When you say you’re going kayaking, that usually means that you’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 and are highly recommended so that you can enjoy more time out on the water without suffering a sunburn or getting head cold due to the constant pattern of light rain. The best hats for kayaking do more than that; they even keep your hair prim and proper and prevent it from flying onto your face during windy kayaking sessions. Basically, an accessory as simple as a hat can make everything fall in place while providing comfort and protecting your 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 from one of these 13 best hats for kayaking.
How To Choose The Best Kayaking Hats?
Choosing apparel for kayaking involves lots of careful consideration, where it’s kayak hats, 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 to be 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 for providing shade from all angles.
- UPF rating – UPF or ultraviolet protection factor is an indication of how well the fabric of the hat blocks the 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 prevents your neck from being exposed to the sun.
Usually, most hats are made from either organic cotton, or nylon, or 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 kayaking conditions and what exactly you want your 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 to consider when choosing a kayaking hat is sizing. No hat is worth it if it doesn’t fit well. Some hats are slightly adjustable, and nylon hats have a little give. If your head tends to run on the big or small side, you may 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, important to determine exactly how much coverage you need, which is a combination of several factors. To begin with, we have the UPF rating that indicates how well the hat protects your skin. Secondly, the size of the brim indicates how much of the skin is covered and how much is exposed, so you know which parts are protected and covered. Additionally, the presence of a back flap means that even the neck skin s covered, which is important if you tend to get blisters or marks due to the sun on your neck. Basically, the higher the UPF rating and the thicker the brim, the better the hat’s protection.
Finally, we come to the style of the 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 best sun protection?
Our vote goes to the JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat, which not only costs less than $10 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 rays.
Lanzom Wide Brim Women Hat
Are you looking for stylish hats for kayaking? We’d highly recommend the Lanzom Wide Brim Women Hat, which costs just $18 and comes in a whopping 36 colors and patterns! Lending an excellent beach-friendly look for women, this hat is made from 90 percent genuine paper straw material and 10 percent polyester. So, the size is actually free-sized, which will suit people with all shapes and sizes of heads. What’s more, it even features a wide brim that keeps the sun off your eyes and neck while keeping you 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. It comes with a 30+ UPF rating, which is perfect considering its low price. So, you’d rather use it on shorter kayaking rides rather than full-day ones with the sun beating down on you. Besides keeping your head cool, the hat is super lightweight as well. Finally, its foldable nature allows you to easily stash it into your handbag or purse, or kayaking deck bag to keep it handy.
- Comes in multiple colors and textures.
- Comfortable and lightweight.
- UV protection is slightly low.
DealStock Boonie Bucket Hat
Who knew that a men’s hat will come in such a gamut of colors? Behold the Dealstock Boonie Bucket Hat, a super-stylish kayak hat that looks good for anything and on anyone. The summer-friendly hat comes in 15 color options, including the pleasing dark green below. Moreover, it’s available in two sizes, which means you’re sure to find one that fits you comfortably. Made from genuine 100 percent cotton, the hat is extremely comfortable for summertime kayaking in flat water or in the calm sea. What’s more, it’s durable, tear and rip-resistant, and will last you a long time.
Going further, the hat even has an adjustable chin cord that keeps the hat in place and the fit snug while you kayak away to glory. Costing just $10-15, this is an excellent choice for a kayak hat for going fishing, angling, and paddling for all kinds of activities in the summer.
- Cord adjustment for fit.
- Material is soft and moisture-wicking.
- Lots of color options.
- Snaps are slightly difficult to use.
Quiksilver Pierside Hat
Quiksilver is known to make some of the Best Quiksilver Winter Hats which are very popular. So, it’s no surprise that it also makes some of the best hats for kayaking, 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 are two size options as well, with a fitting ratio of almost 88 percent. At the same time, the hat is comfortable to be worn in any weather and is quite durable too.
Since the material is so lightweight, the hat doesn’t feel like a block over the head, and rather feels manageable. The adjustable closure system ensures a snug fit. While it cannot be machine-washed, it’s easy to clean with the hands and be maintained. Finally, the wide brim gives you enough ventilation and space to keep the head dry and cool.
- Proper venting system.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- The adjustable closure is easy to use.
