Best Hiking Hat – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024

Finding the perfect hiking hat for your next trek has never been a more heated (pun intended) debate. I've burned my neck and forehead enough times in the mountains, so I wouldn't recommend skipping wearing a sun hat. They might seem like a nuisance, but they will save your skin.

Best Hiking Hats (Top Picks)

Best Overall

[amazon link="B0058YU1OI" title="Columbia Bora Bora Booney II" /]

[amazon fields="B0058YU1OI" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

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Most Versatile

[amazon link="B0026MY76S" title="Outdoor Research Sombriole" /]

[amazon fields="B0026MY76S" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

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Best Value

[amazon link="B01CSG0PL2" title="The Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat" /]

[amazon fields="B01CSG0PL2" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

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Top Picks For Hiking Hats (Detailed Reviews)

Here is my short and snappy list of best hiking hats:

  1. Outdoor Research Sombriole - Most Versatile
  2. Columbia Bora Bora Booney II - Best Overall
  3. Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo
  4. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure - Best For Summer Trekking
  5. The Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat - Best Value

Read our complete buyers guide for hiking hats.

Best Overall Hiking Hats

1. Outdoor Research Sombriole

[amazon fields="B0026MY76S" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

5/5 Overall Rating

Designed with a blend of ripstop nylon and polyester, the [amazon link="B0026MY76S" title="OR Sombriole"/] brings style and protection together in a neat package. 

The versatility of its construction makes this hat suited for various activities including hiking, mountaineering, trekking and regular traveling.

The brim is a bit too wide for backpacking, so it is not an all-encompassing option, but versatile nonetheless.

With a mesh insert in the crown, it offers sufficient breathability.

If you find yourself in windier spaces, there is a convenient chin strap that helps you make sure it fits securely and is not lost in the moment.

With additional foam padding in the brim of the hat, there is a degree of buoyancy should it land in water.

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Main Features
  • A 4-inch brim at the back of the hat perfect for the days when the sun is beating down
  • Good protection and wind resistance
  • A comfortable crown with breathable mesh paneling and a sweatband
  • Nifty adjustable chin-strap
What we like
  • Dark grey underside to decrease glare
  • The edge is constructed with piping
What we dislike
  • Not ideal for backpacking
Key Takeaway

The [amazon link="B0026MY76S" title="OR Sombriole"/] is quite a versatile option with a stylish flair to it. It balances functionality, practicality and appeal very well.

2. Columbia Bora Bora Booney II

[amazon fields="B0058YU1OI" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

5/5 Overall Rating

The reason why [amazon link="B0058YU1OI" title="Columbia Bora Bora Booney II"/] hat holds the coveted top spot is that it works to balance many of the features. 

Made from UPF50 nylon, it guarantees significant protection from the sun, while the coolness of mesh panelling allows for air to flow freely to minimizing sweating. An omni-wick sweatband that moves sweat away from your face tops it all off.

It has a simple and lightweight construction, making it easy to pack away without ruining its shape.

In an effort to cater to many hikers, the hat has a drawcord that is adjustable with a toggle. It can be secured well during windy periods.

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Main Features
  • The mesh panelling along the sides and back for significant ventilation and breathability
  • Adjustable strap for customised fitting
  • 50+ UPF
What we like
  • Versatile
  • Easy to pack
  • Comes in a variety of colors
What we dislike
  • The mesh paneling is breathable but is non-UPF
  • The brim has the tendency to flop around in strong wind
Key Takeway

This [amazon link="B0058YU1OI" title="Columbia hat"/] is breathable, offers good protection and is easy to store. Its hight quality and value are why I picked it.

3. Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo

[amazon fields="B001GBCXF2" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

5/5 Overall Rating

The features that this [amazon link="B001GBCXF2" title="Tilley LTM6"/] offers, make it a sure-fire win for the next hike. 

We like the thoughtfulness of the dark under-brim added to the construction of the hat, to minimise glare.

With a medium brim this hat provides you with sufficient protection from the sun’s rays.

It is made of nylon which is water and mildew resistant. Also, front and back wind cords give you extra security.

There is a velcro-sealed, secret pouch in the crown of the design, to help you store some much needed emergency essentials.

The hat comes with a lifetime guarantee, just in case it lets you down.

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Main Features
  • Water resistant nylon with UPF protection
  • 3-4 inches of additional ventilated mesh in the crown of the hat
  • A built-in sweatband drawing moisture away from your face
What we like
  • The secret, velcro-sealed pouch for extra storage
  • Lifetime guarantee
What we dislike
  • It is a rather tight-fit
Key Takeaway

The [amazon link="B001GBCXF2" title="Tilley LTM6"/] is a stylish hat that provides you with so much more than you bargained for.

4. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure

[amazon fields="B01641EODC" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The [amazon link="B01641EODC" title="Ultra Adventure hat"/] by Sunday Afternoons made the list, despite its peculiar design for increased sun coverage. 

The blend of nylon and polyester that it is made with is are stain and water resistant. As the other hats have a significant UPF rating, we’re glad this one peaks high at 50, too.

