The 7 Best Sun Hats For Travel

A woman wearing a sun hat on a longtail boat in Laos

When you’re out exploring the world, the sun can be your best friend and your most formidable foe. Its warm rays can light up the most beautiful landscapes and bring life to your adventures, but it can also pose a significant threat to your skin and health. That’s where a trusty sun hat comes to the rescue. 

Whether you’re planning a beach vacation, a hiking expedition, or simply strolling through a new city, the right sun hat can provide essential protection and elevate your style. 

In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of travel-friendly sun hats, offering insights into the best options for your next journey. So, let’s discover the perfect balance of fashion and function to keep you cool, comfortable, and safe under the sun.

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Table Of Contents

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Columbia Bora Bora II

The Columbia Bora Bora II Booney shines as the ultimate sun hat for travelers. Its exceptional packability, stylish design, and resistance to wrinkles, odors, and sweat stains make it a reliable companion on any adventure. What sets it apart is its impressive durability, having withstood the test of three years of use and still looking remarkably new. 

With all these features combined with its budget-friendly price, the Bora Bora II is a clear winner for both novice and seasoned travelers seeking the perfect blend of practicality and style to stay protected from the sun.

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Melin A-Game Hydro

For sun-soaked adventures in tropical paradises, the Melin A-Game Hydro takes the crown as the ultimate sun hat for travel. Its exceptional breathability and quick-drying prowess make it an ideal companion in the hot and humid environments of the tropics. 

While the A-Game Hydro may come at a higher price point, its quality, functionality, and durability make it a worthy investment for those seeking both sun protection and style while exploring the world’s lush tropical destinations.

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Fjällräven Abisko Summer

The Fjällräven Abisko Summer stands out as the top choice for travelers who value versatility and modularity in their sun hat. Its wide brim not only provides excellent sun protection but also offers a unique feature – it can be folded up and easily attached to the sides with press-buttons, allowing you to adapt to changing conditions on your journey. 

With a stylish design, impeccable craftsmanship, and lightweight build, this hat effortlessly combines form and function. Whether you’re exploring urban streets or hiking remote trails, the Abisko Summer offers adaptability, making it the perfect companion for those who demand more from their travel gear.

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Tilley Endurables LTM5

For travelers embarking on journeys that span a variety of environmental conditions, the Tilley Endurables sun hat is the ultimate choice. This hat boasts an ultralight and breathable design, ensuring comfort in diverse climates. Additionally, its water repellent finish adds another layer of protection, making it suitable for sudden rain showers or water-bound adventures. 

As a testament to its quality, Tilley offers a lifetime guarantee on workmanship, emphasizing the hat’s remarkable durability. Though it may come at a slightly higher price point, the Tilley Endurables sun hat proves to be a wise investment for travelers who need a reliable companion capable of adapting to ever-changing conditions.

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Sunday Afternoons Cap

When it comes to extended outdoor adventures, the Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper is the ideal sun hat. Tailor-made for active travelers who spend long hours hiking or exploring remote areas, this hat outshines the competition with its exceptional quick-drying capabilities. 

Whether you’re trekking through the wilderness or wandering SE Asia, the Sun Tripper offers sun protection and moisture control that are second to none. Its lightweight and durable design ensures that you can focus on your journey without the worry of an uncomfortable, soggy hat. 

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Filson Tin Packer Hat

For travelers with an eye for timeless style, the Filson Tin Packer takes the spotlight as the ultimate sun hat. Boasting a minimalist aesthetic, this hat exudes vintage charm with its waxed cotton material and distinguished leather accents. 

If you’re on the hunt for a sun hat that effortlessly combines form and function while sporting a heritage look, the Filson Tin Packer stands out as the perfect choice. It’s the ideal companion for explorers who appreciate classic aesthetics without compromising on sun protection.

Best Sun Hats For Travel

Adidas Washed Bucket Hat

For travelers seeking a nostalgic throwback, the Adidas Washed Bucket Hat is the ideal choice. As a budget-friendly option with iconic brand recognition, it captures the spirit of the ’90s with its classic bucket hat design. Crafted from 100% cotton, this hat doesn’t offer any travel-focused features, but it’s the perfect accessory for those who desire a vintage look that resonates with a touch of sporty charm. 

