8 Best Cooling Hats for Hot Weather

Long gone are the days when your head used to melt from the scorching sun and its piercing heat. 

Because today, you can easily buy an excellent cooling hat in your budget. These hats will act as your head’s personal air-conditioner and will shield your face from harmful UV rays.

Here’s a list of the best cooling hats in the market and a buyer’s guide to help you choose one for yourself, even if you’ve never heard of cooling hats before!

So without further ado, let’s dive into it!

The Best Cooling Hats

Top PicksTypeMaterial
1. Ergodyne Chill 8935CT Cooling Sun HatRangerPolyester
2. MISSION Cooling Bucket HatBucketPolyester
3. Mission Cooling Skull CapSkullPoly/Spandex
4. Ontel Arctic HatFishingPolyester
5. Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora BooneyBoonieNylon
6. Outdoor Research Active Ice CapCapePoly/Elastene
7. MistyMate 17001 Cooling CapBandanaCotton
8. Mission VaporActive Cooling Skull CapSkullPoly/Cocona

1. Ergodyne Chill Its 8935CT Cooling Ranger Sun Hat

For people that work in the outdoors directly under the scorching sun, the Ergodyne Cooling Ranger Sun Hat is a blessing. It’s designed for maximum coolness and excellent visibility during daylight. The technology behind the hat is in its PVA liner, which soaks water and uses wind to create a cooling effect that lasts up to 4 hours. 

Apart from the long-lasting cooling effect, the hat is also super-breathable and is constructed from a 360-degree mesh that allows tons of ventilation. Gardeners and outdoor workers can also use this hat as it’s made in hi-vis lime color and features a reflective tape that greatly enhances visibility even under strong sunlight. 


2. MISSION Cooling Bucket Hat- UPF 50, 3” Wide Brim

Mission Cooling Bucket Hat is one of the most versatile cooling hats currently available in the market. According to the company, the hat can cool your head to almost 30-degrees below body temperature in just 30 seconds. It uses the same evaporation mechanism in which you wet and wring the cap to kickstart the cooling process.

Because the Mission Cooling Bucket Hat features such an excellent design, it can be used in almost every environment or occasion. Whether you’re fishing, gardening, or hiking, the hat’s wide brim and adjustable strap will protect your neck and fix the cap on your head. When you’re done using the hat, you can always throw it in the washing machine to make it feel and smell new again.


3. Mission Cooling Skull Cap- Hat, Helmet Liner, Running Beanie

Playing football or riding a bike under the sun? Mission Cooling Skull Cap is a must-have to maintain a cool head and boost your performance no matter how hot it is outside. The cap’s brim-less design makes it highly versatile and comfy. It fits the head snuggly and can be worn under helmets to prevent sweat from entering your eyes as you ride or do a quick jog.

Like other Mission hats, this cap also uses the same evaporation technology and can make your head up to 30-degrees cooler than your body temperature. All you have to do is wet the cap and wring out the excess water, and you’re good for almost 2 hours. 


4.  Ontel Arctic Hat, Beige, One Size

Ontel Arctic Hat is the perfect cap to keep your head cool in the sun while preventing UV rays from harming your skin. Unlike some caps, the Ontel Arctic features a radiant shield that reflects 80% of the heat and 99% UV rays. It also has a larger brim that protects your neck and ears from sun rays and heat damage. 

Inside the hat, there’s a cooling liner that uses evaporation to make your head up to 20-degrees cooler than the surrounding temperature. The hat is super-durable and features a very lightweight construction that retains its shape over time. 


5. Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney

The Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney is built especially for fishers and nature lovers. It features a stylish design that’s also functional and protects your face, ears, and neck from direct sunlight. This hat is also a full-fledged sunscreen and shields you from UVA and UVB rays with its tightly knit weave.

Another great feature of this cap is its Omni-Wick technology that absorbs moisture and activates evaporation to create a cooling effect. This is further enhanced by the hat’s mesh vents that allow air to freely pass through and cool your head. The cap also fits snuggly on the head and has adjustable back and chin straps to get the perfect fit. 


6. Outdoor Research Active Ice Cap

Outdoor Research Active Ice Cap is the hat to pick on occasions where you want complete head and neck protection. Unlike most cooling hats, it features a full sun cape that protects your neck from harmful sun rays and heat. The cap itself is UPF 50+ rated and deflects almost 98% of the sun rays before they hit your skin.

