The Best Gardening Hats

A gardening hat provides vital protection for outdoor enthusiasts, comfortably shielding the wearer from harmful UV rays.

Best Overall

The Best Gardening Hats Option: Sun Protection Zone Booney Hat

Sun Protection Zone Booney Hat

See It

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Gardening Hats Option: LCZTN 2-Pack Boonie Sun Hat

LCZTN 2-Pack Boonie Sun Hat

See It

Best Ponytail Hat

The Best Gardening Hats Option: Muryobao Women's Ponytail Sun Hat

Muryobao Womenu0026#039;s Ponytail Sun Hat

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Gardening is our way of connecting with nature, growing healthy produce, and cultivating beautiful landscapes. However, spending as little as half an hour outdoors under the sun’s intense rays can affect skin health. Enter gardening hats. These wide-brimmed protectors block or filter harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays so gardeners (and other outdoor enthusiasts) can spend more time doing what they love without the risk of sunburn.

Blocking exposure to intense UV rays may help prevent sun-related issues such as premature aging, skin cancer, and eye damage. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner nurturing your first plants, a protective hat is one of those cool gardening items that can enhance your outdoor experience and keep you comfortable. And there are ample options in today’s market for both men and women—and children, too.

By investing in a UV protection hat, you prioritize your health and ensure a more enjoyable and productive gardening session. Learn what features to look for when shopping for a gardening hat, and find out how the following picks made our list of the best gardening hats.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sun Protection Zone Booney Hat
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: LCZTN 2-Pack Boonie Sun Hat
  3. BEST PONYTAIL HAT: Muryobao Women’s Ponytail Sun Hat
  4. BEST CAP STYLE: Columbia Schooner Bank Cachalot
  5. BEST COOLING: Arctic Air Evaporative Cooling Hat With UV Protection
  6. BEST FACE PROTECTION: Outrip Sun Hat With Face Cover
  7. BEST WITH NECK FLAP: Home Prefer UPF 50+ Sun Protection Cap
  8. BEST WIDE BRIM: Coolibar Women’s Perla Packable Wide Brim Hat
  9. BEST FOR KIDS: Sunday Afternoons Kids’ Play Hat
A woman and child wearing the best gardening hats options while kneeling next to a large outdoor plant
Photo: istock.com

How We Chose the Best Gardening Hats

We extensively researched more than 50 hats for gardeners and other outdoor enthusiasts in our quest to put together a list of the best ones on the market today. We carefully scrutinized the design of each hat, looking for a high level of functionality, such as wide brims, neck flaps, ponytail compatibility, and ventilation. We didn’t limit our research explicitly to hats labeled for gardening since we wanted the best hats, whether they were labeled for gardening or other activities such as hiking or fishing.

We also looked for quality materials, awarding extra points for UV-protective fabrics, breathability, and water resistance. Additionally, customer reviews and ratings played a crucial role in the selection process, providing valuable insights into real-world experiences and overall satisfaction. By combining these criteria and weeding out products that didn’t meet our high standards, our final lineup represents a collection of outdoor hats that excel in form and function.

Our Top Picks

From practicality to style and price, this list of gardening hats encompasses a range of options, but they all share one common feature: quality sun protection. Whether you’re seeking floppy sun hats, budget-friendly options, specialized features, or hats for the younger set, this list has something for everyone who plans to be outdoors this summer.

Best Overall

Sun Protection Zone Booney Hat

See It

With casual appeal, the Sun Protection Zone Booney hat takes top honors as the best overall gardening hat in our lineup, offering a winning combination of style, functionality, and maximum sun protection. This sun protection hat is constructed with a 100 SPF and UPF 50+ rating, ensuring exceptional shielding against harmful UV rays. Sun protection factor (SPF) refers to how many times longer you can stay in the sun without burning, while ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is specific to fabric and indicates how much of the sun’s rays are blocked by the material. A UPF of 50 means only 1/50th of the sun’s rays will pass through the fabric.

This sun-thwarting topper is lightweight, and its adjustable design allows for a comfortable fit. The wide brim provides ample coverage to safeguard the face, neck, and ears from the sun’s glare. Whether you’re working in the garden or embarking on outdoor adventures, this unisex hat is a reliable companion that will keep you cool, protected, and looking stylish.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: 100 SPF, 50+ UPF
  • Style: Boonie-style hat
  • Fabric: 100 percent polyester

Pros

  • Features 100 SPF and 50+ UPF ratings for top-notch protection against harmful UV rays
  • Wide brim (4½ inches in front and back) offers ample shade to shield face, neck, and ears from the sun
  • Casual unisex design is suitable for both men and women

Cons

  • Comes in one-size-fits-most design and may not be large enough for some users

Get the Sun Protection Zone gardening hat at Amazon or Sun Protection Zone.

