Best Hat for Desert Hiking

There is more to a desert other than dry with unending mirages like we are made to believe in school. Personally, I know that most of the hiking people around me do, have done or are planning to do revolved around hills, mountainous areas or even forest trails. But desert hiking is a thing and could open your eyes to more beauty in the world that you never knew existed such as varying landscapes, and a clear view of the stars at night. The scorching sun, of course, will be a nightmare and you will pray that a tree grows miraculously for you to get shade. This is why you need a good hiking hat that keeps the burning rays of the sun off your head and also has excellent breathability.

The Best 3 Desert Hiking Hats - Quick Answer

(Scroll down for full reviews)


With all the sun and heat that ranges on in a desert, you need a hat that is highly breathable. Go for a hat with fabric that offers you protection from sun as well as having enhanced moisture absorption. A mesh ventilation fabric is the newest technology being used to make hats. This is good because it enhances circulation of heat away from your head to keep you cool. A fabric nylon is also highly encouraged because of its high breathability, lightness, and ability to dry quickly.

Sun protection

A desert hiking hat should be able to protect you from sun and the adverse weather in the desert like wind. Go for a hat that can block up to 98% of UVA/UVB radiation. A hat with more ultraviolet factor is always better when going for a desert hiking expedition.

Consider a hat with a neck cape and a wide brim too because this will go a long way in protecting your neck from the sun rays.   

Size and comfort

Most of the hats available are not as fitting as the manufacturer’s claim they are. Some, however, come with an adjustable strap that you can use to fit the hat according to the size of your head. The more superior and expensive brands also do have hats in various sizes that you can choose from. Because deserts can get wildly windy, a hat with a chin strap is also recommended to prevent the cap from being blown away by the wind.  


If not selected carefully, you might wind up with a hat that starts looking as old as methuselah the minute you pack it in your rucksack. To avoid this, confirm if from the details provided about the hat shows it is crushable and stuffing it in your rucksack won’t make it look old or lose its shape.

The method of washing the hat will also affect how durable the hat is. Confirm if it is supposed to be hand washed or machine washed. The washing should also affect the shape of the hat regardless of whether it is machine or hand washed. Colour's also determine how durable an item is, including hats. Light colour's wear off too fast and will make a hat look very old within a short period of time. Additionally, go for a colour's that will not fade off after every washing.

​Top 3 Desert Hiking Hats From Us

​Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Great

Bottom Line: ​Its lifetime guarantee, comfort, protection in any weather, and durability makes it a hat worth buying for a desert hike.

The Lowdown


​It is medium brim with up to 50+ UPF protection and good for a windy day too.


​It is durable and can be hand washed or machine washed on delicate cycle.


​Made of 93%nylon and 7% spandex with a ¾’’ AIRFLO mesh that enhances its breathability.  


​It has an adjustable chin strap that you can use for perfect fitting and comes in 11 sizes.  


  • Can be washed without losing its shape.
  • It comes with a warrant and guarantee for life.
  • Has vents for excellent air circulation.
  • Has a dark under-brim to protect from sun glare.  


  • None to mention, this hat fits the bill!

​Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo Hat Review:

​First things first, this is the only hat we have seen coming with a warrant a life time guarantee! What can beat that? This hat is long lasting and the warrant shows that. Moving on to other things. The hats ¾ inches of polyester mesh will offer you excellent protection against hot and burning sun as well as other weather condition like wind.

It is light in weight and you might even forget you are in a hat. The nylon fabric used to make the hat makes it lightweight. Apart from this, it also makes the hat water resistant. That is not all, the fabric used in this hat is assured to block 50+ UPF ultraviolet light and 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation. 

The dark under-brim of the hat protects you from floatability and glare. If you want to bring your money along, your key or any items you need to keep secure, the hat has a secret pocket in the crown that you can use. It can he hand washed or machine washed separately on delicate mode.

See it in Action

​Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Great

Bottom Line: With a 50+ UPF rating, a back neck cape and a large brim, it will offer you excellent sun protection during a desert hike.

The Lowdown


​It comes with a neck cape and a 4’’ wide brim that protects both your neck and entire face from the sun.


​Does not lose its shape even after packing it in your backpack.

​ Fabric

​Made of 50% nylon and 50% polyester fabrics that
enhances protection from the sun.


​The adjustable chin strap together with the external size adjuster can be used to adjust for fitting keeping it on even on a windy day and comes in two sizes.  


  • The mesh panels in the brim enhance its breathability.
  • Has a wide brim and a neck cape for protection against the sun.
  • Has an adjustable strap and an external size adjuster for perfect fitting.
  • The nylon and polyester fabric make it lightweight and very comfortable.


  • None, A great hat all round!

​Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat Review:

​This Adventure hat by Sunday Afternoons is one of their best hats. It comes with a certified 50+ UPF sun rating that protects you from a scorching sun.

What we love most about this hat is the 7 ½ inches of neck flap that you can lift and pin up in case it is not that hot. This is cool because apart from protecting your head and face, it will also protect your neck.

Its 3 ½ slopping brim is dermatology recommended. Its 3 ¾ sides with floatable core and brim wire help in keeping it in place. Both of this help in protecting one from the sun. For sizing and keeping it fit, it has an external adjuster in the back and an adjustable neck strap that you can use.

The internal part of the hat has a dark under-brim that helps is absorbing glare and protecting your eyes.

This is a hat worth having for desert hiking. It is also very comfortable and lightweight.

See it in Action

​Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats

Outdoor Veteran Rating: Great

Bottom Line: ​The Columbia Bora Bora Booney hat is very durable even after stuffing it in your rucksack and offers UPF 50+ sun protection.

The Lowdown


​It has up to 50+ UPF sun protection making it ideal for desert hike.


​Very durable and stuffing it in a rucksack will not affect its shape.


​Made of 100% nylon fabric, which makes it highly breathable.   


​An adjustable neck strap for excellent fitting.


  • Can be folded for easier packing without losing its shape.
  • Has an adjustable neck strap with a toggle for perfect fitting.
  • Mesh interior and a polyester sweatband for excellent breathability.
  • 50+ UPF that protects one for the sun.


  • Can be carried by the wind due to a less rigid brim.

​Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats Review:

​Why do we love and recommend this hast? Well, because it one of the most breathable hats you would need for a desert hike. Its mesh venting is nothing but perfection and will give you the breathability you need. It also dries very fast.

It comes with an adjustable neck strap that you can use to fit the hat perfectly. Its 50+ UPF sun protection offers excellent coverage from the sun. The fabric of the hat, which is 100% nylon goes a long way in supplementing protection from the sun.

It blocks up to 98% of UVA/UVB ultraviolet rays.

See it in Action

Final Note

Travel more and enjoy more beautiful landscapes in the desert. The hot scorching sun does not have to discouraging you from this amazing experience because there are many ways of beating it. And one of them is buying a perfect hat. Our recommended hats will offer you all the protection from the sun you need. They are also very durable, comfortable and lightweight.

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