Find out the Best Fishing Hats to Protect Your Head, Face, and Neck When You’re Out Fishing

There’s no better time to go fishing than when the sun shines bright, the day is clear and nature comes alive. Unfortunately, this means being under the full glare of the sun exposed to its fierce rays. Even when the sun isn’t shining, there are the other unfriendly elements faced such as humidity, rain, wind, and chill.

This is why fishing hats are a must-have accessory rain or shine, hot or cold. Forget or carry the wrong one and you end up so miserable you can’t be effective or even enjoy the excursion. Plenty of anglers have learned how important a protective hat is the hard way when they had to improvise and use a shirt as a sun skirt.

We can agree that a normal cap or hat ain’t sufficient when you’re serious about protecting yourself sufficiently against the sun, cold, wet and wind. You need a hat designed specifically for angling with features that suit your fishing environment. We’ve reviewed the best fishing hats to wear on your favorite excursion. Below are the top 10 best fishing hats that deserve taking our current hats off to.

How To Choose The Best Fishing Hat – Buying Guide

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Buying a fishing hat is not like buying a conventional hat. An anglers hat is a functional and protective accessory. As such, there are certain features it should have. Below, find out the features that make up the best fishing hats.

These are the factors to pay attention to when choosing a fishing hat to ensure you get one that offers the best protection and comfort to help you concentrate on catching the fish and keep you out on the water longer without compromising your health.

Types of Fishing Hats

Fishing hats come in so many different styles. They differ in their styling and the amount of coverage and protection they offer anglers. Here are the different types and the kind of protection they offer.

A bucket hat is the most popular type of fishing hats. It has come to be so associated with fishing that it is also referred to as a fisherman’s hat. It is usually made from cotton and has a shorter brim than the boonies worn by the military. This short brim means it doesn’t offer sufficient protection for the ears and neck and is not good to wear for long angling expeditions. It suits short trips where the sun isn’t out.

A boonie is a round fishing hat with a wide brim all around the full circumference of the hat. It resembles the boonies worn by the military. Boonies provide coverage over a wider area than bucket hats making them okay for extended periods out in the water.

Wide brim fishing hats are caped hats with a brim just like that on a boonie but extra wide all around and angled downwards such that it shields not only the head and face but also the ears and neck from the sun and other elements. Their brims extend 4-6” or more. These offer the best protection from the elements. Research has shown that broad-brimmed hats provide protection equivalent to an SPF (sun protection factor) of 5 for the nose, ears, and neck. The downside is that they can limit peripheral vision.

Sun skirts and neck flap fishing hats have extra covers for additional protection when the weather is extreme. Sun skirts are a thin lightweight fabric that hangs down over the neck. Neck flaps are a drape attached to the hat to protect the neck area from sunburn. Sun skirts and neck flaps are usually removable or can be folded up inside the hat when not in use.

Baseball-style fishing caps look just like a baseball cap. They offer good protection for the top of the head but little protection for other parts of the face such as the cheeks, chin, and neck. Bass anglers favor baseball caps because they’re usually in a speedy boat and require a securely attached hat. 

Legionnaire-style hats look like baseball caps but they’re outfitted with long ear and neck roll down cape like flaps and some even include veil like extensions to protect the eyes. These provide satisfactory sun protection for the neck as well as the face. They’re suitable for longer trips and where the sun hits from all angles.

Ventilation

When fishing for long durations in the sun, sweating is unavoidable especially when it’s also humid. Choosing a hat with good ventilation and cooling features ensures that you remain comfortable and don’t get too hot, sweaty, heavy.

A hat with good ventilation allows a cool breeze to circulate in the head and heat to escape thus keeping your head cool and comfortable.

Look for well ventilated hat construction such as the use of mesh fabric panels and small ventilation holes that allow cool air to circulate so you don’t overheat.

The vents should be located on the sides of the hat and shouldn’t be too large or located on top of the hat facing direct sunlight where they might let in the sun’s rays.

The material the hat is made from also determines how cool and dry you remain when wearing the hat. Look for hats made from breathable and moisture wicking materials that let sweat evaporate from your skin keeping you cool.

Cotton is good at keeping you cool but it can become drenched in sweat in hot and humid conditions. Polyester is great at keeping you dry but can lead to overheating. A fabric that’s blend of these two keeps you cool and dry

Some hats that have sweat wicking bands attached on the inside to allow sweat to evaporate and ensure the inside of the hat remains dry.

The color is also an important consideration. Dark colors absorb heat which can cause you to be excessively warm, sweaty and uncomfortable. Lighter colors are better when the weather is hot.

Adjustability

Adjustability in a fishing hat is very important. Adjustable hats suit all day fishing trips as its possible to adjust the hat as the weather changes.

Adjustable hats such as the DDYOUTDOOR summer outdoor sun protection cap reviewed above are great for all-day fishing trips and offer the best value for money. All you have to do to get the protection you need while remaining comfortable is adjust the hat as the weather changes.

