When we go kayaking, that usually means that we’ll be spending a few good hours under the sun. Or if you’re someone who goes kayaking in all different sorts of weather, then how to find comfort in such ever-changing climates? That’s where kayak hats come in. We got our hands on them and haven’t been able to stop singing their praises ever since! The best sun hats for kayaking allowed us to enjoy more time out on the water without suffering a sunburn. Plus, they even prevented us from getting a head cold due to the constant patter of light rain.
However, our hats did more than just that. They even kept our hair prim and proper and prevented it from flying onto our faces during windy kayaking sessions. Basically, an accessory as simple as a hat was able to make everything fall in place while providing comfort and protecting our skin at that too. What’s more, these amazing hats aren’t hard to find either, and kayak ones even include those that were designed specifically for paddlers who need some serious protection. So, head to your nearest haberdashery and choose one of our amazing recommendations.
Table of contents
- Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll-up Hat
- DealStock Boonie Bucket Hat
- Quiksilver Pierside Hat
- JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat
- O’Neill Men’s Sonoma Prints Hat
- Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat
- Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
- Sloggers Wide Brim Hat
- Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat
- Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat
- Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie
- Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess Hat
- Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat
- Our Verdict!
- How To Choose The Best Kayaking Hats?
- Which kayak hat offers the best sun protection?
Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll-up Hat
Most color options. While looking for stylish headgear for outdoor activities, we came across the Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll-Up Hat, which costs just 26 USD and comes in a whopping 21 colors, including the lovely purple color below. We loved the beach-friendly look that this hat ensured, as well as the 90% genuine paper straw material and 10% polyester build. What’s more, the hat is actually free-sized, which meant that it suited most of our heads that were of different sizes and shapes. It even featured a wide brim that kept the sun off our eyes and neck while keeping us comfortable. The best part? It even has a rope on the inside to make sure that the fit is just right.
But that’s not all. The hat boasted a 50+ UPF rating, which was perfect considering the low price tag. So, we were able to use it on longer kayaking rides as well when the sun was beating down on us. Besides keeping our heads cool, the hat was super lightweight as well. Finally, its foldable nature allowed us to easily stash it into our bag.
- This hat comes in multiple colors and textures.
- The hat is very comfortable and lightweight.
- It’s very stylish.
- The UV protection is slightly low.
DealStock Boonie Bucket Hat
Who knew that a men’s hat would come in such a gamut of colors? Behold the Dealstock Boonie Bucket Hat, a super-stylish kayak hat that looked good for anything and on anyone. This summer-friendly hat came in 15 color options, including the pleasing dark green below. Moreover, it was available in two sizes, which meant that everyone is sure to find one that fits them comfortably. Made from genuine 100% cotton, this product was extremely comfortable for summertime kayaking in flat water and even in the calm sea. What’s more, it was not only durable, but also tear and rip-resistant, and is expected to last us a long time.
Going further, it even had an adjustable chin cord that kept it in place and the fit snug while we kayaked away to glory. Costing just 15 USD, this is an excellent choice for a kayak hat for going fishing, angling, and paddling for all kinds of activities in the summer.
- The hat offers a cord adjustment for fit.
- The material is soft and moisture-wicking.
- It has lots of color options.
- The snaps are slightly difficult to use.
Quiksilver Pierside Hat
Best wide brim hat. Quiksilver is known to make some of the best Quiksilver winter hats, which are very popular at that. So, it’s not surprising that it also makes some of the best headgear for outdoor activities, such as the Quiksilver Pierside Hat. Made from genuine raffia straw fiber, the lightweight hat boasts a unique cowboy-style design in three mature shades of brown. What’s more, there were two size options as well, with a fitting ratio of almost 88%, which we were impressed by. At the same time, the hat was comfortable to be worn in any weather by us and quite durable too.
Since the material is so lightweight, it didn’t feel like a block over our head and felt very manageable. The adjustable closure system ensured a snug fit. While we couldn’t machine wash it, it was easy to clean with our hands and be maintained. Finally, the wide brim gave us enough ventilation and space to keep our heads dry and cool.
- The hat has a proper venting system.
- It’s easy to clean and maintain.
- The adjustable closure is easy to use.
- No official UV rating is available.
JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat
Best value for money. There’s no better summertime water fun hat than the JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat, which costs just around 13 USD! The hat boasts a solid crown design that not only looked nice but also fits snugly over our head. It also came in another design, a solid one which we invested in as we needed protection from the sun when kayaking in the summer too. Aside from being durable and strong, it also had side brim snaps that offered a better hold on the brim. Available in as many as 26 configurations and color shades, this hat was perfect for any sort of activity.
Aside from being super-comfy, the hat could also handle rough use, thanks to the 60% cotton and 40% polyester build. Furthermore, the material also helped keep our heads dry and cool. Finally, the neck flap and three-inch-wide brim protected our face and neck from the sun’s rays.
- The hat keeps your head cool and dry.
- It comes in four universal-size options.
- It has 26 different designs and color options.
- The neck flap is not removable.
O’Neill Men’s Sonoma Prints Hat
Yet another excellent cap for exploring the waters in a kayak is the O’Neill Men’s Sonoma Prints Hat, which combined beauty, comfort, and durability into one amazing package. It offered nine color options but came in just one size. However, its fit was excellent, featuring a fitting ratio of almost 88%. Plus, when we wanted an even snugger fit, then we’d simply place a bandana beneath the hat, and voila, we were done! Made from 100% true sea straw, the hat is sustainably built too, which is a win in our eyes. What’s more, it was a treasure during summer, offering excellent ventilation and keeping our heads dry and cool.
The best part? The hat was even machine washable! Equipped with a toggle closure, the hat also had an extremely wide brim that covered most of our face and neck. Its price is slightly high at 50 USD, but with such a good build, we thought this is an excellent buy.
- The hat is pretty with a good-looking design.
- The sea-straw build lends it excellent venting abilities.
- It’s user-friendly and comfortable.
- No official UV rating is available.
Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat
We were looking for extremely packable headwear when we chanced upon the Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat. This product can be packed up easily and nicely due to its pure cotton mesh build, so we could fold it and put it in the kayaking deck bag that you had on us. Not only was it portable and packable, but also it offered the utmost support and protection from the intense heat of the sun. This is especially true when we were indulging in windu kayaking in the summertime. It went a long way in keeping our heads dry, cool, and, thus, calm. Thanks to the three-inch-wide brim, the sun didn’t hit our eyes or make us lose focus while fishing or paddling. Moreover, the adjustable chin cord allowed us to find a fit that was just right for us. Finally, the best bit – it came in a whopping nine colors!
- Offers sun protection.
- Gets wet and unusable when logged with water.
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
The Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat is yet another one of the best headgear pieces for outdoor pursuits. Whether we were on an evening kayak ride on a calm body of water or out paddling on a hot day, the style game of this pretty-looking hat is right on point. It’s featured in 11 gorgeous shades and a beach-friendly design that’s made from a combination of 14% polyester and 86% nylon. So, not only did it provide us comfort, but also the under-brim material is 100% nylon which is known for its sweat-wicking properties.
What’s more, the hat came in not one but four size options, ensuring that we got a customized and good fit no matter the size of our head. Lightweight with a UPF protection factor of 50, this product was perfect for all our kayaking, angling, and paddling needs.
- The hat has a safe headband for better fitting.
- The mesh in the crown for proper ventilation.
- Its moisture-wicking.
- We love the stiffened foam construction.
- Some users mentioned that the brim tends to collapse at times.
Sloggers Wide Brim Hat
We might need protection from the sun, but we’re also style-conscious kayakers. That’s why this Sloggers Wide Brim Hat was perfect for us since it came in as many as 10 amazing colors and designs. So, we were able to match every kayaking and angling outfit to a different design! Costing just 35 USD, this summer-friendly kayak hat boasted a UPF protection of almost 50, offering utmost protection from the harmful rays of the sun. So, even when we spent the entire day in the sun, it was super secure and safe. Despite coming in just a single size, the free-sized build fits most of us. That’s why it’s one of the best sun hats for kayaking.
“We’d never liked wide brim hats – until we used the Sloggers hat, that is. Plus, it came in such fun colors that we couldn’t wait to try it out!”WOW Travel
Going further, the hat came with a well-designed headband that was not only sweat-wicking but also secured the hat snugly on our heads. The wind lanyard helped secure the fit further, while the wide brim was neither too stiff nor too floppy. Thus, it kept the sun off our faces and neck perfectly.
- The hat comes in 10 designs and colors.
- It features a UPF protection of 50.
- The hat is well-built with a comfortable and snug fit.
- It comes only in one size.
Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat
Best camo hat. Yet another excellent headgear for outdoor activities is the Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat, which boasts a wonderful combination build of 48% polyester and 52% cotton. So, not only was this hat user-friendly, but it was also quite durable and long-lasting. What’s more, the material was breathable and kept our heads cool and dry in all sorts of hot weather situations. At the same time, it had enough robustness to fight all sorts of wear and tear. While it’s not machine washable, we could easily clean the hat by hand with a simple soap rinse. Besides coming in two lovely shades, it even came in as many as six size options, allowing us to get the best customizable fit.
If that wasn’t enough, the old western-style hat boasts a UPF rating of 50+. Finally, the broad rim is shapeable, giving us 360 degrees of shade exactly the way and kind we needed. All-in-all, for a price of 40-50 USD, this is one kayak hat that you should definitely have.
Yosemite Cam reviews this hat in this detailed YouTube video review.
- The hat is breathable and made from non-irritable material.
- It features excellent UPF protection.
- It comes in nice camouflage shades.
- Some users mentioned that the darker shades could fade slightly.
Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat
Yet another excellent kayak hat is the Bora Bora II Booney Hat from Columbia, a brand that’s famous for making excellent outdoor gear. The hat is extremely popular due to its wonderful levels of UV protection and breathable fabric while still looking beautiful at the same time. Made from 100% nylon poplin fabric, the unisex boonie is well-textured and came in as many as 10 amazing shades. Even though it came in just one size, the hat has a fitting ratio of 92%, allowing us to find a customizable fit no matter the size and shape of our heads.
Besides being crafted from a signature-wicking fabric, the hat offered UV protection of 50 and was resistant to moisture. Thus, it kept our heads dry and cool, especially when we were kayaking in the summer. What’s more, it even had a design of mesh features that not only ensured ventilation but also had breeze-inducing powers to keep us cool. Rounding up the features was the adjustable drawcord allowing us to find a comfortable fit.
- This is a unisex hat.
- We love the adjustable fit thanks to the drawcord.
- The hat is well-ventilated and has a UPF of 50, along with good sun protection.
- Some of the colors sell out quickly.
Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie
How would you like a hat for outdoor activities that will fold down into your pocket? That’s what the Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie promises, and then some! We needed a hat to match our sporting stamina as we’d waited for our catch to appear, and this hat did just that. This sun boonie allowed raindrops and sweat to roll right off of us, thus not affecting our composure at all. Moreover, the hat even ended up redirecting the rays of the sun, thus making sure that we didn’t end up with sun damage rather than the fish.
While some users say that the size runs small, the adjustable chin strap went a long way in ensuring the right fit and finding one, if need be. With a UPF of 50+, color options of beige and gray-green, and a wide polyester brim and build, this product is a must-buy for your kayaking gear.
- This hat is foldable and packable.
- The snaps pull the brim away from the face.
- It has an adjustable chin strap.
- It’s made from waterproof fabric.
- Some users said that the folds cause unnecessary creases.
Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess Hat
We weren’t really fans of safari-style hats as we thought they looked not-so-stylish – until we saw the Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess Hat. The chic and tasteful headpiece perfectly complemented our kayaking pursuits along with our outfits. Aside from appearing in multiple offbeat colors such as stone, purple, and whatnot, this hat featured ruching and even a decorative ribbon. So, it made us look as graceful as possible as we kayaked through the calm waters of the lake. What’s more, it even had an integrated ponytail hole so that we could maintain our perfectly coiffed hairstyle.
At the same time, the generously huge hat protected our skin from sun damage. Firstly, it boasted a UPF of 50+, which meant that our faces and neck skin wouldn’t get sunburnt. Moreover, the crown vents allowed us to regulate sweat, while the sweatband itself is beautifully moisture-wicking. Besides the adjustable chin strap for the perfect fit, the hat even came with an in-built sunglass holding design.
If you want to learn more about the hat, check out the official product page below.
- We liked the in-built design for sunglasses.
- The crown vents regulate sweat.
- We like the moisture-wicking sweatband and adjustable chin strap.
- There are limited color options.
Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat
Finally, sitting atop the list of the best pieces of headgear for heading out in a kayak is the perfect product that offered all-purpose coverage, the Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat. This one had everything we could possibly ask for in a kayak hat. To begin with, it effectively shaded our face and neck skin from the sun rays, thanks to the wide brim. Secondly, it kept sweat to a minimum and let rain and dirt slide right off, thanks to its 12% Dobby and 88% nylon build. Finally, it even held our sunglasses, especially when we didn’t want to use them but wanted to keep them close at hand. All this was possible while feeling like the hat was barely sitting on our heads.
