9 Best Bucket Hats For Sun Protection (2020 Buyer’s Guide)

Jordan FullerEdited by: Jordan Fuller
John MarshallReviewed by: John Marshall

Last Update:

Golf bucket hats provide the perfect mixture of keeping you cool and protecting you from the sun. Bucket hats should have a large brim and material that is conducive to keeping you cool during hot sunny days.

This guide will walk you through several the best bucket hats and by the end of reading this, you should be able to pick the perfect hat that will fit your style and needed amount of sun protection.

Sources researched
30
Sources researched
Customer reviews
22,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
32
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun Protection Bucket Safari Cap For Safari Fishing Hunting Dark Gray One Size
Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Kaden Crushable Ventilated Hat - Sun Protective (Small/Medium- Smoke Grey)
Conner Hats, Aussie Golf Soakable Mesh Hat, Handmade, Outdoor UV Sun and/or Rain Protection, Golfing, Fishing, Hiking Sand
Our Grade
Our Rating: 96 / 100
Our Rating: 94.5 / 100
Our Rating: 94 / 100
Feature 1
Breathable design to keep air flow moving
Neck drawstring for guaranteed fit
Designed to be soaked and keep your head cool
Feature 2
Two elastic bands in the brim and neck
Large stiff brim for total sun coverage
Adjustable inner elastic band for easy adjustments
Customer Rating
Best Overall Bucket Hat
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
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EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun Protection Bucket Safari Cap For Safari Fishing Hunting Dark Gray One Size
Our Grade
Our Rating: 96 / 100
Feature 1
Breathable design to keep air flow moving
Feature 2
Two elastic bands in the brim and neck
Customer Rating
Most Breathable
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
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Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Kaden Crushable Ventilated Hat - Sun Protective (Small/Medium- Smoke Grey)
Our Grade
Our Rating: 94.5 / 100
Feature 1
Neck drawstring for guaranteed fit
Feature 2
Large stiff brim for total sun coverage
Customer Rating
Built To Be Soaked
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
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Conner Hats, Aussie Golf Soakable Mesh Hat, Handmade, Outdoor UV Sun and/or Rain Protection, Golfing, Fishing, Hiking Sand
Our Grade
Our Rating: 94 / 100
Feature 1
Designed to be soaked and keep your head cool
Feature 2
Adjustable inner elastic band for easy adjustments
Customer Rating

Last updated on 2020-09-22. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

9 Best Bucket Hats of 2020

EINSKEY Sun Hat

Best Bucket Hat For Most Golfers

EINSKEY Men's Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun Protection Bucket Safari Cap For Safari Fishing Hunting Dark Gray One Size
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Overall Score96%
Sun Protection97%
Fit94%
Material and Construction92%
Breathability95%

PROS

  • Breathable design to keep air flow moving
  • Two elastic bands in the brim and neck
  • Large brim that covers the face and necks Upper layer is very breathable

CONS

  • Waterproof polyester can get warm

This bucket hat is perfect for golfers that need some flex in the fit of their hats. For the ultimate fit, the bucket hat is designed with an elastic band at the base of the crown and another adjustable neck draw cord. The sides of the crown are designed with two mesh vents to maximize breathability and keep you cool longer.

One of the drawbacks is the waterproof material is made of a heavier polyester that tends to be warmer than other non-waterproof material blends. The waterproof material may keep the moisture on your head instead of wicking it away like other performance materials and bucket hat models.

This is one of the best bucket hats you can buy right now.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Ventilated Hat

Most Breathable Sun Hat

Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Kaden Crushable Ventilated Hat - Sun Protective (Small/Medium- Smoke Grey)
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Overall Score94.5%
Sun Protection94%
Fit94%
Material and Construction90%
Breathability100%

PROS

  • Neck drawstring for a guaranteed fit
  • Large stiff brim for total sun coverage
  • Vented for maximum breathability

CONS

  • Cotton Polyester blend may be warmer

This bucket hat is for golfers that need a neck drawstring to keep hats on their heads and also want to vent to maximize comfort. With a mesh vented crown, Coolibar has designed this bucket hat to make sure golfers have the most breathability and keeps their heads cool in the sun. The large three-inch stiff brim stays the same shape no matter what conditions are on the golf course.

