Boonie hats used to be worn only by the military personnel. Although they will always be a part of the military attire, they have also crossed over to the world of fashion.
A boonie hat (also spelled as “booney hat”) is a wide-brimmed hat made of cotton (or cotton combined with other types of material). Thus, it tends to be floppy when not worn. It typically comes with an adjustable strap for support, stability, and a good fit. The crown may have eyelets or small-mesh panels for ventilation. Some men’s military boonie hats may also come with snaps whose purpose is to adjust the brim and change the hat’s style, which is similar to the Australian bush hat. The neutral colors of the boonie hat serve as a camouflage.
Boonie hats have become cool fashion items, especially for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, boating, kayaking, hunting, going to the beach or going on a safari. However, you should know that not all boonie hats are created equal. Despite their soft texture as they are basically made from cotton, good-quality boonie hats are durable and have a great design.
Even if you are not in the military, you can still rock a boonie hat with any casual ensemble. With its primary protective function as well as comfort and style, it’s no wonder that boonie hats have become quite popular.
Buying the best boonie hats
The following lists the best boonie hat picks that you should consider:
1. Tru-Spec GEN II
A lot of people rate this item from Tru-Spec as one of the boonie hats with the best quality. Its fabric is a combination of cotton ripstop and nylon, which explains its comfort and durability. It’s so light, but it’s also strong that it can even withstand crushing, stuffing, and folding. Even if you cram it inside your backpack or mercilessly hand-wash it, the hat pops back into shape when you are ready to use it.
The rust-resistant brass eyelets on the crown area allow your head and your headgear to breathe, which means additional comfort.
With its great coloring and durability, this boonie hat makes an excellent tactical and camouflage headgear. Unlike the typical boonie hat, this one has a slightly thicker and stiffer brim which provides the head and face with more coverage and shade. Despite that, this boonie hat is still comfy to wear.
The hat also garners plus points for its four brass air vents, which provide sufficient ventilation and additional comfort. The two snap buttons allow you to change the design of the hat in a jiffy.
This boonie hat from Rothco Camo should be one of your considerations. It has a combination of 55% cotton and 45% polyester material which lends a lightweight feel. Despite its lightness, this boonie hat is super-durable and provides optimal protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The four vent holes provide sufficient ventilation to your head and headgear, offering comfort.
When you need extra props for camouflage, this boonie hat won’t fail you. It features a loop around the crown to tuck in leaves and branches for the perfect hiding and camouflage. It can also hold fishing lures.
Rothco designs this hat to government and military specifications so that you can be sure of its quality. It is available in 20 exciting colors to choose from.
If you’re looking for the perfect boonie hat for hunting, camping or safari, or just want a good-looking military-style hat for the summer, you can consider this one from E-Flag.
This boonie hat has the UPF 50+ rating, which means that it provides sufficient protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The wide brims offer extra protection to your face, ears and neck from sunlight as well as rain. Like many other boonie hats, you can change its style by turning up the sides with its snap buttons. It comes in nine different colors: A Camo Green, Black, Camo Khaki, Camo White, Digital Camo, Khaki, Navy, Olive, and Red.
There are many things that you should admire about this boonie hat. This is the only boonie hat on this list with an all-nylon construction and design, which makes it comfortable and water-resistant.
If that is not enough to convince you, this boonie hat also features mesh on both sides. Such a lining provides your head with ample ventilation and enhanced comfort. And that’s not all – it also has a UPF 50 UVA/UVB sun protection and a sweatband on top which wicks away icky moisture and sweat. It is one of the few boonie hats on the market with advanced technology, which easily puts it above its competitors.
You may have to deal with the brim, though, as it is not firm enough to hold itself up – not suitable to wear during windy conditions. Overall, though, the pluses handily offset the minuses, making it an excellent boonie hat especially for fishing, boating or kayaking.
This boonie hat from Propper has a 100% cotton material and design, making it super comfortable to wear. Despite being an all-cotton boonie hat, it is ideal to wear for any outdoor activity mainly due to its construction.
Its stitching, in particular, meets military specifications, so you have no doubts about its quality and durability. Its breathability factor is equally impressive, too: the vent holes allow a lot of air to enter inside the hat, keeping your head cool. Its chin strap enables you to adjust the hat to your preferred size and fit. It’s also a “crushable” hat – you can cram it inside your bag without worrying that it might get damaged as it pops back into its normal shape when you are ready to use it.