Best Bang For The Buck

LCZTN 2-Pack Boonie Sun Hat

See It

This two-pack of sun hats from LCZTN offers double the sun protection at an affordable price. Designed for both men and women, each hat has a UPF 50+ rating for defense against harmful sunrays during gardening, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Keep both hats for yourself, or perhaps share one as a great gardening gift with a fellow outdoor enthusiast. The wide brim provides generous sun protection, while the adjustable chin strap ensures a secure fit. Made from durable nylon, these UV-blocking hats are built to withstand outdoor conditions.

Although they may lack some of the more specialized features found in other gardening hats (such as neck flaps or oversize brims), they offer value to those seeking sun protection at a budget-friendly price.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: 50+ UPF
  • Style: Boonie-style hat
  • Fabric: Nylon

Pros

  • Budget-friendly 2-pack offers value at an affordable price point
  • UPF 50+ rating provides effective protection against harsh sunrays
  • Wide brim coverage shields face, neck, and ears to prevent sunburn
  • Adjustable chin strap ensures secure fit and staying power—even in wind
  • Unisex style and design—useful as both women’s and men’s gardening hats

Cons

  • Fewer features than some styles, such as no added ventilation or earflaps

Get the LCZTN gardening hat 2-pack at Amazon.

Best Ponytail Hat

Muryobao Women's Ponytail Sun Hat

See It

Tired of gardening hats that trap long hair against the neck where it gets itchy and sweaty? The perfect solution just may be this Muryobao women’s ponytail sun hat, an excellent choice for those who want sun protection while wearing the hair up in a ponytail. It features an adjustable opening at the back to slide a ponytail through.

The wide brim shields the face and neck from the sun, while the hat’s foldable and lightweight design makes it portable and ideal for beach trips, hiking, or fishing, as well as gardening. It comes in many attractive colors and boasts breathable mesh inserts to wick away sweat, combining sun protection with style and comfort for those who love gardening.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: Not listed
  • Style: Wide-brim ponytail hat
  • Fabric: Polyester

Pros

  • Specifically designed with a ponytail opening that allows wearer to keep hair tied up while wearing the hat
  • Wide-brimmed sun hat offers generous coverage to protect face, neck, and ears
  • Mesh panel construction promotes ventilation to keep head cool and reduce sweating

Cons

  • No sun protection factor listed
  • One-size-fits-most option may not accommodate all head sizes

Get the Muryobao women’s gardening hat at Amazon.

Best Cap Style

Columbia Schooner Bank Cachalot

See It

The Unisex Schooner Bank Cachalot hat is a standout choice for those who prefer the fit of a traditional cap-style hat but want maximum sun protection for gardening and other outdoor activities. The design boasts a flap in back that guards the neck and ears from the sun’s harsh rays, while the cap-style brim shields the face.

Crafted by Columbia, a trusted brand in outdoor apparel, this hat features a UPF 50 sun protection rating. The style is sporty and casual, and the long neck flap is detachable for when it’s not needed to give extra sun protection.

The hat features an adjustable drawcord and an Omni-Wick sweatband that absorbs perspiration and wicks it away from the skin for comfort when temps are soaring. The Cachalot is a top-notch gardening accessory to use while weeding, watering, and completing other outdoor chores.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: UPF 50
  • Style: Cap style hat with neck flap
  • Fabric: Nylon, polyester

Pros

  • Sun protection with UPF 50, providing defense against harmful UV rays
  • Detachable neck flap provides additional coverage and protection for neck area
  • Built-in sweatband help wick away moisture, leaving head feeling cool and dry

Cons

  • Does not offer a traditional wide-brim found on many gardening hats

Get the Columbia gardening hat at Amazon, Cabela’s, or Columbia.

Best Cooling

Arctic Air Evaporative Cooling Hat With UV Protection

See It

The Arctic Air Evaporative Cooling Hat offers a unique and innovative solution for staying cool and protected when working in the garden. This hat utilizes evaporative cooling technology to provide relief from heat, making it an excellent choice for gardening in hot climates.

While the Artic Air hat doesn’t specify an exact SPF or UPF rating, it does claim to block 99 percent of harmful sunrays and reflect 80 percent of the sun’s heat. The hat’s cooling technology works when the inner lining is wet, which makes the liner feel refreshingly chilly as the water evaporates. Once the water dries, all you need to do is wet the liner again for renewed cooling.

An adjustable band makes it easy to get a comfortable fit. Whether you’re working in the garden or engaging in other outdoor activities, this hat keeps you cool, protected, and comfortable even on the hottest days.

