10 Best Bushcraft Hats –Multi Use Survival Hats

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I tested several different bushcraft hats and found that my Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat is still the best bushcraft hat. 

My tried and true Tilley is water-resistant and has excellent wind cords. It stays on my head even in the windiest conditions, and works well in all weather conditions. 

Best Bushcraft Hats
Jason's Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat Bushcraft Hat on a stump
My Tilley Wanderer Hat

A bushcraft or survival hat seems simple: just grab any old baseball cap and throw it on. But anyone who has spent a lot of time outdoors knows that a good hat is one of the most important items you can have. No one wants a wet or sunburned head. 

I really like hats, and I probably have over 100 of them. I can’t stand being outside without one. Over my 40+ years of experience with hats, I have found good ones and bad ones. I combined my experience with that of our team and the local bushcraft community to put together this comprehensive list.

In the end, I narrowed it down to 11 hats that stand out from the rest. 

We also found a unique survival hat that is the best option for emergency preparedness. 

For my complete review and guide to which hat you should buy, keep reading.


Quick Comparison of our Favorite Bushcraft Hats

BEST BUSHCRAFT HAT
Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat

Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat

Great Design

Water Resistant

Wind Cords

Price: $$

BEST SURVIVAL HAT
Wazoo Cache Cap

Wazoo Cache Cap

Hidden Pockets

Orange Interior

Patented Design

Price: $$

BEST FULL BRIM
Outback Trading River Guide Hat

Outback Trading River Guide Hat

All Weather

Looks Great

Wind Cords

Price: $$

BEST HOT WEATHER HAT
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

Great Ventilation

Lightweight

Wind Cords

Price: $$

BEST RAIN HAT
Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat

Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat

Waterproof

Lightweight

Large Brim

Price: $$


Best Bushcraft Hat

Tilley T3 Wanderer

Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat
  • Type: Bucket Hat
  • Material: Cotton Duck
  • Brim Size: 2 ¾” Front & Back, 2 3/8” sides
  • Good For: Most conditions

The Tilley T3 Wanderer hat is our top pick for the best bushcraft hat.

Tilley hats are some of the best and have a lifetime warranty. This hat is their classic bucket hat made with 100% cotton duck. It is treated with a water-resistant coating and offers good water resistance in the rain. I just apply wax to it as needed to maintain it.

Jason's Tilley Hat with the sides snapped up
My Tilley hat with the sides snapped up

There are snaps on the sides of the hat to hold up the brim sides. I typically don’t unless I am in a shaded area and it is hot. I will also snap them up when shooting a rifle or shotgun at the range.

This hat has a dual front and back wind cord for maximum wind protection. I like how I can secure it in the top of the hat and pull it out when I need it.

Jason wearing the Tilley Hat
Me wearing the Tilley Hat

The sweatband is made from a special material that wicks away sweat. The ventilation is good since it is cotton and has large grommets on the side. It really only becomes too hot in temperatures above 90 or so. That is too hot for pretty much anything for me except a dip in the lake, in which case I will keep it on to keep the sun off of me.

This hat has a hidden pocket on the top of the hat with a nice Velcro closure. It is big enough to stash some cash, a key, or an ID. It also has a foam pad on the top, so it will float if it comes off when I am at the lake.

Jason showing the inside of the Tilley Hat
The inside has a hidden pocket

The Tilley Wanderer has sort of an acid wash to it, so it already looks like it is broken in. You can shove it in a bag, and it holds its shape well.

Recommended for:

The Tilley T3 Wanderer is for anyone looking for a great all-season bushcraft hat. Also makes a great survival hat to keep on hand.

PROS

Great Design

Water Resistant

Wind Cords

CONS

Can Get Warm in Hot Weather


Best Survival Hat

Wazoo Cache Cap

Wazoo Cache Cap
  • Type: Baseball Cap
  • Material: Ripstop Cotton
  • Brim Size: 2 ¾” Front
  • Good For: Emergencies

The Wazoo Cache Cap is a unique baseball cap style hat that is our top pick for survival.

