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Best Hiking Hat of 2024

Gabe Richards

Written by Gabe Richards

Gabe has tackled peaks throughout BC and Alaska, amassing over 15 years of mountaineering and backcountry experience.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Hiking Hat of 2024

A solid hiking hat is really an indispensable piece of gear. It protects your head (and neck) from sun, rain, wind, pretty much the whole gamut of possible weather you might experience in the outdoors.

To test out hiking hats we've hiked for hours in the alpine sun without a drop of sunscreen in sight. We've covered up in drizzling rain, huddled for warmth on windy ridges and generally experienced all the weather that the pacific northwest has to offer. The hiking hats below are the ones that are still in our closet.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.5 /10
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat Hiking Hat
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
Breathability
8
Comfort
7
Durability
9
Sun Protection
10

The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat has been chosen our top pick because users rave about its lightweight comfort and durable UPF 50+ protection, making it a reliable companion for countless outdoor adventures.

Runner Up #1

7.8 /10
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap Hiking Hat
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
Breathability
7
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Sun Protection
9

Securing the runner-up spot, the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap wins hearts with its exceptional breathability and stowable neck cape providing top-notch sun protection, as praised enthusiastically by hikers in numerous user reviews.

Runner Up #2

8.3 /10
Filson Summer Packer Hat Hiking Hat
Filson Summer Packer Hat
Breathability
8
Comfort
7
Durability
9
Sun Protection
9

With user praises for its excellent UV protection and its durable yet breathable material, the Filson Summer Packer Hat has cinched the runner-up position for top hiking hat.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Material

Ensure the hat is made of breathable, durable, and lightweight material like nylon or polyester that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions and keep your head cool during long hikes.

Protection

Look for a hat with a wide brim or neck cape to provide full protection from the intense sun, rain, or even unexpected brush with branches while on the trail.

Fit and Comfort

Choose a hat that provides a comfortable fit with adjustable headbands, chin cords, or back straps, ensuring it stays secure during windy conditions or active climbing.

Design and Features

Consider additional features such as vented panels for airflow, a dark underbrim to reduce glare, or even a moisture-wicking sweatband for improved comfort during your excursions.

8.5 /10

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat

$50.00
The Best Hiking Hat

Based on our research and testing, we think the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is the best Hiking Hat on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat Hiking Hat
Breathability
8
Comfort
7
Durability
9
Sun Protection
10

Reasons to Buy

  • Great UV protection
  • Exceptionally breathable and airy
  • Adjustability allows for a perfect fit
  • Generous brim provides excellent coverage

Reasons to Avoid

  • Durability could be better
  • Not the most stylish hat out there

The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is the type of gear a seasoned hiker, a laid-back camper or a sporadic backpacker could confidently stand behind. This hat is designed to keep you protected from the elements, whether it be a scorching sun or a sudden downpour.

Those who've worn it praise its lightweight nature. No one wants to feel like they're carrying a heavy load on their head, and thankfully, this hat is light as a feather. Despite how light it is, users don't need to worry about it blowing away in the wind. It comes with an adjustable strap for a customizable snug fit.

Users who reviewed the hat online are almost universally pleased with its SPF 50+ sun rating. It’s not just a claim on the product tag; users have confirmed this hat practically stands between the sun and your skin far better than most other hiking hats out there.

The overall comfort of this hat is constantly highlighted in the reviews. It seems like the hat can fit a wide range of head sizes comfortably, with the help of an adjustable sizing band. It leaves enough breathing room for users without being too loose.

In terms of durability, the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat has earned a positive reputation. Users noted that even after several hikes and washes, the hat retained its shape and function. The materials used seemed robust yet flexible, a combination that has resulted in the hat's longevity.

The hat's ventilation system also received kudos from users. The innovative design has ventilation mesh on the sides, enhancing the breathability. This feature was particularly appreciated by users hiking in hotter climates, where the heat can escalate quickly.

