Skip to content
Home » Best Cooling Hats in 2024: Buyers’ Guide

Best Cooling Hats in 2024: Buyers’ Guide

Staying cool and protected from the sun is important during outdoor activities in warm weather. A good cooling hat can make all the difference. In this buyers’ guide, we will discuss some of the best cooling hats on the market. From hats with built-in ice packs to ultralight sun protective hats perfect for hiking, we will cover different types of cooling hats and features to consider when choosing one.

List of the Best Cooling Hats:

1. MISSION Cooling Anywhere Wide Brim Bucket Hat

1. MISSION Cooling Anywhere Wide Brim Bucket Hat

The Mission Cooling Anywhere Wide Brim Bucket Hat delivers instant, all-day cooling power for active lifestyles. Laser-perforated mesh panels in the crown maximize airflow while the specialized HydroActive fabric provides wetness-activated cooling. When wetted, the technical fabric cools up to 30°F below body temperature within 60 seconds. This helps the wearer stay cool and comfortable for hours, making the hat ideal for warm weather activities like hiking, fishing, golf, and beach days. The lightweight, packable design and wide brim provide sturdy sun protection and style.

An adjustable chin strap ensures a secure fit while the zippered crown pocket stores valuables safely. The cooling functionality lasts for up to 2 hours per wetting and never washes out thanks to permanent Wet-to-Cool technology. With UPF 50 sun protection, machine washable fabric, and chemical-free cooling, this hat is the perfect travel companion. Customers praise the instant cooling effect and high-quality materials that hold up well during outdoor adventures.

Pros And Cons


  • Provides instant, long-lasting cooling effect
  • Breathable mesh panels and fabric maximize airflow
  • Adjustable fit and wide brim offer sun protection
  • Packable and lightweight for travel
  • Machine washable with permanent cooling technology


  • Needs to be rewetted every 2 hours to maintain cooling

2. Columbia Unisex Schooner Bank™ Cachalot

2. Columbia Unisex Schooner Bank™ Cachalot

The Columbia Unisex Schooner Bank Cachalot hat provides maximum sun protection and cooling comfort for fishing, boating, and outdoor adventures. Crafted from 100% nylon poplin, this lightweight yet durable hat shields the head, face, and neck from harmful UVA/UVB rays with UPF 50 sun protection. Its Omni-Shade technology utilizes tightly woven fabrics with UV-absorbent yarns to block the full spectrum of ultraviolet light. An adjustable toggle closure and omnidirectional brim deliver a customizable fit and ample coverage.

The hat’s signature Omni-Wick sweatband wicks moisture to keep the head cool and comfortable when temperatures rise. Attention to detail with expert stitching ensures this sun protective hat provides long-lasting performance. Designed for versatility, it suits both men and women.

Pros And Cons


  • Lightweight and breathable nylon fabric
  • UPF 50 sun protection blocks UV rays
  • Omni-Wick sweatband wicks away moisture
  • Adjustable toggle for customized fit


  • Brim may be too flexible for some

3. Toppers Sun Hat Rollable UPF 50+

3. Toppers Sun Hat Rollable UPF 50+

The Toppers Sun Hat provides UPF 50+ sun protection and cooling comfort for a variety of outdoor activities. This lightweight, packable hat features a wide brim and adjustable flap to shield the face, neck, and ears from the sun’s harmful rays. The water-repellent polyester fabric keeps the wearer dry in light rain while an adjustable chin strap secures the hat on windy days. Three size options with different adjustment features ensure a customized fit for women, men, and youth. The women’s version includes a bow knot and ponytail opening for stylish wear.

When not in use, the hat can be folded, rolled, or packed away in a bag or purse. Its portable design makes it ideal for travel and vacations in addition to gardening, hiking, fishing, and water sports. Customers love the comfort, coverage, and packability that makes this an ideal warm weather accessory. With UPF 50 sun protection and cooling airflow, the Toppers Sun Hat is the perfect lightweight companion for all outdoor adventures under the sun.