This hat is a great bug out bag essential and is also part of my get home bag gear.

Jason showing the Wazoo Hats
I have two of the Wazoo Cache Caps

I really like survival gear that has multiple uses, and this is one of them.

The patented design has six hidden pockets. They can be used to hide cash, identification, keys, or other small items. I like having this option in an emergency, as it allows me to hide items “in plain sight.” It is very unlikely that someone would want to take my hat over my backpack or other gear.

Jason showing the inside and top of the Wazoo Hats
Notice the hidden pockets (I pulled my key and money out so you could see them)

The interior of the hat also functions as a signaling device. It has a bright blaze orange background with a reflective cross that can be seen from long distances day or night.

The interior also wicks away moisture. I have worn this hat working outside and hiking and it does a good job of keeping the sun off of my head (the fabric is UPF 50) without being too hot.

Jason wearing the Wazoo Cache Cap
Me wearing one of the Wazoo Cache Caps

It is also adjustable, so I didn’t have to worry about what size to get. Plus, someone else in my family can wear it also without needing a different size.

There is really no reason to not have one of these on your head anytime you are spending time outdoors.

Recommended for:

The Wazoo Cache Cap is for anyone that spends time outdoors and also wants to be prepared for emergencies.

PROS

Patented Design

Hidden Pockets

Inside Signaling Fabrics

Discrete

CONS

Does Not Have a Full Brim


Best Full Brim Hat

Outback Trading River Guide Hat

Outback Trading River Guide Hat
  • Type: Outback Hat
  • Material: Cotton Oilskin
  • Brim Size: 3” 
  • Good For: Most conditions

The Outback Trading River Guide Hat is a great-looking oilskin outback hat. This hat was treated late in the manufacturing process, so it is very water resistant. However, it is not waterproof, and we found in a heavy downpour, it became wet inside after a few hours. The 3” brim provides good protection from the sun without being too big.

The brim includes snaps on the sides, so you can snap the side brims up if you like. This is great if you are hunting or shooting a rifle at the range. It also has a dual wind cord – much better than just a front single cord.

I like that Outback Trading provides great instructions on sizing. They also include a small spacer that you can place in the brim of the hat to make the fit more comfortable if needed.

The four large grommets provide good ventilation, and the sweatband has a moisture-wicking material. This hat is great in cold, rainy weather. But, even in hot weather, this hat does better than expected and isn’t too hot.

There is also a small compartment in the hat that they call a “Koala Pouch” where you can store cash or other small items. Similar to our top pick, it also makes a great survival hat.

It is not a hat that you can pack in a bag easily, so keep that in mind. Really, this is the only reason it is not our top pick.

Recommended for:

The Outback Trading River Guide Hat is for anyone looking for an outback bushcraft hat for nearly any weather condition. This hat checked all the boxes and came in a close 2nd.

PROS

All Weather Capable

Looks Great

Wind Cords

CONS

Not Packable


Best Hot Weather Hat

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat
  • Type: Safari/Breezer Hat
  • Material: Polyester
  • Brim Size: 3 ½’ Front/Back – 2 ½” Sides
  • Good For: Warm Weather

The Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat is also a hat made by Tilley, so the quality is top-notch.

It is more of a traditional safari-type hat with mesh panels on the top of the hat. It is designed for warm weather and allows the breeze to flow through to help keep you cool.

The polyester material is light, so it doesn’t feel hot and heavy on my head. The brim is on the larger side and provides great sun protection. It is rated at UPF50+, the highest sun protection rating possible.

The surface is treated with a water-repellent finish, so rain beads up and runs off. I found the dome top maintains its shape and allows water to run off easily.

Similar to the T3 Wanderer, it has a dual wind cord and a hidden pocket. It also has a foam top so it will float.

