Here’s the bad news: as Outside reported last month, rates of melanoma are up 54 percent in the past decade, and those of us who like to play in the sun are at an increased risk. But here’s the good news: a simple hat can help keep your head and face protected so you’re not part of such statistics. Also, the right hat is a great style accessory. Here are three of our summer favorites.
Katin Lonely Palm Trucker ($30)
Type in “trucker hat” on Amazon, and you’ll get 30,000-plus results. It’s clear why there are so many. These hats are great for the trail, the boat, your car, wherever, because they breathe well, keep hair out of your face, look great, and are reasonably cheap. I personally dig the Katin version because of the simple but elegant palm-tree logo, a deep build that fits all kinds of head shapes, and the association with Katin—a legacy brand with decades of experience designing modest but beautiful surf gear.
Stetson The Chapman ($155)
Unlike a trucker, the Chapman is not cheap. But it’s so well-built—with a felted wool upper and a leather brim—that you’ll have it for years to come. The wool sounds hot, but it actually breathes well and pulls sweat right off your head. The brim covers your face and neck so you get extra protection just in case your sunscreen-application skills suck. I was worried about taking care of the hat while on the road, but both the upper and brim are designed to be smooshed, so the hat isn’t ruined if you stuff it in your backpack once the sun goes down.
Melin A-Game Performance Snapback ($69)
The A-Game sits somewhere between a trucker and a running hat. Like a trucker, it has a perforated back, so it breathes well. But like many running hats, it’s a little sleeker and comes with a pre-bent brim. Made from a cotton-poly mix, it’s also softer than a trucker on your head. I dig its waterproof brim, which won’t soak out and get ruined if you dunk it in a cold stream, and the hat gets bonus points for a secret built-in pocket on the interior of the crown that comfortably holds a car key during your daily run.