The best boat hat search is on. When it comes to ocean-friendly hats, three key elements come to mind: Sun, sun, and more sun. Just kidding (but not). The sun is a beast and it does it’s best to kill you when you least expect it. Just ask any pasty tourist who returned home looking like a beet-red lobster because they didn’t properly prepare for that nasty Florida sunshine.
We’ve compiled a list of the best boat hats, first based on how they tackle the sun, how they hold up for sweat and water, and lastly how they behave as fashion statements – because frankly, some people would rather get burned then wear a hat – but you’re not one of them.
Most Functional Boat Hat- Safari Hat
First up is this Boatsman Charter hat by Walrus. When it comes to full coverage of the elements, whether it be sun, wind, or rain, nothing beats the seas like a rugged canvas hat. Made by the same material as boat sails, these macho hats are worn by fishermen and casual boaters alike. They come with a jumbo brim for enormous shade coverage and are near sun-proof at letting light through. These safari hats are more than a trail hikers companion piece, they’re a sailor’s best friend.
Most Practical Boat Hat– Panama Hat
Stetson makes lots of straw fedoras and Panama hats, but this Aviator is our favorite. It provides lots of utility features like a generously wide brim for plenty of shade and woven gaps in the crown so wide you could drive a truck through (do not attempt). When you’re out on the open seas you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable you feel with all that wind blasting by your hair. Plus Panama hats have a sense of Cuban style that invites relaxation and ease. It’s a great casual boat hat.
Most Stylish Boat Hat– Porkpie Hat
Dobbs makes lots of interesting hats with plenty of panache to spare. This Dobbs Bishop straw porkpie hat is as unique and trendy as they come. We imagine plenty of professional athletes chilling on yachts in the offseason, catching a tuna or two, then messing around with a jet ski – you know, famous people stuff. The straw is light to keep you cool, a 360 degree brim for sun protection, and little openings in the crown for a gentle breeze. The pork pie is a great hat.
Most Vintage Boat Hat– Boater Hat
The Classic straw boater hat by Walrus is well, as “classic” as they come. This style of hat is aptly named a boater hat because it was worn by lots of fishermen and sailors generations ago. It had it’s heyday in early 1900s when most men wore boaters during the warm summer months. Even at baseball games, it was common to see stadiums full of boater hats, rather than the popular baseball hat we see today. To show off your educational acumen, grab for a boater hat and people will think you’re smart.
Most Trendy Boat Hat– Greek Fisherman Hat
We wanted to call this hat the most ironic, but it’s taking the fashion world by storm. If you wear this cotton Aegean Greek Fishermen hat out on a boat, people will think you’re the captain and they’ll let you steer the ship. We promise. Seriously though, the Greek Fishermen hat doesn’t offer much in ways of sun protection with the little duck visor, but it’s still common in Greece as plenty of fishermen swear by it daily. It’s great at mopping up sweat and being a great blue-collar worker piece. But today in America, it says a lot about your fashion sense.