However, the hat is not without its drawbacks. Some users point out that they would have preferred a wider brim, particularly for covering their necks, though many note that the neck cape - which can be stowed away if not needed - generally makes up for this.

Another critique from users revolves around the aesthetics of the hat. The design is not everyone's cup of tea, and some users voiced that they had wished for more color variety. This is more of a personal preference and doesn't affect the overall functionality of the hat.

Despite these minor qualms, it's hard not to be impressed by the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat. The fact that it's foldable and retains its shapes makes it a perfect travel companion according to the feedback online. So if you prioritise function over fashion in your hiking apparel, this hat could be a worthy addition to your hiking gear.

7.8 /10

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

$38.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap is a great choice if you're looking for a hiking hat to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap Hiking Hat
Breathability
7
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Sun Protection
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent sun protection
  • Highly adjustable
  • Breathable
  • Durable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not stylish
  • Restricted peripheral vision

We absolutely love the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap! Not only does it protect your noggin from the sometimes harsh sunlight, but it also offers stellar breathability.

Equipped with an adjustable headband, it promises a perfect fit for various head sizes. The chin strap assures that the hat won't get blown away in the wind - a real lifesaver when you're trying to scramble up windy peaks.

One of the salient features of this cap is its sun skirt. This handy bit of extra cloth provides coverage for your neck and ears - meaning you can kiss goodbye to awkward sunscreen applications on those tricky-to-reach areas.

The hat is made from durable, lightweight materials. This means you hardly notice you're wearing it - a definite plus for those long, gruelling hikes. And where other sun hats fail in the style stakes, the Sun Runner Cap certainly holds its own.

Buyer feedback is overwhelmingly positive. One particular praise coming up repeatedly is the effectiveness of the sun skirt at preventing sunburn. Customers have also mentioned that despite its deceptively thin material, the cap really stands up to wear and tear.

Some users expressed frustration with the sizing, suggesting it runs a little small. So it may be worthwhile to order a size up if you're on the fence. Another common gripe was that the chin strap isn't removable. Though some found this a bit of a hassle, many felt that it added to the hat's wind-resistance.

Despite these minor drawbacks, buyers agree that the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap is a well-built, practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts - from the casual walker to the hardened hiker and everything in between.

8.3 /10

Filson Summer Packer Hat

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Filson Summer Packer Hat is a great choice if you're looking for a hiking hat to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Filson Summer Packer Hat Hiking Hat
Breathability
8
Comfort
7
Durability
9
Sun Protection
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent UV protection
  • Great breathability and ventilation
  • High durability
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Might be a bit intimidating due to its large size
  • A little pricey compared to some other options

Ah, the Filson Summer Packer Hat, a staple in any hiker's gear lineup. Known for its classic design and terrific durability, one of the standout features is its water repellency. This hat won't just keep you shaded on your sunny, summer hikes, but also dry in an unexpected downpour.

Enough about us waxing eloquent on the hat's looks. Let's talk utility. The choice of material, a hardy blend of cotton and nylon, provides a breathable and quick-drying experience. So you've got a hat that not only looks cool but also keeps you cool.

Another big plus of this hat is its wide brim. Offering ample shade, you'll have a high-level UV ray protection for your face, some extra defense against sunburn, and stylish, too. The material is stiff enough to keep its shape, even after being jammed into your packed backpack, and yet maintains enough flexibility to be comfortable.

One concern that buyers have noted is sizing. Some found the hat to run a bit large. So, if your head is on the smaller side, you might want to consider ordering a size smaller. Or take an extra bandana on your hikes; it can double as a buffer for any extra hat space.

There have also been some mixed reviews on the chinstrap security. Some people felt it was loose and required the occasional re-adjusting as it could come undone. This is something to bear in mind if you're hiking in windy conditions or like to dangle your hat behind on your back when the hat-free moments occur.

Overall, customer satisfaction is through the roof for this product. Users rave about the Filson Summer Packer Hat's ability to do what it says on the tin: providing excellent sun protection and being marvelous for any and all hiking expeditions.

No prices found. Check back later!

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