The Guide to Buying the Best Fishing Hat
The best fishing hat is capable of blocking the sun on an offshore trip and maintaining a breathable, comfortable fit for those long days on the water. There are two ratings that measure the ability of a hat, cap or other article of clothing to block the sun: SPF rating and UPF rating. The Skin Cancer Foundation does a great job at explaining the meaning behind these two ratings.
What is the best fishing hat?
The SPF rating, which stands for Sun Protection Factor, refers to the ability of a product to prevent skin from reddening due to Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. An SPF of 30 means the exposed skin should be able to stay in the sun 30 times longer before reddening, and allows 1/30th (3%) of the UVB rays to be exposed to your skin. Similarly, an SPF of 50 means the exposed skin should be able to stay in the sun 50 times longer before reddening, and allows 1/50th (2%) of the UVB rays to be exposed to skin.
What does SPF rating mean?
The UPF rating, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, refers to the ability of a product to block both UVA and UVB rays. The primary difference in SPF and UPF is that SPF only refers to UVB rays while UPF refers to both UVA and UVB rays.
What does UPF rating mean?
SPF rating and UPF rating are both important factors to look out for when looking for your next fishing hat. The highest UPF rating for hats, caps, and clothing is 50, which means the clothing blocks 98% of UVA / UVB rays. The downside to high UPF caps, hats and clothing is that it is typically tight-knit and has little air flow which is not good for fishing during the warmer months of the year.
Does a sun hat or baseball cap work best for fishing?
When spending the day on the water, caps are not a good option for protecting skin from the sun. They are most readily available to fishermen and they can bloc UV exposure to the upper face area, but there are better alternatives when looking for the best fishing hat for sun protection. A sun hat made for fishing is the best option because it provides complete sun protection to the entire head and neck area, and the wider brims tend to reach out further than most baseball caps.
A fishing hat that is breathable and has high UPF protection seems to be a unicorn in the outdoor world. Most breathable fishing hats that are comfortable have lower SPF ratings in the 15-20 range. We've noticed some hats with higher UPF ratings of up to 50 literally have holes in the hat to promote better air flow. While the fabric may be rated to block the sun, these breathable holes seem to counteract the sun-blocking capabilities of the fabric.
A breathable fishing hat with high UPF protection
I was 26 years old when I was first diagnosed with skin cancer and the lower SPF hats were not a considerable option in my eyes. I was looking for something that did a great job at blocking the sun, and I found out that the highest rating for fabric is a UPF rating of 50. That means 1/50th (2%) of the UVA and UVB rays are blocked. This was what I needed.
So I spent hundreds of dollars chasing high UPF rating hats which all did a great job at blocking the sun. Unfortunately, every one of the hats were hot and did not look very good. Most of the high UPF rating hats that were made for skin cancer patients were extremely expensive and they were not designed for the active younger generation. I always received funny looks if I wore the hats in public and I found myself taking the hat off periodically to let my head cool off. This was when I finally decided to make my own fishing hat that is stylish, breathable, comfortable, and most of all does a great job at blocking UVA and UVB sun rays.
The Best Fishing Hat
The best fishing hat is capable of blocking UVA & UVB rays, it's comfortable, it's stylish, and most of all it's breathable for those hot days on the water. This hat did not exist years ago, and I set a personal goal of being the one to bring it to people like myself who are active and looking for a better alternative to what's currently out there.
In the beginning, I started out by ordering a variety of high UPF fabrics to figure out which one had the best touch and feel, then had to learn the textile manufacturing process. I learned that proper design, knitting, and stitching can optimize the air flow through the hat and this was very important for high UPF fabrics. Naturally, high UPF fabrics do not have the best air flow. It took a little over a year of consistent trial and error and more money than I care to say spent on learning the different types of fabrics and manufacturing processes, but ultimately a quality sun hat made for active outdoorsmen was made.
If you enjoy fishing but want a fishing hat that is comfortable, breathable, has an adjustable chin strap for windy days, and does a great job at blocking the sun, then check out the Fishing Sun Hat.