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What type of hat is best for sun protection for gardening?

  • 9 min read

Best hat for sun protection when gardening

Gardening As Self-Care

To the passionate enthusiast and the beginner greenie, caring for a garden brings a wealth of benefits and is fast becoming a recommended form of self-care across age demographics. Indeed, gardening is both an art and a science. A study shows that it’s an absolute mood booster, and stress buster, and is also a great aerobic exercise that actually helps work new muscles in your body and helps with strength, stamina, and flexibility. 

Another study shows a significant outcome where gardening can reduce the risk of dementia for people over 60 years of age. And of course, outdoor activities like gardening are a perfect way to get your much-needed Vitamin D while pursuing a fun hobby. 

Having said that, it’s particularly important that we also take proper precautions when staying out in the sun. Staying hydrated and putting on sunblock is imperative when we tend to our little green heaven. In addition, wearing the proper sun-protective garden hat is a must. This article is your ultimate guide in choosing that perfect garden hat; so you can spend less time searching and more time gardening.





Table of Contents:

  1. What is the best sun protection?
  2. What material should you look for? 
  3. What color is best for sun protection?
  4. What size brim should you go for?
  5. Are garden hats machine washable?
  6. Can you see clearly with a garden hat on?
  7. Can you use a garden hat in different weather conditions and activities?
  8. How do you test for durability?
  9. How do you choose the right size for a hat?
  10. Final thoughts

What Should You Look For In A Gardening Hat?

Sun Protection

It’s a given. Gardening definitely entails working outdoors, in the sun. And while, as mentioned above, that daily dose of Vitamin D is good for you, excessive sun exposure can make you look old before your time, and is a known cause of skin cancer. According to statistics by the Skin Cancer Society, about 33% of skin cancers are facial. So protecting your face from the rays of the sun is an absolute must. 

The UPF rating system measures how much ultraviolet radiation is admitted through the fabric. While a hat with UPF sun protection of 30+ will give you considerably great protection, you can be more assured of a fabric or material that has a higher  UPF rating. So if you see sun-protective gear with a 50+ rating, you’ll want to go for that as it blocks out 98% of UV radiation.

Vent It Out

Breathability is a very important aspect of comfort. Garden hats with good ventilation help you stay cool. So make sure to pick one with light and breathable fabric. You’d want to look for a hat that dries quickly as it helps provide evaporative cooling, to keep your head cool.


Great materials to look for would be polyester and nylon as these are waterproof, lightweight, and quick-drying materials. You will want the breathability of these materials and the ease of drying them off quickly. If your hat makes you uncomfortable because of its material weight or it makes you too hot, naturally you won’t want to wear it at all.

A Matter of Color

You’d want a stylish hat with a variety of colors to choose from to compliment your mood and outfit for the day. But beyond that, there’s more to keep in mind when picking your hat color. The color goes beyond being a fashion statement. 

In addition to the type of fabric, the color of the fabric you choose will make a difference in temperature. Dark colors absorb heat and light colors deflect it. Hats in lighter colors, such as light beige, tan, or off-white would be perfect choices to keep you cool.

Be careful, however, and keep in mind that light-colored hats tend to get grubby as you work with garden dirt. Stains might, therefore, tend to show more easily on these lighter materials.

woman in a garden wearing a GearTOP hat

A khaki hat can answer that concern. It plays in brownish shades so it won’t silt easily as lighter colors would. It’s also not on the dark shades so it won’t absorb as much heat as a dark hat would. 

You should also be aware of the fact that dark or bright colors do, however, do a better job in keeping the UV rays from reaching your skin, while light colors tend to allow UV rays to penetrate (especially if the fabric does not have a UPF rating of 50+). This means you should really make sure that all of your hats have a high UPF rating to ensure that no matter what color you choose, you are always staying protected!

The Brim

Admit it. As you work in your garden, you tend to lose track of time. And as the sun makes its way across the sky, the rays would shine down at varying angles. This is why it’s best to find a hat with the right brim size. A wider brim offers the best protection. However, a hat with a brim too wide and floppy will be more of a distraction and might cause more discomfort. 

So what brim size would be just right?

back view of  a woman wearing a GearTOP hat

You want to make sure that you’re protecting your head, your neck, and your shoulders when tending to your garden. Generally, a 3” brim gives all-around protection. So for better protection, you will want to look for a 3” to 4” brim; this size would allow undistracted mobility as well as comfort while you keep busy in the garden. 

Besides, stiff brims aren’t exactly advisable when moving about, you know those brims that are rather immovable like the resin-coated woven hats? You can imagine the discomfort of moving about with those while gardening. They’re way too stiff!

These stiff hats don’t exactly have the flexibility that you’d need, and it would tend for you to keep your neck tight as you try to keep it on your head; which gets in the way when you move about in the garden. The material does not provide sufficient sun protection as well. And, can you imagine how it smells after a few uses? Right, because you can’t toss these in the washer to freshen them up. 


Gardening deals with working on soil, which exposes you to a great likelihood of getting dirt on your gear, your clothes, and yourself. Plus, as you tend to your little paradise, your sweat gathers up and gets absorbed into your garden hat.

woman  doing a laundry

So being able to machine wash your garden hat in a jiffy is definitely important. Many gardening hats are machine washable. Hygiene, more than anything else, is imperative. You will also want to look for a hat that does not lose its shape and material integrity when washed frequently. 