It might have a slightly geeky appearance, but the fact that it came in six amazingly peppy shades is what makes it so bankable. Plus, we could fold the back flap up into the hat when we were not using it. Adjustable sizing, a stain and water-resistant build, a folding clamshell brim, and a sunglasses lock rounded up the features of this wonderful kayak hat.
- The moisture-wicking sweatband makes wearing the hat comfortable.
- We like the sunglasses lock.
- The hat is stain and water-resistant and has a UPF 50+ rating.
- None, really.
Choosing a piece of headgear while heading out on a kayak can be daunting, especially when you have so many choices. Luckily, we’ve whittled down the list for you, choosing the best of the best.
- Best value for money: JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat
- Most color options: Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll-Up Hat
- Best wide-brim hat: Quiksilver Pierside Hat
- Best camo hat: Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat
How To Choose The Best Kayaking Hats?
Choosing apparel for heading out on a kayak involves lots of careful consideration, whether it’s kayak headgear, the best kayaking drysuits, or even the best kayaking shoes. There are a lot of sizes, weight, etc. factors to be considered, and there are some other factors specific to hats too. So, what are these things we considered? Read on.
- Brim – The hat’s brim is the part extending out from the crown. Usually, most brims of kayak hats extend around the perimeter to provide shade from all angles.
- UPF rating – UPF or ultraviolet protection factor is an indication of how well the fabric of the hat blocks harmful UV rays. If a hat has a 50 UPF+ rating, then it blocks 97.5% or more of the UV rays.
- Chinstrap – Most good kayak hats feature adjustable chin straps, which can also be tightened so that you don’t lose your hat to strong winds.
- Mesh panels – These are the mesh material inserts on the hat’s crown that ensure airflow around the head by allowing sweat to escape.
- Crown vents – These are holes in the crown that are akin to mesh panels and allow sweat and heat to escape from your head.
- Neck Cape – Finally, this is fabric at the hat’s back, offering additional neck coverage and preventing your neck from being exposed to the sun.
Usually, the best kayaking sun hat options are made from either organic cotton, nylon, polyester, or a combination of them. Nylon and polyester are not only highly durable but also manage moisture better than cotton. At the same time, polyester tends to absorb lesser water, while nylon dries quicker and has slightly more give. On the other hand, cotton packs down very easily and has a rather breezy summer feel to it. However, it becomes water-logged when it gets wet. So, map out your activity conditions and what exactly you want your sun hat for before buying one.
When we speak of the moisture management properties of a kayak hat, it includes both the water-repelling features on the exterior as well as the moisture-wicking qualities on the interior. So, if you’re going to be splashing around in a rainy environment, then you might want a water-repelling hat. However, if you’re out paddling on a hot day, then you have to go for one that wicks moisture and is breathable.
One of the most important factors we considered when choosing a kayaking headgear is sizing. No hat is worth it if it doesn’t fit well. While some hats were slightly adjustable, nylon hats have very little give. If your head tends to run on the big or small side, then you might want to measure the crown of your head against the manufacturer’s recommendations and look to see if the hat tends to run according to size.
One of the most critical and important purposes for buying a kayak hat is sun protection. Thus, we had to determine exactly how much coverage we needed, which was a combination of several factors. To begin with, we looked at the UPF rating that indicates how well the hat protects the skin. Secondly, the size of the brim indicates how much of the skin is covered and how much is exposed. So we’d know which parts were protected and covered. Additionally, the presence of a back flap means that even the neck skin would be covered, which was important since we tend to get blisters or marks due to the sun on our necks. Basically, the higher the UPF rating and the thicker the brim, the better the hat’s protection.
Finally, we come to the style of kayak hats, which either be bucket-styled or have a distinctive safari appearance. Bucket styles are cuter and more good-looking, while the safari ones offer a more rugged look. While kayak hats are meant to be less decorative and more practical, today, wider hats are very popular too.
Which kayak hat offers the best sun protection?
Our vote goes to the JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat, which not only costs around 13 USD but also features a wide three-inch-wide brim that protects the skin of both your face and the neck. Adding to the protection factor is the neck flap, which covers even more of your skin and shields it from the sun’s rays.