Updated April 2017
Ready for those warm summer rays, we updated this review for 2017. We confirmed that the models here are the most recent available, noting updates such as an array of new colors for our Editors' Choice winner. We also added charts and rating tables to give you a clearer picture of where each hat stands in comparison to its competition.
Best Overall Sun Hat
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
Great protection all around, especially on the back
Brim angled for longer protection
Poorly designed Velcro tab on back
The overall best hat we tested is the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
. It offers superb protection and breathability while maintaining comfort and durability as well. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, though, and this isn't the most stylish hat we tested - but if comfortable, durable, sun protection is your goal, this puppy is the clear winner. From gardening or hanging clothes out on the line to sweltering desert hikes or summer kayak floats down your local creek, this hat (quite literally) has got you covered. Sunday Afternoons recently added new colors for this award winner. See our individual review of this product for a list and photo of each new color.
Read full review: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
Best Bang for the Buck
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat
Packs down to a good size and reforms quickly
The Outdoor Research Sombriolet
wins the Best Buy award for being the best value hat at a reasonable price. It was especially good with breathability, comfort, and even style - we don't feel ashamed to wear this hat out in public, which can be rare with a truly protective sun hat. The Sombriolet also performed above-average across every other metric. Best of all, its list price is $42 but is commonly found at online retailers for a significantly lower price. Although the list prices for the other two award winners are higher than that of the Sombriolet, they are also commonly found on sale. If you aren't too picky about hat color, you might get even more performance for a similarly low price by finding another award winner on sale.
Read full review: Outdoor Research Sombriolet
Top Pick for Most Protective
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
Good in wind
Looks a little funny
Can get hot on the back of your neck
The Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
wins our Top Pick award for being the most protective hat we tested and one of the most comfortable. A huge bonus is that the neck cape is removable so that you can wear it as a regular ball cap, as well. With the neck cape, it's one of the least stylish caps in our review - remove the cape, and it's a sleek, sporty cap, but offers way less protection. In addition to top marks in protection (with the cape attached, of course), this hat also earns a 10/10 for comfort.
Read full review: Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap