Trying to find the best hats for backpacking can be time consuming; sometimes, it’s a little more complicated than simply buying a ball cap and being done with it, especially if extreme weather is factoring into the mix.
I’ve compiled this huge guide to every type of hat for men and women you could ever possibly need (except wedding hats… you’re on your own with that one). Even better, there’s something for every budget, too.
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Hats for Sunny/Hot Climates
When the weather is hot, it’s important that your hat not only protects your eyes and face from the sun, but also helps to keep your head cool. This means that you want to avoid thick fabrics and maybe dark colours in order to reflect those rays and prevent overheating.
HINDAWI Women’s Sun Hat (Reversible)
How ridiculously cute is this hat? For a low price (there is also a non-reversible, plain version that’s even cheaper), you’re getting two hats in one (which makes it perfect for long-term travel) that are as good value as they are adorable.
They’re also able to fold down nice and small without damage to fit in even the most minimal traveler’s backpack.
EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men/Women
The model in the pictures is a man, but this hat is advertised as being completely unisex. As with the women’s hat, this is flexible and easily packed away for those on a space budget. Great for keeping the entire neck-up protected from sunburn.
This hat is great for those on a budget, too. So while it’s a great deal, you should note it isn’t reversible like the one above, so you’re not getting quite as much hat for your money.
Fancy stretching your budget a bit further? I got you, boo.
Wallaroo Women’s Sun Hat
Wallaroo is an Australian company that ship to most parts of the world. Their reviews are quite striking; they definitely seem to be worthy the slightly increased price tag compared to Amazon’s budget range.
Of course, this hat is fully packable (the company advise to simply ‘stuff some kitchen towel into the crown to maintain shape’.
The best part, and honestly I love this, it has an internal drawstring that allows you to fit the hat more snugly to your head, so there’s no worry of a light breeze sending it sailing off into the sky. That is hecking nifty!
This hat is a little more expensive, but also higher quality. So, a little steeper but definitely worth it, I’d say.
Coolibar Men’s Golf Hat
If you’re a dashing mature gent looking for a smart hat that also keeps your noggin out of the sun, this golf hat is what you need.
This hat is advertised as also being suitable for women, but bear in mind the head measurements when you buy (women tend to have smaller heads, after all).
Hats for Rainy Climates
Whether you’re expecting light showers or a Chiang-Mai-in-rainy-season downpour, keeping your head (and in turn that hair you literally just washed, like, oh my god) dry is imperative.
Maitose Trade Women’s Waterproof Hat
This soft, packable hat can be packed at the top of your backpack without issue.
I can confirm that it is indeed waterproof; one buyer took it to Alaska, and claimed their head was dry the entire time.
I should note this hat isn’t adjustable. As for the sizes, many people with self-proclaimed ‘large heads’ (Team Big Noggin assemble!) claim it fits great. It does not have a chin strap so wear with caution in strong winds.
This hat is not the cheapest hat you could buy, but it definitely seems worth it for a dry head.
Walker and Hawkes Men’s Wax Cap
Fancy yourself a bit of a Peaky Blinder? If you don’t have a lot of hair to cover up, this hat is perfect for looking dapper and keeping light showers at bay.
Flat caps tend to be a bit less packable due to the general structure of them, but you could easily just wear it onto the plane, or if your bag has some room (in which case… teach me, senpai) you’ll be fine.
There are a whopping seven sizes to choose from, but a few reviews mention that it ran a bit small for them, so bear that in mind when choosing yours.
This hat ranges in price depending on the size.
SealSkinz Waterproof Cold Weather Beanie
Don’t worry, the hat isn’t actually made from seal (it’s acrylic).
If you’re the outdoorsy type who’s going to wind up in wet and cold climates, then this beanie will keep you as dry and warm as you need to be.
The stock is a little confusing on this one, I’ll admit. The product ships from the US, and the UK have a postage fee that costs as much as the hat itself, but the UK have way more options.
This hat is in the higher price range. In the UK, the prices strangely vary but the reason isn’t given.
TOUTACOO Wide-Brimmed Vinyl Rain Hat
If you’re looking for something functional with a bit more pizzazz, then all I can say is: how would you like the shiniest bucket hat in the world?
