Photo of Anne Marie Van Nest

Anne Marie Van Nest

Professional Gardening Expert

Best Garden Hats & Best Sun Hat

Garden hats announce to the world that the wearer loves the outdoors, cares about protection from the sun, and does it all with comfort and style. Whether in the garden with the crows or garden touring with the crowds; garden hats make a statement. Boonie or bucket, cowboy, safari, outback or baseball cap; there’s a hat style for every gardening mood (and some nicely suited just for garden lounging).

Choosing a garden hat is more than just considering how it looks in the mirror. Style is one thing but there’s also wearability, comfort, function, and practicality.

Garden hats can be made from hemp, raffia, nylon, paper, straw, palm, cotton, and many other materials. Each has specific characteristics of flexibility, UPF, durability, and ventilation.

A hat for truly working in the garden should be washable, crushable, dirty finger print proof, compatible with mosquito repellent ingredients, have a wide, sun-blocking brim, and a chinstrap to stay put when the winds blow or pulling a wayward weed.

The ability to stay on in the wind is an important criterion for a good garden hat. The adjustable chinstrap should hold securely in a strong breeze but not clamp down like a vice. Chinstraps also have to be well behaved when not in use. Chinstraps that are too heavy to sit patiently under the hat during calm days are just plain annoying. Some hat styles use the chin and back of the head strap to adjust the hat tightness for a better fit. By the way, using just the back of the head strap is great for holding down your hat in light breezes.

Depending on the hat design and material, one size can fit many people if it is stretchy and flexible enough. For hats that are made in specific sizes, measure around the head where the hat would naturally sit. If a hat does end up too big, insert a length of foam weather stripping under the sweatband at the front and back for a better fit. Garden hats should fit well on the head and not hang down so low they obstruct vision. Hats should be held on by gravity and not be a painful vice on the forehead (creating a nasty red groove).

Many people wear garden hats mostly to block the damaging UV rays. Hats with a wide brim (on all four sides) and tight weave are the best to block UV rays. Hats (and clothing) are rated for their sun protection factor. Called Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), it is similar to the SPF rating in sunscreen but uses fabric in the testing, not human skin. UPF 50+ is the highest rating.

Garden hats must be ventilated! All heads perspire (sweat, too) and hat wearers will be much more comfortable with a little air movement for evaporative cooling. A sweat wicking inner band doesn’t hurt either.

Lastly, write your name and contact information using indelible ink on the inside of your cherished garden hats so that inadvertently lost ones can find their way back home. A good garden hat is like an old friend, better reunited than apart.

With the best garden hats, you can protect your face from the sun's rays as you work all afternoon planting. We suggest the best sun hat that is stylish and great protection.

Best Garden Hats by Anne Marie Van Nest

The Best You Can Get

  • Tilley Endurables

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -TH5 Hemp Hat (Unisex)

    Tilley hats arrive with a four-page owner’s manual with important information about how the hat was conceived, how to wear it, and the big-hearted Tilley guarantee.

    The secret pocket in the crown is a perfect hiding place for your house key and plant purchasing money when garden touring. The hidden pocket also contains eight brag tags - interesting, fun, talking points to use in future conversations.

    Tilley hats are available in a large number of unisex styles and a comparison chart is provided on the company website to make selection easier. Each hat is available in numerous sizes.

    The tuck away, adjustable, front and back wind cord offers two ways to secure Tilley hats, depending on the degree of breeziness. Secure it under the chin for high gales or behind the head for light breezes.

    Tilley hats are recommended to sit low on the head and be slightly loose (about the width of two fingers flat against the forehead).

    • Functional and durable
    • Washable and unshrinkable
    • Floats, repels rain and provides superb UV protection
    • Fore and aft adjustable wind cord
    • Very generous number of styles and brim sizes
  • San Diego Hat Co.

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -PBGI Paper Braid Garden Hat (Unisex)

    Comfortable, even on the hottest days.

    Stretchy, ribbon sweatband.

    Wide 3-5” brims for excellent sun protection (UPF 50+).

    Soft, pliable, paper braid material (a versatile paper straw) is a lightweight, durable substitute to traditional raffia.

    So comfortable it feels like a custom made hat.

    Packable for a garden visiting trip. Once out of your bag, give it a shake and it bounces back to its original shape.

