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Best Fishing Hats – Full Rundown of our TOP PICKS

Mark Armstrong
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Going fishing?

Particularly when the sun is shining, fishing is one of the most relaxing things you can do. But with the wrong hat, it can be a whole other story.

Sure, you can chuck any old hat on, but if you’re on the water all day, you’ll be catching rays from all angles thanks to the reflection from the water. You therefore need to make sure that you’re adequately protected with your new fishing hat or you’ll be sorry afterwards.

Top Fishing Hat Picks:

So, to make sure you’re covered (literally), we’ve dug out the top rated hats for fishing.

Best Hats For Fishing

1: Tilley Endurables Eco-Airflo Hat

Tilley Endurables Eco-Airflo HatPin

When it comes to straight-up sun protection – this hat has the maximum rating (UPF 50+). Made from cotton with a breathable mesh panel on the crown, it’s not only designed to shield you from the sun and provide much needed ventilation and comfort during hot days, but also to repel rain. It has a cord attached with brass eyelets, so that you can tie it on in case of wind but it’s also designed to float on the water in the event that it falls or blows overboard.

What’s also great about this hat is that it travels well. The material is flexible so you can fold it away for packing and adjust the brim accordingly when wearing the hat. This is a comfortable, durable hat that comes with a 2-year guarantee. A very safe choice and a good hat for all weathers. It could be a top pick for both men and women.

2: Home Prefer Unisex Quick Drying UV Protection Outdoor Sun Hat with Flap Neck Cover

Home Prefer Unisex Quick Drying UV Protection Outdoor Sun Hat with Flap Neck CoverPin

This one’s made from a polyester cotton blend so it’s designed to be light, soft and quick-drying. It has a 3-inch brim and an adjustable 11-inch neck cover to protect the back of your neck from sun and/or cold & wind, giving you more protection from the elements. It can be great for offering full protection for large heads.

The long neck flap can be rolled up under the brim whenever it’s not required but remains attached to the hat so you can’t lose it.

It’s designed to fit 22-inch to 23.7-inch head girth with adjustable velcro for larger heads. It also comes with a chin strap to keep it in place. This is a great hat for fishing that also comes with high performance wicking fabric which actively removes sweat and heat from your skin so it’s designed to keep you cool so that you remain comfortable.

3: MG Mens Brushed Cotton Twill Aussie Side Snap Chin Cord Hat

MG Men's Brushed Cotton Twill Aussie Side Snap Chin Cord HatPin

This hat is made from 100% cotton and is available in a range of colours and sizes. It has a wide brim at 7.5cm which you can turn up on the side thanks to the handy side snaps. It also comes, like the two aforementioned hats, with a chin cord.

It’s water repellent so if it starts to rain or you drop your hat in the water, you can stay dry! It also comes with good ventilation holes in the crown, rather than a mesh section, to prevent overheating. This can allow air to circulate keeping you cool.

The material is flexible, like bucket hats, so you can pack (or stuff) it into your suitcase and adjust accordingly once you put it on your head.

4: Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat

With its foam-stiffened brim, this high sun protection fishing hat offers water resistant UPF 50 + fabric. It also comes with brim edge piping which means that it’s a sturdier hat that can offer excellent sun protection and resistance during strong winds and stormy weather.

It’s also specifically designed to be able to keep you cool in intense heat, with its mesh lining and strategically placed vents in the crown area. Like all the other hats in this list, it also comes with a chin cord to keep it stable.

This is a sturdy but lightweight hat for fishing that can serve you in a number of different activities and conditions. It has an in-built TransAction headband to wick away any sweat or moisture whilst also ensuring a comfortable, secure fit.

5: Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats

Rated at UPF 50, this Columbia unisex Bora hat is also equipped to adequately protect you from the sun. The mesh panel, although non UPF, is installed to keep your head cool whilst the Omni-Wick™ sweatband keeps any moisture or sweat away from your face and eyes.

Once again, it comes with an adjustable chin cord that you simply pull to ensure that your hat doesn’t fly away. But in the event that it does, the quick-dry, nylon material won’t take long to recover. It also comes with an adjustable toggle to ensure the perfect fit.

6: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

This Adventure Hat is made from nylon and polyester and is designed to be water repellent, stain resistant and breathable, and could be a good fishing hat for women with its cool design.

With a 4 inch brim at the front that slopes down, this could help to provide a good level of shade for your face and keep the sun’s rays out of your eyes. The extra wide brim continues around the sides until it reaches the 7.5 inch neck flap, which should give you plenty of shade, as well as protection from flies and other bugs. Added protection from the sun comes from the fabric which is rated as UPF 50.

As well as this, the hat is also designed to float, which can make it ideal for a kayak fishing trip. It’s ventilated with mesh side panels, moisture wicking, and features an adjustable chin strap so you don’t lose it in the wind, so it could be the best fishing hat for various weather conditions.

7: Top Level Fishing Sun Cap

Top Level Fishing Sun Cap with Neck Flap - Best Fishing Hat #7Pin

This fishing hat is designed as more of a ball cap, which you might find more comfortable or preferable. Along with its baseball cap style, it also benefits from ear and neck shades, so you can still keep your skin protected from the sun, with more protection than many bucket hats.

