How to find a cool hiking hat
Regardless if you’re an enthusiast hiker or just someone who enjoys taking a stroll in the outback every now and then, getting one of the best hiking hats is a smart choice. With a quality hat on your head, you’ll get protection against the elements and most important against UV rays, feel great and travel in style.
However, choosing the right hat is not as easy as you might think. You need to consider a model to suit specific activities such as long mountain trips, 1-day tours, or short treks in the park. You also want to balance protection with comfort and durability while also ensuring that you don’t look silly in a hat that doesn’t match.
The good news is that you have a myriad of options on the market, with hats both large and small, made from a variety of materials, with brims, drawstrings, and all sorts of other accessories. Depending on the areas you’ll be traveling in and the season, you’ll probably want a hat with a higher UPF, or maybe a model that offers good waterproofing. You also want to take style into account, as in many cases the hat that offers the most protection isn’t exactly the best looking, so if you want a more stylish one, you’ll need to compromise.
How we chose the coolest hiking hat
When it comes to good hiking hats, options abound. But since there are so many types to choose from, you definitely want to narrow down the selection to those that fit your purpose, traveling needs, your preferences, and your budget.
When choosing the best models, we look at UFP ratings so we know how much of the sunlight these hats can block, comfort which includes size and breathability, long-term performance, and of course, aspect.
Enjoy extra protection on your trips
One of the main reasons why you want a hat is to get decent protection from the UV rays, which by now everyone knows that they’re harmful and can cause a lot of health problems. The protective capabilities of a hat are related to the materials it’s built from, the size of the hat and brim, and its design.
While some lower-tier hats are made of cotton, which is never a good choice for a hat, others employ modern materials such as polyesters and nylon. These hats can have a protection factor or UPF of 30 to 50, the latter being able to block up to 99 percent of the UV rays.
The size of the hat will also matter, since the larger the size and the brim, the more it will cover. You can get protection for your head, face, and neck with a large brim, and ensure you don’t have a problem even after long periods of walking straight under the sun.
Comfort is very important
While protection is essential in a hiking hat, this doesn’t mean much unless it’s also comfortable. A hat that won’t fit your head because it’s too tight will surely be left at home since the last thing you’d want is to miss the splendid views and think only of the sensation that you’re head is shrinking.
A hat that’s too large is also a bad choice. You probably wouldn’t want to risk losing your hat to the wind and then be forced to spend an entire day under a hot sun unprotected. A smart option would be to go for a hat equipped with a strap or a drawstring so you can adjust it and ensure a tight yet comfortable fit.
You also want a hat that’s made of soft materials that feel good on your head, especially if you plan on doing long treks. You also want to make sure that the materials are breathable, as you want the hat to be able to vent all that water vapors from sweat so you don’t roam around with a soaking-wet head all day long. Some versions up for sale have side meshes with a loose texture which enables ventilation at higher rates.
Get a durable hat to use for a long time
If you plan on reading some hiking hats reviews, you want to specifically check how they perform over a long period of time. Durability is very important in a hiking hat since it will endure a lot more abuse than a regular city version. A good hat will have to withstand the wear and tear associated with hiking in the wilderness, as you’ll often come across tree twigs and other vegetation that would normally damage a hat. Models with reinforced fibers or anti-rip technologies are a good choice for a hardcore hiker.
Materials should also resist being tossed around or thrown into the backpack, and you probably want a hat with a crushable brim that won’t get affected after being packed. The seams also need to be strong, so the hat doesn’t start falling apart after just a few uses.
The color you choose could also have an impact on durability. The lighter the colors, the more sunlight will be reflected back, offering more protection. However, stains are much more visible on light colors, which means you’ll need to wash the hat more. So you either get a darker color and feel a bit warmer or make sure that the item is easily washable.
Make sure you travel in style
No amount of protection in the world could force you to wear a hat that just looks awful on your head. While you might not want to be in line with the latest fashion trend, you probably still want to look decent with your hat on. Extremely large brims, full-face versions or simply-uninspired designs are things you probably want to avoid unless you really don’t care about how funny you look and only value how good the hat feels and protects.
With so many models to choose from, it’s also highly doable to strike a balance between style and functionality. There are quite a few hats which offer top protection (excuse the pun) while also being modern and stylish. So make sure you get the best hiking gadgets for both your head and body so you get to enjoy safe travels anywhere and anytime.