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The Best Hats - 2021

Last updated on September 9, 2021
Best Hats

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Our Picks For The Top Hats

Show Contents
Our Take
  Our Top Pick

Under Armour Blitzing 3.0 Pre-Curved Bill Hat

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Under Armour

Blitzing 3.0 Pre-Curved Bill Hat

Overall Take

Sleek, Snug FitHeads of most any size will benefit from this hat's elastic fit and solid stitching.

  Runner Up

adidas Men’s Moisture Wicking Superlite Hat

adidas

Men's Moisture Wicking Superlite Hat

Overall Take

Very Adjustable StrapAny size head can enjoy this no-nonsense cap with the eye-catching logo up front.

  We Also Like

Carhartt Fast Dry Canvas Hat

Carhartt

Fast Dry Canvas Hat

Overall Take

Keeps Heads CoolThe absorbent headband and mesh backing keep sweat out of your eyes.

  Strong Contender

EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat

EINSKEY

Sun Protection Hat

Overall Take

Maximum Sun ProtectionCarry your own shade thanks to this breathable, lightweight hat's wide brim.

Avatar
Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on September 9, 2021

Is there any item of clothing as hard to pin down as a hat? Socks may come in wacky colors or designs, but they really only have one job, and you can only wear them one way. The word “hat,” on the other hand, contains multitudes. You might have a favorite hat that you never wash and depend on for nothing more than sunburn protection. On the other side of the spectrum are the elaborate pieces of architecture that you might see decorating moneyed ladies at the Kentucky Derby.

We could spend days talking about the storied military history of the beret or the evolution of the cowboy’s signature 10-gallon hat, but let’s assume you’re buying something on the more functional end of the spectrum. When it comes to utility, the questions on your hat-buying checklist will mostly be easy. Are you wearing it for shade? Buy a beach hat with a wide brim. Need something warm that will travel well? Try a stocking cap.

Fashion-wise, you should strive to fit the hat to your outfit. Practically speaking, the hat needs to suit your environment. Beach hats that have a woven straw look are very much in demand, but you may want to make sure they’re made of actual straw (or raffia, which is a more common fiber that’s just as durable). Cheaper beach hats will more likely be made of braided and treated paper that won’t hold up as well to the elements.

On cold days, go for a hat knitted with wool or cotton. Cotton has the advantage of being naturally hypoallergenic, while wool is more breathable and better at wicking moisture away from your brow. In the summer, polyester caps are affordable and can stay dry even in heavy sweat. Mesh baseball caps are always a good bet, though they won’t provide much protection from the sun’s rays.

The Best Hats

1
  Our Top Pick

Under Armour Blitzing 3.0 Pre-Curved Bill Hat

The band on this hat has just enough elastic material to allow for a bit of stretch without hugging the head too tightly. Look on the underside and you'll find tight stitch lines — a definite mark of quality. The curved visor gives it a streamlined look.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Under Armour
Model
2
  Runner Up

adidas Men’s Moisture Wicking Superlite Hat

This 6-panel hat has an adjustable back loop, featuring a velcro strap that can accommodate any size head without tugging at hair. The cap also features breathable mesh and an anti-glare undervisor. The embroidered logo is another nice touch.

Features


Specifications

Brand
adidas
Model
3
  We Also Like

Carhartt Fast Dry Canvas Hat

Keep cool in the heat with this hat and its moisture-wicking headband, which is made even more breathable by the mesh material on the back. Adjustable and durable, this piece of headgear can handle almost any climate.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Carhartt
Model
4
  Strong Contender

EINSKEY Sun Protection Hat

Every inch of this protective, water-repellent hat is geared to keep you cool. There's the extra wide, lightweight brim, to start with. Also, mesh panels on the top keep your scalp ventilated while the built-in sweatband soaks up perspiration.

Features


Specifications

Brand
EINSKEY
Model
5
  Also Great

Champion Adjustable Strap Ameritage Dad Hat

This basic but durable relaxed-fit hat features material that is both absorbent and machine washable. Plus, the cap goes well with a variety of casual outfits and athletic endeavors. The adjustable strap is easy to use and won't tug on stray hairs.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Champion
Model

Our Hat Buying Guide

Is there any item of clothing as hard to pin down as a hat? Socks may come in wacky colors or designs, but they really only have one job, and you can only wear them one way. The word “hat,” on the other hand, contains multitudes. You might have a favorite hat that you never wash and depend on for nothing more than sunburn protection. On the other side of the spectrum are the elaborate pieces of architecture that you might see decorating moneyed ladies at the Kentucky Derby.

We could spend days talking about the storied military history of the beret or the evolution of the cowboy’s signature 10-gallon hat, but let’s assume you’re buying something on the more functional end of the spectrum. When it comes to utility, the questions on your hat-buying checklist will mostly be easy. Are you wearing it for shade? Buy a beach hat with a wide brim. Need something warm that will travel well? Try a stocking cap.

Fashion-wise, you should strive to fit the hat to your outfit. Practically speaking, the hat needs to suit your environment. Beach hats that have a woven straw look are very much in demand, but you may want to make sure they’re made of actual straw (or raffia, which is a more common fiber that’s just as durable). Cheaper beach hats will more likely be made of braided and treated paper that won’t hold up as well to the elements.

On cold days, go for a hat knitted with wool or cotton. Cotton has the advantage of being naturally hypoallergenic, while wool is more breathable and better at wicking moisture away from your brow. In the summer, polyester caps are affordable and can stay dry even in heavy sweat. Mesh baseball caps are always a good bet, though they won’t provide much protection from the sun’s rays.

DWYM Fun Fact

There are many hats that have been made iconic by film and television, but one of the first of these was certainly Charlie Chaplin’s famous bowler hat. It’s hard to imagine the silent film pioneer without it, even though it never fit quite right. One of his bowlers was sold by international auction house Bonhams (along with his equally iconic cane) for $62,500 in 2012.

The Hat Tips and Advice

Browsing different styles is half the fun of buying a hat online but you’ll soon need to answer the most important question: Will it fit?

If all you wear are baseball caps and other hats with an adjustable band, you might go your entire life without needing to know your hat size. If you’re ready to level up to something a bit more fashionable, though, it’s easy to find out your hat size. Wrap a tape measure around your head at the widest part of the temple and take down the width in inches; Stick a finger under the tape as you measure to allow for some wiggle room.

Men’s sizes vary slightly from women’s and you should be able to find an exact conversion chart online, but in general: “Small” hats will fit a head up to 7 inches. “Medium” sizes cover 7 to 7 1/4 inches. “Large” hats are for those with measurements from 7 1/4 to 7 1/2 inches and “X-large” are for 7 1/2 to 7 3/4 inches.


About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness has been a features journalist and writer in Central Florida for the past 20 years. His stories covered everything from indie fashion to nightlife, but they have only slightly improved his taste in clothes or the quality of his homemade Manhattans. Luckily, he still looks good in black.