The hat is made from polyester and it is designed to be easy to clean, lightweight and breathable. It features adjustable drawstring at the back to let you tighten or loosen it for a comfortable fit.

It also comes in a range of muted outdoor colors, including camouflage prints for hunting so it could be the best hat if you’re looking for a stealthy approach.

8: Filson Tin Cloth Bush Hat

Filson Tin Cloth Bush HatPin

This durable Filson Tin Cloth Bush Hat features an extra wide brim for shade and an adjustable leather chin strap to keep it secure on your head.

As well as ventilating grommets to allow the cool breeze to pass through, this wind-resistant hat also has a water-repellent coating and a breathable cotton sweatband.

9: Simms Trout Icon Trucker Hat

Simms Trout Icon Trucker HatPin

This Simms fishing cap is a great all-purpose fishing hat with adjustable closure. It has a fun trout icon design and black fabric under the brim to minimize glare.

The mesh venting at the back helps with breathability and you can even store flies on the fish icon.

10: Sunday Afternoons Adventure Stow Hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Stow HatPin

This Sunday Afternoons Adventure Stow outdoor sun cap can be ideal for both sun and rain.

It’s made from water-repellent material and features UPF 50 sun protection as well as a mesh vent panel.

A great feature this fishing cap is the roll-out ear flaps to keep you dry. It also has a snap-on neck flap for added sun protection.

11: Tilley Hemp Hat

Tilley Hemp HatPin

This Tilley Hemp Hat can be a good versatile option for various outdoor activities. It’s designed to keep the sun and rain off, with UPF 50 fabric and a water-repellent coating.

This wide brim hat is naturally antimicrobial to prevent odors and can be folded. It also floats and is a quality fishing hat.

12: Outdoor Research Oasis Sombrero Hat

This Outdoor Research Oasis hat is crafted for women. It is water-resistant, with UPF 50 fabric to protect you from all weathers.

It features a wide all-around brim to keep the sun’s harmful rays off and a removable chin strap for heavy wind.

This sombrero is also built to float thanks to its foam padded brim.

13: Costa Del Mar Bass Trucker Hat

Costa Del Mar Bass Trucker HatPin

This Costa Del Mar Bass Trucker cap features a standard ball cap design with a stiff brim for style and comfort, and a bass fish icon with college style lettering on the front. It has a snap closure and a deeper crown to fit a large head size.

It also has a mesh back to keep you cool.

14: Tilley LTM5 Airflo Medium Brim Hat

The wind-resistant Tilley Airflo hat features UPF 50 material with a mesh insert for ventilation in hot weather.

A great feature of this one is that it has closed-cell foam in the fabric so it’ll float. It’s also designed to repel rain and mildew, and has a hidden inside pocket.

15: Columbia PFG Mesh Fish Flag Hat

Columbia PFG Mesh Fish Flag HatPin

This Columbia PFG Mesh hat can be ideal if you’re looking for a simple fishing cap. It features breathable mesh to keep you cool on hot days and a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes.

It has a FlexFit design and a fish flag patch on the front.

16: Tilley Wanderer Hat

This Tilley Wanderer Hat has a unisex design and comes in a choice of colors. It features durable water-repellent fabric and UPF 50 protection so is great for both rain and sun.

It’s designed to float and has a secret pocket to keep your ID and fishing license.

17: Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Cap

This Outdoor Research fishing cap can be ideal for fishing in the rain. It features waterproof GORE-TEX fabric with taped seams to keep your head completely dry, unlike a standard bucket hat.

The 3 inch brim can also help to shade your eyes from sun and rain. It also benefits from having UPF 50 sun protection.

18: KastKing Sol Armis Boonie

KastKing Sol Armis BooniePin

The KastKing Sol Armis boonie hat can be ideal as a kayak fishing accessory, with a camouflage fabric to help you blend in to nature.

It has UPF 50 material and features vented mesh sides for breathability and great protection. It has an adjustable chin cord for windy days and dark fabric under the brim.

19: REI Co-op Waterproof Brimmed Hat

This REI hat features soft waterproof fabric to help keep the rain off while being comfortable to wear. It can be crushed and packed into gear bags safely for easy storage and can regain its original shape later.

It has a mesh lining for breathability and an adjustable chin cord. It also features snap-up sides.

Reasons Why You Need a Fishing Hat

Compared to the rest of your body, the skin on your face, neck and ears is a lot thinner and therefore more sensitive to UV damage. Wearing sun cream or sun block is also important but if you’re out for elongated periods of time, it is best to keep yourself protected and shield these areas from the sun’s damaging rays as much as possible.

Cancer Council Australia’s ‘SunSmart’ program highlights the repercussions of UV damage along with their top 5 ways to protect yourself from the sun. Their slap on a hat policy is number 3 of 5.

We cannot stress this enough: wear a hat. It’s more than a fashion statement, it could save your life. But you should also wear sunscreen for effective protection against skin cancer from UV rays.

