Take one look at a boonie hat and you’ll most likely remember seeing them on military personnel or those who are spending a lot of time outside in the heat. While these hats aren’t typically seen as fashion statements, they are growing in popularity because of their durability and versatility. In this post we’re going to talk about what makes these hats so special, why you should consider purchasing one, and what is the best kind to buy.

What is a Boonie Hat?

Coming from the word boondocks, boonie hats got their name because they are hats usually worn in hot tropical climates, or in other words, off the beaten path. They are wide-brimmed hats that can sometimes be mistaken for bucket hats. And it’s the practicality that makes these hats now part of the military issued equipment. 

They help protect the wearer from different types of weather, including the heat from the sun and rain on stormy days. The shapeless form also helps conceal the shape of the person’s head, which is why this hat has become ideal for hunters who want to stay hidden from their animal targets.

Overall, boonie hats provide UV protection, protection from the cold weather, hair protection, and can save you money.

Why You Should Wear a Boonie Hat

If you’re considering spending a lot of time outside, especially in inclement weather, then you may want to consider investing in one of these. From hunting and fishing to doing yard work or taking long walks and hikes, these hats can help you by serving their ideal purpose – to keep your head protected.

How to Wear a Boonie Hat

Once you’ve decided that you want to get one of these hats, you should know the variety of ways they can be worn. They are not as simple as throwing on a baseball cap because you have buttons, velcro, and strings to account for. Below are the different ways you can wear a boonie hat:

  • Front-strap method: in this method the string is worn loose and in the front. While this helps keep the hat on your head if the wind takes it, there are concerns for choking so use your best judgment.
  • Rear-strap loose method: similar to the previous method but this time the string is hanging in the back. Your hat will still stay close by if a back wind picks up but the dangling string may become a little annoying if it gets down your shirt.
  • Rear-strap tied: this is the most ideal way to wear a boonie hat and it prevents the strap from hanging so low that it hits your collar. Be sure to tie it tight enough to resist snags and the wind.
  • Tied-on-top method: if you prefer to wear the hat without the strap you can go for tying it on top. This will give you more of a cowboy hat look but it’s still doable and comfortable.
  • Under-hat method: this is similar to the last method except you’ll tie it underneath the hat instead of on top. This hides the string completely and keeps it out of your way.
  • Strapless method: if you don’t purchase one without the strings then you’ll need to cut them off for the method. Going this route makes it more of a bucket hat but it can still serve part of the same purpose.

How to Choose the Best Boonie Hat

Comfort should always be at the top of your list since this is something you’ll be wearing on your head. If it’s not comfortable, chances are you won’t be getting your money’s worth because you simply won’t be wearing it. 

Fit is also another important factor to consider. Take into consideration the length of your hair and purchase a boonie hat that will accommodate it. The typical rule of thumb is the shorter the hair, the tighter you’ll want it to fit.

Last but not least, you want durability. Will it keep you shielded from the sun, rain, or any other inclement weather as you suspected? Keep in mind why you are purchasing the hat and include these three characteristics in your search.

Best Boonie Hats

Tru-Spec Boonie

TRU-SPEC Multicam Boonie Hat

These stylish hats meet US military specs and are constructed from 50/50 nylon-cotton rip-stop with a flexible chin strap. It also has loops for extra camouflage or for carrying small items. If you want a traditional military look, this is the hat to get. 

KastKing Sol Armis UPF 50 Boonie Hat

KastKing Sol Armis UPF 50 Boonie Hat - Sun Protection Hat, Fishing Hat, Beach & Hiking Hat, Paddling, Rowing, Kayaking Hat,Silver Mist

This hat is known to be the go-to for those who like to fish, hike, paddle, row, kayak, and/or spend time at the beach. The protection it provides from the sun is top-notch and it costs less than $25.

Dorfman Pacific Men’s Boonie

Dorfman Pacific Men's Boonie Mesh Sides Hat (Large, Khaki)

Made with men in mind, this particular kind of boonie comes with mesh sides and is ultra-lightweight. It’s also optimized to keep you cool even in the hottest conditions. The UPF test shows protection of up to 50!

Kolumb Wide Brim Boonie Hat

kolumb Wide Brim Boonie Hat, Men & Women Top Camo Bucket Hats for Safari Military Beach…

This hat is ideal for men and women alike. Equip your wardrobe with a stylish camo boonie hat to add a touch of military-style to your looks. You’ll also be protecting yourself from the harmful UV rays. The style helps to easily match every trendy or classic outfit.

KastKing UPF 50 Boonie Hat

KastKing UPF 50 Boonie Hat Fishing Hat with Removable Neck Flap Sun Hats,Silver

Take your boonie hat to the next level with this one that has a removable neck flap. This particular boonie hat is ideal for men but women can wear it also. It’s a one-size-fits-all that comes with an adjustable elastic drawstring.

Best Boonie Hat For Women

GearTOP UPF 50+ Wide Brim Sun Hat

GearTOP UPF 50+ Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men and Women to Protect Against UV Sun Rays for Hiking Camping Fishing Safari (Khaki, 7-7 1/2)

GearTOP® boonies are perfect for hiking and outdoor activities, with a UV protection of 50+ SPF. They will keep your head cool, dry, and comfortable all while staying stylish!

Designed to provide protection from extreme heat on hot days or in high altitudes, these hats have mesh panels so that air can circulate through them easily. It is ideal to wear golfing, fishing or gardening because it protects well against harmful UVA sun rays. Adjustable straps assure a snug fit without being too tight around the ears. Get GearTOP® today for any outing!

Rothco Boonie Hat

Rothco Boonie Hat Olive Drab - (7 1/2) Inch

Get lost in the great outdoors with this lightweight, breathable military-grade hat. With an adjustable chin strap and plenty of side vents to keep you cool all day long, not to mention branch loops for extra camouflage when your fair game warrants it, you’ll be snatching up leaves and branches to conceal yourself in no time!

Ordenado Waterproof Boonie Hat

Ordenado Waterproof Sun Hat Outdoor UV Protection Bucket Mesh Boonie Hat Adjustable Fishing Cap Grey

These Boonie hats are perfect for all outdoor activities or a summer day at the beach. You want to take care of your skin so don’t forget about the tops of your head! These great-looking, stylish boonies keep you shaded and have an adjustable chin strap for comfort as well as UPF 50+ protection to shield against those damaging sun rays. They provide excellent shading for the face and neck, and because they fold into such a small size (literally fitting right in your pocket!). They come in different colors and fit a circumference of 22-23.5 inches which makes them suitable for adults who prefer a more roomy fit.


If you’re in the market and looking for the best boonie hats, this post will help you from start to finish. Use our tips, advice, and suggestions to help guide you to finding the perfect hat for you. Overall, you have to be happy with your purchase and know that it’s something you will be satisfied with. Have you already purchased one? Let us know how you decided on the one you purchased!


Comments are closed.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.