Best Hiking Hat – 12 we love for year round walks

Best Hiking Hat – 12 we love for year round walks

You have heard the phrase ‘Get ahead, Get a hat’ havent you? well for hiking in comfort and all weathers I think a hiking hat should be on your essentials list.  

The best hiking hat is one that fits with the nature of your walk and the weather you are expecting.  So we always carry beanies and sun hats in our Hiking Rucksacks because of our unpredictable Scottish weather.  

When we are skiing or hiking in snow we use balaclavas like the Montana Punk Balaclavas to keep the weather out.  Hubby gets all Indiana Jones with his fav hiking hat, wearing the Tilley Endurables Walkers Hat, its sun and rain proof so perfect for year round walkers!

Personally I am all about warmth in my Hiking Headgear and I love my Trailheads Fleece Cap.  On those colder or windy hikes I can pull down the ear flaps to stay toasty.  It also has a ponytail hole…brilliant for keeping my hair in one place!

My star buy hat for kids Hiking has to be the Decentron Kids Sunproof Hiking Hat.  This is waterproof, wicks away sweat and is super sunsafe with its UPF factor and neck cover/visor look.  

See all our best hiking hats below with shopping links if you are ready to get that hat and get outdoors.  Full reviews of each and a Buyers guide to hiking hats is further on in this article.

TrailHeads Fleece Ponytail Hat for Women – Trailblazer Reflective Winter...
  • BE A TRAILBLAZER – Don’t let a cold, blustery day end your adventure. Forge ahead with warm ears and a high pony in your TrailHeads warm hat for women with a ponytail hole, ear warmer, and anti-glare bill.
  • VERSATILE DESIGN – This winter ponytail hat for women is made with an ear warmer you can flip up or down and 2 layers of breathable fleece. Slip on your cap for walks, runs, hikes, and more.
Decentron Child Kids UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Hat Large Brim Bucket Sun...
  • Soft and breathable polyester hat
  • 53cm-56cm/20.9"-22.0" head circumference fits most children ages 4-10
Outdoor Research Seattle Sun Sombrero - Breathable Lightweight UV...
  • SUN PROTECTION: A wide shade with a floating foam-stiffened, varied width brim and UPF 50+ rating protects your face and neck from hot, sunny days. A wicking TransAction headband keeps sweat and water away from your brow and out of your eyes.
  • COMFORTABLE AND LIGHT: The lightweight material will keep you cooler and comfortable while traveling and exploring the great outdoors. With an adjustable drawcord and removable chin cord, your favorite hat will stay with you on all your adventures.
Decentron UPF 50+ Kids Sun Hat Boys Bucket Hat with Neck Flap Sun...
  • Kids sun hat for boys and girls: UPF 50+ protection blocks 98% of UV Rays
  • Featured wide brim and mesh vents for cooling airflow through the crown and back flap
Buff Original Ecostretch Neckwear Black Unisex Adult
  • Made with 95 Percent of recycled content
  • Ultimate stretch and seamless comfort that moves with you
Montane Punk Balaclava Face Covering
  • Functional, classic piece of mountain headwear.
  • Stretch fleece fabric, comfortable to wear, snug.
DANISH ENDURANCE Beanie Hat Kids, for Boys&Girls, Polar Fleece Beanie,...
  • ONE SIZE: A stretchy, one-size-fits-all design that comfortably adapts to most kids' head sizes, ranging from 52-56cm (20.5-22 inches) in circumference
SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof All Weather Cap - Black, One Size
  • KEY FEATURES – 100 Percent waterproof, breathable and windproof. Inner and outer layers are made from 100 Percent polyester
  • TECHNOLOGY – Using a unique three layer construction with the middle layer being a laminated waterproof membrane, our waterproof hats can withstand any amount of rain
Fancet Mens Winter Waterproof Faux Leather Aviator Pilot Deerstalker Cap...
  • 4 SIZES:①Small-best fit 55-56CM; ②Mediuml-best fit 56-58CM;③Large-best fit 58-60CM;④X-Large-best fit 60-62CM.With adjustable chin strap to find the perfect fit.
  • Waterproof & Windproof & Durable - Perfect for snowy and windy area. It keeps head and ears warm without placing pressure on glasses.

Get straight to our reviews on walking poles by clicking here

Types of Hiking Hats

Wide-brimmed sun hats: These sun hats typically have a wide brim that goes around the entire head. These hiking hats are ideal if you need shade on your neck, top of your head, and part of your face. You should choose a sun hat that doesn’t obstruct your vision though. Since their wide brim tends to get caught in the wind, buying a sun hat with an elastic and adjustable drawstring closure would be good. 