Whether you’re reminiscing about the past or embracing the retro vibe, the Adidas Washed Bucket Hat adds a sense of style to your travel ensemble without breaking the bank.

How To Choose A Sun Hat

Actionable Information

Selecting the ideal sun hat for travel is crucial to ensure comfort and protection from the sun’s harmful rays. For both men and women, consider the following criteria:

UV Protection: Opt for hats with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating to shield against UV radiation. Look for UPF 30 or higher for effective sun protection.

Wide Brim vs. Cap: Choose based on your travel activities. Wide-brimmed hats provide superior coverage and are perfect for outdoor adventures, while caps are more suitable for urban or casual settings.

Material: Lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials like nylon, polyester, or natural fibers like cotton and straw are excellent choices for warm climates.

Adjustable Fit: Ensure the hat has an adjustable or stretchy band for a secure fit. This is especially important if you’ll be in windy conditions.

Packability: If you’re traveling with limited space, select a packable hat that can be folded or rolled without losing its shape.

Chin Cord or Straps: These features are handy to keep your hat in place on windy days or during active pursuits.

Ventilation: Look for hats with ventilation, like mesh panels or eyelets, to keep your head cool in hot weather.

Water Resistance: If you plan to be near water or anticipate rain, choose a hat with water-resistant properties.

Style: Consider your personal style and the versatility of the hat for various occasions. You can find hats ranging from casual to formal.

Durability: Invest in a hat with good workmanship and quality materials to ensure it lasts throughout your travels.

Brand Reputation: Reputable brands often provide quality and reliable sun protection, but lesser-known brands might offer unique features or styles.

Budget: Determine your budget and find a hat that fits within it. Quality sun hats are available in a wide price range.

Versatility: Choose a hat that complements various outfits and activities, reducing the need to carry multiple hats.

Remember that the best sun hat for travel should offer comfort, protection, and match your travel style and destination. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities, lounging on a beach, or hiking in the great outdoors, there’s a sun hat that suits your needs.

Determining if a sun hat is quick-drying primarily depends on its materials and construction. Here are some tips to help you identify quick-drying sun hats:

Material: Quick-drying sun hats are typically made from synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, or blends of these fabrics. These materials repel water and wick moisture away from your skin, allowing the hat to dry rapidly.

Moisture-Wicking: Look for sun hats with moisture-wicking properties. This feature ensures that sweat or water is drawn away from your skin and toward the hat’s surface, where it can evaporate quickly.

Ventilation: Hats with breathable designs, such as mesh panels or ventilation holes, promote airflow and help moisture evaporate faster. These designs enhance the hat’s overall drying time.

Water-Repellent Finish: Some sun hats come with a water-repellent finish that prevents moisture from being absorbed by the hat. This feature accelerates the drying process.

Fabric Blend: Hats made from a blend of water-repellent synthetic materials with natural fibers like cotton often dry faster than those made solely from natural materials.

Air Dry Test: If you’re unsure about a hat’s quick-drying capabilities, you can perform a simple air dry test at the store (if allowed). Wet a small area of the hat, and time how quickly it dries. Quick-drying hats should dry within a few minutes.

User Reviews: Check online reviews or forums where users share their experiences with the specific sun hat model you’re interested in. They often provide insights into drying times.

Remember that quick-drying sun hats are highly beneficial, especially in hot or wet conditions, as they help you stay comfortable and protect you from the sun. Be sure to check the hat’s specifications and materials to ensure it meets your needs for fast drying.

The best type of sun hat for travel depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some popular types of sun hats suitable for travel:

Wide-Brimmed Hat: A wide-brimmed hat, like a classic sun hat or a floppy hat, provides excellent sun protection. It shades your face, neck, and shoulders from harmful UV rays. These hats are versatile and suitable for various travel situations, from beach vacations to city exploration.

Bucket Hat: Bucket hats offer 360-degree sun protection with a casual and trendy style. They’re lightweight and foldable, making them ideal for packing in your travel bag. Bucket hats are great for outdoor adventures and urban explorations.