Pros And Cons


  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Adjustable for secure fit
  • Flap covers neck and ears
  • Water-repellent fabric


  • Flap may be cumbersome for some

4. MISSION Cooling Summit Runners Hat

4. MISSION Cooling Summit Runners Hat

The Mission Cooling Summit Runners Hat delivers instant, long-lasting cooling comfort for outdoor activities in the heat. Its proprietary HydroActive fabric provides a cooling effect up to 30°F below body temperature when wetted – lasting 2 hours per activation. Laser-cut perforations enhance airflow while the adjustable closure ensures a secure fit. This vented running hat wicks sweat and blocks UV rays with UPF 50 sun protection. The lightweight polyester fabric stays cool as it dries quickly after being wetted down. An integrated zippered pocket stores small valuables securely.

The permanent Wet-to-Cool technology withstands washing without degrading. Designed for versatility, this unisex hat suits anyone looking to stay cool when hiking, fishing, golfing, running, or enjoying water sports. Its adjustable fit accommodates ponytails and long hair. Customers love the instant cooling effect and hands-free comfort of this multipurpose cap. The Mission Cooling Summit Runners Hat delivers advanced cooling technology and sun protection in a high-performance design perfect for active lifestyles.

Pros And Cons


  • Provides instant wetness-activated cooling
  • Adjustable fit with ponytail compatibility
  • Breathable perforated design
  • Built-in pocket for valuables
  • UPF 50 sun protection


  • Cooling effect lasts only 2 hours

5. Columbia Unisex Bora Booney Hat

5. Columbia Unisex Bora Booney Hat

The Columbia Unisex Bora Bora Booney Fishing Hat delivers maxium sun protection and breathable comfort for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric blocks 98% of harmful UVA/UVB rays while the Omni-Wick sweatband wicks moisture away from the skin. Strategically placed mesh venting allows cooling airflow across the head on hot sunny days. The wide 3-inch brim shades the face and neck from glare while the adjustable drawcord creates a customizable fit.

This high-performance fishing hat is designed for long days on the water with durable, quick-drying materials that stand up to the elements. An adjustable toggle closure and chin strap keep the hat securely in place even in windy conditions. Customers praise the Bora Bora hat’s comfort, ventilation, and sun protection that makes it ideal for fishing, hiking, gardening and more. With its lightweight feel and rugged construction, this hat provides lasting performance season after season.

Pros And Cons


  • UPF 50 sun protection blocks UV rays
  • Omni-Wick sweatband prevents overheating
  • Lightweight, breathable, quick-drying fabric
  • Adjustable drawcord and toggle for custom fit
  • Chin strap secures hat in windy conditions


  • Snug fit for some wearers

6. Solar Fan Cap Sun Hat

6. Solar Fan Cap Sun Hat

The Solar Fan Cap provides hands-free cooling relief for outdoor activities on sunny days. This fishing hat features a built-in solar-powered fan that generates a refreshing breeze to keep wearers comfortable when temperatures rise. The adjustable chip allows customizable airflow up to 3.5 m/s. The removable, washable fan has a safety cover for protection. Made of soft, breathable fabric, the hat wicks moisture and dries quickly after getting wet. Its wide brim provides UPF 50+ sun protection while the adjustable strap ensures a secure fit.

Dual power options include solar energy from the panels around the crown or USB charging for cloudy days. The high-speed brushless motor runs quietly at full power for up to 10 hours on a single charge. Customers praise the instant cooling and versatility of this hat for fishing, hiking, camping, yardwork, theme parks, and outdoor concerts. With its hands-free operation and rechargeable battery backup, the Solar Fan Cap allows wearers to stay cool and collected even in sweltering conditions.