You can pack this in a bag, and it holds its shape fairly well. It may take some time to bounce back after being shoved in a small bag, though (like mine was after being shipped). 

This hat is great if you plan to be outside in a hot climate. There are also many colors to choose from, some even for women.

Recommended for:

The Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat is for anyone looking for a classic-looking safari hot-weather hat. The style is a personal choice. It works for some and not others. I would certainly wear it at the beach, so it could serve multiple purposes.

PROS

Great Ventilation

Lightweight

Wind Cords

CONS

Only for Hot Weather


Best Cowboy Style Hat

Stetson Bozeman Hat

Stetson Bozeman Hat
  • Type: Western/Outback Hat
  • Material: Wool
  • Brim Size: 3 ¼ ” 
  • Good For: Cool Weather

Any list of wide-brimmed hats would not be complete without a Stetson. Stetsons are an iconic brand, and the quality is top-notch. They are a little more expensive, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

The Stetson Bozeman Hat is a cross between a western cowboy hat and an outback hat since it has a smaller brim than a typical cowboy hat. This makes it an ideal bushcraft hat.

It is made from 100% wool, which is a great insulator and still breathes to help keep you cool. This is a warm hat, perfect for wintertime.

It does not have a wind cord, so a disadvantage if you are out in heavy wind. It does sit on my head fairly deep, like a cowboy hat, and is a heavier hat, so this does help in the wind.

This is a “crushable” Stetson, retaining its shape fairly well. I would not cram it down in a bag for a long period, though. After all, it is a Stetson; it is supposed to be on your head.

Since it is 100% wool, it is water resistant, but it is not suited for heavy, constant rain. You could use a plastic hat protector or just pull out your rain hat for heavy rain.

This is just a great-looking hat that I think looks great on a man or woman.

Recommended for:

The Stetson Bozeman Hat is for anyone looking for a great looking western hat for cool weather and daily use. If you like the look of Stetson cowboy hats but not how big they are, this one is a great choice.

PROS

Warm

Breathable

It’s a Stetson

CONS

Price

Warm in Hot Weather


Best Rain Hat

Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat

Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat
  • Type: Rain Hat
  • Material: Nylon and GORE-TEX
  • Brim Size: 3” Front, 3 ¾ ” Back
  • Good For: Rainy Weather

If you are looking for a hat that is waterproof, the Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat is it. Most of the other hats on our list are water resistant, but with the GORE-TEX material, your head will not get wet with this one.

The 3” brim is big enough without being too big and sheds water away from my neck and onto my poncho. I like that the brim is larger in the back to direct the rain away so it doesn’t go down my back.

The side brims have Velcro and can be attached up to the side of the hat when it is not raining, giving me better visibility.

This hat is nylon, so it is lightweight and better suited for warm weather. The front wind cord helps to keep it secure during strong wind, but the brim is flexible and will move around. This makes it a little difficult to deal with in high winds.

With the new model, they removed the cord to adjust the size of the hat. This, along with the weight of the hat, make it even more susceptible to being blown off.

Recommended for:

The Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat is for anyone looking for a rain hat for a steady, relentless rainy day. It is very susceptible to wind, so is not great for everyday use. If you are going on a bushcraft trip and expect heavy rain, take your normal hat and keep this one in your pack.

PROS

Waterproof

Lightweight

Large Brim

CONS

Not Good in the Wind

Brim is very Flexible


Best Sun Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Hat

Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Hat
  • Type: Sun Hat
  • Material: Nylon
  • Brim Size: 3 1/8 ” Front, 4 1/8” Back
  • Good For: Hot Sunny Weather

As the name suggests, the Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Hat is made for hot sunny weather. The nylon material is lightweight and sheds water considerably well. It also dries quickly.

I like how the brim is designed to provide good protection from the sun without being super big. It is one inch wider in the back than in the front. This gives good coverage in the front and sides without being too big and extra coverage in the back over my neck.