The brim of this hat resembles a reverse clamshell and has the particularly distinct neck cape, for additional protection from the sun.

The material is enjoyably light, comfortable and lined with mesh that is good for wicking moisture away faster.

The brim can be folded for easy storage and the design features a compartment for your sunglasses and has glare-repellent material, if you’re trekking around to reflective surfaces.

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Main Features
  • Made with 100% nylon and polyester mesh inserts for ventilation
  • Sufficient cape material for sun protection of the neck
  • Reflective features on the sides for safe navigation in the dark 
What we like
  • Buckle for adjusting the size
  • The increased coverage
  • Light
What we dislike
  • It is not the most stylish option
Key Takeaway

If you are particularly sensitive to the sun on your outdoor adventures, the [amazon link="B01641EODC" title="Ultra Adventure hat"/] is a must: it provides you with a slim fit with lots of coverage, reinforcing the benefit of a UPF nylon fabric. 

5. The Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Sun Hat

[amazon fields="B01CSG0PL2" value="thumb" image_size="large"]

3.5/5 Overall Rating

The softness of the polyester material gives [amazon link="B01CSG0PL2" title=" Camo Coll Boonie"/] a comfortable, dependable fit. 

Should you need to adjust the fit, the hat has a drawstring.

A wide brim with a UPF50 rating means that sun protection is not sacrificed in this cost-effective alternative.

The construction of polyester makes it quick drying and lightweight - two things that add to the convenience. Not forgetting the ventilation it provides.

It is also easy to pack, so no need to worry about it getting all bent out of shape.

Its practicality makes it a favorite for a variety of activities or a good spare, should your trip call for one.

With a variety of colors to choose from it meets everyone’s fancy.

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Main Features
  • UPF50+ sun protection and breathability
  • Adjustable drawstring for convenience and wind resistance
  • Lightweight
What we like
  • Comfortable and soft
  • Quick drying 
  • Good value for money
What we dislike
  • Once you pull on the adjustable strap the look of the hat changes
Key Takeaway

[amazon link="B01CSG0PL2" title=" Camo Coll Boonie"/] is a simple choice for a spare hat on any hike. Easy to pack away.

Hiking Hat - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

The hat you choose can really bring your hiking gear together and ensure that you are protected and able to get the best out of your experience. Below are the features you should keep an eye out for when exploring which hat suits you best. 

Sun Protection

The UPF (ultraviolet protection factor), gives you a glimpse of how much of the sun’s radiation the hat blocks.

The 50+ rating factor of the hats described in this list block close to 99% of the harmfulness of the sun’s rays.

This feature ensures that the summer sun does not beat down on you during your hike. It is also quite responsible investing in a hat that gives you this kind of coverage.

Factors that contribute to the effectiveness of the UPF rating include: how tightly woven the fabric is, the type of material used in the construction of the hat, and the degree of stretch the material has.


The material of a hat has a tremendous impact on how useful the hat is. The mix of nylon and polyester balances comfort and durability really well. 

The degree to which the material draws moisture away from your face is also a key component to note, as you do not want sweat interfering with your hike.

Whether or not the fabric is water resistant should be taken into account too, because the climate is too unpredictable to leave to chance.

Therefore a water resistant fabric or coating takes your hiking over the edge and gives you that extra peace of mind.

If you can see light shining through the fibers of the hat, it does not provide sufficient protection. The more tightly woven the fibers are the better protection the hat provides. 

What gives your hat a superior quality is whether or not it has an under brim that assists with decreasing glare from surfaces, like sand, rocks or snow.


Very strenuous hiking or trekking for an extended period of time calls for a hat that is breathable, so as to prevent overheating. Mesh panelling included in the designs of good breathable hats allows for appropriate airflow and ventilation. This feature also makes the hat more appealing and comfortable.

You don’t want to be caught with a hat that traps hot air making your hike more tiresome. A quick-drying material contributes to the breathability of the hat, because you are not saddled with a cumbersome, damp hat should it perhaps fall into water or if you have to hike in the rain.


A number of factors contribute to the comfort of your hat. The first of these being the width of the brim. If a hat is too wide at the back, it may make backpacking a bit awkward. However a distance of about 4 inches is preferred for good sun protection. Hats with brims wider than that run the risk of flopping around and interfering with your vision.

Hats that have a cape-like design give you the comfort of knowing that your neck is shaded as well.

A hat that fits well is really important, because if a hat is loose it may fall off if the wind swoops. However, a hat that is too tight can cause headaches. 

You don’t want to have the burden of adjusting your hat constantly, or struggle with headaches as a result of an ill-fitting choice.

A lightweight material complements hiking and trekking really well, while a hat with a smaller brim is conducive for climbing.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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  1. Surely, for those hats that claim to be UPF50+, having mesh inserts negates that claim? Take the Colombia as an example, it has a clear mesh opening, which means that UV will pass through no problems.

    1. Hi Lee
      With the insert, the mesh is woven pretty tightly and in an overlapping pattern. Some air can get through but sunlight can’t.
      I hope that helps!

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