When this happens, the hat also loses its comfort and optimal function. Given that, you will also want to consider that the hat can be easily stored. You should be able to hang in, toss it, and stow it away for your next usage.

See Clearly, Move Freely

You would want to make sure that nothing obstructs your vision while you walk about. All the more so when you work. So you’d want to look for a garden hat that doesn’t get in the way. 

woman wearing a GearTOP hat, watering plants


Your hat needs to be so adaptable that it should feel as if it’s naturally part of you. It should allow you to move about freely with no interruptions or obstructing your view.  

You should not have to concern yourself with whether or not it’s going to fall off while you work and move. If you cannot see properly with your hat on, or your hat makes you feel claustrophobic, you’ll be highly unlikely to wear it.

Versatility is Key 

While most hats come in one size with an adjustable feature to find your perfect fit, we recommend looking for a hat that has a chin strap that you can use as needed and tuck away when it is not needed. This will make your hat more versatile for use on both still and windy days. A chinstrap will also help keep your hat in place when you move about your garden.   

woman wearing A GearTOP hat that has a chin-strap


Choose a hat that allows you to work in varying weather conditions. There are hats with flaps that fully cover the sides and back of your neck and shield the sides of your face to provide the best sun protection around your face, neck, and shoulders. This is ideal for a hot, dry climate. However, it might be stifling and unbearable in a humid climate. 

Also, while this cape type might look rather complicated, they prove to be very much functional. There are ones that come with removable flaps so you can easily transition from garden to patio faster than you can say lemonade. 

Versatility also means you can take your gardening hat wherever you go! It’s always best to have a hat that goes with everything and gives you multiple functionalities; one that you can take with you for hiking, fishing, hunting, a quick stroll in the park, or a supply run at the supermarket.

Bang For Your Buck

These days, we want to make sure that every penny we spend is well worth the purchase. Happily, you don’t really need to spend so much to find that perfect garden hat. You just need to spend smart.

spend smart

Needless to say, your favorite hat – the one you can’t seem to live without – gets the hardest beating with daily use. So durability is a definite factor to look for in choosing the right hat. 

So, what do you look for when testing durability? Some call it the “crush” test. Your hat should be able to spring back into shape after being crushed for half an hour or longer. Most certainly, it’s highly unlikely that our well-loved, good ol’ straw hat can pass that test. 

A well-made hat with material such as nylon can be your best bet. Nylon and polyester hats are not only durable. They’re easily washable and dry out easily so you can reuse them as long as you like and keep them fresh.

The Right Fit

Most hats in the market come as one-size-fits-all. To make sure you get the best comfort, you’d want one that fits you just right.

GearTOP hat with elastic drawcord for adjustment

So think of it this way. A hat that is a tad size bigger is better than one that’s too small. The latter will most definitely hurt your head and might constrain proper blood flow, causing you headaches. A larger-sized hat, on the other hand, allows for proper adjustment. Some hats come with straps to ensure that the hat hugs your head just right. These adjustable straps come in handy to ensure that you get the utmost comfortable fit.

woman in a garden wearing a GearTOP hat

If your hat is too loose or too tight, you will be constantly fidgeting with it and you’ll be much more likely to take it off and set it aside than to wear it.

We’ve Got Just The Right One for You!

Now you’ve seen the lowdown on sun-protective hats, the question is WHERE to find the perfect hat that covers all of the above factors. We hear you, and we’ve got just the right ones.

OurBoonie Hat is sure to give you 360° sun protection, versatility, and comfort. It can safeguard your face, ears & neck from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Whether you love hiking, fishing, a stroll on the beach, or - of course - gardening!


GearTOP Discoverer Series Sun Hat

This design offers a 3.9” brim size, removable neck flaps, a mesh face cover, for complete protection; and adjustable drawcords to keep your hat in place while you tend to your lush greenies. The mesh lining allows for moisture and heat to easily breathe off of the hats, keeping your head cool and protected on a hot and humid day. You will want to feel all comfy as you move about in your yard with all your gardening tools.

You can also easily carry this hat along as it folds up easily or tucks it away in your tote bag if you need to rush to the grocery store. Gardening can be soil-much-fun, as they say. So having to wash your hat is a big must. Our hats are made of 100% nylon with quick-drying ability. That way, you can do that quick wash with no sweat – so to speak. Just toss it in the washer, dry it in the sun for a few minutes and it’ll be ready for your next usage.

You can also opt for our Safari Cap our bestseller – which offers the very same protection and comfort without the removable flaps if you prefer.

GearTOP Safari Cap

The adjustable drawstring ensures your hat stays on comfortably. Go out and enjoy the elements without worry with this waterproof, windproof, and breathable chapeau. One size will fit most, so you can be assured of the perfect fit. 

This variant comes in Khaki, Army Green, Beige, and Black Camouflage. This way you have a wide range of color choices that are perfect for gardening. Remember, color and material are factors to consider in deflecting sun rays and heat off your head and your eyes on your gardening days. 

The best part is, that all original GearTOP products come with a LIFETIME guarantee. If you experience ANY problems with these fishing hats, contact us and we will refund every penny of your purchase, and ship you a new one FREE of charge. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns and we’ll be more than happy to help. 


Now you know the best ways to keep yourself protected from the sun while enjoying your most preferred relaxing outdoor activity. We guarantee you that our hats will be the best hat to have, it’s one that definitely grows with you – much like your little piece of Eden. Have fun and stay safe on your gardening days!

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