Product Specs

  • Sun Protection rating: Not listed
  • Style: Wide-brim
  • Fabric: Not listed

Pros

  • Adjustable fit allows the wearer to customize it to their specific comfort level
  • Versatile use and design make this hat as welcome on a summer hike as in the garden
  • Mesh design provides optimal airflow through hat to help keep head cool

Cons

  • Cooling effect may vary depending on humidity levels and the need to rewet the inner lining

Get the Arctic Air gardening hat at Ace Hardware or Amazon.

Best Face Protection

Outrip Sun Hat With Face Cover

See It

Looking for full-face sun protection? The Outrip sun hat for men and women offers comprehensive UV blocking with its wide brim, face cover, and neck flap. This hat is designed to provide excellent sun protection during such outdoor activities as gardening, fishing, and hiking. The face cover can be easily lifted or lowered as needed, providing versatility and adaptability to changing conditions. Both flaps can also be detached, and the face flap features a mesh insert for easy breathing and air circulation.

An adjustable chin strap ensures a secure fit, while the breathable fabric keeps you comfortable even on warm days. With its combination of sun protection features, this hat is optimal for those seeking a high level of coverage and functionality while spending time in the garden or yard.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: Not listed
  • Style: Wide brim with face cover and neck flap
  • Fabric: Nylon, polyester

Pros

  • Full sun protection—wide brim, face cover, and neck flap offer comprehensive sun protection from UV rays
  • Adjustable chin strap to ensure secure and comfortable fit during gardening
  • Breathable fabric offers ventilation and comfort, even in hot weather

Cons

  • Face cover flap may slightly obstruct peripheral vision for some wearers
  • No sun protection factor listed

Get the Outrip gardening hat at Amazon.

Best With Neck Flap

Home Prefer UPF 50+ Sun Protection Cap

See It

The Home Prefer sun protection cap is a practical and stylish choice for anyone seeking reliable sun protection during gardening and other outdoor activities. With its UPF 50+ rating, this cap effectively shields the face, neck, and ears from harsh ultraviolet rays.

The built-in neck flap provides additional coverage and protection for the neck area, ensuring comprehensive sun protection. An adjustable chin strap allows for a customized fit, and the breathable fabric keeps you cool and comfortable. Whether you’re working in the garden or enjoying a hike, this sun protection cap will provide comfort and UV protection. It’s unisex in design and available in several attractive colors.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: UPF 50+
  • Style: Fishing hat with neck flap
  • Fabric: Polyester

Pros

  • Cap provides excellent sun protection with UPF 50+, safeguarding face, neck, and ears
  • Neck flap adds extra coverage and protection for sensitive neck skin
  • Versatile design is suitable for various outdoor activities, including gardening, hiking, fishing, and more

Cons

  • Unlike some styles, the neck flap on his hat is not removable

Get the Home Prefer gardening hat at Amazon.

Best Wide Brim

Coolibar Women’s Perla Packable Wide Brim Hat

See It

Garden safely in sophisticated style with the Coolibar Women’s Perla sun hat, which combines grace and UV protection in one. With its broad brim, the hat provides ample shade for the face and neck, keeping harsh sunrays at bay. The UPF 50+ rating indicates excellent sun protection, making it an ideal choice for gardening and other outdoor activities. Plus, it’s packable: Made of a crushable weave, it’s easy to roll, fold, and carry, then it springs back to its original shape for wearing.

The adjustable inner drawstring allows for a customized fit, while the breathable fabric and inner sweatband wicks away sweat for cool comfort. Stay fashionable and protected under the sun with this versatile wide-brim hat that resembles a chic straw sun hat, yet its 100 percent polyester fabric provides excellent durability.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: UPF 50+
  • Style: Wide-brim hat
  • Fabric: Polyester

Pros

  • Wide 4-inch brim offers plenty of shade to protect the face, neck, and ears
  • Packable sun hat design—can be folded and tucked in a suitcase or drawer
  • Stylish and elegant design makes it suitable for various occasions

Cons

  • No chin strap to help hold the hat in place on windy days.

Get the Coolibar gardening hat at Amazon, Hats.com, or Coolibar.

Best For Kids

Sunday Afternoons Kids’ Play Hat

See It

Little ones love weeding and picking berries, and with the Sunday Afternoons kids’ play hat, they can do so without risking sunburn on the face, ears, and neck. This all-purpose, wide-brim sun hat is a great choice to keep children protected while they enjoy outdoor activities, including gardening.