The vents in the top of the hat are keep me cool while not being a full mesh panel that would let rain or sun directly in on my head. This is also good for bald people since it provides full sun protection.

The front wind cord helps keep this hat from blowing away, and I found I really need it with the large brim. The brim is fairly flexible and can move around in heavy wind. This makes it more likely to be unstable and blow off compared to a stiffer, heavier hat.

The brim does have a foam insert, which makes this hat float if I lose it near water. It is also somewhat shapable, but don’t leave it packed in a bag for a long time, you may not be able to get it back flat again.

Recommended for:

The Outdoor Research Sunbriolet Hat is for anyone looking for a sun bushcraft hat for hot weather and protection from direct sunlight. While it does offer some water resistance and dries quickly, it is not a rain hat.

PROS

Sun Protection

Lightweight

Dries Quickly

CONS

Not packable

Not the Best in Wind


Best Booney Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat
  • Type: Bucket/Booney Hat
  • Material: Nylon
  • Brim Size: 3” 
  • Good For: Hot Weather

Columbia calls the Bora Bora Booney Hat a lightweight nylon Booney hat, but it is really more of a cross between a Booney hat and a bucket hat. It is a shallower than a bucket hat, and it sits higher on my head. It also has a 3” brim, wider than a typical Booney hat.

I think the cross between the two makes a lot of sense for a hot-weather hat. While it may not look like a typical rough and tough woodsman hat, when I am going to be out in the full sun during the hot part of the day, I don’t really care.

While most lightweight nylon hats don’t work well in windy conditions, this one has a nice adjustable size feature. Around the base of the hat in the sweatband, there is a cord with a spring-loaded toggle on the back of the hat that I can use to adjust the size for a perfect fit. If it is windy, I can easily and quickly snug it tighter on my head. It also has an adjustable front wind cord.

The large vent around the back of the hat keeps me cool. The vent being only around the back is also a benefit for bald people since it does not allow the sun to fully penetrate. The hat is rated at UPF 50+, so you don’t have to worry about your head getting burned.

The special fabric inside the hat helps to wick away sweat quickly. While it doesn’t offer much protection from the rain, I found it does dry quickly. 

Keep in mind since it is lightweight, the brim is pretty flexible. Also, the brim is 3” all the way around and doesn’t cover my neck sufficiently like the other sun hats on this list. I wish this one had a little bit wider brim in the back.

Recommended for:

The Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat is for anyone looking for a booney style hat that plans to be out in hot weather and direct sunlight. Also works well fishing or at the beach. There are many colors available, and this hat works for women, also.

PROS

Adjustable size

Price

Rear Vent

CONS

Brim is too Flexible

Not Good for Heavy Wind


Best Outback Style Hat

Outback Trading Kodiak Oilskin Hat

Outback Trading Kodiak Oilskin Hat
  • Type: Outback Hat
  • Material: Cotton Oilskin
  • Brim Size: 3 1/4” 
  • Good For: Most conditions

The Outback Trading Kodiak Oilskin Hat is a classic-looking western/outback-style hat. The brim is a little larger than a typical outback hat, so it has more of a western cowboy feel to it.

The hat is made from 100% cotton oilskin, so it provides great water resistance. The larger brim also provides good sun protection. However, keep in mind that this is not a waterproof hat. You can treat this with some wax to make it resist water fairly well.

I like how the brim includes a wire so that I can shape it how I want. I found that I could arch it up slightly in the front and down in the back to protect my neck better from the sun and to keep rain directed where I want it.

This hat does a decent job in hot weather. The four ventilation grommets and the 100% cotton material provide good ventilation, and the sweatband is moisture-wicking. 

It does have a wind cord but only for the front. It can be secured across the back of the hat when you don’t want to use it.

Just like the River Guide hat, this one has a security pocket on the top for cash or other small items.

Recommended for:

The Outback Trading Kodiak Oilskin Hat is for anyone looking for more of a Outback-style hat. This is a good hat for most weather conditions outside of extremes.

