I tested several different bushcraft hats and discovered 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.
A bushcraft 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, especially bushcraft hats, I have found good ones and bad ones. I combined my experience with that of our team and the local bushcraft community, along with forum research and reviews from others to put together this comprehensive list.
In the end, I narrowed it down to 11 hats that stand out from the rest.
However, we found that a few bushcraft hats work for most conditions, but you do need a few special ones for certain conditions.
For my complete reviews and guide to which hat you should buy, keep reading.
Quick Comparison of our Favorite Bushcraft Hats
Best Bushcraft Hats
This is our list of the 11 best Bushcraft hats. Some are good for most conditions, while others are specialized. Depending on your climate and seasons, you may need more than one.
Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat – Best Overall
- 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. You can easily apply wax to it as needed to maintain it.
There are snaps on the sides of the hat to hold up the brim sides if you like. 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. If you don’t like the cord, you can secure it in the top of the hat and pull it out when you need it.
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 secret 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.
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. This also makes it ideal as a survival hat to store in your bug-out bag or in your car with your get-home bag.
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.
Can Get Warm in Hot Weather
Outback Trading River Guide Hat – Best Looking
- 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.
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. This is not a rain hat per se, so if you are looking for something waterproof, check out our rain hats.
All Weather Capable
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat – Best Hot Weather
- 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 your 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. 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 bushcraft in a hot climate. There are also many colors to choose from, some even for women.
The Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat is for anyone looking for a classic-looking safari hot-weather bushcraft 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.
Only for Hot Weather
Stetson Bozeman Hat – Best Cool Weather 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 bushcraft.
It does not have a wind cord, so a disadvantage if you are out in heavy wind. It does sit on your 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.
The Stetson Bozeman Hat is for anyone looking for a great looking western bushcraft 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.
It’s a Stetson
Warm in Hot Weather
Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat – Best 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 your neck and onto your 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 you 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.
The Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat is for anyone looking for a rain bushcraft 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.
Not Good in the Wind
Brim is very Flexible
Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat
- Type: Breezer Outback Hat
- Material: Cotton Duck
- Brim Size: 3 ½”
- Good For: Hot Weather
The Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat is also a warm-weather bushcraft hat. It is mostly mesh on the entire upper section of the hat, providing great ventilation, and why it is called a “breezer.”
The wide brim provides great sun protection without being so big that it is cumbersome. The brim and top are cotton duck which makes this hat feel sturdier than a full polyester hat.
While technically a sun hat, it looks more like a traditional Outback hat. If you are looking for a hot weather hat but don’t like the styling of the typical nylon sun hats, this is a great choice.
It also has a front leather wind cord for keeping it secure during windy conditions. However, it does not have a rear wind cord like the Tilleys have. If you don’t want to use the wind cord, you can pull it over the back of the hat, which looks kinda cool, I think. The leather cord and wood closure are a nice touch.
You can somewhat compress this hat and pack it into a bag if you really want to. It is not the easiest, and it tends to wrinkle the mesh. If you want to pack it, I would roll a couple of shirts and place them inside it first.
Keep in mind if you get this hat wet and leave it in the sun, it can shrink. It is best to let it dry on your head or take it inside if it is wet. This hat may not also be the best for you if you are bald since the sun can somewhat penetrate the mesh sides (just ask Blake).
The Henschel Aussie Breezer Hat is for anyone looking for an outback bushcraft hat for hot weather. Works equally well for summertime fishing or hiking. If you are bald, look at one of the others on the list.
Leather Wind Cord
Only for Hot Weather
Not Good for Bald People
Dorfman Pacific Outback Hat
- Type: Outback Hat
- Material: Cotton/Poly Oilskin
- Brim Size: 2 ¾ ”, curled up on sides
- Good For: Most conditions
The Dorfman Pacific Outback hat is a great-looking classic Australian Outback hat. The cotton polyester blend oilskin-type material looks great. It looks like a well-broken-in leather hat but without the weight of leather.
The brim is just right, not too big to be cumbersome – yet large enough to provide good protection from the sun. It also provides good protection from rain.