    • Lightweight and durable
    • Flexible, paper braid material
    • Leather chinstrap
    • Packable
  • Dorfman Pacific

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Solarweave Boonie (SPF1) (Men’s)

    Cotton twill with polyester lining.

    Dark green under brim to reduce glare.

    Secure cotton chinstrap for breezy days.

    Treated cotton for UPF 50+ rating.

    • Treated cotton
    • Wide brims
    • Flexible and comfortable
    • Easy wearing
  • A.K. & Sons

    Anne says: Hat reviewed:

    - The Ultimate Garden Hat (Ladies and Gents)

    Green satin ribbon on the Ladies style.

    Headband for perspiration wicking on interior of hat.

    Wide brim for face, ears, and neck sun protection.

    Leather chinstrap and adjustable toggle for a snug fit during windy days.

    Designed specifically for gardeners.

    • 100% natural straw
    • Lattice band for ventilation
    • Green cotton under the brim to reduce glare
    • Leather cord chinstrap
  • Columbia Sportswear

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Bora Bora Booney Hat - Men's and Juniors

    Functional design and perfect for everyday gardening activities.

    Wide brim for maximum shade protection.

    Fast drying nylon and polyester construction.

    Terry sweatband for moisture wicking.

    Long chinstrap for easy adjusting during wind gusts.

    • Wide brim
    • Mesh for extra crown ventilation (Bora Bora)
    • Pull snug crown strings to adjust for customized fitting
    • Stay put, chinstrap

You will be happy with any of these

  • Tula

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Lattice Gardener Hat (1-17200) (Unisex)

    Tula hats are hand woven in the traditional indigenous Mexican Purepecha way.

    Tightly woven palm hats have excellent UPF 50+ rating.

    Leather “stampede” strap with wood bead to cinch it tight on gusty days.

    Packable in a suitcase with your pj’s tucked into the crown for distant garden touring trips.

    • Hand woven palm
    • Very generous brims
    • Traditional construction
    • Durable and long lasting
  • Sloggers Garden Outfitters

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Classic Cotton Hat (4471) (Men's and Women’s styles)

    Grommets offer cooling ventilation on sunny days.

    Generous wide brims for good sun protection.

    Adjustable neck strap and headband for secure fitting on windy gardening days.

    Specially treated cotton for rain protection (Oil Cloth).

    Cotton and nylon materials offer UPF 50+ and a choice of colors (Classic).

    • Crushable
    • Washable
    • Adjustable head band
    • Rugged, treated cotton or nylon
  • Orvis

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Ventilated Canvas Bimini Hat (#SI75X1) (Men’s)

    Rugged 10 oz. canvas duck cotton with waterproof lining.

    Leather band and rim piping and chinstrap with locking ring for secure wearing (Bimini).

    • Comfortable shape
    • Generous 3-4” brim for sun protection
    • Classic design
    • Functional and attractive
  • Tilley Endurables - Children

    Anne says: Tilley's Topper Hat comes in 5 selections:

    -Sock Monkey/Sand (Unisex)
    -PlayBall/Sand ( (Boy’s)
    -Funky Flowers/Denim (Girl’s)
    -Happy Flowers/Stars (Girl’s)
    - Denim and Khaki (Unisex)

    Wide brims with excellent sun protection (UPF 50+) for necks, ears, and faces.

    Quality design and construction.

    Reversible print design (the chinstrap works when the print side of the hat is outward). Crushable, packable and easily stuffed into Mom’s “everything” bag when it’s time to come inside.

    Fun, print designs and comfortable fit.

    • Machine washable
    • Tumble dry
    • 100% Pre-shrunk cotton
    • Tuckaway, quick release chinstrap
  • Cov-Ver Hats

    Anne says: Hats reviewed:

    -Crocheted Raffia Beach Day hat (D1003) (Women’s)
    -Crocheted Raffia hat (J1022) (Women’s)
    -Crocheted Raffia hat (J1007) (Women’s)
    -Crocheted Raffia Gambler hat (D1004) (Women’s)

    Soft terry inner band to absorb perspiration.

    Several natural colors available (Beach Day).

    Extra flexible raffia rope band rim.

    Wide brim and chinstrap (Gambler).

    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Crushable and packable
    • Classic styles

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Find the best garden hats with our suggests for summer hats that go beyond style. We suggest the best sun hat that is ventilated, stays on in the breeze and offers superior protection when you're gardening all afternoon. These best sun hats for women are always comfortable and always the best price on the Web.