In addition to this, the cap is super-effective at keeping your head cool with its moisture-wicking fabric. Its constructed from mesh panels that let air pass through and recreate a cooling effect through evaporation. The hat is also very portable and has a foldable brim, making it easier to fit in small bags.


7. MistyMate 17001 Cooling Cap

MistyMate 17001 Cooling Cap is an excellent hat to pair with your helmet or to wear on game practices under the sun. It’s made for one single purpose; to keep your head cool for as long as possible. That’s why it is constructed from a special fabric that can hold almost 200 times its weight in water. 

This outstanding water-retention ability keeps the evaporation process constantly running, keeping your head noticeably cooler for hours at a time. To activate the cooling effect, just soak the hat in water for a couple of minutes, wring it, and put it on. 


8. Mission VaporActive Cooling Skull Cap

If you want a cap to keep your head cool and boost your performance in sports activities, Mission VaporActive Skull Cap is what you need. The hat is specifically designed to eliminate sweat before it reaches your eyes and enhances the cooling effect through evaporation. With its close-fitting design, the cap perfectly grips the head and can be worn with baseball caps or on its own.

It features a patented evaporating technology that instantly absorbs and evaporates sweat to keep your head dry and cool. The hat is made of a special fabric that retains its shape exceptionally well and reduces odor buildup. 


9. MISSION Women’s Hydroactive Max Laser-Cut Performance Hat

For people who like P-caps, Mission Hydroactive Max Laser-Cut Performance Hat is an outstanding choice that offers cooling and style in one package. Like all caps from this brand, the Hydroactive Max also has the ability to cool your head up to 30-degrees lower than your body temperature. It’s made with special fabric panels attached in various places that evaporate water to create a cooling sensation under direct sunlight.

Thanks to the hat’s stylish design, it can be worn on any occasion, whether it’s a jog, a family BBQ, or while running errands. The cap also has a very ergonomic design that keeps your hair away from your face and an adjustable back strap to make it fit your head perfectly.  


10. Home Prefer Mens UPF 50+ Sun Protection Cap

Home Prefer Mens Sun Protection Cap is for those who want complete shade from the sun till their necks. It has one of the widest brims amongst all cooling caps and features a flap that protects your neck against sun rays. Not only this, but the hat is also UPF 50+ rated and reflects all kinds of UV rays before they harm your skin.

Because the hat is made from a breathable and fully ventilated fabric, it quickly absorbs sweat and gives off a cooling effect. You can also adjust the cap’s chin strap and back strap according to your head’s shape so it fits perfectly.  


11. HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Sport Cap

There aren’t many hats out there that can keep your head cool throughout daylight like the HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Sport Cap. It features a special nylon and polyester mesh construction that can produce a cooling effect for up to 10 hours in a single soak. 

There’s also a hook and loop closure at the back that allows you to adjust the hat according to your preferences. Because the cap has such a classy design, it can be worn anywhere on any occasion. Whether you’re cycling, jogging, or just working outdoors, this hat will be an excellent accessory to keep your head cool and comfortable. 


12. SATINIOR Sweat Wicking Helmet Liner, Cooling Cap

If you’re looking for a versatile cap to cool your head throughout summer, Satinor Sweat-Wicking Skull Cap is the one to choose. The pack features two camouflage skull caps made from a breathable polyester fabric that instantly evaporates sweat and cools your head throughout the day. 

Since the cap sits closely with your skull, it can be worn under helmets, hard hats, or on its own as you go about your daily adventures. Once you’re done, you can easily hand wash the cap, and it will retain its exact shape without shrinking or fading.


13. MISSION Cooling Stretchy Visor

The tennis-style Mission Cooling Stretchy Visor offers portability and cooling with protection from the sun in a single cap. Although the hat is more of a visor, it still provides just as good of a cooling effect and can lower the temperature on your head by almost 30-degrees compared to your body. 

Moreover, it provides some shade from the sun with its brim and is UPF 50 rated. The visor’s 3-inch band securely fits around the head and can be worn while playing sports, gardening, or by the poolside. Just soak the cap in water for a few minutes, wring out the excess water, and wave it to kickstart the cooling effect.


Buyer’s Guide

When the summer season hits, your head becomes the first victim of the scorching sun. Not only does the heat feel tormenting, but it can also increase your body temperature and even lead to stroke in severe circumstances.

Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your head cool when you’re under the sun. And the best way to do so is to buy a cooling hat. These hats can do wonders for workers and athletes, not to mention that they also protect against harmful UV rays. 

So how do you pick the best cooling hat for yourself? Keep on reading to find out!

Factors to consider when buying cooling hats

Before you buy a cooling hat, you should be aware of these important factors so you can compare the products with each other. Here’s a list of essential factors you should consider when purchasing a cooling hat:

1. Type

A cooling hat should not only make your head cooler but also elevate your style. There are multiple styles of cooling hats available on the market, but the three most common ones are booney caps, baseball caps, and skull caps.

Booney caps have a brim all around them, which protects your neck and face from the sun. They’re best for occasions like fishing, hiking, BBQ, and beach days. Baseball caps are the most stylish of the bunch and can be worn every day on every outfit. They tend to offer less shade from the sun but can still keep the UV rays away from your face. 

Skull caps are the most versatile option and serve the purpose of a cooling layer. Because they don’t have any brim and are lightweight, these caps can be worn with helmets or another cap. These are an ideal option for athletes and motorcyclists that want to maintain a cool head as they practice or ride under direct sunlight.

2. Fitting

Cooling hats are most effective when they have complete contact with your head. That’s why your cap must fit you perfectly. When buying a cooling hat, always measure the circumference of your head and use it to pick the right-sized cap. 

Booney hats and baseball caps offer some adjustability with chin straps and back straps. When buying either of these hats, always check how much adjustment they allow so you don’t have problems with fitting.

3. Material

The right fabric can play a major role in determining the effectiveness of a cooling hat. While every fabric has its pros and cons, polyester tends to be the ideal choice for these caps. This is because polyester has the best moisture-wicking abilities, holds its shape best, and offers the most effective cooling amongst all fabrics.

Most manufacturers use 100% polyester to make their caps, while others use a mix of polyester and spandex for a better fit. Whichever hat you choose, make sure it has some polyester in it and provides cooling for at least 2 to 3 hours.


FAQ’s

Do cooling hats really work?

Yes, cooling hats work and can create a noticeable difference. These caps can reduce your head’s temperature by up to 30-degrees compared to your body temperature. However, they usually work best in dry climates rather than very humid areas. 

Do black caps make your head hotter?

Yes, black caps absorb a lot more sunlight and can become hotter compared to lighter colors. However, a cooling hat in black color will use this heat to speed up the evaporation process instead of transferring it to your head. 

How do cooling hats work?

A cooling hat utilizes the same mechanism as sweating. They soak water and slowly evaporate it, which makes your head feel cooler under direct sunlight. Most cooling hats also offer shade and UV rays protection from the sun.

Can you machine wash a cooling hat?

Most cooling hats can be machine washed without any damage. However, some caps should only be hand-washed, so remember to read the care guide before putting your cooling cap in the machine.

How long can cooling hats cool your head?

A cooling cap will cool your head for anywhere around 2 to 3 hours with a single soak. However, some caps can create this cooling effect for up to 10 hours after being soaked just once.

Which type of cooling hat is best?

This completely depends on your usage and how frequently you wear a cap. Boonie caps are best for those that garden, fish, or spend long hours under the sun. P-caps are a good option for people that want a more stylish alternative they can wear daily. And skull caps are best for athletes, motorcyclists, and sportspeople that want a versatile piece of headgear they can wear independently or with a helmet. 

Do cooling hats protect you from sun rays?

Yes, most cooling hats on our list are UPF 50 rated and can deflect up to 98% of the sun’s rays. However, we also recommend that you wear sunscreen to protect exposed skin from UV ray damage.

How frequently should you wash a cooling hat?

A standard cooling hat should be washed after every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how frequently you use it. Skull caps can be washed more regularly as they do not wear down that much.

Can you put your cooling hat in the dryer?

No, you should never put cooling hats in the dryer as this can ruin their shape and quality, especially if they’re made out of cotton. Air drying is the safest and most preferable method of drying your hat.

How do you disinfect a hat?

To disinfect a hat, rinse it or leave it in a mix of water and detergent for a couple of minutes. Once the cap has soaked, rinse it again with clean water and air dry your cap to disinfect it completely.

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