Hats Are Great, But You Still Need Sunscreen!

Top Features That Make The Perfect Fishing Hat

Coverage & Protection

Fishing hats are specifically designed to give you better coverage and good sun protection. Whereas most hats (like standard baseball caps) protect your scalp and parts of your face, the fishing hat is made for the sole purpose of protecting you whilst fishing (duh).

It therefore covers your scalp, face, ears and neck. Some hats might look cool but they won’t protect you from the sun rays reflecting from the water.

Most fishing hats have a wider brim than other types of hats. The best fishing hats are made of waterproof material, designed not only to shield you from the sun but also to keep your head dry if the weather turns. A bucket hat or boonie hat (or booney hat) can also be useful but these types of hats may not always be waterproof and can be better for sun day wear rather than rain day. However, some boonie hats might be waterproof.

Some waterproof hats may also feature UPF fabric (similar to sun protection factor in skincare products but for fabric instead of skin) to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Some waterproof hats may also feature UPF fabric (similar to sun protection factor in skincare products but for fabric instead of skin) to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Neck Flaps

However, your neck can often still be exposed when wearing a regular hat, as even a hat with a wide brim may only shade your neck when the sun is directly overhead.

Removable neck covers can therefore be a useful feature on a fishing hat and help to protect more of your skin from the sun, especially when the sun is hitting you from behind. If the fabric has a UPF rating as an additional feature, this can provide excellent sun protection. But you might want to make sure you still have peripheral vision, as you don’t want your hat to impact on your ability to sight fish.


Most will be made of light, breathable material to ensure you don’t overheat. The idea is that it is suitable for all kinds of weather and comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. Mesh panels can be a useful feature for air circulation and lighter colors can be cooler for hot sun. But it can also be helpful if the hat can be machine washed for convenience so that it’s clean and fresh the next time you go outdoor fishing.

Like any other type of fishing equipment, there are many different brands and styles you can choose from, like boonie hats or caps. When selecting a waterproof fishing hat, you should first consider what kind of conditions you’ll encounter.

Chin Strap

Are you new to fishing and only likely to be fishing for an hour or so at a time in fair conditions? Or are you hooked (pun intended) and likely to be out for hours on end in all kinds of weather? Are you accident prone and likely to drop your hat in the water at any point? You probably want an adjustable drawcord on your hat if you’re heading out on a windy day.

Some brands are cheaper than others and some are made to suit varying conditions, for example waterproof fishing hats for rain. For example, most hats, like boonie hats, are made with a chin strap or elastic drawstring to minimize the chances of you losing your hat temporarily thanks to a gust of wind.

Chin straps that can be easily adjusted can be more suitable, especially when the wind kicks up and you need to secure your hat.

However, many anglers wear hats that don’t have a strap – it’s really a personal choice.

Can Float?

Some are made light and waterproof so that they float atop the water in the event that you lose your hat anyway (again, no judgement). Others are made with wider brims so you can stay cool in the heat and some are even designed to look fashionable (if that’s what you’re after).

Most anglers may tell you that it’s not always necessary for your hat to float, so this may not be a must have feature for everyone, and other features may be more important.

Hat Sizing

Fishing hats come in various sizes, as well as one size fits most and sometimes the sizes can differ between manufacturers. A good rule of thumb can be to measure the circumference of your head so you can use the hat size charts for each manufacturer.

You might see fitted sizes on some hats, whereas others may have easy fit sizing.

Hot Sun Temparature - Kayaking & FishingPin

How To Put A Fishing Hook On A Hat

Adding fishing hooks to hats can let you adorn your hat with flies and lures but you can also use the fish hooks as decoration on their own.

One way to attach a fishing hook to a hat is to pierce it carefully through the brim of your hat, or the bill on a baseball cap. It can be a good idea to hold the hook against the hat at an angle and then push down firmly and carefully.

If you want to attach it to the cap or crown section of your hat you should be extra careful, as you don’t want to have any part of the hook touching your head. Once you’ve pierced through the crown, turn the hook and pierce it back through the material so that the sharp end of the hook is on the outside of the hat.

You could also heat the hook so you can bend it to fit around your hat instead of piercing the material.

Video: Making A Fish Hook Hat Clip

Summing Up

Our final thoughts are that hats are an extremely important part of your equipment list for fishing. They can keep you warm and dry in wet, cold conditions and also protect you from UV damage in the sun and heat.

Overall, you need to make sure that the brim is sufficient for sun protection and that both your face and neck are covered. Ventilation and comfort are also extremely important, especially in warmer climates. Your hat doesn’t absolutely have to be waterproof but in the event that you drop it or it starts to rain, this is also a handy feature.

The Tilley Eco-Airflo hat is our top pick, with the Home Prefer Unisex quick-drying hat coming in as our budget choice.

Whichever hat you choose, make sure you get one that fits comfortably. Ideally, you should try it on before you buy it but if this is not an option, the sizing charts should give you a good indication.

Best kayak hats

Best Hats For FishingPin

Do you use a hat when fishing? If so, what do you use, and why? Let us know about it below…

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