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Best Sun Hats - Buyer’s Guide - What to look for to find the ultimate sun protection hat

  • 7 min read

Best Sun Hats - Buyer’s Guide - What to look for to find the ultimate sun protection hat

What do you do when the sun is too hot but you want to get some fresh air? We all know that the sun's harmful rays can damage the skin, therefore, aside from applying sunscreen, you should also keep your head protected. One way to do so is by wearing a sun protection hat. 

Today, there are plenty of sun protection hats to choose from. There are various brands, styles, and colors to choose from. We know that this can make it overwhelming to decide which hat one should get. The trick here is to know exactly what you are looking for and why you are buying a sun protection hat. Research is key to purchase the right hat for yourself. 

Here is some vital information you need to know about sun protection hats: 

Table of Contents:

    1. What is a Sun Protection Hat?
    2. The Basics: What should you look for in a Sun Protection Hat?
    3. What is UPF?
    4. What is the difference between SPF and UPF?
    5. Who can benefit from UPF clothing?
    6. UPF Ratings
    7. Importance of hats
    8. Recommended Sun Protection Hat

    Sun Protection Hat

    A sun protection hat is exactly what it sounds like—it is a hat that protects you from the sun. This hat’s properties protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Most skin cancers today are due to the exposure of people to the UV rays in sunlight, as expressed by the American Cancer Society

    Basal cell and squamous cell cancers, which are the most common types of skin cancer, are usually found on parts of the body where there is plenty of sun exposure. Moreover, the risk of melanoma is also related to sun exposure. Dermatologists have long been recommended wearing a hat when out under the sun as a good protection. 

    Continue reading as we discuss all the features you should look for to ensure you are receiving the most sun protection. 

    The Basics Of a Sun Protection Hat

    So, what are the basics of a sun protection hat? What should you look for? Or rather, what are the best features that you should be on the lookout for? 

    Hat Size

    Having a hat that is too big is better than a hat that is too small. A small and tight hat can give you a headache. When choosing a hat, choose the right size for your head. If you are buying online, it is best to measure your head to ensure that you are getting the right fit. 

    Here is a simple guide to measure your head size: 

    • Use a measuring tape (or a string, if you do not have one at home), wrap it around your head above the ears and across the eyebrows.

    • Stick your finger under the tape to allow for some room, and from there you get your head circumference. 

    That is it. Now, all you need to do is find the size on the chart. Keep in mind that suppliers follow different sizing metrics. If you are unsure, you can always contact the supplier directly to help you find the right size. 

    Features

    When it comes to a sun protection hat, it is essential to pay attention to the fabric or material of the hat. Here are some of the considerations that you need to take: 

    • Breathable fabric - a good sun protection hat should be made of breathable fabric. That said, it should feature a light fabric to allow for proper airflow. A light fabric guarantees that your head will not feel too hot and it will not trap any sweat. 

    • UV protection - fabrics used for sun protection hats have a UV protection rating. Stick to hats that have a rating of over UPF 50+ for the most protection.

    • Moisture-wicking sweatband - a good sun hat features a moisture-wicking sweatband that is found around the inner crown. It is a great feature especially if the wearer sweats a lot. The sweatband can help prevent the sweat from dripping into the eyes. 

    • Neck flaps - neck flaps may look awkward at first, but it can help keep the heat of the sun away from your ears and the back of your neck. 

    • Ears  - some neck flap options come with the option to have your ears fully covered as well. Wide brims also ensure you are protecting your ears from sun exposure.

    • Mesh panel  - a mesh panel will help protect the skin from the sun. However, individuals who do not have much hair may be better off with a full hat. Mesh panels are also great for added ventilation.

    hat-image

    What You Need To Know About UPF

    UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It indicates the amount of UV radiation a fabric will allow to reach your skin. 

    There are different UPF ratings. For example, a sun protection hat that has a UPF rating of 50+ means that 2.5% or less of the UV rays can penetrate the fabric. That said, the larger the UPF rating, the more UV protection you can guarantee. 

    The Difference Between UPF and SPF

    SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor which measures how much time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF, as mentioned above, measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the fabric and reaches the skin. SPF is used to measure sunscreens while UPF is used for clothing items. UPF measures exposure to UVB and UVA rays. 

    • UVA - this is the most common type of rays and it reaches beyond the top layer of skin.

    • UVB - less common but it can damage more epidermal skin layers that lead to skin reddening and sunburn.

    • UVC - this is the most dangerous of them all. However, these are absorbed by the ozone layer, which means it does not reach the ground. 

    UPF on Fabric

    You might be wondering how much UPF a fabric must have to effectively protect you from harmful UV rays. A UPF of 30 will qualify a fabric for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. Therefore, you should look for fabrics that have a UPF of at least 30.

    To get limited protection, choose fabrics that have a UPF of 30 to 49. For more, you can go over UPF 50 for maximum sun protection. 

    Who Can Benefit From UPF Clothing

    Everyone can benefit from UPF clothing, but UPF protection is highly recommended for those below: 

    • Sun-sensitive people - people with fair skin are more vulnerable to UV rays, therefore, they tend to burn more easily. 

    • Children - due to their thinner skin, their skin is more sensitive to UV rays. When their skin gets damaged, it can put them at a higher risk of more serious medical conditions later in life. 

    • People on medications - our sensitivity to the sun is heightened when we are taking medications. People who are on medications such as acne treatments, antihistamines, antibiotics, and some herbal supplements may find that they easily burn when they are exposed under the sun. 

    • People at high elevations, snow, water, or in equatorial regions - the intensity of the sun is greater in these environments, therefore, people who are living here tend to burn more easily.

    The Meaning of UPF Ratings

    • 15, 20 - good, 6.7-4.2% effective UV transmission

    • 25, 30, 35 - very good, 4.1%-2.6% effective UV transmission

    • 40, 45, 50, 50+ - excellent, less than 2.5% effective UV transmission

    When you are buying clothing, the higher the UPF rating is, the better. There is no fabric with a UPF rating below 15 because it will not provide sufficient protection from UV rays. 

    The Importance of Hats

    study about how Americans protect themselves from the sun showed how using the only sunscreen will not provide sufficient protection. Sunscreen is the most common sun protection behavior, but it has been shown that the frequent use of sunscreen is not associated with fewer sunburns. The odds of multiple sunburns are significantly lower in people who avoid the sun or wear sun protective fabric or clothing. 

    The findings suggest that shade and protective clothing, such as sun protection hats, may be more effective than sunscreen. 

    Hats have always been used to protect the head and keep it warm during the cold season. Aside from protection, hats can also add style to any wardrobe. Whatever hat style you choose, rest assured, you can always make a statement. 

    Why Choose Our Hats

    hat-image

    We offer a selection of hats to keep you protected at all times. One of our most popular products is the GearTOP Sun Hat which is designed to provide the ultimate sun protection with its UPF 50+ rating. It is lightweight and features a breathable mesh panel that will keep the head cool as it allows proper airflow. 

    hat-image

     Another sought-after feature is adjustability —all you need is to toggle at the back, therefore, one size will fit most heads. It comes in various colors that are perfect for both men and women. The sun protection hat is not only for protection, but it is also a fashionable piece of item that can spice up certain types of outfits. 

    Our newest model is the GearTOP Sun Hat With Flaps. It provides the perfect protection not only from the heat, but also against bugs, wind and dust that can be inhaled through the nose or mouth. Eyes remain uncovered for visibility. 

    The wide brim feature of the hat provides a 360-degree face protection. A  study found that hats with a small brim provide less protection from the sun while baseball-style caps offer good protection only down to the nose, they are relatively ineffective for other parts of the face. Hats with a wide brim are necessary to provide  reasonable protection factors around the nose and cheeks. 

    Furthermore, this hat features a mesh face cover, removable neck flaps, and adjustable draw cords and drawstrings. 

    Conclusion

    Always make sure that you are well-protected under the sun. Sun protection hats will make you feel more comfortable and protected when you are under the sun. 

    For sun protection hats, choose GearTop. We are a family-run business that is passionate in helping people stay safe. Our excellent customer service will help you with any of your questions and inquiries. Send us a message or leave a comment below. 

    1 Response

    Irving Horton

    Irving Horton

    August 23, 2020

    Looks like a great idea !

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