One main benefit is the adjustable chin cord making it perfect for sunny and windy conditions that will keep the bucket hat on your head. This bucket hat is great for golfers that play in windy conditions, need extra UV protection, and enjoy a breathable hat.

This is our second recommendation for best bucket hats.

Corner Hats Aussie Mesh Hat

Bucket Hat Built to Be Soaked

Conner Hats, Aussie Golf Soakable Mesh Hat, Handmade, Outdoor UV Sun and/or Rain Protection, Golfing, Fishing, Hiking Sand
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Overall Score94%
Sun Protection94%
Fit91%
Material and Construction93%
Breathability98%

PROS

  • Designed to be soaked and keep your head cool
  • Adjustable inner elastic band for easy adjustments
  • High top brim and mesh breathable top

CONS

  • Mesh opening not great for UV protection
  • Elastic band not easy to find and adjust

Golfers looking to add a little flair to their bag and some outback style should really enjoy the Connor Ozzie golf bucket hat. The one feature that stands apart from other golf bucket hats is the shakable feature designed specifically to keep golfers cool by dunking the bucket hat in cold water prior to starting around. The material lends itself to be crushed or soaked without the grading in the short term for the long-term.

A large rigid brand helps keep the sun off of golfers faces and neck without having fabric flopping in your face. The inner elastic band on the inside of the Crown can be used for easy adjustments on the fly but is not as flexible as other golf hats. Most of the Crown is a mesh fabric designed to optimize breathability and to keep your cool.

This is our third recommendation for best bucket hats.

Mission Cooling Bucket Hat

Best Sun Protection in Bucket Golf Hat

MISSION Cooling Bucket Hat- UPF 50, 3” Wide Brim, Cools When Wet- Black
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Overall Score98%
Sun Protection100%
Fit96%
Material and Construction98%
Breathability100%

PROS

  • Outstanding sun protection with SPF rating of 50 for blockage of 98% of UV rays 
  • Cools 30 degrees lowers than body temperature after soaking in water 
  • Three-inch brim brings sun and glare to a minimum

CONS

  • Doesn’t possess a distinct style, more functional than stylish

The MISSION Cooling Bucket Hat offers a pleasant experience by keeping your head fresh and protected from the sun while you play your favorite course. With a three-inch brim, SPF 50 sun protection, and cooling zones that let the air in to cool your body, the MISSION hat dazzles behind its first-rate design.

Another area where the Mission hat really excels is helping you cool down. Just run water on the hat, wring it out and then fan it back out. The water activates the cooling zones in the hat’s material to lower the hat’s temperature up to 30 degrees, providing hours of relief.

The Mission hat provides SPF 50 protection to block 98% of the harmful UV rays that cause sun damage to the skin. Its lightweight material also provides a comfortable wearing experience that doesn’t require much adjusting.

Dorfman Pacific Men’s Boonie

360-Degree Bucket Hat Aimed at Breathability

Dorfman Pacific Men's Bonnie Mesh Sides Hat, Khaki, Medium
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Overall Score91.8%
Sun Protection91%
Fit93%
Material and Construction90%
Breathability93%

PROS

  • Nylon material is light and stays cool
  • Adjustable neck drawn cord to keep it close to the head
  • Top meshing is breathable

CONS

  • Flimsy brim may get in the way during swings
  • Nylon may crease or fold

The meshing on the crown is 360 degrees around the bucket hat for breathability from all sides. There are two forms of assuring fit between an elastic drawcord fed through the crown of the bucket hat and a neck draw cord to assure the bucket hat stays on the head.

Unlike polyester or cotton bucket hats, the manufacturers used nylon and a nylon mesh to keep the bucket hat lightweight and also resistant to the sun. Nylon doesn’t degrade over time with exposure to the sun but is susceptible to creasing and folding when traveling with the hat.