Pros And Cons


  • Built-in solar-powered fan
  • Adjustable airflow strength
  • Removable fan for washing
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Breathable, sweat-wicking fabric


  • Battery may need frequent recharging

7. ANKOR Ultra Performance UPF 50 Hat

7. ANKOR Ultra Performance UPF 50 Hat

The ANKOR Ultra Performance Baseball Hat delivers water resistance, breathability, and UPF 50 sun protection for outdoor activities. Its polyester fabric repels water and sweat while laser-cut perforations enhance airflow. The quick-drying material and soft sweatband keep the head cool and comfortable. Designed to float, this lightweight cap won’t sink if dropped in water. The unisex minimalist styling suits both casual and athletic settings with clean logo accents.

Adjustable sizing provides a customized fit for most adults. Just hand wash to keep it looking new. Customers love the hat’s performance features like sweat wicking, water resistance, and floatability that make it ideal for boating, fishing, golf, hiking, and everyday wear. As a veteran-owned brand, ANKOR also gives back to charity. For a high-tech cap that stands up to sun, sweat, and water across a range of activities, the ANKOR Ultra Performance Baseball Hat delivers solid performance and style at an affordable price point.

Pros And Cons


  • Water and sweat resistant fabric
  • Laser cut holes for breathability
  • Floatable design won’t sink
  • Soft, quick-drying sweatband
  • Adjustable sizing fits most


  • Not fully waterproof in heavy rain

What are the benefits of wearing a cooling hat?

Wearing a cooling hat can provide multiple benefits during warm weather or vigorous physical activity.

One of the main advantages is that it helps regulate your body temperature. As heat builds up in your head from being out in the sun or exerting yourself, it can cause you to overheat. A cooling hat absorbs sweat and heat while releasing moisture to keep your head at an optimal temperature. This prevents you from feeling fatigued, dizzy or nauseous. Cooling hats with vents or mesh panels also allow air flow which aids evaporation.

In addition, cooling hats protect your head and face from the sun’s harmful UV rays which can lead to sunburn or heat stroke. The brim and fabric cover a larger surface area than regular hats. Cooling hats also keep sweat from dripping into your eyes and blocking your vision during sports or workouts.

Finally, cooling hats are useful accessories for those with heat-sensitive medical conditions like M.S. By keeping your head cool, they can prevent flare ups of symptoms. Wearing a cooling hat delivers much needed relief on hot days.

What types of fabrics keep your head cool?

When it comes to cooling hats, the type of fabric makes all the difference in keeping your head and body at the right temperature. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and spandex are common choices for cooling hats because they are lightweight and designed to wick moisture. The technical weave of these fabrics allows sweat and heat to pass through the fabric rather than absorb into the hat. This creates airflow between your head and the hat which speeds up evaporation. Polyester in particular is hydrophobic meaning it repels water and dries quickly. This prevents sweat from saturating the hat and weighing it down.

In addition to synthetic blends, natural fabrics like cotton can also offer cooling properties if they are lightweight and breathable. Pique knit cotton has an open weave that allows maximum airflow so it can be used in summer hats. Cotton is very absorbent so the hat will soak up sweat but as long as the weave isn’t too tight, evaporation can still occur. The cotton helps keep you cool while remaining soft on your head.

Some high-tech cooling hats also utilize spandex or elastane along with polyester or nylon. The stretchy properties of spandex allow it to fit snugly on your head without restricting blood flow. This improves circulation which aids heat regulation. The spandex also retains its shape even after getting wet with sweat or water. Finding fabrics tailored for movement and evaporation is key to good cooling hat performance.

How to Choose the Best Cooling Hat?

Staying cool and comfortable during summer activities can be a challenge. A good cooling hat is essential gear for preventing overheating and heat exhaustion when you’re out in the sun. With so many types and styles of cooling hats on the market, it can be tricky to pick the right one. This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when choosing a cooling hat.

1. Decide How Much Coverage You Need

First, think about how much sun protection you need. If you’ll be in direct sun for long periods, look for a hat with a wide brim all around or a legionnaire style with a flap in the back and sides. These provide shade for your neck, ears and face. If you just need a bit of cooling, a cap style may suffice.