PROS

All-Weather

Large Brim

Security Pocket

CONS

No Back Wind Cord


Best Beanie for Camping

Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Merino Wool Beanie

Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Merino Wool Beanie
  • Type: Beanie
  • Material: Merino Wool
  • Brim Size: None
  • Good For: Cold weather and Sleeping Outside

In cold weather and while you sleep at night you just can’t beat the Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Merino Wool Beanie beanie. This one is one of the best since it is made from 100% Merino wool. 

Not only does it keep me warm, but it also breathes and helps to keep me from sweating. Even if I get it wet, It will still insulate from the cold since it is wool.

If the evenings are going to be below 45 degrees or so, I will throw one of these in my pack. I like to put this on when I am sleeping, and it keeps me noticeably warmer.

During the winter months, everyone should have one of these in their pack and survival bags. It takes up almost no room, and the potential benefits far outweigh the risks of survival.

Note that if the temps are near freezing and it rains, you do not want to be wearing this since it offers no rain protection. If you are out in sub-freezing temps, it is great as a base layer, but you really need a heavy coat with a hood at that point.

This is a thinner beanie meant to keep you warm while you are working outside and doing all the bushcraft things. It is not for hiking Mt. Everest.

Recommended for:

The Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Merino Wool Beanie beanie is for anyone looking for a cold weather hat and really for everyone else, too, unless you live in the Caribbean and never see temps below 50 degrees. This is a must-have for a bushcraft pack and is a top survival hat to have in your bag.

PROS

100% Merino Wool

Warm

Not Too Thick

CONS

No Rain Protection


Tips for Choosing a Bushcraft Hat

A good bushcraft hat needs to provide protection from the weather. It also needs to be comfortable and not a nuisance or burden. It should feel like a good pair of broken-in shoes. You don’t even realize it is there.

The type of hat can depend on the weather that you will experience. As with most gear, something that is good at everything is not great at anything. But, in the case of hats, we can usually find one that fits most of our needs and have one or two others for specialized weather conditions.

Wide Brim

While a hat is a personal decision, there really are better choices than a cheap baseball cap. I am partial to a comfortable baseball cap; I wear one almost every day. But when I know I am going to be outside for an extended period for any reason, a wide-brimmed hat is the best choice.

I mainly don’t care for rigid wide-brimmed hats for everyday use since I must take them off when I am in the truck. This can be helped by some of the softer-brimmed hats, but I still don’t like the back of my hat hitting the headrest.

Out in the woods, a wide-brimmed hat has multiple advantages. It keeps the sun out of your face, ears, and neck. When the temperatures get warm, there is nothing more uncomfortable than the hot sun beating down on your neck. Getting sunburned the first day you are out is even worse.

The hat shouldn’t be so big that it catches on branches making it hard to maneuver through the woods. I find that anything larger than a 3 ½“ brim or so starts to get too big.

Ventilation

A good bushcraft hat should have ventilation. If the temperatures are moderate, a few grommets in the upper portion of the hat are sufficient. If the temperatures are hot, a wide-brimmed hat with mesh panels on the top is best. 

No ventilation will make you sweat unnecessarily. Not only will this cause you to overheat in hot weather, but is just as bad in cold weather. If you are hiking or building a bushcraft shelter in the cold and your head gets all sweaty, once you stop to rest, it will cause you to lose more body heat than if you were not sweaty. Sweating in cold temps is not good.

Warmth

When the weather is cold, a good hat should keep you warm. In moderately cold temps, a cotton or wool wide-brimmed hat is good. When the temps get below freezing, a wool beanie is best. Since temps are colder at night, I usually lay my wide-brimmed hat beside me when I am sleeping to hold the smaller items that I need to keep close by. I sleep with my Merino wool beanie on.

Rain Protection

Another big advantage of a wide-brimmed hat is it will keep you dry in the rain. Yes, wearing a baseball cap and using the hood of your poncho will also work, but it is not ideal. 

