Sun protection isn't always about wearing a high SPF — though there's no denying how crucial it is to apply sunscreen every day, rain or shine. While the ingredients in your SPF are hard at work combatting harmful UVA and UVB rays, the best packable sun hats represent the cuter, more fashionable side to sun protection — because, yes, that is totally possible — even when you're stuffing items into a suitcase for a vacation in the sun.
Dermatologists will always tout the benefits of sunscreen above all other methods and products used to protect against the sun, but a quality sun hat for sun protection is right up there on the list. There's one caveat though: a proper sun hat must cover your entire face and scalp — so it ideally has a full brim that protects better than a baseball cap or visor. If it's made with UPF 50 materials, well, all the better.
On this list you'll find hats that keep you cool under the sun and hats that provide more than enough coverage to prevent sunburn and other UV damage. Since a sun hat is something you'll wear often, your personal style and taste will obviously have a lot to do with the hat you choose, but these options (though super cute) focus on functionality first, and style second. The major feature that all of these hats have in common is that they are all travel-friendly options that won't lose their shape when you pack them for a trip.
Combined with the best face sunscreens, these sun hats offer the best possible sun protection, no matter where on the planet you lay your beach towel.
1. A Foldable, Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat With UPF 50 At A Great Price
Joyebuy Straw Hat
This super-wide floppy hat is made with UPF 50 protection and soft straw material that bounces right back to shape after you bend, fold, and squish it into your luggage or beach bag. It comes in a variety of colors, as well as natural with different-colored bows and (speaking of bows), that's a cute added touch to an otherwise functional sun hat.
Reviewers say this hat shades your face and neck, it's cool and comfy to wear, and that it's made from quality material (and you can't beat the price).
2. Essentially The Same Straw Floppy Hat, In Different Styles
Double Couple Foldable Floppy Hat
Similar to top pick on this list, this hat has a 6-inch wide brim, UPF 50 protection, a neutral straw shade (it also comes in white), and a foldable design. But it has one more feature that helps it stand out in a sea of floppy hats: an adjustable drawstring on the inside that can be used to tighten or loosen this hat for the perfect fit.
The hat is designed with cooling, breathable papyrus and the cheeky message, "Hello Sunshine," because of course you welcome the sun — its damaging UV rays, not so much.
3. A Roll-And-Go Sun Hat With A Snap Closure
Sunlily Roll-n-Go Sun Hat
While this wide-brim sun hat doesn't purport to have any additional UV protection beyond shading your face and neck, it couldn't get more portable: you can actually roll it and it features a snap closure to keep it in place. This hat never wrinkles and comes in seven colors and designs (which really means two takes on horizontal stripes). One sweet detail: the snap fastener that makes it a cinch to pack this hat doubles as decorative band feature when you're wearing the hat.
4. A Foldable Sun Hat With Extra Neck Protection
LETHMIK Foldable Sun Hat
Your cheeks, forehead, and nose aren't the only areas of your face that need protection against the sun. This fishing- and safari-style sun hat has a neck cover flap to provide full neck protection. An adjustable drawstring under the chin gives you control over how the hat fits and keeps this hat securely on your head on the windiest days.
Despite how much of your face and neck this hat covers, it's lightweight and breathable, with a near perfect five-star rating from reviewers who say it's comfortable, cute, and provides optimum protection. Fold it, bend it, crush it — it's indestructible and can be stored anywhere.
5. A Rollable Sun Hat With UPF 50 (But Less Neck Protection)
Siggi Floppy Summer Hat
This paper straw braided hat has a 3.7-inch wide brim to provide a substantial amount of protection for your face (with a moisture-wicking sweatband for good measure), but unlike the wider-brimmed floppy hats it provides less shade — particularly in the back. But it's not short on functional features such as it's detachable chin strap to keep it secure in the wind and an adjustable the interior tape for a better fit.
This is an all-around great hat with UPF 50 protection, a bow knot (or you can opt for a braided raffia knot accent instead) that is more customizable than most other hats. Like the other hats on this list, you can roll, fold, bend, and try to destroy this hat — but it keeps popping back up in place so that you'll always be able to wear it.
6. A UPF 50 Visor That Offers Less Sun Protection, But Is Still Packable
Nine West Straw Packable Roll Up Visor
It's true: though objectively stylish, this visor-style sun hat offers less protection than a wide-brim floppy hat. But you have to be honest with yourself. If a wide hat isn't your style and you know it'll just sit on your dresser untouched, get the hat you will wear — any hat is better than no hat at all.
This paper-straw roll-up hat does have UPF 50+ protection, is wider than a lot of other visors you'll find, and can be adjusted to fit your head. It has an open top so that you can tie your hair up in a bun or ponytail — but compensate for that by making sure you remember to apply sunscreen to your part or wherever you see visible scalp.
If you're on a serious budget, here is an even cheaper option (in both quality and price), but otherwise it's essentially the same and comes in 14 colors and striped patterns.
7. The Best Wool Felt Floppy Hat With UPF 50 For Sun Protection In Cooler Weather
Gottex Women's Laurent Felt Fedora Sun Hat
When it comes to being a great packable sun hat, this hat checks all of the boxes: it features a wide floppy brim (but just 4 inches), boasts UPF 50+ sun protection, and can be folded up without losing its shape. It even as an internal drawstring so it's adjustable, too. What's notably different about this hat, is that its a wool felt hat that is going to feel considerably warmer on your head, which means its less of a beach hat and more of a cooler weather hat.
Note on the price: this hat is a little pricier than others on this list, but a felt floppy hat that has UPF 50 is a rare find, and this one is objectively attractive and is made by a quality brand. However, if it's out of your price range, check out this $38 option that will be easier on your budget.
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