Introduced to the US army during the Vietnam war, Boonie hats soon become a must have for hikers and hunters alike. It’s not just a sun hat. The Boonie hats can survive the most weather, rain, shine or snow. People that hate reapplying sunscreen every hour can put on the Boonie hat and get their share of both head and face protection. It’s not just the wideness, the fact that they are durable and crushable means they are a convenient option for all the outdoors enthusiast. For the hunters, the flatness provides a low visual profile and a camouflage ring, for that slight edge in detection front. Unfortunately, the boonies do come with a pretty glaring downside; it looks pretty goofy. Don’t let anyone stops you from wearing one, however.
Here is a list of the Best Boonie Hat
All Boonie hats are one-size fits most, after all, they are meant to be military manufactured. They are adjustable through a strap that goes around the inner “bowl”. Simply pull or relax the strap for your best fit. Elastic ones are available as well but tend to fail after a wash or two. Almost all of them comes with adjustable straps as well, so you can be sure that strong winds should not be the least of your worries. That is reserved for how you will look in the hat.
Wondering which one to get? Here are 5 of the Best Boonie Hats we recommend for both beginners and seasoned veterans alike. This list is non-exhaustive and should be used to help guide your future purchase.
1. Rothco Boonie Hat
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Still arguably the most popular boonies hat in the market, Rothco’s product certainly top the market for a reason. It’s styled to the classic military and made to follow government’s specification closely. Price ranges up to $30 based on the color, for which I picked the ACU Digital Camo. It’s 100% polyester material, all around comfortable to wear after some adjustment. Khaki based materials are also offered with more cotton added, giving up the waterproof for more comfort. The hat comes with adjustable chin strap as well. Although they would claim that the government regulations guarantee the quality, I did find some uneven tailoring work around the contours that made the hat looks slightly uneven on close inspections. The final test for every Boonie hat is surviving the wad and stuff test. It survived it well, with little crease and retains the shape after wearing it for some time.
Material Specs -- 45% cotton, 55% polyester for Khaki – 100% poly for others.
2. Tactical Head Wear/Boonie Hat Cap For Wargame, Sports, Fishing & Outdoor Activities
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Let’s start with a short rant. Fibers absorbed UV rays, which makes most hats essential protective against the sun. These hats claim to block out 98% of such harmful rays, which honestly is just pure marketing plot. Anyway, I still bought one since you can get one at $5. As a Boonie hat, it’s the same stylish/ goofy façade you would expect, although it looks a little droopier because the camo design they plastered isn’t close to decent. So what makes this hat worth buying? The value for your buck is decent. Unlike the US military assigned hats, these Boonies are more light weight and loose fitting, thus more comfortable for in hot weather as it sits on your head. That loose-fitting aspect is the comfort deal breaker that you need to beat the heat. In comparison to the standard military boonies, this hat is wider. The snaps two snaps button at the sides helps with the heat control too. I really do appreciate whomever the genius who design to make sure that even if you chose to snap the hat, the folded brim would still cover your ears. I would recommend this for the hot weather.
Material Specs – 60% Cotton, 40% poly
3. TRU-SPEC Military Boonie Hat
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
These US military style boonies can probably be described as trying to look the least military possible. It only comes with 4 basic color, none of which is camo themed, but still is tactical. Now you will only get this if you want the more comfortable material combination, which is to say is its single blend of 100% cotton. The good and bad can mainly be accredited to this material. 100% Cotton means a more breathable material, such that you won’t sweat as much. But it is plenty absorbent and soaks up all your sweats easy. Less maintenance since you can just throw it in the washer along with the rest of your wardrobe. But, 100% cotton loose relatively easily, so expect to find yourself readjusting the hat after every wash. In addition, the plastic slider the chin strap can be pretty finicky. Decent quality but I won’t fiddle with it too much. This hat will set you back for under $50.
Material Specs – 100% Cotton
4. Dorfman-Pacific Weathered Cotton Outback Hat With Chin Cord
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Although it says outback hat, it’s essentially Boonie hat, just looking much more menacing. Well, they did lose the camo ring so not exactly the best option for hunters and do look pretty out of place unless you are prancing a horse around. For around $50, you get durability and considerably inexpensive attractive outdoor hat. Speaking of durability, the hat is leathered with oilskin for added water protection. Also, it’s near uncrushable. The shapeable brim proves to be more gift than a curse, easy to shape and retains it for a decent period. The hat comes with the old-timey cowboy’s bolo-looking strap; tuck it into the crown if you ever find it bothersome. Consider this option if you are looking for a more welcoming aesthetics.
Material Specs – 100% Cotton
5. lethmik Camouflage Hat Summer Fishing Sun Hat UV Protection Outdoor Boonie Hat
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Every Boonie hat seems to find a need to mention that they are foldable and crushable. Well, this hat by Lethmik passes that test as well. Available in basic beige, gray-green and a disturbingly unattractive camouflage (cost extra $10 for a hood) for $15, get this boonie if you are more of a fisherman. It does feature a wider brim than most and snaps to crown brim if you ever need less shade. Unfortunately, this hat is non-adjustable, although if it does loosen over time and snuggly fit on my bigger than average head within a few days. For the more budget friendly 100% polyester hat, and if you are mainly using it for fishing trips, Lethmik fishing hat is an excellent option.
Material Specs – 100% polyester