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Protect Your Head With These Functional, Fashionable Hats

Hats are among the most underappreciated pieces of gear. They can let people know if you’re a fan of a certain sports team, what brands you like or that you’re a Scout. More practically, they can protect you from the sun, cold, rain and bugs (and bad hair days).

Hats keep your hair out of your eyes, absorb sweat and provide shade when there is none. A winter hat can help keep you warm — you can lose up to 10% of your body heat if your head is uncovered.

Pick a hat that looks and feels good to you and is ideal for the conditions where you’ll wear it.


Some places can get really buggy, so a hat with insect protection will make your time outside a lot more enjoyable. We like OUTDOOR RESEARCH’S BUG BUCKET hat ($42, It’s a bucket-style brimmed hat with an integrated no-see-um head net. When you don’t need the net, it rolls up and tucks away while still providing UPF 40 sun protection.

For a day in the sun, stay in the shade by wearing a wide-brimmed hat like DAKINE’S PINDO STRAW HAT ($32, It has an elastic interior headband and a wicking polyester underbrim, which comes in lots of fun colors and patterns.

Express yourself with SKIDA’S ALPINE HAT ($38, This fleece-lined beanie comes in tons of colors and prints. It’s breathable but warm, and if you’re sensitive to Merino wool, this one won’t itch.

You know those days when it’s so hot, it feels like you might melt? Beat the heat with NATHAN’S RUNCOOL ICE RUN HAT ($25, This visored lid has secret side pockets for ice cubes to help cool you down. The hat’s built-in wicking sweatband keeps sweat out of your eyes.

Take the chill out of any activity with SMARTWOOL’S MERINO BEANIE ($25, It’s super low bulk with low-profile seams for comfort, and it stays warm even if it gets wet.

Rain in the forecast? You can go full lobsterman with Helly Hansen’s polyester drawstring SVOLVAER SOU’WESTER RAIN HAT ($25, The PVC fabric is completely waterproof, and the brim design keeps water from dripping down the back of your neck.

For a stylish brimmed hat, MELIN sets the standard for water-resistant baseball caps ($69,, and they come in dozens of colors, with a size and shape for everyone.

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