- No official UV rating available.
JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat
There’s no better summertime water fun hat than the JFH Wide Brim Summer Hat, which costs less than $10! The hat boasts a solid crown design that not only looks nice but also fits snugly over the head. It also comes in another design, a solid one for those who need protection from the sun. Aside from being durable and strong, it also has side brim snaps that offer a better hold on the brim. Available in as many as 26 configurations and color shades, this hat is perfect for any sort of activity.
Aside from being super-comfy, the hat can also handle rough use thanks to the 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester build. Furthermore, the material also helps keep your head dry and cool. Finally, the neck flap and three-inch-wide brim protect your face and neck from the sun rays.
- Keeps your head cool and dry.
- Comes in four universal size options.
- Has 26 different design and color options.
- The neck flap is not removable.
O’Neill Men’s Sonoma Prints Hat
Yet another excellent hat for kayaking is the O’Neill Men’s Sonoma Prints Hat, which combines beauty, comfort, and durability into one reasonably priced package. Offering nine color options, the hat comes in just one size. However, its fit is excellent, featuring a fitting ratio of almost 86 percent. Plus, if you want an even snugger fit, then simply place a bandana beneath the hat, and voila, you’re done! Made from 100 percent true sea straw, the hat is sustainable. What’s more, it’s a treasure during summer, offering excellent ventilation and keeping your head dry and cool. The best part? The hat is even machine washable!
Equipped with a toggle closure, the hat also has an extremely wide brim that covers most of your face and neck. Reasonably priced around $20-30 with an extremely good build, this hat is an excellent buy.
- Pretty and goof-looking design.
- Sea-straw build lends it excellent venting abilities.
- User-friendly and comfortable.
- No official UV rating available.
Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat
Are you looking for extremely packable headwear? Then consider the Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat, which can be packed up easily and nicely due to its pure cotton mesh build. Hence, you can easily fold it and put it in your purse, case, or one of the Best Kayaking Deck Bags that you have on you. Not only is it portable and packable, but also it offers utmost support and protection from the intense heat of the sun. This is especially true during windless kayaking in the summertime, where it goes a long way in keeping your head dry, cool, and thus, calm.
Thanks to the three-inch-wide brim, the sun won’t hit your eyes or make you lose focus while fishing or paddling. Moreover, the adjustable chin cord allows you to find a fit that’s just right for you. Finally, it comes 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 hats for kayaking. Whether you’re evening kayaking on a calm body of water or out paddling on a hot day, this pretty-looking hat’s style game is right on point. featuring 11 gorgeous shades, the beach-friendly design of the hat is made from a combination of 14 percent polyester and 86 percent nylon. So, not only does it provide you comfort, but also the under-brim material is 100 percent nylon known for its sweat-wicking properties.
What’s more, the hat comes in not one but four size options, ensuring that you get a customized and good fit no matter the size of your head. Lightweight with a UPF protection factor of 50, this hat is perfect for all your kayaking, angling, and paddling needs.
- Safe headband for better fitting.
- Mesh in the crown for proper ventilation.
- Stiffened foam construction.
- Some users mentioned that the brim tends to collapse at times.
Sloggers Wide Brim Hat
For all you style-conscious kayakers, this Sloggers Wide Brim Hat is perfect for you, since it comes in as many as 10 amazing colors and designs. So, you can match every kayaking and angling outfit to a different design! Costing just $33, this summer-friendly kayak hat boasts a UPF protection of almost 50, offering utmost protection from the harmful rays of the sun. So, even if you were to spend the entire day in the sun, it’s super secure and safe. Despite coming in just a single size, the free-sized build fits most users.
Going further, the hat comes with a well-designed headband that’s not only sweat-wicking but also secures the hat snugly on your head. The wind lanyard helps secure the fit further, while the wide brim that’s neither too stiff nor too floppy keeps the sun off your face and neck perfectly.
- Comes in 10 designs and colors.
- features a UPF protection of 50.
- Comfortable, snug fit, and well-built.
- Only in one size.
Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat
Yet another excellent kayaking hat is the Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat, which boasts a wonderful combination build of 48 percent polyester and 52 percent cotton. So, not only is this hat user-friendly but also it’s quite durable and long-lasting. What’s more, the material is breathable and keeps your head cool and dry in all sorts of hot weather situations. At the same time, it has enough robustness to fight all sorts of wear and tear. While it’s not machine washable, the hat can easily be cleaned by hand and maintained easily – all it needs is a simple soap rinse. Besides coming in two lovely shades, it even comes in as many as six size options, allowing you 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 you 360 degrees of shade exactly the way and kind you need. All-in-all, for a price of $37-50, this is one kayak hat you should definitely have.
- Breathable and non-irritable material.
- Excellent UPF protection.
- 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 known to make 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 percent nylon poplin fabric, the unisex boonie is well-textured and comes in as many as 10 amazing shades. Even though it comes in just one size, the hat has a fitting ratio of 92 percent, allowing you to find a customizable fit no matter the size and shape of your head.
Besides being crafted from a signature-wicking fabric, the hat offers UV protection of 50 and is resistant to moisture, and keeps your head dry and cool especially when you kayak in the summer. What’s more, it even has a design of mesh features that not only ensure ventilation but also have breeze-inducing powers to keep your cool. Rounding up the features is the adjustable drawcord allowing you to find a fit comfortable for you.
- Adjustable fit thanks to drawcord.
- UPF of 50 along with good sun protection.
- None, really.
Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie
How would you like a hat for kayaking that will fold down into your pocket? That’s what the Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie promises, and then some! You need a hat to match your sporting stamina as you wait for your catch to appear, and this hat does just that. This sun boonie allows raindrops and sweat to roll right off of you, thus not affecting your composure at all. Moreover, the hat even ends up redirecting the rays of the sun, thus making sure that you don’t end up with sun damage rather than the fish.
While some users say that the size runs small, the adjustable chin strap goes a long way in ensuring the right fit even if the hat doesn’t fit you correctly right from the get-go. With a UPF of 50+, color options of beige and gray-green, and a wide polyester brim and build, this hat is a must-buy for your kayaking gear.
- Foldable and packable.
- Snaps bull brim away from the face.
- Adjustable chin strap.
- Waterproof fabric.
- Some users said that the folds cause unnecessary creases.
Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess Hat
Not a fan of the safari-style hat? Do you think it looks not-so-stylish? Well then, we have a solution for you in the form of the Sunday Afternoons Shade Goddess Hat. The chic and tasteful will perfectly complement your kayaking pursuits along with your outfits! Aside from appearing in multiple offbeat colors such as stone, purple, and what-not, this hat features ruching and even a decorative ribbon that makes you look as graceful as possible as you kayak through the calm waters. What’s more, it even has an integrated ponytail hole so that you can maintain your perfectly coiffed hairstyle!
At the same time, the generously huge hat protects your skin from sun damage. Firstly, it boasts a UPF of 50+, which means that your face and neck skin won’t get sunburnt. Moreover, the crown vents allow you to regulate sweat, while the sweatband is beautifully moisture-wicking. Besides the adjustable chin strap for the perfect fit, the hat even comes with an in-built sunglass holding design!
- In-built design for sunglass.
- Crown vents regulate sweat.
- Moisture-wicking sweatband.
- Adjustable chin strap.
Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat
Finally, sitting atop the list of the best hats for kayaking is the perfect hat that offers all-purpose coverage, the Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat. This one has everything you could possibly ask for in a kayak hat. To begin with, it effectively shades your face and neck skin from the sun rays, thanks to the wide brim. Secondly, it keeps sweat to a minimum and lets rain and dirt slide right off, thanks to its 12 percent Dobby and 88 percent nylon build. Finally, it even holds your sunglasses, especially when you don’t want to use them but want to keep them close at hand. All this, while feeling like it’s barely sitting on your head.
It might have a slightly geeky appearance, but the fact that it comes in six amazingly peppy shades is what makes it so bankable. Plus, you can fold the back flap up into the hat if you’re not using it. Adjustable sizing, a stain and water-resistant build, a folding clamshell brim, and a sunglasses lock round up this wonderful kayak hat.
- Moisture-wicking sweatband.
- Sunglass lock.
- Stain and water-resistant.
- UPF 50+ rating.