Best Packable Sun Hats for Travel (Updated July 2023)
There’s no substitute for some good old-fashioned sunscreen, but when you’re traveling somewhere with a lot of sun, a good sun hat can make a huge difference when it comes to UV protection.
Sun hats can sometimes be a hard thing to include in your travel wardrobe because they may take up a lot of precious space in your suitcase. However, each of these top picks is meant to be packable which means you won’t have to sacrifice space and you won’t have to crush your favorite hat. Keep reading to find a packable hat that will keep your head cool on your next vacation.
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If you are looking more for a safari hat than a sun hat and ideas on how to fit hats into your capsule wardrobe, you can find my best suggestions here:
Top Picks for Best Sun Hats for Travel
Wallaroo’s sun hats are incredibly popular on Amazon and among travelers, so much so that you’ll see a few more of their hats on this list alone. Even though this particular Victoria fedora is made out of straw-like material, you can still scrunch it up in your bag when you’re not using it and it won’t look any different when you decide to wear it.
I’m not usually crazy about fedoras, but I think that the brim of this hat is large enough that it could look stylish with a daytime outfit.
Some hats on this list are great for either a beach day or an outdoor adventure but not both. This Scala cotton sun hat is a great option for anything you have on your itinerary. It also offers UPF protection of 50+ and comes in a bunch of different colors.
One drawback is that it doesn’t have an adjustable headband on the inside so you’ll have to do some measuring and figure out which size to order.
This Wallaroos Tahiti Trilby sun hat is another fedora-style straw hat that will give your beach outfit some additional flair. Reviews say that you can roll up this hat and pack it in your suitcase and it will still spring back into its original shape. It also comes in a few different colors so you can tailor it to your personal style.
As far as protection from harmful UV rays, I don’t imagine that this hat would offer much. It is a great packable straw hat, but the brim isn’t very big and the material it’s made of won’t keep the sun’s UV rays completely off your face. If you’re looking for something with a better ultraviolet protection factor, I would check out some others on this list.
Another open-knit option for those looking for style is the NYFASHION sun hat. This hat has a short brim so it won’t offer as much sun protection as some of the other hats on this list, but it will do a good job of keeping your head cool. I think this would be a good beach hat but if you like to do more outdoor activities during your vacations, I would find something with a wider brim for more consistent UV protection.
Another great straw hat option by Wallaroo, is the Amelia sun hat. Similar to the Victoria, this hat is breathable and it will look great with any outfit you wear it with. Another awesome feature is the adjustable headband on the inside of the hat. This ensures a perfect fit for your hat no matter what size you normally wear.
I’d consider this hat to have more of an urban look, so while it’s great for walking around a city, if you’re doing more outdoorsy activities, I might opt for another choice.
For the more adventurous travelers, there’s the Tilley canvas sun hat. The material of this hat is incredibly durable, so much that you can put it through the washing machine without ruining its shape. It’s also water-resistant so it will not only keep the sun off your face but the rain as well.
This hat has more of an outdoorsy look, so I don’t know if I would choose it for walking around the city or sitting on the beach, but depending on what your needs are, this could be the perfect hat for you.
Baseball caps are great but they don’t offer a lot of protection from the sun besides the shade from the brim of the hat. If baseball hats have been your go-to for traveling, take a look at this sun hat by Lanzom. This hat offers a UPF rating of 50+ and an adjustable band to fit any size head.
This Comhats sun hat is a both versatile and stylish hat. The basic design of the hat stays basically the same with some minor differences so you can choose a hat that fits your style. Choose a style with a bow in the back or a beaded option. These hats have a very beachy feel so they’d be great for a day in the sun but don’t have a chin strap to keep it from flying away on a windy day.
While most sun hats and sun visors only come in classic neutral colors, this Simplicity sun visor is available in a ton of different bright colors if you prefer to add some color to your wardrobe. In addition to being stylish, these sun visors are also a great way to keep the sun off your face wherever you go. This visor rolls up well for travel but appears to run large so if you have a smaller head, it might be too large for you.
If you’re outdoorsy you’ve surely heard of Columbia’s great outdoor gear before. Their reputation for creating quality clothing extends to sun hats as well. This Global Adventure hat has a wide brim to keep the sun off of your face and moisture-wicking material to keep your head cool. It also comes in a few colors and has a chin strap to keep your hat secure which makes it a great option for any trip.
A great option for a day on the beach or the boat is this Somaler Floppy Sun Hat. It has a detachable chin strap so you’ll be protected in the event that the wind picks up and reviews say that it dries very quickly if it does happen to fall off while you’re not using the chin strap. One downside to this hat is that it’s labeled as ‘dry clean only’ so cleaning it will be a little more time consuming.
Love the old Hollywood style? This Bienvenu wool hat will create a look that’s right out of the movies. This sun hat is definitely geared more towards style than function because wool won’t exactly keep you cool, but if you’re traveling somewhere with a more mild climate, this will work great.
Floppy straw hats are always a great choice for a beach day. This FURTALK sun hat will make you feel like you’re on vacation as soon as you get it. It folds up easily so you can pack it in your carry-on or checked luggage without worrying about it losing its shape. The description does say that the hat is adjustable, but it comes in two different sizes on Amazon so I would pay careful attention to the measurements to make sure you get the correct size.
