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5 Best Gardening Hats to Keep the Sun Off

Gone are the days of frumpy old staw gardening hats. These days it’s all about trendy, fun, unique, and stylish gardening hats! So what’s so good about gardening hats anyways? Why do you need to purchase one? Can’t any old hat just do?

If you want the answers to these questions along with the best gardening hats to date, keep reading on. 

Overhead view of a woman in a garden wearing a straw hat.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall for Women
Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Hat

Best for Men
Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Best for Kids
Sunday Afternoons Play Hat


Best Overall for Women

Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Hat

The Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Hat from REI is an all-around gardening hat that offers sun protection with its 50 SPF rating, coolness in high temperatures, and durability for multiple seasons.

This lightweight, wide-brimmed hat is made of a nylon and poly blend with a moisture-wicking lining, perfect for sunny days. It’s also water-resistant for rainy weather and features an adjustable chin strap for windy conditions.

Conveniently machine-washable, the hat fits most adult women with head circumferences from 21.5-24 inches, thanks to its adjustable drawcord. Ideal for gardening, it’s a top choice for women looking for practicality and comfort.

Pros

  • SPF 50 sun protection
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Might be too large for petite-sized gardeners
  • Foam-filled brim is not crushable or foldable

Best for Men

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat - Breathable Lightweight Wicking Protection Khaki

Everything we said about the Oasis Sun Hat for women can be said about the Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Sun Hat for men. It’s also a foam-filled, wide-brim hat with an SPF 50 sun protection rating, water-resistant nylon/poly-blend fabric, moisture-wicking lining, adjustable crown, and adjustable chin strap. Like the Oasis, the Sunbriolet is also machine-washable and needs to air-dry afterward.

Some differences are that the Sunbriolet is a darker color on the underside of the brim to reduce reflected sunlight from water or the ground. The design is also described as “crushable,” which means it should bounce back from rougher use than the Oasis.

This the go-to men’s gardening hat for most weather conditions you’ll encounter.

Pros 

  • SPF 50 sun protection
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Machine-washable

Cons 

  • Brim may be too small for some
  • Reports of sizing problems

Best Overall for Kids

Sunday Afternoons Play Hat

Gardeners of all ages need a hat to protect them, and kids who love to be out in the yard or garden are no exception. Don’t let “Play Hat” in the name fool you — this Sunday Afternoons hat is a great piece of headwear that comes in sizes for babies all the way up to tweens and also comes in a variety of colors.

The neck veil means your mini-gardener’s neck stays sunburn-free and the mesh panel ventilation in the crown keeps sweaty scalps cool. The underside of the brim of this hat is a darker color to cut down on sun glare for your child’s eyes. The adjustable chin strap keeps the hat on your child’s head when it’s windy (or they’re really active), but it also has a break-away design so there’s no choking risk for younger kids.

The hat’s nylon fabric is machine-washable, lightweight, resistant to water and stains, and wicks moisture away. It’s rated for SPF 50 sun protection and if you size for growth, this sun hat will last for years of use.

Pros

  • Provides great sun protection
  • Durable
  • Safety design of chin strap

Cons

  • Pricey for children’s clothing

Best Ponytail Hat

Tutuko UV Protection Foldable Sun Hat

Tutuko Womens Wide Brim Sun Hats Foldable UV Protection Beach Bucket Hats Ponytail Mesh Fishing Hat (Pink)

Gardeners with long hair don’t just want to stay protected from the sun — they also want to stay cool and the foldable, wide-brim hat from Tutuko give them both. This bucket-style hat offers great sun protection on the neck and shoulders while allowing you to comfortably wear your hair off your neck with the ponytail opening in the back.

The mesh panel in the crown provides airflow, and the elastic band in the crown allows you to adjust the fit to be nice and snug. The Tutuko hat is waterproof for those rainy gardening days and comes in a wide variety of colors.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable
  • Hair can be worn in ponytail
  • Foldable

Cons 

  • Sized for 21-23 inch head circumference
  • Hand-wash only

Best Unisex Option

Sunday Afternoons Men’s Adventure Hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, Medium, Cream/Sand

Even though this does say men’s hat, the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat can be worn by everyone. It’s basically the grown-up version of the best kids’ hat featured earlier in our list and comes in great color choices.

With moisture-wicking properties and a lightweight feel, this hat provides tons of sun protection while also keeping you cool and comfortable. Like the kids’ version, the underside of the brim and neck veil are darker colored, there’s a mesh ventilation panel in the crown, and the deep brim offers lots of shade for your face, neck, and shoulders.

Unlike the version for kids, there’s a drawstring to keep the hat in place and the neck veil can be flipped up and secured with a velcro fastener to be worn off the neck. The Adventure Hat is also hand-wash only, whereas the child’s Play Hat is machine-washable.

Pros

  • Superior sun protection
  • Lightweight
  • Resistant to water and stains

Cons

  • Hand-wash only
  • Neck veil can get hot

Choosing the Right Gardening Hat

  • Brim Size: Choose a wide brim (at least 5 inches) for sun protection, but ensure it doesn’t restrict your view.
  • Material: Opt for materials that are easy to clean, provide good sun protection, and offer ventilation.
  • Color: Lighter colors are preferable as they absorb less heat compared to darker shades.
  • Comfort and Fit: Ensure a comfortable fit; consider adjustable straps or a visit to a store for a trial. One size does not fit all.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Look for hats that are easy to clean, like those made of microfiber, to handle dirt and sweat.
  • UV Protection: Wide-brimmed hats offer excellent protection against harmful UV rays, supplementing sunscreen.
  • Temperature Regulation: Gardening hats help maintain body temperature by shading your head and neck.
  • Hair Protection: Wearing a hat prevents sun damage to hair, avoiding discoloration and dryness.

Back view of a woman in a field wearing a straw hat.

Wrapping up the Best Gardening Hats

No matter the type or style of gardening hat you decide to wear you are doing yourself a great thing. Gardening hats protect you from the sun’s rays, keep you cool, and keep you looking stylish.

If you’re looking for even more of the best gardening clothes make sure to check out our other top lists. Want more garden content? Visit our gardening page for in-depth guides, explainer posts, and great ideas!