I like that the brim is reinforced with wire to maintain its shape and can be adjusted to how you want. The sides come curled, but you can change this to suit you.
This hat comes with a single leather wind cord, and you can pull it up and secure it over the back when you don’t need it – or just remove it altogether if you don’t care for wind cords.
The grommets provide OK ventilation in hot weather. If you plan to be out in very hot weather, this hat may be a little too warm for you (it won’t float at the lake either).
If you have a big head, this hat goes up to 3X in size. If you have trouble finding hats big enough, this one is for you. If you do have a big head, consider if you will like the smaller brim on this hat. Check the brim size on another you have to see.
Some have found that the size chart runs a little big, so take the extra time to make sure you get the right size.
The Dorfman Pacific Outback hat is for anyone looking for an outback bushcraft hat for mild weather. Great for anyone with a big head that has trouble finding a hat large enough (similarly, it isn’t recommended for those with small heads).
Sizing can be Confusing
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 your neck.
The vents in the top of the hat are designed to keep you cool while not being a full mesh panel that would let rain or sun directly in on your 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 you 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 you lose it near water. It is also somewhat shapable, but if you leave it packed in a bag for a long time, you may not be able to get it back flat again.
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.
Not the Best in Wind
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 your 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 bushcraft hat. While it may not look like a typical rough and tough woodsman hat, if you are going to be out in the full sun during the hot part of the day, you won’t 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 you 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 you 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, 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 may not cover your neck sufficiently like the other sun hats on this list. I wish this one had a little bit wider brim in the back.
The Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat is for anyone looking for a sun bushcraft 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.
Brim is too Flexible
Not Good for Heavy Wind
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 you can shape it how you want. You can arch it up slightly in the front and down in the back to protect your neck better from the sun and to keep rain directed where you 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.
The Outback Trading Kodiak Oilskin Hat is for anyone looking for more of a Western-style bushcraft hat. This is a good hat for most weather conditions outside of extremes. Also, a good everyday hat if you are outside a lot.
No Back Wind Cord
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. We have listed all the benefits of Merino wool below in our buying guide.
Not only will it keep you warm, but it also breathes and helps to keep you from sweating. Even if you get it wet, It will still insulate you from the cold.
If the evenings are going to be below 45 degrees or so, I will throw one of these in my pack. I don’t like to sleep with my face covered, so I put this on when I am sleeping, and it will keep 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.
The Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Merino Wool Beanie beanie is for anyone looking for a cold weather Bushcraft 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.
100% Merino Wool
Not Too Thick
No Rain Protection
What Makes a Good 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.
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.
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.
When the weather is cold, a good bushcraft 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.
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.
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.
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. Even though we don’t lose most of our body heat through our heads, it’s still a good idea to have it covered.
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.
What Makes a Good 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 also like the Tilley Wanderer as a survival hat since you can easily pack it into the top of your bug-out bag or get-home bag. It also has a secret pocket to keep some emergency money in.
This, paired with the Merino Wool Beanie, is a great choice.
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.
Bushcraft Hat Buying Guide
Now that you know what makes the best bushcraft hat, what should you look for?
There are multiple materials to choose from, and each has its merits.
Waxed Cotton – This is also sometimes referred to as cotton duck. It is basically heavy cotton material that has wax applied to it to shed water. This is a good choice since it breathes but still offers decent protection from the rain. These hats do require some maintenance and need the wax reapplied periodically.
Cotton Oilskin – This is similar to waxed cotton, but the material has a painted surface. This makes the cotton stiffer and adds to the water resistance of the material. The paint can be different colors or made to look more natural, like leather. Since the material has been painted, it reduces the breathability somewhat.
Wool – Wool is a great natural material. It offers warmth; it breathes and sheds water. Merino wool is a great choice for beanies and toboggans. It has smaller fibers than traditional wool, which results in a softer feel. It also wicks moisture from your skin better and is also more flexible than traditional wool. It is even fire-resistant and will still insulate when it is wet.
