12 Best Women’s Hiking Hats of 2023 – Bearfoot Theory

Kühl Alf Hat

Best Hat for Cold Weather Hiking

Key Features

  • Sun protection: NA
  • Brim size: NA
  • Chin strap? Yes
  • Adjustable? No
  • Material: Microfleece
  • MSRP: $30.00

Where to shop

  • Great for: Cold weather hiking
  • What we like: Soft microfleece ear flaps, chin strap for windy days, can layer underneath a brimmed hat for sunny days
  • What we don’t like: Not much! This is a great winter hiking hat

Don’t let cold weather keep you indoors. You’ve probably heard that you lose a ton of heat through your head, so keep your crown nice and warm with the Kühl Alf Hat.

Made with soft microfleece material, it features long ear flaps to protect your ears from wind and cold. It also has a chin strap to keep the ear flaps secure from gusts of icy wind.

If it’s a sunny winter day, the Alf hat is low-profile enough to fit under your brimmed hiking hat to protect your face from the sun and glare.

What to Look for In a Women’s Hiking Hat

When shopping around for the best hiking hats, you’ll want to take into consideration these features:

  • Material
  • Ventilation
  • Width of brim or length of the bill
  • Adjustability & chin strap
  • UPF rating
  • Packability
  • Does it float?
  • Durability
  • Price


Quick-drying | Sweat-wicking | Packable

Like hiking clothes, you’ll want to choose a hiking hat that is made from lightweight, quick-drying materials. Most hiking hats are synthetic, which is great for wicking away sweat, drying fast, and packing down small.

If you do choose a non-synthetic material like cotton or the paper braid of one of our favorite hats, the Wallaroo Sedona hat, it’s best to use them on cool and dry-weather hikes.

The Wallaroo Sedona hat is one of our favorites, but that paper braid material makes it best for cooler, dry weather


Mesh crowns | Breathable material

You’ve probably heard that we lose a lot of our body heat through our heads, so it’s important to choose a hat that has good ventilation for warm days on the trail.

Many hats are designed with mesh material around the crown while others are constructed from lightweight, breathable materials.

Width of brim or length of bill

Wide brims will provide more shade

The width of the brim or length of the bill is going to determine how much sun protection your face and shoulders will get. A wide-brim hat like the Tilley LTM2 AirFlo features a 3.8″ brim in the front and back and 3.5″ brim on the sides.

If you choose a cap-style hat with just a front bill, be aware that it will not provide shade on your neck, so you may want to pair it with a lightweight buff.

Kristen smiling for photo on hike Colorado wearing hat, buff, sunglasses, and long sleeve shirt
Protect your neck with a buff if you choose a hiking hat that doesn’t provide full shade

Adjustability & Chin Strap

Crown drawstring | Rear snap strap

Choosing a hiking hat that can be adjusted to fit snugly on your head is an important consideration for windy hikes or if you plan on wearing it out on the water.

Most hats will come with a chin strap to prevent it from flying off your head, but not all are designed with a crown drawstring or other mechanism to tighten it against your head.

UPF Rating

Depends on hat material

UPF ratings for hats are determined by the material it is made from. Some hiking hats have a UPF rating of 30-50+ while others are not made from the appropriate materials.


Flexible material

We recommend choosing a hiking hat that can be folded or stuffed into your pack when you’re traveling or when the clouds roll in and stay.

Some hats that are made with stiff brims or bills are not meant to be folded, so be sure to read the descriptions before purchasing.

Kristen standing on black sand beach on Maui looking out at ocean
One of the reasons we love the Wallaroo Sedona hat is that it’s packable and a great addition to any beach travel packing list

Does it float?

Foam insert | Semi-stiff brim

If you’ll be spending time out on the water with your hiking hat, consider getting one that floats. The last thing you want is for your hat to blow off with a gust of wind and watch it sink to the bottom of the lake!

Hats that have a thin foam insert or a semi-stiff brim like the REI Sahara Rain Hat are designed to float on the surface of the water so you can retrieve it without getting wet.

Man in packraft with dog floating on river
If you plan on using your hiking hat on the water make sure it floats!


High-quality | Made to last | Warrantied

Like all the gear we recommend here at Bearfoot Theory, we want our hiking hats to be durable and high-quality so they last many seasons.

Tilley hats are expensive, but they’re also guaranteed for life because they’re made from durable and high-quality materials. The other hats we recommend on this list are also designed for outdoor wear and adventures, so they’re made to withstand the elements.

Looking to upgrade your gear closet or need some new things for this hiking season? Check out our related hiking gear posts:

We hope this post helps you choose the best hiking hat for your adventures! Do you have a favorite that we didn’t list? Which one is it and what do you love about it? Leave a comment below!

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