The 7 Best Fishing Hats for Protecting More Than Your Head

Last Updated on June 27, 2022

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Honestly, I’m a sucker for a ball cap.

You’ll be hard-pressed to see me without one on while fishing, but ball caps are not the best fishing hats to protect against the sun’s rays that cause skin cancer.

The CDC has even expressed their concerns and has suggested wearing a hat for protection, “If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas…[1]

So what is the best fishing hat?

One that provides lots of protection, is comfortable, and looks good, like the Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat.

Ladies, I didn’t leave you out!

The best fishing hat for women is the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat; because it provides a ton of protection, comes in several colors (not just pink), and fits several head sizes.

If these two don’t work for you, don’t worry. There are several more options!

Comparison Table – Best Fishing Hats

ImageFeaturesRatingPrice
Best Overall
Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat

Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat

  • Sizes: Large
  • Colors: Moray Kahki
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Wide brim
10
Backcountry
Best for Boating
The North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat

The North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Aviator Navy and Military Olive Retro Dye
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Ball cap bill with a hood
9
Check Current Price
Best Sun Hat
Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat

  • Sizes: S/M and L/XL
  • Colors: Umber, Blue Spruce, and Kalamata
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Medium brim
9
Check Current Price
Best Straw Hat
Peter Grimm Original Lifeguard Straw Sun Hat

Peter Grimm Original Lifeguard Straw Sun Hat

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Colors: Straw
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Wide brim
8
Check Current Price
Best for Fly Fishing
Simms Superlight Sunshield Hat

Simms Superlight Sunshield Hat

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Sterling
  • Chinstrap: No
  • Brim style: Bill and cape
9
Check Current Price
Best for Men
KastKing UPF 50 Boonie with Removable Neck Flap

KastKing UPF 50 Boonie with Removable Neck Flap

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Silver Mist, Gray, Blackout, and Khaki
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Sun hat with a cape
9
Check Current Price
Best for Women
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

  • Sizes: S/M M/L
  • Colors: Bluestone, Sand, Cream, Blossom, Black, Eucalyptus, Iris, Quarry, and Bluemoon.
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Medium brim with neck cape
9
Check Current Price

Reviews of Our Favorite Hats for Fishermen

Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat

Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat

BEST FISHING HAT OVERALL

Specs

  • Sizes: Large
  • Colors: Moray Kahki
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Wide brim

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Floats
  • Water repellent
  • Lightweight
  • Dark underbill reduces glare

Cons

  • Expensive

Why We Chose It

Patagonia is a brand trusted by many, especially environmentally-minded outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy many outdoor activities.

Though Patagonia products are expensive, they’re high-quality and designed to last for years, unlike most clothing today.

I especially love that the Baggies Brimmer is made from “recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean plastic pollution” it shows me that Patagonia is trying to improve fishing habitats.

I’ve lost many hats because they flew off my head and sunk. Thankfully this one is designed with a semirigid floating brim, so if it does fly off of your head, you’ll be able to find it while on the water.

The chin strap will also help keep it from flying off while boating or on windy days.

You’ll wear a hat even when it’s cloudy and raining because it helps keep the glare and rain out of your eyes if you’re like me.

The frustrating part is coming home and drying a hat after it’s soaking wet. The Baggies Brimmer is water repellent, so it won’t take as long to dry.

Finally, no more ruining hats by putting them in the dryer.

The Baggies line-up of products is lightweight and is designed for moisture and temperature control.

The Patagonia Baggies Brimmer Hat is one of the best fishing hats because it provides lots of protection for you and the environment, and it floats.

Another hat that floats is the Outdoor Research Bugout Brim Hat. It’s excellent for either sex, and it’s “treated with EPA-registered Insect Shield® to help repel mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects.”

The North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat

The North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat

BEST BOATING HAT

Specs

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Aviator Navy and Military Olive Retro Dye
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Ball cap bill with a hood

Pros

  • Lots of protection from UVA and UVB rays
  • Partially made from recycled nylon
  • Shields your neck, face, and head
  • It keeps you cool and dry

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Goofy looking

Why We Chose It

The North Face is a clothing brand that countless people love to rep.

They make quality clothing and are pushing to become more sustainable.

The Class V Sunshield Cape Hat is made from 68% recycled, so you can feel good knowing you’re supporting a company working towards improving the environment.

The hat’s visor will shade your face from the harmful UV rays, but the cape will protect your ears and neck using the UPF 40 fabric shields.

You might be concerned that you’ll be hotter while wearing it. However, the moisture-wicking FlashDry sweatband will keep you cool and dry while fishing, so you won’t have sweat running into your eyes.

The chin strap will keep it on you while you’re speeding across the lake or in high winds.

The all-around protection and convenience of the chin strap make this North Face Class V Sunshield Cape Hat an excellent choice for boating if you don’t mind the looks of the hat.