A lot of these sun hats are great, but when they get sweaty and dirty, can you wash them? This San Diego cotton hat is machine washable which is a huge plus for me. This wide-brimmed hat offers a lot of protection from the sun and will fold up easily into your beach bag.
Some reviews say that the sizes can run small, so just keep that in mind if you decide to order this one!
Another Wallaroo sun hat and also one with a extra-wide brim is the Scrunchie Sun Hat. This hat offers UPF 50+ so if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the sun, this will be one of the best options for you. It gets the job done, but it is on the expensive side, so be aware that this hat will be a bit of an investment.
I don’t know about you, but when it’s hot out, I like to keep my hair off my neck. This can be tricky when you’re wearing a sun hat because they’re usually meant to be worn with your hair down. This LULLABY straw sun visor is the perfect compromise. Pull your hair up into a bun, put on this sun visor and head out for the day. Your face will be well protected from the sun and your hair will be off your neck.
This sun visor also rolls up well without destroying the material of the hat and although it leaves the top of your head exposed to the sun, it comes at a great price and allows you to style your hair a few different ways.
This Livingston Sun Visor is another great option if you prefer a sun visor to a sun hat. In addition to being quite packable, this visor is made with breathable fabrics and has an adjustable band so you can fit it to any head size. I also like that it comes in a black color which I feel matches with a lot more different outfits than the traditional straw.
Again, as a result of the design of a sun visor, the top of your head will be exposed to a little more sun, which is a drawback to some but can be overlooked if you like the style.
If you’re looking for a sun hat that will work for you and your travel partner, this GearTOP sun hat is the answer. This outdoorsy hat is unisex so you can purchase it for yourself and anyone else that you like to travel with. It also offers UPF 50+ sun protection and it features breathable mesh panels to keep your head cool. It does have a more adventurous look to it so it may not be for you if you’re looking for a stylish option, but overall a great find.
If you’re looking for an affordable budget option, check out this Jane Shine bucket hat. This sun hat is great for a beach day or safari and it has an adjustable chin strap so you don’t lose it while traveling. It’s not the most stylish option in this list, but it’s very budget friendly and high-quality, so you won’t regret bringing this on your next trip.
If you can’t decide between a sun hat or a visor, check out this combination option by Simplicity. This visor hat is lightweight material, breathable, packable, and comes with a zipper so you can remove the top of the hat to turn it into a visor. I think this is a great versatile option, but something that I noticed is that there isn’t full coverage for your neck so you’ll be more exposed to sunburn there if you don’t stay diligent about sunscreen.
If you’re short on space, check out this SunLily Roll-N-Go Sun Hat. This straw hat’s decorative black band doubles as a snap closure to keep the hat rolled up and compact when you’re traveling, which I think is a cool feature. It also comes in a few different colors. One drawback is that is not machine washable, but few are on this list, so I wouldn’t necessarily let that deter you from buying this hat.
If you love to rock a messy bun, this FURTALK sun visor is for you. The velcro closure in the back of the visor allows you to adjust the size as needed, although some reviews say that even the largest size is too small for larger heads. But overall, this seems to be a great option for sun protection and is also very packable for a budget-friendly price.
Get ready for a boat day with this Somaler cotton sun hat. Complete with a detachable chin strap, this cotton hat provides breathable and lightweight sun protection. It also comes in a few different colors so you can mix and match your outfits or have a few different hats on hand. One downside to this particular hat is that it only fits roughly a 20-22 inch head, so if your hat size runs bigger, this may not work for you.
Keep the sun off your face and your hair off your neck with this Simplicity Roll-Up sun visor. This straw visor has an extra wide brim to keep your face free from the sun’s harmful rays and has a UPF 50+ rating. One issue I see with this visor is that it does leave the back of your neck exposed to the sun, so be aware that you may need to reapply sunscreen there throughout the day.
Last but not least is the FURTALK Wide Brim Sun Hat. This packable sun hat has a UPF 50+ rating, rolls up compactly into your suitcase, and is made with eco-friendly recycled materials (which is always a plus for me). The adjustable chin strap comes in handy if you’re dealing with windy weather but unfortunately it isn’t removable, so if you don’t want to use the chin strap, you won’t have the option to take it off.
FAQ: Best Sun Hats for Travel
Like any new purchase for your next vacation, you want to make sure you have all the information available before making a decision. Keep reading to make sure all of your questions are answered before choosing a travel sun hat.
What type of hat gives the best sun protection?
Baseball hats aren’t great for sun protection because they leave a lot of skin exposed to UV rays. Hats with wide brims are great for protecting your face, ears, and neck from the sun.
Do I need to wear sunscreen if I wear a hat?
Yes, even the best sun hats don’t protect you 100% from the sun’s UV rays. The best way to make sure you’re as protected as you can be from the sun and uncomfortable sunburns.
Do UV rays go through hats?
Sun hats can protect you from some UV rays, but not completely. If you’re looking for the best sun protection hats, look for a UPF rating in the item descriptions on Amazon.