In this guide we’ll look at the best fishing hats.
We’ve compared material, UV protection, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.

What Is The Best Fishing Hat?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Wide brim
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Back flap to protect neck
  • Wide brim
  • Affordable
  • Breathable
  • Great sun protection
  • Anti-reflective brim
  • Removable neck flap
  • Face protector
  • Ultimate sun protection
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • No UPF rating

More Detailed Fishing Hat Reviews

Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat

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FEATURES
  • Wide brim
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent sun protection
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Columbia Unisex Bora Bora II Booney Hat Review

Made of nylon poplin material, this hat features an adjustable chinstrap and adjustable toggle at the back for a superb custom fit. Out of all the hats on this list, I personally find this one to be the most comfortable, and I often forget I’m wearing it.

The sweat-wicking fabric and an Omni-Wick headband keep sweat from running down into my eyes and instead allow it to evaporate so I stay cool.

The Columbia Booney Hat offers strong sun protection thanks to its wide brim and UPF 50 rating (I’ll explain exactly what that means below).

Finally, this hat is great for travel as it folds down easily in a suitcase or backpack. Overall, this hat is my pick for the best booney hat for fishing, and thanks to its sweat-wicking materials and headband, it’s also among the best hats on the market for hot weather.

Home Prefer UPF 50+ Sun Protection Wide Brim Fishing Hat

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FEATURES
  • Back flap to protect neck
  • Wide brim
  • Affordable
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Home Prefer UPF 50+ Sun Protection Wide Brim Fishing Hat Review

[$15]. The Home Prefer hat is made of quick-drying polyester. Again, this material is great since it allows for good breathability and sweat-wicking capability, plus it dries off quick if you happen to get splashed. Mesh vents allow airflow for extra comfort. The chin strap is adjustable and removable.

One distinctive feature about this hat is the back flap which protects your neck. This flap is not removable, which has its pros and cons: On the one hand, you definitely won’t end up losing it, but on the other hand, some people might prefer the adjustability of a detachable flap.

The wide brim shields your face from the sun. In addition, the material is rated UPF 50+, which means that it blocks the majority of UV rays from penetrating the fabric.

This hat is an excellent pick for fishing, as well as for hunting, hiking, boating, working outdoors, or any other activity that puts you out in the sun all day. It is also very lightweight and takes up almost no space in your luggage.

KastKing Sol Armis UPF 50 Boonie Hat

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FEATURES
  • Breathable
  • Great sun protection
  • Anti-reflective brim
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KastKing Sol Armis UPF 50 Boonie Hat Review

The KastKing Boonie Hat is another lightweight, breathable, comfortable option with mesh panels for ventilation and a moisture-wicking headband. There’s an adjustable chin strap and an elastic drawstring inside the headband that helps you find the perfect fit.

In addition, the brim is anti-reflective, with dark fabric on the underside that helps minimize glare. This is a nice feature on sunny days!

Rated UPF 50, the KastKing hat provides substantial protection from the sun’s UV rays. Available in multiple colors, this hat is perfect for the beach, lake, or river.

UShake UPF 50 Fishing Hat

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FEATURES
  • Removable neck flap
  • Face protector
  • Ultimate sun protection
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UShake UPF 50 Fishing Hat Review

Thanks to its removable neck flap and face protector, the UShake Fishing Hat offers the fullest protection of any on this list. You can fully cover your neck and face, placing a physical fabric barrier between the sun and your skin.

These features—plus its UPF 50 rating—make it one of the best hats for sun protection. And you can easily remove both of the neck flap and face cover if you don’t want such full coverage.

With the back flap and face mask removed, this hat is shaped like a baseball cap with a front visor. Made of nylon with polyester net mesh, the UShake UPF 50  is comfy and quick-drying. Overall all, an awesome hat if you need serious sun protection.

Camo Coll Outdoor Sun Cap

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FEATURES
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • No UPF rating
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Camo Coll Outdoor Sun Cap Review

[$12]. The Camo Coll Outdoor Sun Cap is an affordable option that still includes the important features you need in a fishing hat. Made of cotton/polyester fabric with mesh panels, the hat is reasonably breathable and cool to wear. It has an adjustable drawstring and I find it fits pretty comfortably.

Note that this hat does not come with a UPF rating. While it of course physically shades your face, it’s not as protective against UV rays as the other options on this list.

So, if you want a hat for the occasional fishing trip, this one will do the job just fine. But if you need stronger sun protection, check out the other four options here.

Fishing Hat Buyer’s Guide

There are several factors to consider when you’re choosing the best fishing sun hat:

Material

The hats featured here are all made of sweat-wicking materials that let your sweat evaporate easily instead of pooling on your skin. This is important since it keeps you cool and comfortable, allowing to shield yourself against the sun without overheating.

Many of these hats like the Camo Coll Cap and KastKing boonie hat also include mesh vents to promote airflow and specially designed headbands to wick away sweat in key areas.

Another consideration here quick-dry materials. Again, I’ve chosen hats that dry off quickly when they’re wet. This is an essential feature if you plan to be on, in, or around the water!

UV Protection

You’ll notice that most of the hats listed above are rated as UPF 50. But what does this mean exactly? It’s basically a measurement of how much the sun’s rays can make it through the fabric.

With UPF 50, only about 1/50 UV rays penetrate the fabric to reach your skin. As a comparison, many regular T-shirts are only UPF 5! UPF ratings take both UVA and UVB rays into account.

One great thing about protective clothing is that it can be more effective than sunscreens especially when you’re in the water or getting wet. Sunscreen can wash off and needs to be reapplied regularly to be effective, whereas an item of clothing remains protective all day.

Of course, your hat’s UPF protection won’t last forever either—experts say that a UPF-rated item of clothing can typically hold up for 30-40 washes. For most people, that’s probably 1-3 years, depending on how often you wear and wash your hat. I recommend hand washing your hat to help preserve its lifespan as long as possible.

For the best possible sun protection, you can combine sunscreen with your UPF hat.

Design

You have several main design options when it comes to fishing hats:

  • “Booney” or “boonie” hats, with wide brims all around
  • Baseball caps, with a visor at the front
  • Hats with back flaps (may be detachable or not)
  • Hats with face protectors (typically detachable)

Everyone has a different preference. If sun protection is your #1 goal, then the most protective hat on this list is the UShake option, which is UPF 50 and also includes a back flap and face cover. Put on some sunglasses, and you’ll be fully covered from the neck up!

For some folks, that kind of full coverage is a bit extreme; if that’s the case, look into a booney hat like the Columbia Bora Bora II that will serve you just as well while for on the beach as it will for long days of angling.

Conclusion

What is the best hat for fly fishing, sailing, kayak fishing, or other water activities? My personal favorite is the Columbia Bora Bora II Booney Hat, which combines comfort (adjustability + breathability and air flow) with strong UV protection. This is an excellent all-around hat.

On extremely long and sunny days though, I often reach instead for a hat like the Home Prefer or the UShake since the neck flap comes in handy.

Whichever hat you choose, I hope you have fun out there! Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and stay safe from the sun.