They have a wide brim and a removable face mask and neck flaps to provide excellent all over protection from all the elements- sun, rain, wind, dust and even bugs. When you don’t need all that protection, you can remove the mask and flaps to be left with a nice bucket hat equipped with a wide protective brim.

Fit adjustability is also an important feature to have so you can adjust to your desired fit for comfort. Look for hats with adjustable drawcords and chinstraps, as they enable you to customize the fit.

Retention Methods

You’ll be wearing your hat in the open where sudden gusts of wind could blow any time or where you might find yourself speeding after a fish. Your fishing hat should have a way of securing it in place.

A properly fitting hat offers a snug fit but even that may not be enough to keep your hat on your head in case of a gale. Many a fisherman’s hat has been lost in the waters never to be seen again. This is why the best fishing hats have chin straps to prevent the hat from flying off.

Look for windproofing features and retention methods that keep your hat from being blown away such as a headband and adjustable chin straps and make use of them to ensure your hat is secured to your head. The last thing you want is to lose your hat in the middle of your fishing trip.

Some other features that ensure you don’t lose your investment in case it falls into the water include foam-stiffened brims and lightweight materials that repel water. These cause your hat to float nearby so you can retrieve it easily.

Adjustable Chin Strap

An adjustable chin strap is a great feature to have in a fishing hat. When the wind is blowing strong and threatening to take away your hat, all you have to do is tighten the chin strap for a more secure fit.

When the day is calm and there’s no risk of losing your hat, you can relax the chin straps for comfort. Some hats even have completely removable chin straps you can remove if you want to use the hat for everyday wear.

Size

Fishing hats should fit just right. Not too tight that you get a headache and neither should it be too loose that you have to keep adjusting it or using your hands to keep it on.

Most fishing hats for sale have a one size fits most sizing system. This can make it hard to get a perfect fit for your head.

You can determine whether a hat will fit you well by measuring the circumference of your head and comparing with the hat’s dimensions.

Measure your head by placing a measuring tape around your head about 1/8″ above the ear, across the mid-forehead, going all the way around the head. Ensure the tape is firm but not too tight. The idea is to get the circumference of your head exactly where the hat will sit.

Compare the measurements you get with the dimensions of the hat you’re considering so you can know the right size to order. If you fall in between sizes, choose the next size up.

Adjustable hats that have a token or a lock around the band of the hat you can tighten or loosen to achieve a secure and comfortable fit are great since you don’t have to worry much about getting a perfect fit.

Waterproof

Fishing is an outdoor water activity and the probability that your hat will get wet is high. There may be a downpour or your hat may get splashed or fall in the water accidentally. Having a waterproof, water resistant or quick drying fishing hat is a good idea.

If you happen to be fishing in the rain, waterproof hats for fishing keep water away from your face without getting drenched themselves. Water resistant hats that repel water also offer sufficient protection. Hats made out of quick drying materials are also great just in case it drizzles or your hat falls into the water.

Another benefit of waterproof, water resistant and quick drying fishing hats is that should your hat fall or be blown into the water, it will remain afloat for easy retrieval so you don’t lose your investment. They also dry easily, which is great for easy cleaning and odor prevention.

Avoid materials that soak through such as cotton. Ensure the hat also has breathability and good ventilation so that it will keep your head dry by keeping away rain or mist without causing your head to overheat.

Sun Protection

Hats are great fashion accessories but did you know that they’re also recommended by skin care experts and healthcare professionals as effective ways to protect your head, neck, and face from harmful UV rays! Here’s what to look for when looking for the best fishing hat for sun protection. 

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

As an angler, long exposure to the sun is unavoidable. An essential feature in sun protection fishing hats is the ability to protect from harmful rays emitted by the sun. Sun protection fishing hats are usually treated to provide against these rays.

When fishing under the sun, the recommended UPF or UV-resistant rating of a fishing hat is at least UPF 50+ so it filters at least 98% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun. This level of protection is important and worth investing in if you go fishing in the sun frequently.

Wide Brim

Apart from the sun rays coming from above where the sun is, there’s also the sun’s reflection from the water. To keep the sun rays and reflected rays off your face as much as possible, you also need to consider how much of your face the hat is able to shade.

Hats with broad brims all around with the brims extending 4-6” or more and angled downwards offer the best protection against sunburn because they cover the head, ears, face and neck. Research has shown that broad-brimmed hats provide sun protection equivalent to an SPF factor of about 5 for the nose, ears, and neck.

Wide brimmed fishing hats ensure you don’t go home with sunburnt skin and also filter the harmful UV rays. Caped hats with a neck cover or face skirts or both offer even more sun protection from sunburn.

The Cool Factor

Hats are cool style accessories often worn to make a fashion statement. While fishing hats are meant to be more functional than fashionable, looking cool while fishing in a stylish and protective fishing hat isn’t a bad idea.

It’s possible to get both the cool factor and function in the same hat. If you want your fishing hat to look fashionable, flat brim bucket styles and boonies are the cool fishing hat styles. Other protective styles such as wide brim bucket hat or full coverage fishing hats with neck and face flaps attached are more functional than stylish.