When buying these hiking caps, you should ensure they’re comfy, breathable, and water-resistant. Since the British weather is unpredictable and it can rain without any notice, buying a waterproof sun hat would be wise. If you’re looking for the best men’s sun hat, I recommend our best buy – the Outdoor Research Men’s Seattle Sombrero.

Baseball caps: Though these hiking hats offer you the least sun protection on their own, they’re the most versatile ones. These baseball-style caps have a large brim on the front side, not around the hat like sun hats. Most hikers prefer mesh-backed baseball caps as they provide good ventilation. You could combine these trekking hats with a bandana or buff to have a DIY neck cape or wear it with a sun hoodie for optimum sun protection.

Caped hats: You can call them ball caps, which have an additional piece of large fabric attached to the back that drops down to cover your neck. Consequently, these caps provide optimum sun protection because the cape prevents the sun rays from hitting your neck and even the ears.

Beanies: These insulated hiking caps are ideal for protecting your head and ears from the cold weather. They could be made from merino wool, spandex, acrylic, or a blend of these materials.

Balaclavas: When you go hiking or trekking in winter, these hiking caps will offer protection and warmth to your head and face while leaving your eyes, mouth, and sometimes, the nose exposed. If you buy a balaclava with a full-face opening, you could roll this hiker’s hat up to just cover the top of your head or fold it down to use it as a collar around your neck. If you’re looking for the best balaclava, I recommend the Montane Punk Balaclava.

Waterproof Gore-Tex hats: If you need a hat that’s entirely waterproof, you can buy a Gore-Tex hat. But such hats usually produce extra heat because they don’t ventilate much. This could make them uncomfy to wear, especially when the temperature soars.

Tubular buffs: These trekking hats are shaped like long tubes of material and come in varying lengths. They’re usually used in cold weather and can be worn in different ways. You can use them as neck gaiters, half/full face mask, balaclava, and so much more (even headbands in summer!).

Guide to Buying the Best Hiking Hat

A hiking hat may not seem as important as your hiking boots, hiking jackets, or hiking poles. But in reality, it’s a crucial part of your hiking gear. Before hitting the trail, you need to get yourself a good hiking hat that will offer adequate protection against the elements and make you feel comfy in different conditions. Ready to buy one a hiking hat? Here are the vital factors you need to consider when buying a hiking hat:


A decent hiking hat won’t cost the earth so thats great news!. You can get functional hiking caps that look good for anywhere from £20 to £55. This large price range will mostly depend on your hiking hat’s uses and the brand, size, and style you choose. 

For instance, you can get waterproof hats for walking, like our best buy – the SEALSKINZ Waterproof All Weather Cap One Size, for  only £20. But if you need specialty hats that can offer protection in sub-zero temperatures, you’ll have to pay much more than £55. However, most hikers will do well with a decent sun hat for warm weather and a good beanie when it’s cold.


You should consider the size of your head when buying a hiking hat. This is especially true for unique hiking caps like sun hats. Though you may need a medium-sized beanie, you should go up a size and get a large sun hat for proper fit. However, for flexible hikers’ hats like beanies and buffs, getting a generic size range (large, medium, or small) would do.  


Depending on your requirements and style, you should choose your hiking hat. For instance, if you need a beanie for warmth and rain protection, a blend of acrylic and wool might do the trick. Again, for sun hats, breathability matters. This makes it crucial to choose one made of nylon or other synthetic materials having a good UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating for sun protection, along with wicking properties.


Your chosen hiking hat should fit your crown comfily and securely. It shouldn’t make you sweat or itch. Also, it should play its supposed role. So, if your beanie needs to keep your crown warm, it should do its job well. Your chosen hiking caps should also be able to take a fair bit of battering and not fall apart.  I have found to get my hats to fit perfectly and never rub in colder weather i wear a Tubular Buff under the hat too!

Quickly before we go into our in depth reviews of our best hiking hats, here are quick links to our other picnic and hiking essentials on the site.  If you have all these, you are sure of the perfect time when you go outdoors!

Can you think of another essential outdoor or picnic item I must include? If so, drop me a line in the comments.

Best Hiking Hat – 12 we love for year round walks

In-depth Reviews of Hiking Hats

Best Men’s Hiking Hat