Leather – Leather is a popular choice since it looks great and is very durable. Leather will conform to your head over time for a truly custom fit. A 100% leather hat can be expensive, though, and needs to be treated regularly for rain protection.
Synthetic Nylon/Polyester – Synthetic materials are lightweight and durable. Polyester is usually blended with cotton to make it more durable. Nylon is very lightweight and best for summer sun hats. Although it does not wick moisture very well alone, it dries quickly.
Gore-Tex – Gore-Tex is a synthetic waterproofing material that breathes but does not let water through. It is very durable; I have a Gore-Tex jacket that has taken a beating (I used it while judging AKC field trials), and it still looks and works great. If you want a 100% waterproof hat, look for a Gore-Tex one.
Types of Bushcraft Hats
There are literally hundreds of different styles of hats, more than you realize. A few are better suited for bushcraft, survival, hiking, camping, and just general outdoor activities.
Booney Bushcraft Hat – This is the classic military wide-brimmed hat that became popular in Vietnam. Usually made from a flexible Cotton duck material, the brim is flat and medium in width at around 3 inches. It is not too wide to interfere with movement, but wide enough to offer sun and rain protection. It can be packed in a bag and still holds its shape well.
Safari Bushcraft Hat – This is the classic hat that you see someone like Ernest Hemmingway wearing in the plains of Africa. Similar to a cowboy hat but with a flat brim, it offers good sun protection with a classy look.
Bucket Bushcraft Hat – This is very similar to a boney hat, but the center portion of the hat is deeper. Hence the name “bucket.” This hat will sit a little lower on the head and feels more secure. This design is more suited for bushcraft and outdoor activities and not so much for good looks.
Outback Bushcraft Hat – This is the iconic Australian hat that Crocodile Dundee wore. It was developed by ranchers and cowboys in Australia over many years. Similar to an American cowboy hat, the overall size is a little smaller, with a 3” to 4” brim. This makes it a great bushcraft hat. In the past, most were typically leather but can now be found in many different materials.
Breezer Bushcraft Hats – While not a traditional hat of sorts, these are what a traditional safari or outback hat is called that have mesh panels in the side. The mesh allows the “breeze” to pass through the hat. These are best suited for very hot weather and provide protection from the sun and some from rain.
Sun Bushcraft Hats – These are lightweight hats with a large brim, designed strictly for hot weather and sun protection. If you plan to be out in the sun a lot, this is a great specialized option.
Rain Bushcraft Hats – Rain hats are designed to be waterproof and have a decent brim to shed water away from your body. They are usually made from Gore-Tex and some type of synthetic blend material. If you expect a lot of rain and don’t want the disadvantages of wearing a poncho hood, this is the way to go. These are usually packable, so one could be a good backup to your normal hat if the rain is relentless.
Beanie Bushcraft Hat – These are strictly designed to keep you warm and cover your ears and the back of your neck. They offer no rain protection and should be used as a base layer when it is very cold. These are also useful to be worn at night when the temps are cold. A wool beanie is compact and packs easily. There is really no reason not to have one in your pack. It can still get cold at night at high elevations in the summer.
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.
You lose a lot of body heat through your head, and without proper ventilation, your head can get hot under a hat. Even in cool weather, you don’t want to sweat a lot under a hot hat. Your hat should either be made from a material that is breathable or has vent hole grommets. Ideally, for most weather conditions, it should have both.
For very cold weather, it is best to go with a heavier material that offers some insulation. Wool, Cotton, and leather have great insulating properties, with wool being the best. A wool beanie really can’t be beaten on a cold night in your shelter or tent.
A double-wind cord is great. You don’t have to worry about losing your hat in windy conditions. If you get caught out in a strong storm, it is not fun if you lose your hat. Some people don’t like them, but most hats have a place to stuff the cord in the top of the hat if you don’t want to use them.
I recommend trying them for a while first, especially on a windy day.
What Bushcraft 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.
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 bushcraft hat.
It makes a lot of sense to also keep a warm and cold weather hat in your bug-out bag. You may not have time to grab your normal hat in an emergency. Also, don’t forget other members of your family, even if they don’t usually wear hats.