The Tilley Ultralight Cape Sun Hat is a comparable hat that offers more UPF, uses more recycled nylon, and is water-repellent.

However, it’s more expensive, and the cape doesn’t wrap around your ears and neck, as well as the Class V Sunshield Cape Hat.

Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat

BEST FISHING SUN HAT

Specs

  • Sizes: S/M and L/XL
  • Colors: Umber, Blue Spruce, and Kalamata
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Medium brim

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Snap-up brim with brass eyelets
  • Unisex
  • UPF 50+ protection

Cons

  • Will catch wind

Why We Chose It

Outdoor Research is an award-winning outdoor clothing manufacturer.

They design outdoor gear to protect against all of the elements. The Moab Sun Hat is one of the products that help protect you from the sun’s UV rays.

The snap-up brim gives you the flexibility to protect your face, neck, and ears or snap the bill up when it’s catching too much wind.

The colors are unisex friendly, and the fabric is UPF 50+, which is a fancy way of saying it’ll protect you from the sun for a while. It’s a similar rating system as sunscreen.

The TransAction™ headband does a good job of keeping sweat out of your eyes while keeping you cool.

The Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat is a great medium-sized brim sun hat.

If you’re looking for a hat that will protect your neck even better, the Outdoor Research x Dovetail Field Hat is very similar to the Moab Sun Hat, except it has a cape that covers your neck.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t cost much more for the added protection. I like that the cape stows in the hat’s brim for days when you don’t need it.

Peter Grimm Original Lifeguard Straw Sun Hat

Peter Grimm Original Lifeguard Straw Sun Hat

BEST STRAW FISHING HAT

Specs

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Colors: Straw
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Wide brim

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • UPF 50 rated protection
  • Elasta-fit comfort band

Cons

  • Not the best sun protection

Why We Chose It

Peter Grimm makes fashionable hats for a variety of situations.

Though straw hats are not the best at protecting us from the sun because of the holes that happen when weaving the straw.

However, wearing a straw hat is better than nothing, and the Peter Grim Original Lifeguard Straw Hat is very affordable.

Unlike some straw hats, this one is tightly woven, providing up to UPF 50 for your face and ears. The five-inch wide brim will also help protect your neck but not as well as a caped hat.

The adjustable chin cord keeps your hat secure on windy days or traveling across the lake to your next fishing spot.

It also has an Elasta-fit comfort band that will stretch a little to fit your head and keep it secure, I’ve worn straw hats without this, and they tend to fall into your eyes or easily blow off your head.

The Peter Grim Original Lifeguard Straw Hat is affordable and comes in several sizes, so you’ll find one that fits you!

If you’re willing to spend a little more on a palm leaf hat, check out the Peter Grimm Shoal Lifeguard Hat.

It has all the benefits of the Original Lifeguards Straw Hat, but it’s made from palm leaves which are more malleable and will last longer.

Simms Superlight Sunshield Hat

Sims Superlight Sunshield Hat

BEST FLY FISHING HAT

Specs

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Sterling
  • Chinstrap: No
  • Brim style: Bill and cape

Pros

  • Great protection
  • Trusted brand
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • No adjustable drawstring

Why We Chose It

Simms is a trusted brand within the fishing and clothing industries.

They make fishing waders and hats like the Superlight Sunshield Hat.

This hat is the best for river and fly fishing because it has a standard length bill to protect your face with a cape for ultimate neck protection.

Even though it’s lightweight and thin, the material is water-resistant and has a UPF 50 rating, which is nearly as good as it gets, especially in this price range.

I like that it looks like a normal baseball cap with a cape because I prefer baseball hats.

This would not be a good boating hat because you can’t turn it backward, and it doesn’t have a chin strap. I would stick with fly fishing or kayak fishing in the Simms Superlight Sunshield Hat.

If you’re looking for a hat that’s a little more versatile, I suggest the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Stow Hat.

It has a ball cap mode, ear flap mode, and cape mode to keep you protected from the sun and dry in the rain because it’s also water-resistant.

They’re similarly priced, but the versatility of the Adventure Stow Hat does add a little to the cost.

KastKing UPF 50 Boonie with Removable Neck Flap

KastKing UPF 50 Boonie with Removable Neck Flap

BEST FISHING HAT FOR MEN

Specs

  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colors: Silver Mist, Gray, Blackout, and Khaki
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Sun hat with a cape

Pros

  • It offers a lot of protection.
  • Keep you cool
  • Removable neck shield
  • Moisture-wicking headband

Cons

  • The breathable mesh can allow you to get sunburned.

Why We Chose It

KastKing makes various affordable fishing products, from rods and reels to apparel.

The KastKing UPF 50 Boonie Hat with a removable neck flap will protect you from the sun for a price you can’t beat.