Nike Golf UV Golf Bucket Hat

Nike Brand with Modest Sun Protection

NIKE Golf UV Sun Bucket Golf Hat 832687 (White) S/M
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Overall Score91%
Sun Protection88%
Fit92%
Material and Construction91%
Breathability93%

PROS

  • Nike Brand Golf Bucket Hat
  • Large brim for maximum area protection
  • Drawcord and spandex design for easy adjustments

CONS

  • SPF 40 protection not as high as others
  • Mostly polyester construction can be hot

For golfers who want to have that Tiger Woods feel and the Nike status symbol, this is perfect. At a below average price this bucket hat can get you the Nike swoosh without paying too much. The bucket hat material is polyester and spandex which means it can get hot but the spandex allows for the bucket hat to expand and contract and easily mold the shape of any golfers head.

In addition, there is an elastic drawstring at the base of the brim allowing for quick and easy adjustments on those hot summer days. The major drawback is the SPF 40 rating which is lower than many of the other best bucket hats in this review.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Golf Hat

Perfect for Men and Women with a Rigid Brim

Coolibar UPF 50+ Men's Women's Matchplay Golf Hat - Sun Protective (Large/X-Large- White/Carbon)
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Overall Grade90.5%
Sun Protection95%
Fit92%
Material and Construction95%
Breathability85%

PROS

  • Larger brim for more face and neck protection
  • Lightweight cotton feel that dries quickly
  • Drawcord for easy fit adjustment

CONS

  • No venting or mesh on top of hat
  • Missing chin/neck drawstring

The Coolibar men’s and women’s golf bucket hat is perfect for golfers that don’t have an issue with hats falling off mid swing. Because it is missing the adjustable chin drawstring, for golfers with faster moving heads it could come off. To compensate for the no chin drawstring, Coolibar uses a drawstring found on top of the brim that pulls to give you the perfect fit.

The top of the bucket hat doesn’t have any venting, it may tend to overheat the top of your head in the scorching summer days. The large four inch front brim and three inch side brim extends UV and sun protection to the face neck and shoulders for optimal sun coverage.

The Weather Company Golf Hat

Oversized Brim and Simple Hat

The Weather Company Golf- Waterproof Hat
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Overall Sscore90.5%
Sun Protection96%
Fit90%
Material and Construction92%
Breathability84%

PROS

  • Oversized brim for great sun protection
  • Elastic band in bucket hat crown for adjustability

CONS

  • Polyester material tends to overheat
  • One size fits most design

This bucket hat is perfect for golfers that need an oversized brim without a lot of other features. The oversized brim is perfect to maximize sun protection on the neck, shoulders, and face. An adjustable elastic band in the crown of the bucket hat helps with the one size fits most drawback of the hat’s design.

Without a venting system in the crown of the bucket hat and a one hundred percent polyester blend, this bucket hat can get hot in the summer. Also, polyester doesn’t lend itself to wicking away moisture and is more likely to trap sweat under the hat. The durable material design will keep this bucket hat available for years.

Frogg Toggs Waterproof Hat

Lightweight Bucket hat for Travel Golfers

FROGG TOGGS Waterproof Breathable Boonie Hat
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Overall Score89.8%
Sun Protection93%
Fit90%
Material and Construction88%
Breathability88%

PROS

  • Single elastic band in hat for a great fit
  • Foldable and crushable for maximum portability
  • Different from polyester and waterproof

CONS

  • Very flimsy and may slide off the head

Frogg Toggs is the perfect travel bucket hat for golfers that like to play while on the road. The crushable and foldable design means you can put this bucket hat in almost every pocket on a standard golf bag. In addition, there is a thick elastic band in the base of the crown of the bucket hat to make sure the fit is perfect.

The bucket hat is built with polypropylene which differs from polyester slightly but keeps you more cool and waterproof at the same time. The elastic cord is easier to adjust than most other cords and can be done while you are still wearing the bucket hat. A moderately sized brim allows for sun protection on all parts of the face and neck.


Testing Protocol & Criteria For Best Bucket Hats

Criteria 1 – Sun Protection

Sun protection has two components, the size of the shade and UV protection. For golfers, playing in climates with lots of sunny days it is important to stay protected for as long as possible.

The size of the shade will come down the brim width from the crown of the hat, larger the brim, larger the protection area.

The second criterion, UV protection, helps prevent burning and having to dip into your bag for a screen that can get greasy in your hands. Many well-constructed hats will have some type of UV protection but hats made of straw or with more mesh will not have the added UVA and UVB protection.

