I was sitting in the Miami airport on my way back from my Royal Caribbean cruise when I saw a woman walk by with four wide-brimmed sun hats stacked on her head. FOUR! Now there was someone in desperate need of a packable sun hat for women (or four.)
I understand wanting to look cute on vacation, but nothing will find me striding through the airport with four hats on my head. When I travel, I already usually bring a carry-on and a personal item, so I’m pretty sure flight attendants would balk at my trying to fit a stack of four uncrushable hats in the overhead compartment. What is needed are some good foldable sun hats for women.
Since my trusty (but very sturdy and not at all foldable) fedora had gotten permanently bent after being stuffed with clothes and shoved into my suitcase one too many times, I was in need of some packable hats that were more foldable, bendable, and crushable.
This sent me out on a quest to find the best packable sun hats for women. After all, I want to look cute on my travels, but I’m also at the point in my life where I need some sun protection for my face and neck to ward off those wrinkles and sun damage that are waiting around the corner.
Packable Sun Hats for Women
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I started asking friends for recommendations for packable sun hats and digging around for the best options depending on the style you prefer. One thing I discovered is that you can either look just for stylish sun hats, or you could try to find cute sun protection hats that also offer UPF protection from the sun.
Through my research I have learned a few things to consider when looking for packable sun hats:
- Sun protection – if you are worried about harmful rays of sun coming through the material and causing skin damage or a sunburn, look for hats that offer UPF protection (ideally 50+)
- Brim size – the larger the brim, the more coverage it is going to provide
- Adjustable size – hats are not one size fits all. You can either measure your head and take a look at the manufacturer’s sizing chart or look for a hat that adjusts with an internal drawstring
- Chin strap – if you are going to be boating or just want to make sure your hat stays put on a windy day, you will want to look for a women’s sun hat with a chin strap
- Color – there are some very colorful, and even rainbow-style, packable sun hats out there. The question is, how will that look with your wardrobe? Personally, I always drift toward neutrals so I am drawn to the straw or raffia hats, or those with shades of basic black or brown because they offer the most versatility. But hey, to each their own and a hat can be a great accent piece with a terrific color pop, just have an outfit in mind when you are purchasing so it doesn’t end up just sitting in the closet waiting for the perfect opportunity
These are my top picks and recommendations for packable sun hats for ladies. And, of course, after all this research I now have four new hats in my closet and I’m considering a couple more.
Packable Sun Hats for Women
From camping hats to boating hats, foldable hats that are perfect for the beach or pool, or packable sun hats for women that are ideal for travel, here are our top picks.
Wallaroo Hat Company Women’s Scrunchie Sun Hat
Wallaroo is one of my favorite hat companies and they have many packable styles. The Scrunchie sun hat features an ultra-wide brim, but is lightweight and offers UPF 50+ sun protection. Plus, this is a rollable sunhat style that packs well.
Scala Women's Crocheted Packable Raffia Hat,
My friend Jody from Camping Tips for Everyone is always looking for great camping hats and loves Scala packable straw hats. They are crushable with a floppy brim that keeps the sun off your face. Jody’s favorite is the crocheted packable raffia hat.
It is easy to stuff this hat into a suitcase, but it will return to its original shape when you get to your destination. And, its raffia straw is very breathable to keep you cool.
Wallaroo Womens Casual Traveler Sun Hat
Whether you are taking a hike or going on a safari, the casual traveler packable sun hat is a great solution. This crushable style offers UPF 50+ sun protection and adjusts for a perfect fit. Pack flat when traveling.
Coolibar Compact in A SNAP!? Ginger Ribbon Hat
Coolibar offers a line of women’s sun hats that are UPF 50+, which block out 98 percent of all UV rays from reaching your head, face, eyes, ears, and neck (depending on the brim.) Many of these are easily crushable or packable, like the Compact in a Snap! Ginger Ribbon Hat. This hat snaps apart and rolls up for simple packing.
Wallaroo Sydney Sun Hat
The Wallaroo Sydney sun hat rolls up to pack and is the perfect choice for summer travel that works for city sightseeing or beachside destinations. This UPF 30+ hat helps reduce your skin’s exposure to the suns damaging UV rays and it comes in 13 fashionable colors.
Columbia Global Adventure Packable Hat II
Columbia knows outdoor gear and the Global Adventure Packable sunhat offers sharp style in a packable design that offers Omni-Shade sun protection.
Omni-Shade blocks UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sunburns and long-term skin damage. The tight weave construction with UV absorbent yarns blocks the full spectrum of harmful UV rays.
Wallaroo Women's Aqua Visor
If you are headed for a beach or pool vacation, the Wallaroo Aqua Visor is the perfect thing to pack. It is made from quick-drying Lycra® for wear in and around the water. The bright colors combine for water-friendly sun protection and it ties in the back for a perfect fit. Plus, it unties to lie flat to pack in your suitcase.
The Wallaroo Aqua Hat is another good option if you want full coverage. Made from the same quick-dry material, it also includes a chin strap to make sure you don't lose it when it is windy.
Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Hat
Lanzom offers a roll-up Fedora that provides UPF50+ sun protection in a cute design that goes from the city streets to the beaches of Brazil. Plus it comes in 15 fun colors!
Wallaroo Hat Company Women’s Lady Jane Sun Hat
This Wallaroo packable sun hat for ladies was designed in collaboration with Jane Seymour. Its ultra-lightweight design rolls up to pack but the broad brim and modern style provide good sun protection while looking fashionable.
San Diego Hat Company Women's Ribbon Paperbraid Stripe Hat
This striped hat rolls up to fit in your beach bag or crushes down to go in a suitcase or even your pocket. It is great fro the pool but also cute enough to wear with a dress.
More Travel Gear Recommendations:
Looking for more travel essentials?
- The best travel pants for women
- My favorite lay-flat toiletry kit for travel
- Must have gifts for business travelers
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