Consider when you’ll wear it too. Hats with mesh side panels are great for highly active pursuits like running, while all-around brims are ideal for casual wear.

2. Pick Breathable, Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

The best cooling hats are made of lightweight, breathable fabrics that won’t get soggy with sweat. Look for natural fibers like cotton or linen, or moisture-wicking technical fabrics like polyester mesh. The fabric should feel cool against your skin.

Also make sure the hat has sweat-absorbing hatbands and/or sweat-wicking linings. These will keep sweat from dripping and help keep you dry.

3. Consider Chin Straps and Adjustable Features

Many cooling hats include chin straps or adjustable headbands to ensure they stay put in windy conditions. If you’ll be active, these features are useful for keeping the hat sealed around your head.

Adjustable snapback or Velcro closures are also nice for getting a custom fit. For stability during activities, choose hats with a lower crown.

4. Look for Built-In Cooling Features

Some more advanced cooling hats have ice packs, cooling gels, or evaporation technology built into the design. These can provide active cooling through conduction or evaporation.

Just keep in mind that built-in cooling features add weight and may need to be activated or recharged. Make sure the cooling system suits the length of time you’ll wear it.

5. Pick Styles Appropriate for Your Needs

Think about when and where you’ll use the hat most. Is it for hiking, gardening, beach days or spectating sports? Pick styles suited for the activity.

And don’t forget sun protective features like a brim, UPF fabric and a neck flap if you’ll be out during peak sun. Getting a hat you find stylish can also motivate you to wear it more often!

6. Consider Your Budget

Cooling hats range widely in price from $10 to $50+. In general, you get what you pay for in terms of fabrics, fit, features and durability. Consider how often you’ll realistically wear it to determine if premium features are worth the investment.

With this criteria in mind, you’re sure to find the ideal cooling hat to meet your needs, activities and style. Stay cool and comfortable all summer long with the perfect head gear.

How does evaporation help keep you cool?

The process of evaporation is one of the key ways that cooling hats are able to regulate the temperature of your head. As sweat builds up inside the hat from your head heating up, the moisture is wicked away from your skin by the fabric. If the hat is made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials, it will not absorb all the sweat and trap it against your head. Instead, the sweat is able to move towards the outer layer of the hat.

From there, the sweat or water from the hat comes into contact with the air from ventilation and airflow. As the water transitions from a liquid to a gaseous state, it draws heat away from your head and absorbs thermal energy. This evaporation process has a cooling effect because energy is taken from your skin in order for the phase change to gas to occur. Essentially, the water is stealing energy from your head as it evaporates.

The greater the surface area of evaporation, the more cooling that can take place. Cooling hats maximize surface area by using mesh panels, vents, and wicking fabrics that don’t get saturated. The evaporation continues pulling heat away from your head as long as there is sweat and airflow present. In hot, dry conditions, the evaporation happens even faster providing superior cooling power. Taking advantage of this chemical reaction is an effective way cooling hats help maintain a stable head temperature.

What special features should you look for in a cooling hat?

When it comes to choosing a cooling hat to beat the heat, prioritizing features that assist with ventilation and evaporation is key. One of the most important features is moisture-wicking fabric. Synthetic blends that actively draw sweat away from the skin and towards the outer layer of the hat speed up cooling through evaporation. Along with wicking, mesh panels strategically placed around the crown and sides of the hat allow maximum airflow. Ventilation ports and perforations also help push hot air out and bring cooler air in.

For maximum sun protection, opt for a cooling hat with a wide brim all around or a flap in the back to cover the neck. Tighter-woven fabrics with UV protective properties can aid in blocking harmful rays on really hot days. Also consider the fit – a hat that fits snugly without pinching will optimize airflow. The lining should feel smooth and soft against the forehead.