As well as giving you the shiniest head garment in the vicinity, this hat is easy to roll up and stuff in a backpack for later.
Tiny word of warning: Since the hat is plastic, there are reports of a very common plastic smell about the hat when it is brand new.
There are reports of it fading after being washed or used in the rain, so give it a hand wash if that happens, and spritz a little Febreeze or perfume on the inside for good measure.
This hat is reasonably priced and sturdy quality.
Hats for Snowy/Cold Climates
Cold weather can be no joke, especially in more arctic conditions. Making sure that your head is warm but also able to breathe is imperative for staying comfortable in colder climates.
SIGGI Rabbit Fur Trapper Hat for Men
I have listed a cruelty-free trapper hat below for those who dislike fur.
I have listed this here purely because fur is legitimately one of the warmest materials in existence, and it may be more beneficial to those heading to extreme polar climes.
I just love trapper hats. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s like a hug for your head, and they don’t blow off in the wind thanks to the chin-tie.
Unfortunately this hat is not available on Amazon UK, but there is a SIGGI alternative here for UK customers.
Trapper Hat with Faux Fur Ear Flaps
Can I start by saying that this item’s title says it fits “men, women & Elmer Fudd”. Beautiful.
Made with cruelty-free materials, and cheaper for it too, this trapper hat is a great way to keep warm, and spares you the indignity of wearing ear muffs (does anyone actually enjoy ear muffs?)
This cute little unisex hat goes for a really cheap, and is super popular on Amazon. It even has a Lifetime Warranty, how crazy is that?
This product isn’t on Amazon UK, but you can have it delivered if you add on about $6 postage and customs fees, or you can buy this SIGGI alternative here.
QUEENFUR Women’s Knit Slouchy Beanie
Despite the name, this item is 100% cruelty free and soft enough to stuff into even the smallest day pack. This hat is perfect if you’re going somewhere colder, but ultimately want fashion over function.
It’s a woman’s hat by trade, but it’d look great on a guy too (If the bobble isn’t your thing, just snip it off and you have a more masculine style).
This hat comes in a ridiculous amount of colours, so no matter your style, you’re bound to find something.
Hats for Almost Any Weather
There’s some headgear that will suit a variety of weather, so to finish this guide off, I made a small bonus list of other hats that suit any kind of trip.
KBETHOS Pineapple Dad Baseball Cap
If you go onto the page you will see way more colours and designs that what I’ve shown you here, but there was something that just pulled me in about that wee little pineapple, and I had to list it here.
Ball caps are seminal, aren’t they? Come rain or shine, they keep our heads a bizarre combination of warm, cool and dry all at the same time.
Also, they stuff into your back pocket pretty easily, so if you’re concerned about space, you can just physically carry (or wear) it onto the plane, no worries. Just take it off during security checks.
This hat is one of the cheapest on the list. UK customers can expect a small price hike for import fees from America, but it’s not much.
It should also be noted there are a few less options from the UK site.
Dorfman Pacific Men’s Outback Hat
Made from synthetic materials, this hat is just cool. It’ll keep the sun off you, it has a chin cord to stop it blowing off in the wind, and in Seattle-esque pouring rain (confirmed by a reviewer), it will keep your head dry.
This hat is hardy and is designed to look pre-weathered when you buy it, so you can place it at the top of your pack without having to wear it on the plane.
Note that this hat comes in various sizes, and there are pictures of women wearing it (and looking great) in the review section, too.
What’s not to love? Extra props for the Croc Dundee reference in the description.
Prices range depending on your size, and are for a middle road budget.
Belfry Gangster Crushable Dress Fedora
Fedoras get an unfairly bad rap, in my opinion (partially because people who make jokes about them are mistakenly talking about trilbys not Fedoras).
Note for people who don’t use any animal products at all: this product is made from 100% wool.
Sometimes, you just want to look smart, and Fedoras excel at looking smart, and shading your eyes from sunlight and bad takes.
As the title suggest, this Fedora is a sturdy yet squishy one, so it will maintain its shape after being stuffed into your backpack, giving you fancy headwear should you need it.
I hope this guide has been useful for you. I may update it later with some new additions should anything fabulous come my way, so perhaps save it to Pinterest for later!
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