will also reduce sweat from soaking through to the exterior.
  • Vents Holes / Mesh: Increased circulation allows for lower temperatures inside the hat and ultimately less sweating and increased comfort.
  • Drawcord / Drawstring: Standard on nearly all sun hats, a drawcord or chin strap secures the hat from blowing off your head with a sudden gust of wind.
  • Waterproof: If you are hiking and find yourself in a sudden rainstorm, a waterproof-treated sun hat will allow the droplets to roll off the brim.  This ensures that the structure of the hat remains and doesn’t droop down when wet.
  • Earflaps: Foldable ear flaps, often found on cap style sun hats, offer a little bit of extra protection to the sides of your head.

9. Price

The price point of sunhats varies depending on the material, style, design, and features.  Based on our research, we found that most sun hats will typically cost anywhere between $15 to $150.

The Best Sun Hats for Men of 2020 Reviewed

1. Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Men’s Sun Hat

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat, Moisture...

Top Award: Best Sun Hat Overall

Best Features:

  • Easily packable for wherever your adventures take you
  • Ventilation helps to control sweat
  • Drawcord is easy to adjust for different head sizes

Best For:

Men who are looking for a sun hat that they can wear to several different activities.

Summary:

The most popular and also the best sun hat for men will be the Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat.  From the medium width brim to the poly sweatband, Colombia nails all the details perfectly:

  • Performance fabric that works in a variety of settings

Whether you are hiking, mountain biking, playing water sports, or simply lounging at the beach, the Bora Bora is equipped to handle just about any environment or activity.  Made from a polyester and nylon fabric, this naturally moisture-wicking fabric will dry quickly while providing adequate UV protection.

  • Vents and a chin cord keep the hat secure

While synthetic fabrics are great at wicking moisture away from the skin, they do lack when it comes to ventilation.  In order to prevent your head from overheating, the Bora Bora smartly has a large vent that wraps around 75% of the hat to keep you nice and cool.

In order to prevent the hat from flying off, Columbia also conveniently includes a chin cord that can be pulled to your preferred tightness.

Other Important Features:

  • Comes in 5 different color variations
  • Adjustable fit thanks to the drawcord on the back
  • Nylon shell should last a lifetime thanks to increased durability

Pros

  • Perfect hat for the sun
  • Ventilation on the side and back keep you cool
  • UPF 50 rating

Cons

  • Not the best pick if you need to dress up

What You Need To Know

If you want a versatile sun hat that you can wear for all sorts of activities, then the Columbia Bora Bora Booney II is the best hat out there.  This sun hat is perfectly designed to keep you cool while protecting you from harmful UV rays.

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2. Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, Medium,...

Top Award: Best Hiking Hat

Best Features:

  • UPF 50 sun protection rating
  • Designed for outdoor adventures such as hiking, trekking, and climbing mountains
  • Extremely lightweight

Best For:

Hikers that want a wide brim, breathability, and lightweight design.

Summary:

When it comes to reviewing hiking hats, there is simply no better option than the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat. Made for the trails, this lightweight hat features lots of little details that make it a favorite among hikers.

  • Ventilation around the crown

When it comes to breathability, the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat has strategically placed mesh panels around the crown that allows air to flow in to keep sweat from building up when the trail gets strenuous.

Beyond the mesh panels, the adventure hat also has a neck cape that provides full coverage to the back of your head.  But what’s nice about the cape is that it can be easily hooked up to the hat to increase breathability when you are hiking in shaded woods or simply getting a bit too warm.

  • “The best hat I have ever owned” – An owner of the Adventure Hat

When reading the reviews from other hikers, people simply loved this hat for many reasons and had one of the highest average review ratings across several retailers including Amazon, REI Co-Op, Backcountry, and more.

  • You may also want to consider the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat

While we think that the Adventure Hat reviewed here is a better pick, some men may want to opt for the alternative Ultra Adventure Hat.  That hat features a clamshell folding brim, sunglass lock, neck flap, and a reflective coating for high visibility.  No matter which hat you decide to go with, both are great options for the trail.

Other Important Features:

  • Adjustable buckle to fit to just about all head circumferences
  • The polyester fabric allows for a stain-resistant and water-repellent finish 
  • Works well in all sorts of weather conditions 
  • Available in 11 different colors
  • Foam padding core makes it float in water
  • Cinch cord ensures it doesn’t blow off your head

Pros

  • Neck flap is adjustable and offers full coverage
  • Foam core can float if it becomes submerged
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not the most flattering design for other uses

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for one of the best hiking hats that keeps your neck and face well protected from the sun, then most trail junkies recommend the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat.  Whether you are hiking in the Appalachian or the Rockies, you will want to add this hat high on your pack list for your next hiking trip.

BUY ON AMAZON

3. EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat for Men

EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun...

Top Award: Best Men’s Beach Hat

Best Features:

  • Protects against skin cancers and premature aging
  • Perfect hat for sun exposure on beach trips
  • Ventilation keeps your head cool

Best For:

Anyone looking for strong sun protection while at the beach.

Summary:

If you plan on heading to the beach, then you need to get a sun hat that has a wider brim that provides a greater level of protection.  With a 3.8″ average brim width, the EINSKEY beach hat is perfect to wear when at the beach.

