Updated: May 21
An essential surf accessory, a surf hat can provide much-needed sun protection during a surf session.
The question is not whether or not a surf hat is effective — the question is choosing the right surf hat for you.
After all, the last thing you want to do is spend time swimming after it when the set of the day is approaching.
In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about surf hats — and help you choose a surf hat that is right for you.
What Makes a "Good" Surf Hat?
There are several factors that make a good surf hat. These include:
For a surf hat to be a good surf hat, it must fit your head snuggly.
Ability to Stay On
The last thing you want to do is chase your hat around the lineup. That's why it's important to see how each brand seeks to achieve this.
You don't want a hat that falls apart in the salty sea.
You want a surf hat that will offer protection from the sun — after all, if it isn't doing this, why wear one?
The Best Surf Hats on the Market Today
Patagonia Surf Brim Hat
"Be it waves, waders or beach towels, this brimmed bucket hat provides secure sun protection for on-water shenanigans."
Patagonia's surf hat features:
Sun-blocking foam brim holds its shape and has a dark underbill to reduce glare and eyestrain
Adjustable rear buckle has elastic for a snug, personalized fit
Two vent/drain holes reduce water and heat buildup, and allow airflow
Soft neoprene chin strap tucks away when not in use
Best of all, Patagonia's surf hat stays on your head.
Learn more about this surf hat which retails at $49 here.
Kaiola Surf Hat ($65)
"Technical surf hat combining style with performance."
This is how Kaiola describes their surf hat, which is one of the best on the surf hat market today.
Their attention to detail ensures the best fit and comfort so you have nothing to worry about except catching wave after wave.
After all, they know exactly what they're doing — they only make surf hats!
The hat's features include:
Duck-dive and wipe-out proof
UPF 80 providing excellent UV protection
Anti-glare to protect your vision
Lightweight, quick-dry, breathable and comfortable to wear
Peak/Visor is bendable yet strong. Foam interior means always jumps back into shape
Signature chin-strap: nearly invisible, yet super strong. Non chafing
Folds easily so you can stash it anywhere
Floats, should you ever drop it in the water
Peak/Visor flips up for better paddling vision
Super soft and padded internal head band
To learn more about this surf hat, which costs $64, click here.
DaKine Indo Bucket Hat
"Whether you're deep inside the barrels of Indo or hiking out under sail power, the Dakine Indo Surf Hat offers unmatched water-friendly sun protection."
DaKine's Indo Bucket Hat is an industry standard surf hat. It's features include:
Floating Hat Designed for Water Use
Removable Neck Protection Stores Inside Hat
Brim Flips Up for Padding
Learn more about the DaKine surf hat, which costs $45, here.
The Bottom Line: Surf Hats
There you have it: the best surf hats on the market today.
In the end, choosing one will come down to personal preference. Hopefully, one of these surf hat options can work so well that you barely notice it on your head during your next surf session.