Packable Hat: Packable hats are designed to be compact and foldable. They’re perfect for travelers as they can be stowed in your luggage without losing their shape. Look for materials that are both durable and easily collapsible, like crushable straw or synthetic fabrics.

Baseball Cap: A baseball cap is a classic choice for casual travel. It offers sun protection to your face and eyes and can be easily packed in a daypack. Some caps also come with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for added sun protection.

Fedoras: Fedora-style hats provide a blend of style and sun protection. They are suitable for city travel, adding a touch of sophistication to your outfits. Look for fedoras with a wide brim for better coverage.

Adventure Hat: Adventure hats are designed for travelers who plan on hiking, camping, or exploring rugged environments. They typically come with features like neck flaps, ventilation, and adjustable chin straps for stability.

Fashionable Hat: If style is a top priority for you, consider fashionable sun hats like wide-brimmed straw hats or stylish cloche hats. These are great for city travel and outdoor dining.

The best sun hat for your travel needs depends on the destination, activities, and personal style. Additionally, prioritize sun hats with UPF ratings for increased sun protection. Consider the weather conditions and your planned activities to make the right choice for your travels.

While sunscreen is an essential component of sun protection, wearing a hat is still highly recommended, especially when you’re exposed to the sun for extended periods or in conditions where sun intensity is high. Here are a few reasons why you should consider wearing a hat even if you’re using sunscreen:

Extra Protection: Sunscreen provides a good level of protection, but it may not be perfect. It can wear off, be wiped away by sweat, or not be applied as evenly as needed. A hat offers an additional layer of protection.

Targeted Shade: A hat provides shade to specific areas, like your face, neck, ears, and scalp, where sunburn can be particularly painful and damaging. Sunscreen might not provide as consistent coverage to these areas.

UV Exposure: Some hats are designed with materials that have a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which means they offer effective protection against UV radiation. Even with sunscreen, the intensity of UV rays can still affect your skin, especially on very sunny days.

Comprehensive Protection: To maximize sun protection, it’s recommended to use a combination of methods. This includes sunscreen, protective clothing (like long-sleeved shirts), sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. This approach provides the most comprehensive protection.

Practicality: In some situations, it may be challenging to reapply sunscreen regularly, especially when you’re engaged in outdoor activities. A hat provides continuous shade and protection.

Overall, using both sunscreen and a hat offers the best protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation. While sunscreen is essential, a hat enhances your sun protection strategy, especially in high sun exposure conditions.

Yes, sun hats can significantly help protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sun hats are an essential part of sun protection, particularly for your face, neck, and shoulders. Here’s how they help:

Shade & Coverage: Sun hats provide a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. A wide-brimmed hat, for instance, shades your face and neck, helping to prevent sunburn and reducing the risk of skin damage.

UV Protection: Many sun hats are designed with materials that offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings. This means they are tested and proven to block a certain percentage of UV radiation. The higher the UPF rating, the better the protection.

Preventing Sunburn: Wearing a sun hat reduces the direct exposure of your skin to UV rays, which can lead to sunburn. Sunburn is not only painful but also increases the risk of skin cancer and accelerates skin aging.

Eye Protection: Some sun hats, like wide-brimmed hats or bucket hats, can also shade your eyes from the sun. This helps reduce the risk of eye damage and discomfort caused by bright sunlight.

Comfort: Sun hats provide shade, keeping your head and face cooler in hot weather. This can enhance your comfort while exploring, hiking, or lounging in the sun.

Skin Cancer Prevention: By reducing your UV exposure, sun hats play a role in the prevention of skin cancers, including melanoma, which is often caused by excessive sun exposure.

Remember, combining the use of sun hats with other sun protection measures such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing is the most effective way to safeguard your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.

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Welcome to North of Known! We’re Alan and May, a married couple who have embraced digital nomadism while calling Bangkok, Thailand, our current home base. Over the past 7 years, our shared passion for exploration and adventure has fueled our journey across the globe. Join us as we continue to embark on our nomadic adventures, sharing our insights, discoveries, and travel tales along the way.

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