Best Sailing Hat

As an enthusiastic sailor and avid adventurer, I understand the significance of finding the best sailing hat that offers both protection and style on the open waters. A reliable sailing hat is not only a fashion statement but also a crucial accessory for safeguarding yourself against the sun’s harmful rays and unpredictable weather conditions. In this article, I will provide valuable suggestions and reasons for selecting the perfect sailing hat tailored to your needs and preferences.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sailing Hat

sailing hat

Brim Width and Design

When it comes to selecting a sailing hat, one of the essential factors to consider is the brim width and design. A wider brim provides better sun protection, shielding your face, neck, and ears from harmful UV rays. Additionally, a well-designed brim can help protect you from rain showers, ensuring your comfort even during inclement weather. Consider hats with wide-brims for maximum sun and rain protection, medium-brims for a balance between protection and visibility, and sou’westers for foul weather conditions.

UV Protection

Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays is paramount when spending extended periods on the water. Look for sailing hats with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating, which indicates the level of sun protection the hat provides. Opting for hats with a UPF rating of 50+ ensures excellent protection against harmful UV rays. Remember, a higher UPF rating means better sun protection for your skin.


The choice of material plays a significant role in the functionality and comfort of your sailing hat. Lightweight materials, such as nylon, polyester, and microfiber, are popular for sailing hats due to their quick-drying properties and breathability. These materials offer excellent moisture-wicking capabilities, keeping your head cool and dry during intense sailing sessions. Additionally, water-resistant materials can be advantageous when unexpected splashes or rain occur, ensuring your hat remains functional throughout your sailing adventures.

Stability in Windy Conditions

Sailing often involves encountering gusty winds, which can make it challenging to keep your hat in place. To avoid losing your hat to the wind, look for models that offer features like adjustable chin straps, elastic bands, or adjustable cords. These features provide a secure fit, ensuring your hat stays firmly on your head, even in blustery conditions.

Types of Sailing Hats

Sailing Caps

sailing hatSailing caps are a versatile option suitable for various sailing conditions. These caps typically feature a low profile, providing excellent visibility and ease of movement. Sailing caps often come with adjustable straps or cords to ensure a snug fit. Some recommended sailing cap models include the Henri-Lloyd Mal HL sailing cap, Gill Pursuit Cap, and classic sailing caps, which are revered for their timeless appeal and enduring popularity.

Brimmed Sun Hats

Brimmed sun hats are an excellent choice for those seeking enhanced sun protection while sailing. These hats feature a wide brim that shields your face, neck, and ears from direct sunlight. Many brimmed sun hats also offer adjustable sizing options and chin straps, allowing you to customize the fit for maximum comfort. Some notable brimmed sun hat models include the Tilley T3 sailing hat, AirSUP Bucket Hat, and DexShell Beanie Solo.

Beanies and Winter Hats

For sailing adventures in colder climates, beanies and winter hats provide essential warmth and insulation. These hats are typically made from cozy materials like wool or fleece to keep your head and ears protected from chilly winds. Consider models like the SubZero Factor 4 Softshell Windproof Hat or Sealskinz Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Hat for optimal comfort during winter sailing expeditions.


When faced with foul weather conditions, sou’westers offer exceptional protection against wind, rain, and spray. These traditional sailing hats are characterized by their waterproof construction and wide brims that shield your face and neck from the elements. Sou’westers have been a staple in sailing for generations, ensuring sailors stay dry and comfortable during rough weather. Look for reputable sou’wester models that prioritize durability and functionality.

Hard Hats

For those sailing in more challenging environments, such as during competitive races or heavy-duty sailing activities, hard hats provide an extra layer of protection. These hats are designed to withstand impact and provide skull protection. Consider hard hat models specifically crafted for sailing and choose one that offers a secure fit and excellent shock absorption qualities.

Classic Sailing Caps

Classic sailing caps hold a special place in the hearts of sailing enthusiasts worldwide. With their timeless design and functionality, these caps embody the spirit of sailing. Classic sailing caps often feature a low profile, ensuring unobstructed views and freedom of movement. They are typically made from durable materials and come in a range of colors and styles. Some renowned classic sailing cap models include the Gill Race Sailing Cap and the Helly Hansen Unisex Crew Cap, known for their excellent quality and enduring popularity among sailors.


Choosing the best sailing hat is an essential part of preparing for your sailing adventures. The right hat not only provides protection from the sun and the elements but also complements your style and enhances your overall sailing experience. By considering factors such as brim width, UV protection, material, and stability in windy conditions, you can select a sailing hat that meets your specific needs. Remember, the perfect sailing hat is a combination of functionality, comfort, and style, ensuring you can fully enjoy your time on the water.


Can I wear a regular baseball cap while sailing?

Wearing a regular baseball cap while sailing may not provide sufficient sun protection or stability in windy conditions. It’s advisable to opt for a sailing-specific hat designed for the unique challenges of being on the water.

Do sailing hats protect against rain?

Yes, many sailing hats offer water-resistant properties and are designed to provide protection against rain and spray. However, it’s important to note that the level of water resistance may vary depending on the specific hat model.

What’s the difference between UPF and SPF?

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) measures the amount of UV radiation blocked by fabric, while SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the effectiveness of sunscreen. UPF applies specifically to clothing and indicates the level of sun protection the fabric provides.

Can I wear a straw hat for sailing?

While straw hats offer a stylish option for casual sailing, they may not provide adequate sun protection or water resistance. It’s best to choose a hat specifically designed for sailing, which incorporates the necessary features for optimal comfort and protection.

How often should I replace my sailing hat?

The lifespan of a sailing hat depends on factors such as its quality, usage, and care. However, if your hat shows signs of wear and tear, has faded significantly, or no longer provides the necessary protection, it’s time to consider replacing it with a new one.

sailing hat
Avatar photo

Michael Thompson

Embarking on a lifelong love affair with the sea, I found solace and exhilaration in the art of sailing. From navigating treacherous waters to harnessing the wind's untamed power, my passion has evolved into a mission to inspire others. Join me on a voyage of discovery as we explore the vast horizons of sailing's timeless allure.

More to Explore