Some of the best fishing hats reviewed above are cool fishing hats that are attractively designed with beautiful colors and they look great on. However, style shouldn’t be the number one priority when selecting a cap for angling. Some of the top rated fishing hats for sun protection and other elements are pretty ugly.

FAQs

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Q: Why Do I Need A Fishing Hat?

A: Fishing is an outdoor activity and this means you’re out there for long period of time exposed to the hot sun and its harmful rays and to other harsh elements such as wind, rain and cold. A good fishing hat can shield you from all these elements.

When it’s sunny, you need a fishing hat to protect you from the extreme heat of the sun, keeping you cool, ensuring you don’t get sunburnt skin and protecting you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

You still need to wear sunscreen and sunglasses in addition to the hat. Your head, face, neck, and ears are a lot more prone to sunburn and more sensitive to UV damage than the rest of your body. You need all the protection you can get. 

Another benefit of having a fishing hat on is that it helps you fish longer. Fishing is energy intensive and the sun rays can drain the energy from you making you feel so lethargic that you cut a fishing excursion short before your intended finishing time. With a fishing hat on, you have shade and aren’t exposed to the energy draining sun. You can fish longer, catch more and enjoy yourself more.

Even when the sun isn’t out, you still need a nice quality fishing hat to protect your from the invisible UV rays and enhance your experience by keeping you comfortable and protecting your head, eyes, and neck from wind, cold and rain.

Some anglers use their hats as storage space for flies and hooks. They use shearling wool, magnets and felts to add this convenient functionality to their fishing hats.

Q: Will a Fishing Hat Be Applicable for Winter Fishing?

A: A fishing hat is not just for hot summer and warm days. There’s need for a fishing hat even when fishing in winter or cold conditions. If your head’s, cold you will suffer and won’t be able to fish effectively or enjoy your excursion.

A fishing hat for winter fishing will protect your head, face and neck from the winter chill and wind keeping your head and neck warm so you’re comfortable fishing. And even in winter, there are still harmful but invisible UV rays to keep at bay. The hat should be well insulated or you can wear a beanie over your fishing hat for more warmth.

Q: How Do I Keep the Fishing Hat on My Head in Windy Days?

A: Most fishing hats come with adjustable chin straps to prevent the hat from flying off in windy conditions. To ensure your fishing hat stays on your head on windy days, wear hats with chin straps and clips tie straps and tighten the straps to ensure the hat is secure on your head. If you find yourself without a way of securing your hat, you can add DIY retention straps.

Q: What is the Brim on a Fishing Hat?

A: The brim on a fishing hat is the part of a hat that shields the wearer from the heat of the sun’s rays. It’s like the bill of a baseball cap only that it goes all the way around providing 360 degrees coverage. A wide brim hat is the perfect fishing hat because it offers full coverage and all around protection against sunburn and other unfriendly elements.

A factor to consider when wearing a wide brimmed hat is your peripheral vision. A wide brim is good for shade but it shouldn’t get in the way of your fishing by blocking your vision. The brims must be big enough – at least three inches wide to offer sufficient sun protection for nose and cheeks without limiting your field of vision.

Q: Does the Season of Fishing Affect What Kind of Fishing Hat Should I Wear?

A: Yes, the seasons will affect your choice of a fishing hat. Warm seasons require a lightweight and breathable fishing hat with the ability to offer sun protection. Cold seasons call for a well insulated hat.

During the summer, you’ll need a sun protection hat that shades your face and neck from the sun. During winter, you’ll need a well insulated hat to keep the chill and wind away. You can also wear it together with a beanie for more insulation.

The fishing hat material should be appropriate for the season. Fishing hats for warm seasons are usually made of cotton, polyester, nylon or a blend of these materials. The winter season requires fishing hats made from windproof materials with excellent insulation such as neoprene. A winter fishing hat may also have built-in fleece, thermal or wool neck flap and face mask.

Globo Surf Overview

A fishing hat is a must-have item on all your fishing excursions. It helps to protect you from the sun’s rays on those sunny and warm days perfect for fishing. Having one is like taking your shade with you wherever you go. And it protects you from the wind, cold and rain on those other times.

The best fishing hats reviewed above have all kinds of features to ensure you’re fully protected and comfortable while fishing. They’re all well made and quality fishing hats.

To pick the right one for you, the first step is to determine what the conditions will be like so that you can choose an appropriate fishing hat. Sometimes you just can’t be sure though. In that case, an adjustable hat that can suit different weather conditions is a great investment.

Make sure you get a fishing hat that fits right and is comfortable to wear. And with the variety of choices above, you can find a cool fishing hat that offers you the protection you need and also matches your style preferences and makes you look cool.

More Fishing Reviews:

Sources

  1. If You Can See Sunlight, Seek the Shade, skincancer.org
  2. Interesting Facts About Hats, historyofhats.net

Do you wear a hat when fishing? Which style do you prefer and why? Share in the comment box below

Globo Surf Fishing Hats Review

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I strongly recommend the Rothco Boonie Hat. I bought this hat because I saw it your article and it has proven to be great quality! Thank you!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!