  • Water-repellent polyester material allows the hat to retain its shape

Unlike cotton hats that begin to sag and lose their structure as soon as they get wet, the EINSKEY hat was made for the water and the beach.  When wet, the water on the brim of the hat will simply bead up and roll off – making it a great hat to wear in the water as well.

  • A secure fit

Thanks to the drawstring closure and the rear adjustable drawstring around the top, the hat will stay secured to your head and won’t blow away with a sudden gust of wind due to the large brim.

  • Packable and versatile design

Able to be folded in half for quick storage, the EINSKEY takes up very little space in your suitcase making it great to take with you on a tropical vacation.

While we think that this summer hat is perfect for the beach, many other men have found it a perfect pick for a wide variety of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, camping, and more.

Other Important Features:

  • Won’t droop in rainy weather
  • Protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays
  • Mesh panels allow for cool ventilation
  • Straps ensure a secure and close fit
  • Nice detailed stitching throughout the entire construction of the hat
  • The water-repellent coating should resist stains 

Pros

  • Unisex for both men and women
  • Lightweight design
  • The secure fit will prevent it from blowing off

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Hand wash only

What You Need To Know

The EINSKEY is our top pick when it comes to a beach hat.  The wider brim and water-repellent design make it great to wear both on the beach and in the water.  It’s easy to see why this is such a popular hat for men.

BUY ON AMAZON

4. ELLEWIN Mens Summer Cap

ELLEWIN Outdoor Fishing Flap Hat UPF50 Sun Cap...

Top Award: Best Cap for Summer

Best Features:

  • 3-Panel bill folds up small
  • Detachable mesh increases versatility
  • Side vents keep you cool

Best For:

Men who want versatility whether they are fishing, hiking, or at the beach.

Summary:

This cap not only provides great protection from the sun but is also extremely versatile and breathable.  Able to have a flap buttoned onto the back of the hat and the front, you can get full coverage for your head when outside for extended periods.

  • Front and back flaps are detachable

Made from a super lightweight mesh, the breathable mesh face and neck cover are great for those men who want more comprehensive coverage for their skin.

  • Lightweight makes it great for hikes and fishing

When heading out into the woods, the weight of your gear is important.  While some men weigh items down to the grams (this hat weighs a reportedly 61 grams), the small and unobtrusive size makes it easy to fit in the side of your backpack if necessary.  The foldable brim allows you to easily store this hat in your back pocket.

  • Strong focus on ventilation

With vents on the entire side of the hat, hair is able to flow into the top of the cap allowing you to be both cool and comfortable.  If you are wearing the cap with the attached back and front mesh, you will be happy to learn that the fabric has several holes for ventilation in order to allow air to flow freely.

Other Important Features:

  • Blocks the sun’s harmful rays from every angle
  • Comes with a windproof strap for security
  • Cap is foldable and crushable
  • Has a nice bit of stretch in the material in order to provide a close fit
  • Slide buckle back closure
  • Sweatband lined on the interior

Pros

  • Foldable brim makes for a compact size when traveling
  • Affordable
  • Great for all sorts of outdoor activities

Cons

  • Can’t really be worn with nice attire

What You Need To Know

This sun cap by ELLEWIN is the perfect companion for the outdoorsman that likes to go on long hikes or fishing in exposed locations.  The back and front mesh are detachable so you can quickly decrease sun exposure if necessary.

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5. Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat - Breathable...

Top Award: Best Washable Sun Hat

Best Features:

  • Small vents allow for great airflow
  • Washes easily
  • Simple drawcord adjustment

Best For:

Men that want a no-frills, minimalist, wide-brim hat that provides adequate coverage.

Summary:

When it comes to reviewing hats for the sun, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet hat is a simple-get-the-job-done type of hat.  With a wide brim and made from synthetic materials, it can withstand harsh elements when outside for extended periods.

  • Water and stain-resistant fabric that is durable

Whether you sweat profusely or you want to make sure that the hat retains its shape after a sudden downpour, the Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat shouldn’t falter at all.  Made from a blend of synthetic materials (86% ripstop nylon and 14% polyester), it will naturally wick moisture away from both your head and face to keep you comfortable.

Unlike other synthetic fabrics that hand wash only, thanks to the reliance on ripstop nylon, you can place this into the washer to remove any sweat rings that may show up on the surface.

  • Hidden breathability looks sleek and modern

While other sun hats we reviewed will have large side panels that allow air to flow easily around your head to keep you cool, Outdoor Research took a different approach with the hat design of the Sombriolet Sun Hat.  Here they have small side vents on the side of the hat that should allow for heat to escape.

Other Important Features:

  • Foam brim allows it to float in the water should it fly off
  • Secured to your head by a drawcord that is adjustable
  • Easily packable and crushable so you can always take it with you
  • The brim is 3″ in width
  • UPF 50 sun rating protects against harmful UV radiation

Pros

  • Simple, yet modern design
  • Moderately priced
  • No brim wire makes it washable

Cons

  • A bit pricey

What You Need To Know

If you want a simple but high-quality sun hat, then the Sombriolet Sun Hat should be one of your top picks.  The rugged fabric coupled with it being washable will ensure it can last for years.

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