best hat for kayaking [Answered]

Best Hat for Kayaking: Protecting Yourself while Paddling

When you’re out kayaking on the water, it’s important to stay safe and protected from the elements. One key aspect of protection is a good hat to shield your face, neck, and ears from the sun’s harmful rays. But with so many different styles and types of hats available, how do you know which one will work best for you?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best hats for kayaking, highlighting key factors to consider when making your choice. We’ll also explore a few alternative options for headwear that may be applicable depending on your specific needs. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or just starting out, this guide will help you choose the perfect hat to keep you comfortable and protected while you’re out on the water.

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Hat

Before we dive into the specific types of hats, it’s important to consider a few key factors when it comes to choosing a hat for kayaking:

  • Sun protection: A hat’s main purpose when kayaking is to protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun. Look for a hat made from sun-blocking materials and with a wide brim to provide maximum coverage.
  • Comfort: You’ll likely be wearing your hat for hours at a time, so you’ll want to choose one that fits comfortably and doesn’t irritate your skin. Look for a hat with adjustable sizing or stretchy material for a customizable fit.
  • Style: While functionality is important, you’ll also want to choose a hat that fits your personal style. There are plenty of different styles and colors of hats available, so take some time to choose one that you’ll feel confident wearing.
  • Durability: Kayaking can be tough on gear, so you’ll want to choose a hat that is made from durable materials that can withstand exposure to water, sun, and wind.

By considering these factors, you’ll be able to choose a hat that not only protects you from the elements but fits comfortably and looks great too.

Top Hats for Kayaking

Now that we know what factors to consider, let’s take a look at the top hats for kayaking:

Baseball Cap

A baseball cap is a classic choice for kayaking, and for good reason. They’re lightweight, easy to wear, and provide a good amount of sun coverage. Look for a cap made from breathable materials like cotton or mesh to keep you cool and comfortable, and choose one with a curved brim to keep the sun off your face.

Sun Hat

For maximum sun protection, a sun hat is an excellent option. Look for a hat with a wide brim to provide maximum coverage for your face, neck, and ears. Choose one made from lightweight, quick-drying materials like nylon or polyester so it won’t get too heavy if it gets wet, and look for one with an adjustable chin strap to keep it in place in windy conditions.

Paddling-Specific Hats

There are hats specifically designed for paddling that offer a range of features, including sun protection, quick-drying materials, and built-in flotation. Look for a hat with a chin strap or neck cord to keep it in place, and choose one made from water-resistant materials to keep your head warm and dry on cold days.

Regardless of which type of hat you choose, be sure to try it on and ensure that it fits well, provides adequate sun protection, and is comfortable to wear for an extended period of time.

Other Options That Are Applicable

While the hats listed above are some of the best choices for kayaking, there are a few other options that may be applicable depending on your needs:


On a hot day, a bandana is a simple and effective way to keep your head and neck cool while also protecting from sunburn. Simply soak the bandana in cool water before putting it on, and re-soak as needed throughout the day.

Buff-Style Headwear

Similar to a bandana, a buff-style headwear is a versatile option that can be worn in a variety of ways, including as a headband, neck gaiter, or full face cover. They’re often made from lightweight and breathable materials that offer sun protection and moisture-wicking properties.


If you prefer to have more visibility and less coverage, a visor may be the perfect choice. Look for a visor made from quick-drying materials like polyester, and choose one with a sweatband to keep moisture away from your face.

Ultimately, the best hat for kayaking comes down to personal preference and the specific conditions you’ll be paddling in. Consider the factors listed above and experiment with different options until you find the perfect hat for your needs.

Related: What Size Mud Motor for 14ft Jon Boat? Find Out Here!


Why do I need to wear a hat while kayaking?

A hat helps protect your face, ears, and neck from harmful UV rays and helps keep you cool under the hot sun.

What factors should I consider when choosing a hat for kayaking?

Factors like sun protection, comfort, style, and durability should be considered when choosing a hat for kayaking.

Can I wear any hat for kayaking?

While any hat can be worn for kayaking, it’s best to choose hats designed specifically for outdoor activities like paddling.

Can I wear a baseball cap for kayaking?

Yes, but baseball caps tend to offer minimal sun protection and may get in the way while paddling.

What is a paddling-specific hat?

A paddling-specific hat is a hat designed specifically for outdoor water sports like kayaking. They usually feature features like moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabrics, and adjustable straps.

Should I choose a hat with a brim or one without?

Hats with brims provide additional shade and sun protection, while hats without brims allow for better vision.

What is the best material for a kayaking hat?

Materials like nylon, polyester, and spandex are great for kayaking hats. They dry quickly and wick away moisture.

Can I wear a visor for kayaking?

Yes, visors are a great option for kayaking as they provide shade for the eyes while allowing air to circulate.

Are buff-style headwear good for kayaking?

Yes, buff-style headwear can be a great option for kayaking as they offer versatile protection and can be worn in different ways.

Can I wear a hat with a chin strap for kayaking?

Yes, hats with chin straps can be a good option for kayaking as they stay securely in place, even in windy conditions.

Real experience

Jenna had always loved kayaking, but she never really cared about what she wore on her head. She always grabbed the first hat she saw on her way out the door, usually an old, raggedy baseball cap that barely covered her forehead.

One sunny day, Jenna and her friend decided to kayak down the local river. Jenna was excited for the adventure, but didn’t realize just how much the sun would beat down on her. Her hat didn’t offer much protection, and she could feel her face and neck starting to get burnt.

After her trip down the river, Jenna knew she needed to invest in a better hat for kayaking. She did her research and discovered the importance of a hat that provided sun protection and comfort, while still being stylish.

Jenna decided to purchase a paddling-specific hat that was made with moisture-wicking fabric and had a wide, protective brim. The hat was comfortable to wear all day in the sun, and kept her head and face cool while she paddled.

The next time Jenna hit the river, she felt like a whole new person. Her new hat not only provided great protection, but it also looked fashionable and made her feel more confident. She even got a few compliments from other kayakers on the river.

From that day on, Jenna never went on a kayaking adventure without her trusty hat. It had become an essential part of her gear, and she was grateful that she invested in the best hat for kayaking.

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Choosing the best hat for kayaking is an important part of staying protected and comfortable on the water. By considering factors like sun protection, comfort, style, and durability, you can narrow down your options and choose a hat that meets your specific needs.

As we’ve seen, there are a variety of hats that work well for kayaking, including baseball caps, sun hats, and paddling-specific hats. Additionally, there are alternative options like bandanas, buff-style headwear, and visors that may be applicable depending on your preferences and the conditions you’ll be kayaking in.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a hat that you feel comfortable wearing and that provides adequate sun protection. With the right hat, you can focus on paddling and enjoying the beautiful scenery around you.

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