6 Best Backpacking Hats For Men And Women

best backpacking hats

If you love to spend time outdoors, you’ll need protection against the sun’s UV rays. Whether you’re out for a walk in your backyard, backpacking, or kayaking, you’ll need protective gear. Aside from protecting your body, your neck and head also need protection! However, the most underrated outdoor gear is a hiking or backpacking hat.

Benefits Of Wearing A Backpacking Hat

Hats Protect Your Neck And Face From UV Rays

During the summer months, it’s essential to protect the back of your neck and face. Since these are the most exposed parts of our body. Wearing a hat prevents skin diseases that may ultimately lead to skin cancer. Protection From Cold Weather

In the winter, hiking hats can keep your head warm and protect your hair from the elements. Wearing a hat will prevent you from having colds and flu, which means saving up on spending money on cold and flu medicine.

Backpacking Hats Are Stylish!

You’ll also look good with several stylish backpacking hat designs! Since hats come in a variety of colors, you can choose your favorite color and pair it up with your outdoor gear. You’ll look good while protecting your head! What’s better than that?

Bug Protection

A good hat is your first line of defense against bug attacks, especially when you’re outdoors. You’ll find a couple of caps that can cover your ears and keep insects out of your hair.

How To Choose The Best Hiking Hat

Protection From The Sun

Before you buy a hiking hat, it’s essential to determine the Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF rating. Choose a hat that has a standard UPF rating of 30 to 50+, this means that only two percent of UV radiation will penetrate your hat. You’ll find Gore-Tex membrane on hats made from nylon or polyester, this material prevents water and sunlight from penetrating the hat.

Backpacking Hat Style

Before you choose a hat style, it’s essential to determine the type of backpacking you plan on doing. If you think you’ll be exposed to the sun most of the time, Boonie hats provide the best protection for warmer climates.

You may want to choose a flexible hiking hat that can offer you the best of both worlds! You can choose caps with long or short ear flaps. The ear flaps come in handy when the climate gets cold. Choose one with a wider brim to help protect your face. You can also choose a stylish

mesh hat that is well-ventilated, quick-drying, and breathable, which is ideal for long hikes. 

Hat Size And Brim

Functional backpacking means getting the right fit. Find an adjustable hat, where you can tighten them during extremely windy conditions. If your cap is too tight, you might experience severe discomfort, especially headaches.

It’s essential to choose an adjustable hat with Velcro or hook-and-loop closures. You’ll be able to maintain comfort throughout the day and secure your hat on your gear. The hat’s brim helps protect your face, eyes, and neck from the sun’s harmful UV rays. So, it’s essential to choose a hat with a wider brim.

Choose a wider brim if you’ll spend more time under the sun on your outdoor adventure. A wide-brimmed hat offers the perfect protection against the sun and provides maximum shade around your head. While a caped hiking hat offers the most protection since it prevents the sun from reaching your ears and neck.

Lightweight And Packable 

You’ll feel comfortable wearing a lightweight backpacking hat all day. Also, hats with lighter materials tend to dry quicker. Choose a good hiking hat that can maintain its shape even after being packed away.


Outdoor adventures mean sweating a lot! An excellent backpacking hat should have adequate ventilation and airflow. Find a hat that is made of breathable fabric or has lots of mesh.

Can You Use A Running Hat For Hiking?

You can use a running hat for hiking. Running hats are designed to stay in place even when you’re moving fast, which means that it provides excellent comfort when hiking. However, it’s not ideal to wear a hiking hat for running. Imagine running in hiking clothes? Feels uncomfortable right?

6 Best Backpacking Hats

Arc’teryx Sinsola

Lightweight, comfortable, and stylish, the Arc’teryx Sinsola has a simple design and is packable. With a wide brim, you can keep the sun’s harmful UV rays out of your ears and face.

The Sinsola offers effective sun protection that’s a bit more feminine! It folds up easily and nicely. However, the Sinsola is not adjustable, so there’s a good chance you might not find the perfect fit. The thin fabric may not hold up to repetitive rugged use.

The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer

Featuring a secure fit, the North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer offers an airy full-brim hat. The sweat-wicking Moisture Management technology keeps you protected even while under the sun for long periods.

You’ll stay cool and dry since the Horizon Breeze Brimmer is equipped with a moisture management sweatband. The adjustable drawcord provides a secure fit, so you don’t have to worry about your hat being blown away by a strong gust of wind!

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat

The Bora Bora II features an adjustable chin strap to help you secure your hat when the wind picks up. Equipped with UPF 50 the textured nylon poplin shell provides the ultimate protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The mesh interior and polyester sweatband will keep sweat off your head, keeping you comfortable and cool throughout the day.

Shelta Firebird V2 Performance

With laser-cut venting on the sides, the Shelta Firebird V2 features breathable fabric, a perspiration-wicking headband, and a multi-panel interior moisture management system that is perfect for backpacking adventures! The brim offers more shade with a technical 5-panel crown.

The Shelta Firebird V2 comes with UPF 50+ Certified Eco Feather-Tech Fabric, No Flop Brim Technology (Patent Pending), and a Removable Cord System (Patent Pending). The reflective branding is eye-catching and easily signals your presence in the outdoors.

North Face Door To Trail Mesh Cap

Lightweight and breathable, the North Face Door To Trail features a FlashDry sweatband to keep you comfortable, cool, and dry throughout your outdoor adventure. Equipped with a fully adjustable strap, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit. The sweatband quickly dries and doesn’t get soaked, making it a perfect outdoor headgear!

Outdoor Research Sun Runner

The Outdoor Research Sun Runner is a protective caped hat. This hat is versatile and you can easily convert it into a regular ball cap. The cape is made of breathable and ultralight materials. offers excellent protection from the sun’s UV rays. You can wrap the cape to the brim when you don’t need extra protection from the sun. You don’t have to worry about sizing, the Velcro strap allows you to get a custom fit.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re opting for a wide brim, caped, or a classic cap, having the right backpacking hat provides overall comfort and protection. It’s essential to ensure that your hiking hat has the right level of sun protection, fit, and style. Avoid painful sunburn and wear the best backpacking hat!