The mesh is nice because it allows air to flow through the hat and keep you cool, allowing the sun to get through and burn you.

It’s a one-size-fits-all hat, so you’ll pull the drawstring above the brim tighter if you have a small head.

My favorite feature of this hat is that the neck shield is removable. So if you don’t need it for the day, you can take it off.

Don’t be like me and forget where you put it, though!

The KastKing UPF 50 Boonie Hat is a budget-friendly fishing hat and the best hat to buy your dad.

If you’re looking to cover your neck and face, then the Ellewin Fishing Hat is another affordable option.

The face mask and cape are removable, so you can just wear the ball cap or wear it all for maximum protection.

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

BEST FISHING HAT FOR WOMEN

Specs

  • Sizes: S/M M/L
  • Colors: Bluestone, Sand, Cream, Blossom, Black, Eucalyptus, Iris, Quarry, and Bluemoon.
  • Chinstrap: Yes
  • Brim style: Medium brim with neck cape

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking sweatband
  • Water and stain-resistant material
  • Adjustable chin strap
  • Ventilating mesh panels

Cons

  • Not fashionable

Why We Chose It

Sunday Afternoons makes hats for the outdoor enthusiast. They have a variety of styles and colors for everyone.

The Adventure Hat is the best fishing hat with a neck flap for women because it’s comfortable, comes in several colors, and protects your face, ears, and neck.

The moisture-wicky sweatband keeps the sweat off your forehead and out of your eyes as you fish.

I’m a little skeptical of the mesh, it could allow you to sunburn, but it’s nice to have a hat that breathes so you don’t get overheated.

Like many other hats, it’s water-resistant, but this one is unique because it’s also stain-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about ruining your new hat with a bit of mud.

The adjustable chin strap will keep you from losing it in high winds or during a boat ride.

You have to choose between fashion and function with the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, but hopefully, the wide selection of colors helps.

Suppose you’re concerned about being more fashionable; check out the Lanai Hat, a wide brim sun hat. It’s much more aesthetically pleasing and foldable, but it’s not water or stain-resistant.

It has an adjustable drawcord and breathable fabric, so you’re not getting rid of all the functionality if you decide to go with this hat.

Fishing Hat Buying Guide

fishing hat buying guide

There are only a few things that matter when choosing a good fishing hat. Which ones matter most to you will decide which hat you choose.

Protection

I’ll refer to the experts in this instance:

“For the most protection, wear a hat that has a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.” – CDC.gov

Comfortability

I wear a hat because I find it comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, I won’t be wearing it.

So it should provide protection, but it should also be comfortable.

This includes how cool it keeps you and your hat size.

Looks

I prefer a baseball hat because I like how they look. I know I’m sacrificing protection, but I make up for it by wearing a hooded shirt or neck gaiter.

I recommend wearing a hat that makes you feel good.

You’ll Also Need

Once you’ve purchased your favorite fishing hat, you’ll need a few other sun protection items.

Sunglasses

best fishing sunglasses

A hat will protect your face, ears, and neck, but your eyes can be damaged by the sun even with a hat.

It might be when it reflects off of the water or shiny surface on the boat.

No matter what, it’s an easy fix with the best fishing sunglasses.

Polarized sunglasses are the only way to go when fishing.

Sunscreen

I went fishing the other day and had my hat, long-sleeve hooded shirt, and shorts on. My legs got sunburnt because I didn’t put enough sunscreen on them.

Always carry an extra bottle with you and apply it before you start to feel it because once you begin to feel the burn, it’s too late.

Neck Gaiter

If I’m not wearing one of my hooded fishing shirts, I’ll wear a neck gaiter to stay cool and block my ears and neck from the sun.

They’re inexpensive, and they have fantastic designs.

What Are the Best Fishing Hats for Kids?

What Are the Best Fishing Hats for Kids?

The best fishing hats for kids are the ones that protect their sensitive skin from the sun’s harmful rays the most.

Let’s be honest; we all think our kids look cute in any headwear, so get them the one that will take longer to get a sunburn while wearing.

I like the Columbia Junior II Cachalot Hat and the Patagonia Baby Sun Bucket Hat because they’re lightweight and provide all-around protection.

Final Thoughts

Buying and wearing the best fishing hat can be the difference between having a great day on the water and coming home looking like a lobster only to be miserable for the next few days.

That’s why I recommend the Simms Superlight Sunshield for fly fishing. It protects the most sensitive areas of your face and neck so you can focus on placing the fly exactly where it needs to lay.

The Outdoor Research Moab Sun Hat will keep the sun off your head, it’s water-resistant in the rain, and it has sport mode with a chin strap and snap-up capabilities.

You already know I will keep wearing my ball caps and neck gaiters, but what is your favorite fishing hat?

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