Fashionable and Packable Sun Hats for Summer Vacation

by dustytoes

Most of us need a sun hat at one time or another. For fashion and practicality I have listed some of my favorite sun hats for women.

Summer weather brings out the sun hats, and each year new products are added to the market place. Fashionable and practical hats and caps are the perfect wardrobe accessory for any woman. A vacation to a tropical climate or desert, means sun protection is a must.

A windy climate, or boating activities require hats with chin straps as you won't want to have to chase down your hat, or fish it out of the water. Activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding require headwear that stays put and keeps sunburns away.

All the sun hats on this page meet my expectations when it comes to being outside in the hot summer sun. But hats can be worn in Spring for gardening, and they also help keep bugs away. With a little research, some hats could protect from rain as well.

We will al need a hat at some point, and it's an important part of a summer wardrobe no matter what your plans are.

What to look for when buying a sun hat

If your new beach hat meets all these requirements, it will be the perfect summer fashion accessory.

Sometimes we are so excited about traveling, and taking that long awaited v.acation, that we overlook some important things.  A sun hat may seem like a small, unimportant, or less important, part of the wardrobe.  Swim suits and outfits are certainly on the top of the list to acquire.  We may be tempted to just grab a hat that looks good and throw it into the suitcase, but with a little forethought, you can be extremely pleased once it's time to put that sucker on.

........   My list of features for the perfect sun hat   ........

  1. It must be large enough to cover face and ears.  Ball caps and visors won't do this.
  2. A chin strap and or adjustability is a must, to tighten for wind.
  3. The fabric must have venting, or be made of breathable (not heavy) material.  A hat that makes your head hot will make you miserable and less likely to wear it.
  4. The color must be light, preferably with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) built in.  You want to reflect the suns rays, not absorb them and have a steaming hot head.
  5. It must look good, of course, and be packable in some cases, so you can take your favorite sun hat along with you.

This article contains links to hats that get very good ratings and reviews on Amazon.

Some have a UPF rating, and some don't.  The one in the image here comes with and without UPF block.


Sloggers Floppy Wide Brim Sun Hat For Women

This wide-brimmed, straw hat gets over 1,000 high star rankings at Amazon. NOT the best for packing, would be perfect for home gardening.
Sloggers Women's Wide Brim Braided Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard - Dar...

Packable Sun Hat by Walleroo

I am not ordinarily happy with any hat I wear, but this one is quite nice. Packing directions are: Pack flat, do not crease, do not roll.
My Wallaroo Hat
My Wallaroo Hat

Tighten from the inside. No lanyard on this one

My head measures almost 23 inches and I had to tighten this hat a little.
Use the ties inside to pull tighter
Use the ties inside to pull tighter

Finding the Perfect Hat For You

Many of us do a lot of shopping from home.  Finding the right hat can be daunting when shopping online.  Choose to buy from a reputable company with a good name.  The Amazon site allows pretty much anyone to set up shop and make money.  Beware of cheaply made products from overseas.

Read the reviews!  I love having reviews to go by when choosing products, but we have to be discerning.  Is that one-star review because of the product or because of poor shipping?

If many reviewers have mostly good things to say about the product, it is probably a good bet you will like it too.  

Search for a hat that will fit your needs best.  Will it be worn in the backyard for gardening and yard work? Or will you be sailing along the water with a breeze blowing?  I'm still searching for a good hat for boating.

The UPF factor may or may not be a priority, as it is a hat, and that in itself means your face and neck will be out of the sun.  In very hot climates a UPF factor is necessary, but maybe not so much in a cooler climate with less sun problems.  Although, most hats do include sun protection in the form of UPF.

Do you like to wear hats?

Some people look great in a hat, and others .... well, just don't.

Fashionable and Packable

Summer means vacations and travel. Women need hats that can go along on the trip, yet still look good when worn.
Lounging poolside
Lounging poolside

Chin Straps and Adjustable Bands

The wind can kick up at any time, but for the beach and boating, a chin strap will keep you from having to chase down your hat!

Women may take issue with a hat that has a chin strap.  It may not suit them as far as looks go, but once they are walking or sitting on a windy beach, they may change their minds. It's not fun to chase your hat down the beach!

If you like boating, it will no doubt be windy as the boat travels along and unless you plan to hold onto that hat a chin strap is needed.  Many hats include an adjustable toggle at the back so the hat can be cinched tighter to the head.  A ball cap with "skirt" may work better in a windy area.

Remember that it tends to be windy along the shoreline and out on the water.  A strap can easily be pushed up under the hat if the day is calm, but it's there is the wind picks up. 

Sun Hats Need to be Breathable, with Vents or made of Light Weight Material

Covering your head means it can get hot unless the covering is made the right way.

Sometimes we get lazy and just grab our favorite ball cap or trusty visor as we head out to the beach.  These are useless as protection from the suns harmful rays.  Visors and ball caps are usually made of heavy material that will just soak up the sweat and be wet and uncomfortable.

Columbia Sportswear also has a nice selection of colorful head coverings, with UPF.  Their hats have chin straps, in some cases, and are adjustable by using a drawstring and toggle in the back or inside. I own a Columbia hat which I wear out fishing often.

Columbia Straw Hat for Men (Or Women)

The Bonehead hat gets rave reviews and packable to take on trips.
Columbia Men's Bonehead Straw Hat

Common Sense Reminder

Just thought I'd mention....

Many of the hats on this page come in earth tone colors, like beige and tan.  Some of them also come in bright tropical hues.  Remember that a darker hat will heat up faster on your head.  For that reason I stay away from dark colors.

Hats with holes, or mesh look can let sun through, no matter what the UPF factor is.

Sunscreen is still necessary since no hat can keep all the sun off your face and neck all the time.  And sunglasses will protect the eyes from harmful rays.

In Closing....

Everyone has different needs when it comes to buying a sun hat.  For the most part we want protection from the suns harmful rays, while looking good in the hat we choose.

I go boating and fishing often in Florida, so I need a packable hat with a chin strap that has a good UPF factor.  I'm also a gardener, so a hat with a wide brim to wear around the yard suits me too.

Those who do a lot of traveling and hiking need to find good looking, packable sun hats.

Basically, we all have varying needs, but I hope I've shown you some good options when trying to buy the perfect wide-brimmed hat.

Updated: 09/30/2023, dustytoes
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dustytoes on 02/09/2014

When I lived in Florida getting vitamin D was not a problem since it's sunny nearly every single day. But spending time outside (boating, fishing, at the beach) means definitely covering up. I don't trust sunscreen alone in Florida.

ologsinquito on 02/09/2014

These are a good idea to protect your face and neck from too much sun, as overexposure shows up as leathery skin. We do need a little sun, since we need Vitamin D, but we can always expose our arms and feet to harsh rays.

jptanabe on 09/15/2013

Great collection of sun hats! I really need a hat when I'm out in the sun, and I agree the chin strap is essential - I've chased many a hat in the wind!

dustytoes on 05/30/2013

I like them for wearing while I garden.

kimbesa on 05/29/2013

I always can use another hat, especially one designed for sun protection.

WriterArtist on 05/14/2013

A hat adds to the personality besides protecting you from harmful UV rays. Love these summer hat collection.

katiem2 on 04/06/2013

Showed this to my daughter who like this summer hat collection, the best way to protect yourself, skin and hair from the sun.

dustytoes on 03/24/2013

I could have guessed that Abby... ;)

AbbyFitz on 03/24/2013

Great list of hats! I love hats. I'd wear them everyday if I could.

dustytoes on 03/24/2013

Thanks Katie..!

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