Criteria 2 – Fit

Under the sun, golfers tend to sweat in the summer, the last thing you need is your bucket hat sliding around during the backswing.

This is one of the most important all-around categories to consider when buying a bucket hat if it doesn’t fit or isn’t adjustable, it isn’t likely you will enjoy wearing it. There are several different considerations when looking into a fit.

Adjustable features, such as neck or head elastic bands, garner a higher score in this category because they lead to a more flexible fit.

Criteria 3 – Material and Construction

The difference between a high and low-quality bucket hat is durability and comfort. Lightweight hats are better under the sun but there is a line where lightweight becomes unwearable.

The perfectly constructed bucket hat is rigid enough to allow the brim to function properly but flexible enough to conform to golfers’ heads.

If the material used is too heavy, like leather or some high-density polyesters, it can attract and retain heat causing discomfort mid-round. Materials that encourage wicking and dry quickly help keep the head cool without adding too much weight.

Criteria 4 – Breathability

Large bucket hats that aren’t designed with some porous sections will leave golfers feeling overheated as the sun beats down on their heads. Straw hats and other mesh designed crowns offer the most breathability and best for keeping the heat from the sun to a minimum.

Many synthetic designed hats will have partial or full crown mesh or perforated sections to keep air moving over your head. Another factor in breathability is the hats overall ability to move moisture from your head.

The optimal bucket hat will have some type of well-designed venting system, either meshing or perforations, and material that promotes moisture wicking. This combination of design features keeps air and moisture moving over and away from the body keeping the space under the bucket hat cooler for an entire round of golf.


Questions & Answers

What characteristics should the best bucket hats have?

Ultimately you want a bucket hat that can protect you from the sun and heat. A well-constructed bucket hat with some type of venting system either mesh or perforations specifically designed to move air through the bucket hat and over the head. A brim that is large enough to block the sun but not too big to get in the way of your round, typically 3-4.5 inches is an optimal range depending on the brim material rigidity.

Finally, you will want to have some type of adjustment strap either around the neck or band that sits at the base of the crown. Unless you know the exact fit of the hat, these adjustable straps allow golfers to make adjustments to their bucket hat mid-round or as their hairstyle changes. Additional features include wicking material, washable, and waterproof/resistant, these together will help with the longevity of the material.

What material are the best bucket hats made out of?

There are a few main materials that most bucket hats are made out of polyester, spandex, cotton, and straw. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. For instance, polyester is best for durability and UV protection but can overheat if not properly paired with a venting system.

Spandex is included in many golf hats in either the base of the crown or straps to add the stretchy characteristic that leads to a better fit. Straw is the lightest of the materials and has the best breathability but is typically rigid and hard to shape. The more flexible the material and bucket hat design, the less likely the hat will be stuck on your head but the better the fit will likely be. 

Is the drawcord elastic?

On most hats yes, for some models with an internal band, it can range from a more stiff plastic material or other synthetics. Bucket hats with the cords around the neck can be made of woven cotton with a plastic bead to adjust the fit of the bucket hat on the head. Most elastic cords are threaded through the crown of the bucket hat near the base where the brim is connected for the most comfortable fit.

Are golf bucket hats moisture wicking?

Most materials like Nike’s Dri-FIT material are moisture wicking. Bottom, spandex, and straw do not have good moisture wicking properties. Materials like cotton, polyester, and nylon are not typically moisture wicking.

The greatest benefit of moisture wicking materials is it will keep your head dry and will make you cooler. The process of sweating can actually be enhanced by purchasing a bucket hat with moisture wicking materials.

How do I pick a proper size for my bucket hat?

For most bucket hats, the best process is to take a quick measurement of your head. What you want to do is take a tape measure or piece of string if you don’t have a flexible tape measure.

Take the string or flexible tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your head. Many times this will be halfway up the forehead over the ear line and wrap it around your head. This will tell you the circumference of your head. Using the string, you can mark from the end to where your fingers meet and measure the length of the string.

Once you have this number you can look at the dimensions of the bucket hat to find the best fit. For models with the one size fits most, as long as your head is not bigger than the unchanged diameter of the hat, you shouldn’t have a problem since the elastic cord will help make smaller adjustments.