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The Best Sailing Hats Of 2021 Helpful Guide

best sailing hats

There is nothing better than spending a day out on the water enjoying the wind and the waves. The sun is bright during the summer and a good hat can go a long way towards making the day more enjoyable. A good sailing hat should block the sun, dry quickly and stay on your head during a blow. If it rains it should give your face and eyes a bit of shelter from the water. Let’s face it, we all want to look good while sailing so style counts too. Let’s look at some of the best sailing hats you can get right now.

Below are our top picks. Read below for more detailed reviews and sailing hat guide

Top Pick

Tilley LTM6 Sun Hat

Editors Choice

Gill Race Cap

Best Value

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

The Top 5 Best Sailing Hats Available Now

Best Pick

Tilley LTM6 Broad Brim Airflo Sun Hat

  • 100% Nylon
  • 100% Supplex nylon
  • Certified UPF 50+, 98% blockage of harmful UVA/UVB radiation
  • Guaranteed for life
  • Machine wash delicate cycle or hand wash (cool), reshape & air dry, no bleach
  • Canada

Summary

Tilley has been around making hats for saying for a long time and they make a great product. They are breathable, float, have good ventilation, and an adjustable chin strap. They have a little surprise tucked in the secret pocket on top if you buy one. All Tilley Hats are hand sewn in Canada. This hat is not one size fits all.

Hat Construction

This hat is made from quick-drying, supplex nylon. It has polyester mesh panels around the top for ventilation airflow. It provides UPF50+ protection. It has adjustable chin strap to keep it attached to your head on windy days. It has snaps to fold the brim sides up. It is crushable and packable and can be rolled up as well. There is a secret compartment built into the top for storing small items. It is machine washable on a delicate cycle.

Hat Specifications

  • Head Size: Size 6-7/8 through 8-1/8. They are not one size fits all
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Sun Protection: UPF 50+
  • Construction: Supplex nylon; mesh – polyester
  • Attachment strap: Adjustable chin strap
  • Flotation: Yes
  • Colors: 10 to choose from
What We Liked
Secret compartment in top for storing credit card, keys, etc..
Wide brim
Hand sewn in Canada
Quick-drying, breathable nylon and polyester construction
Fitted sizes
Adjustable chin strap
Foam flotation

Editor’s Choice

Gill Race Cap

  • 100% Nylon
  • Hook and Loop closure
  • FEATURES: Wicking inner headband Clear front for team branding 50+ UV protection Retainer cord with clip
  • Technology: 50+ UV protection. Lightweight water resistant fabric.
  • End Use: Sport and Keel Boat Racing
  • Fabric Composition: 100% Nylon

Summary

Gill has been a long time maker of high quality affordable sailing gear. The Gill Race Cap is an excellent cap designed for sailboat racing. It has a built in retention strap along with water resistant construction. The front is left open so you can have custom embroidery done somewhere if you’d like. Having your boats name or logo on all the crew’s hats adds at least 20-30 seconds per mile in boat speed.

Hat Construction

This hat is made from 100% Nylon lightweight breathable fabric with a water repellent finish. It has a wicking inner headband. The fabric is UPF 50+ for sun protection. It is adjustable using a hook and loop closure. It has a built in retention strap, with corrosion resistant clip, so you don’t lose it during a hard day racing in the wind.

Hat Specifications

  • Head Size: 52cm – 56cm
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Packable: No
  • Sun Protection: Yes UPF 50+
  • Construction: 100% Nylon, lightweight breathable fabric with a water repellent finish
  • Attachment strap: Yes retainer strap with corrosion resistant clip
  • Colors: 2 to choose from
What We Liked
Built in corrosion resistant retention strap
100% Nylon lightweight breathable fabric with a water repellent finish
Yes UPF 50+
Wicking inner headband

Best Value

Columbia mens Bora Bora Booney

  • OMNI-SHADE: Be safe and protected. Omni-Shade blocks UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sunburns and long-term skin damage. The tight weave construction with UV absorbent yarns block the full spectrum of harmful UV rays
  • OMNI-WICK: The ultimate moisture management technology for the outdoors. Omni-Wick quickly moves moisture from the skin into the fabric where it spreads across the surface to quickly evaporate—keeping you cool and your clothing dry
  • HANDY FEATURES: This high-performance hat features a mesh breeze-inducing vent to keep you cool and protected and is equipped with an adjustable drawcord and toggle at the back for a fit that’s adjustable and comfortable

Summary

The Columbia Bora Bora Booney hat features breathable wicking material, UPF 50 sun protection and a neck strap to keep it on your head. This hat is packable and can be rolled or folded up to fit in your bag or pocket when you’re not wearing it. These features make it a great choice to take with you out on your sailboat.

Hat Construction

This hat is made from 100% Textured Nylon Poplin. It features a headband made from Columbia’s Omni-Wick technology to keep your head cool and dry on the wettest of days. The top of the hat has mesh vents to keep your head cool. It has an adjustable chin strap to help keep it on your head and a drawcord to adjust the size of the hat to fit your head.

Hat Specifications

  • Head Size: 21¼-24½inch
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Sun Protection: UPF 50
  • Construction: 100% Textured Nylon Poplin
  • Attachment strap: Adjustable chin strap
  • Flotation: Yes
  • Colors: 8 to choose from
What We Liked
UPF 50 sun protection
Omni-Wick breathable head band
Cinch cord to adjust sizing
Adjustable chin strap

EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men/Women

  • ONE SIZE FITS MOST: Casual style suitable for men and women. Rear adjustable elastic drawstring design, one size fits most adult head circumference 22-24inch.
  • SUN PROTECTION & WATER REPELLENT: Wide brim 3.7-3.9inch keeps your face and neck safe from harmful rays. Water repellent polyester material ideal for wearing in outdoors.
  • COMFORABLE & BREATHABLE: Adjustable chin cord holds the hat in place on windy days. Built in sweatband removes sweat from eyes and face. Two-side mesh vent keeps your head cool and comfortable.

Summary

The EINSKEY Sun Hat features a wide brim with an elastic draw cord so that it fits your head just right and an adjustable chin strap. This hat will keep the sun off your head while keeping it cool and dry. It comes in several stylish colors and a full and partial brim options.

Hat Construction

This hat is made from water repellent polyester so it will keep your head dry in the rain. The hat is breathable and features mesh windows to let the moisture out and to keep your head cool. There is an elastic cinch cord to give the hat a custom fit to your head. The had will block 98% of UVa and UVb rays and it can float too, to top it off.

Hat Specifications

  • Head Size: 22-24inch
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Packable: Yes
  • Sun Protection: 98% of UVa and UVb
  • Construction: Water repellent polyester
  • Attachment strap: Adjustable chin cord
  • Flotation: Yes
  • Colors: 8 to choose from (Grey, Green, Blue shades)
What We Liked
Wide Brim
Made from water repellent polyester
Cinch cord to adjust sizing
Adjustable chin strap

Helly Hansen HH Logo Cap Hat

  • 100% Cotton
  • Imported
  • Outdoor Apparel Item
  • Comfortable outdoor clothing
  • Quality product

Summary

The Helly Hansen Logo Hat is a stylish hat good for hanging out on a sailboat or yacht club. The wide brim provides good shade from the sun or shelter from the rain. The adjustable one size fits all gives it a custom fit for anyone.

Hat Construction

This hat is made from 100% cotton with a molded brim and sizing adjustable by a metal clip. This brim is the standard size of any baseball type cap and provides good sun shade. There is no attachment strap and this hat does not float.

Hat Specifications

  • Head Size: Adjustable one size fits all
  • Breathable: No
  • Packable: No
  • Sun Protection: Yes
  • Construction: 100% Cotton Washed
  • Attachment strap: No
  • Flotation: No
  • Colors: 13 to choose from
What We Liked
Stylish Helly Hansen hat
One size fits all
100% Cotton Washed material

sun hat on sailboat

How To Pick The Best Sailing Hat – Buying Guide

When you head out sailing for the afternoon you want to be comfortable. To be comfortable you need to stay dry, not get too hot or too cold and keep from getting sunburnt. A good sailing hat should protect you from the sun and rain and keep you dry. You want to look good in your hat too.

Sun Protection

A good hat should offer up UPF50+ sun protection. A full wide brim hat will block the sun and provide shade all around your head. A baseball cap style hat will only block the sun from the front of your face and the top of your head. A full wide brim hat with a brim going around your entire head is the clear winner for sun protection if that is your main concern.

Rain Protection

If your going out for sailing on a less than great weather day you may want something good for keeping you dry in the rain. A full brim hat protects great against the sun but it won’t fit under the hood of your foul weather gear when the rain kicks in. In this case a baseball cap style hat works much better since you can wear it under your hood and it will keep the water out of your face. Hats with a lot of mesh ventilation are great for keeping your head cool when it’s hot. They aren’t great for keeping your head dry when it rains.

Breathability & Moisture Wicking

The last thing you want while you are out sailing for the day is to have a hat that soaks up sweat and water and feels like your wearing a sponge on your head. A good sailing hat should be made from breathable material that will allow your sweat to pass from your head to outside the hat. Once your forehead is sweaty and wet you want a wicking material that will wick the moisture away from your skin so you feel dry.

Quick Drying

Sailing can be a pretty wet sport. On a calm day it can be peaceful and relaxing. If your out for a race and the wind has built up into the happy zone called white caps, things can get pretty wet on the boat. Crashing into waves is exciting. Mother nature doesn’t always agree with us on when it should and shouldn’t rain so you need to account for that too. Once your hat gets wet, you don’t want it to take forever to dry out. Pure cotton as a material is comfortable to wear but it doesn’t dry quickly or wick moisture away from your skin.

Hat Retention

What good does a hat do if it’s no longer on your head. Hats get blown off or get knocked off on a regular basis on sailboats. Losing hats while sailing is like running aground. You’ve ever done it before, you will do it, or your lying. If you want to keep your hat on your head you need a good chin strap or retention strap. If your hat doesn’t have either of those, you are in luck. They sell hat retention straps you can hook to your hat and your collar.

Croakies Lid Latches

  • Croakies’ lid latch clips your hat to your collar with a strong metal bulldog clip giving your hat security on a windy day
  • Made of durable woven Climbing rope
  • Measures 10 inches long
  • Made in the USA

Sailing Hats For Racing

I’ve been involved in racing for many years now from small boats like Lasers to multi day long distance big boat racing. The best type of hat for these tends to be the traditional baseball cap style hat. Full wide brim hats are great for blocking the sun but they are really easily knocked off by lines and hardware on the sailboat. Caps do a better job of staying on your head when you are running around the boat or ducking under the boom.

Sailing Hats For Cruising Or Day Sailing

When your out for a cruise and not trying to operate the boat at racing speed, a bit more shade and comfort is desired. A nice wide full brim hat will block the sun and give you some nice cool head ventilation. Were not racing we’re probably not heading out in the rain or at least have more time to switch hats if a storm blows in.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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