The 8 Best Surf Hats Under The Sun (2021)

The best surf hats

What Is A Surf Hat?

These days with the inexorable burning of the sun on any surf trip, the surf hat has become as essential as a rash vest or sunblock. A surf hat is simply designed according to standard hat requirements – to keep the sun off your face. The best surf hats are those that simply prevent you from getting sunburned. Sun these days is the enemy, with melanoma and other skin cancers on the rise worldwide.

There is a subtle difference between a regular hat and a surf hat. The surf hat is constructed out of materials that can get wet and take a beating in the ocean but spring back to life afterward. They are also often water-resistant, with plastic peaks to survive time in the sea.

What To Look For In A Good Surf Hat

There are three elements of a surf hat to ensure that it will do the job required.

  • The hat needs to be comfortable. If it is scratchy or not comfortable on your head, it will mess with your surf session and pit you off your game, and possibly do more damage than good. 


  • The hat needs to serve the purpose of keeping the sun off your face, head, and ears. Sometimes it can even keep the sun off your neck, which is a good idea. These hats have detachable sections that can cover the back of the neck or can be removed should you prefer.


  • The hat should be designed in such a way as to stay on your head. For example, it might have a tie-on, or it might just be designed in a way as to not come off, but if your hat is going to come off in a surf, then it’s not going to do the job required. Some of the hats clip under your chin, with the straps being wide enough to cover your ears with porous material so that you can still hear.

Surf Hat vs. Surf Cap

In theory, a surf hat has a wider brim and will therefore be able to offer more protection against the sun. On the other hand, a surf cap is possibly comfier. It is built slightly sleeker, without the rim, which could be less noticeable when surfing barrels. The best surf caps are those that have ear flaps attached, with a slightly longer peak that will be effective no matter the angle of the sun.

The Best Surf Hats On The Market

Ocean & Earth - Mens Bingin Soft Peak Surf Hat

This surf hat from Ocean & Earth is made in a lightweight material,
has a padded neoprene inner headband for comfort, and a safety loop that you can attach to your wetsuit zipper.

The chin strap is adjustable and has a quick-release function. The rear mesh vents in the surf hat release water after duck dives and wipeouts. Furthermore, the surf hat has a shock cord and toggle adjustment for a secure fit. The Bingin surf hat model comes in a variety of colorways.

Ocean & Earth - Men's Sumatra Legionnaire Surf Cap

Best Surf Hats - Mens Sumatra Legionnaire Surf Cap - Grey Mens Sumatra Legionnaire Surf Cap - Grey Mens Sumatra Legionnaire Surf Cap - Grey Mens Sumatra Legionnaire Surf Cap

This technical surf cap provides extra sun protection with a fixed legionnaire style neck cover, which is essential for those long Indonesia afternoons in the sun, sitting and waiting. Comfortable and quick-drying, it is also goo-looking. It is lightweight, has a padded neoprene headband, a quick-release chin strap, and side mesh vents that release water after duck dives and wipe-outs.

DaKine Kahu Surf Hat

Best Surf Hats - DaKine Kahu Surf Hat

The DaKine kahu Surf hat has an extended brim, and it is quick drying. It also floats, and that is a significant advantage. DaKine hard goods are built tough and are pared down to lose all unnecessary frills. The surf hat comes in two colorways – a dark ashcroft-camo and all-black.

O'Neill Sport 2mm cap

Best Surf Hats - O'Neill Sport 2mm cap

O’Neill Sport 2mm cap is a rubber surfing cap that features wind-proof Smoothskin and Technobutter Firewall. Made primarily of rubber, this is better for colder water surfing.

DaKine No Zone Surf Hat

Best Surf Hats - DaKine No Zone Surf Hat

The No Zone Surf Hat from DaKine offers a nice and simple bucket hat look. The Surf hat gives you sun coverage in a ventilated water-friendly design. It has an adjustable chinstrap and foam brim inserts that keep it afloat in case you lose it.

Tropic Stash Foldaway Surf Cap

This surf cap is super lightweight and unique because it folds away to stash into your boardshorts. Perfect for tropic reef surfing in places like Indonesia and Maldives. In this surf cap, you get all the good features that Ocean & Earths are known for. Such as padded neoprene headband, side mesh vents to release water after duck dives and wipe-outs, velcro head adjustment, and a quick release chin strap.

FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat

Best Surf Hats - FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat

FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat. A cool-looking surf hat that gives plenty of protection against the sun. The Surf Bucket hat has an adjustable strap that provides extra stability with secure earpieces.

FCS Essential Surf Cap

Best Surf Hats - FCS Essential Surf Cap

FCS Essential Surf Cap. A good-looking surf cap with an extra string security tie-on ensures you don’t lose it while surfing. 

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