With UPF 50+ sun protection and mesh ventilation panels, this hat offers UV protection and comfort for children. The adjustable sizing and breakaway chin strap provide a secure and safe fit, while the lightweight and breathable fabric helps keep kids cool during summer fun. Let little ones assist in the garden or explore the outdoors in safety and style with the Sunday Afternoons sun shade hat that comes in three sizes, a wide range of colors, and whimsical patterns.

Product Specs

  • Sun protection rating: UPF 50+
  • Style: Down-sloping brim hat
  • Fabric: Nylon/polyester

Pros

  • UPF 50+ offers excellent sun protection for children’s delicate skin
  • Breakaway chin strap designed for safety—easily detaches if the hat gets caught or pulled
  • Durable, lightweight materials designed to withstand active play while offering a comfortable fit

Cons

  • Finding the right size to fit a growing child’s head can be challenging.

Get the Sunday Afternoons kids’ gardening hat at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Backcountry.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Gardening Hat

When shopping for a gardening hat, prioritize sun protection, comfort, and ease of cleaning to ensure optimal outdoor enjoyment and user-friendliness. The hat should offer ample shade whether you’re weeding, planting, or operating the gardening tractor.

Sun Protection 

The main difference between UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) and SPF (sun protection factor) ratings is how they measure and indicate sun protection. Both are valuable indicators.

The UPF rating system is primarily used for clothing, fabrics, and hats. It measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate the material and reach the skin. A higher UPF rating indicates a higher level of protection against harmful UV rays. For example, a fabric with a UPF rating of 50+ means that 1/50th (or 2 percent) of the UV rays can pass through, providing excellent sun protection.

On the other hand, SPF is a rating system mainly used for sunscreen products. It measures the level of protection against the sun’s UV rays, which are responsible for sunburns. SPF indicates how much longer it takes for the skin to redden or burn compared to when the skin is unprotected. For example, SPF 30 means that it would take 30 times longer for the skin to burn than it would without protection.

Some manufacturers include UPF and SPF ratings for their sun hats, while others offer just UPF ratings or no ratings at all. Ratings aren’t the only indicators of sun protection, however. Look for sun-blocking styles with wide brims and neck flaps that offer greater protection for faces, ears, and necks.

Comfort 

Comfort is essential when selecting a gardening hat. The choice of materials greatly influences how comfortable the hat feels on the head. Opt for hats made from lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, nylon, or moisture-wicking polyester. Additionally, hats with proper ventilation, such as mesh panels or air vents, promote airflow and prevent overheating, keeping you cool and comfortable while tending the garden. Adjustable sizing and sweat-wicking inner headband liners also offer a measure of comfort.

Ease of Cleaning

Hats can accumulate dirt, sweat, and other outdoor elements during gardening. Choosing one that is easy to clean ensures it will be fresh and hygienic for future use. Many garden-type hats are made to be tossed into the washer, while a few may require washing by hand. Most feature fabrics that resist stains and odors to help the hat maintain its appearance and functionality over time.

Additional Features

Sun-protective gardening hats have few features, but some offer adjustable sizing options, allowing for a customizable fit to accommodate different head sizes. Others offer detachable chin straps to secure the hat during outdoor activities or packable designs for convenient storage and travel. Additionally, hats with functional elements such as built-in sweatbands, hidden pockets, or even compatibility with ponytails can add convenience and versatility.

FAQs  

Gardening hats are simple outdoor accessories—they don’t come with many bells and whistles, and there’s not much to know about them to get a good one. Still, you may have some additional questions about whether you really need one or when you should wear one.

Q. Can I use a beach hat instead of a gardening hat?

Probably. Beach hats and gardening hats are often interchangeable. Most offer wide brims and mesh panel ventilation and are made from easy-to-clean fabrics.

Q. At what time should I wear a gardening hat?

Wear a gardening hat whenever you are exposed to the sun during gardening activities, especially during peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Q. What type of hat is best for sun protection?

Hats with wide brims and neck flaps are considered among the best for sun protection as they provide shade and coverage to the face, ears, neck, and to some degree the shoulders.

Q. What color hat is best for sun protection?

Darker-colored hats tend to absorb more heat from sunlight, so they can feel hotter when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. However, when it comes to UV protection, the color of the hat primarily affects the amount of UV radiation that penetrates through the fabric, so darker colors generally providing better UV-blocking capabilities

Q. Can I skip sunscreen if I wear a gardening hat?

While a gardening hat provides excellent sun protection for the face, neck, and head, it is still recommended to use sunscreen on exposed skin areas to ensure comprehensive sun protection, as hats may not cover the entire body.

Why Trust Bob Vila 

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home-and-garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Share

Glenda Taylor Avatar

Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA