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.