The hood restricts your vision to the sides and restricts your hearing. This is a disadvantage, especially when you are moving through the woods and one that I don’t like.

Jason treating his bushcraft hat with wax
Me treating my hat with wax

Heavy Cotton hats can be treated with wax to help make them more water repellant. You have to apply it periodically, but it really helps keeping you dry without having to go to a waterproof hat.

Wind Protection

Finally, a good bushcraft hat should provide wind protection. In colder temps, the hat should protect you from excess heat loss as the wind blows across your head.

Diagram of wind cords of a bushcraft hat

Your hat should have provisions for not getting blown off your head. Part of this is a good fit and the weight of the hat, but in strong wind, it can get caught and blown off before you can catch it. 

Many good bushcraft hats have a wind cord that extends from the hat and secures under your chin. The best bushcraft hats have dual wind cords, one in the front and one in the back. The cord in the back goes around the base of your skull. This keeps the wind from blowing the hat off your head from the back. 

This is a big advantage that’s often overlooked.

How to Choose the Proper Size

The fit of your hat is obviously important. Most quality brands have a measuring guide on Amazon or on their website. To measure your head, use a flexible tape measure or a piece of paracord. Use the tape or cord to measure your head where your hat usually sits. Pull it fairly tight so it is snug. Then get the measurement on the tape or use a tape measure to check the length of the cord.

Sizing Tip: I like to add a couple of sizes to my snug measurement. It is much better to get a hat that is slightly too big than one that is too small. If it is too big, simply take a couple pieces of fabric and place it behind the head band inside the hat. This way, you can custom-size it to fit your head. Keep in mind that only works if you are taking a snug head measurement.


Tips for Choosing a Survival Hat

A good survival hat has many of the same characteristics as a good bushcraft hat. Its main purpose is to protect you from the weather. I like the Wazoo Cache Cap as a survival hat since I can easily pack it into the top of my bug-out bag or get-home bag. It also has a secret pocket to keep some emergency money in and I can use the inside as a signaling device. 

Jason showing the inside of a Wazoo Cache Cap
The hidden pockets and signaling fabric make this an ideal survival hat

Survival Hat Uses

A survival hat can have more uses than just covering your head.

  • Signal Flag – You can quickly take it off and wave it.
  • Field Dressing – In a pinch, you can use part of the brim as a wound dressing.
  • Bug Killer – I use mine all the time to kill wasps; just smack them with it.
  • Water Filter – A heavy cloth that can filter out sediment before you boil water.
  • Forage container – Pick berries and other edibles and use your hat to collect them.
  • Potholder – Thicker cloth is great for grabbing hot items.
  • Compress – Thick cloth hats can be dipped in warm or cold water and used as a compress for injuries.
  • Wild Animals – You can wave it in the air to make yourself look bigger to wild animals. After which, they hopefully run away.

What Bushcraft and Survival Hat is Best For You?

Now that you see how important a hat can be and how many choices there are, what is the best for you? Likely, you probably need more than one. It really depends on where you live, the climate, and your personal preferences. I like hats and have a ton of them. Each has its pros and cons.

Our top pick, the Tilley Wanderer, checks a lot of boxes and will be the best choice for most people that spend a lot of time outside.

The Wazoo Cache Cap is my top pick for an everyday hat and a survival hat. Keep on handy with your emergency gear.

At a minimum, most people need a hat they wear most of the year, and one other for extreme conditions. If you plan to be out in the rain a lot, you may also want to consider a rain hat.

Check out our other bushcraft guides and gear reviews, like the best bushcraft blankets and the best bushcraft axes!

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Jason has an engineering and problem solving background. He is an avid outdoorsman, survivalist, and competitive shooter. He enjoys researching the best and most practical solutions for the problem at hand, studying stoicism, and finding innovative ways to be prepared.