Some high-tech cooling hats even utilize ice packs or refrigerant gel packs that you can freeze and insert into pockets. As they thaw, they provide additional cooling on the top and sides of the head. No matter what style you choose, the most effective cooling hats combine sweat-wicking fabric, strategic ventilation, and a snug fit for superior temperature regulation in the heat.

How do cooling hats compare to regular hats for sun protection?

When it comes to blocking sun exposure, cooling hats are often far more protective than regular hats. The main difference is the fabrics used. Cooling hats meant for outdoor activities are typically constructed from lightweight, breathable synthetics that still provide UV protection. Polyester or nylon blends are woven tightly enough to act as a barrier against the sun’s harmful rays. They have a high UPF rating that blocks 98% or more of UV radiation.

Regular hats are more likely to be made of loose-knit natural fibers like cotton, straw, or fabrics with gaps in the weave. While the brim will shade your face, sunlight can still penetrate the top and sides of the hat. The less dense the fabric, the less sun protection it provides. If you hold a regular hat up to the light, you’ll see it appears more transparent compared to a cooling hat.

In addition to protective fabrics, cooling hats often provide more coverage. They have full brims all the way around instead of just at the front. Flaps to cover the neck and ears as well as legionnaire-style necks are common too. The extra fabric keeps more skin guarded against sun exposure. When you’re outdoors all day, the maximum coverage from a cooling hat is essential. You won’t have to worry about burning the areas a regular hat might leave exposed. Cooling hats are designed to be functional in heat so sun protection is a top priority.

FAQs about the best cooling hats

Q: What features should I look for in a cooling hat?

A: Look for hats made of lightweight, breathable fabrics like polyester or nylon that wick moisture and dry quickly. Mesh panels, ventilation holes, and a snug but comfortable fit also improve airflow. A wide brim, UPF rating for UV protection, and features like sweat-absorbing headbands or pockets for ice packs help enhance cooling power.

Q: Which style of cooling hat works best?

A: Bucket hats, visors, and hats with flaps or legionnaire-style neck covers provide shade and ventilation for maximum cooling. The best style depends on the activity – wide brims are great for sun protection while visors work well for sports.

Q: When should I wear a cooling hat?

A: Wear cooling hats in warm weather for activities like gardening, hiking, beach days, yardwork, outdoor sports, festivals, and any time you’ll be exerting yourself in the sun. They regulate temperature and prevent overheating.

Q: How do I clean and care for a cooling hat?

A: Check the care label and wash in cold water, air dry or tumble dry low. Avoid using fabric softener which can clog the fabric pores that allow ventilation and evaporation. Store out of direct sunlight when not in use.

Q: Can cooling hats be worn in winter?

A: Yes, the moisture wicking fabrics can keep you dry and comfortable during winter runs, skiing, snowboarding and other cold weather sports by wicking away sweat. Look for options with fleece linings or wear a thin cap underneath for warmth.

Q: Are cooling hats unisex?

A: Most cooling hat styles and sizes are suitable for men and women. Look for adjustable fits or measure your head to ensure a snug and comfortable fit according to the size chart. Unisex sizing makes cooling hats accessible for all.

Q: How much do quality cooling hats cost?

A: Expect to pay $15-$50+ for the best cooling hats from reputable athletic brands. More expensive options may have enhanced features like ice pack pockets or solar powered fans. There are budget options under $15 but quality may vary.

Final Thoughts

Staying cool and protected from the summer sun is a breeze with the right cooling hat. The ideal hat uses lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that maximize airflow and evaporation. Strategically placed mesh panels, vents, and a ventilated interior further enhance cooling power. While keeping you comfortable, quality materials also block UV rays. Cooling hats streamline sweat away from eyes and off your neck while providing increased coverage. Wearing one for outdoor sports, beach days, or yardwork this summer could be a real game changer. Now that you know what to look for, you can beat the heat in style with a high-performance cooling hat designed with innovative materials and features.

Enjoyed this guide of the best cooling hats? Then be sure to check out our other outdoor gears guides.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *