Bucket Hat or Baseball Cap for Sun Protection?

Rayward Apparel

We are often asked whether bucket hats or baseball hats offer better UV protection from the sun. While both offer sun protection, we recommend a UPF bucket hat instead of a baseball cap for a few reasons. Continue below as we compare the advantages of bucket hats and baseball hats. We'll look specifically at style, comfort, convenience and UV protection. By the end, we’re confident you’ll agree that the UV protection of sun protection bucket hats just can’t be beat!

Runway Face-off: Sun Protection Bucket Hats vs Baseball Hats

Much of style is subjective, but we’ll highlight a few key differences and let you draw your own conclusion. Bucket hats feature a 360-degree brim, which turned upside down gives them a bucket shape, hence the name. Baseball hats, meanwhile, feature a single visor extending out in one direction. Both come in fitted or adjustable varieties, with bucket hats usually accomplishing this with a more discrete rear drawcord. Both types of hats actually come in a number of sub-styles and materials. When buying a hat for sun protection, look for styles that feature as few holes and mesh as possible. This is because every hole creates a way for UV rays to reach your head.

Rest assured that neither hat type is likely to ever go out of style. If either is trending, however, it's bucket hats making a resurgence as part of the athleisure and outdoorsy fashion movements.

Which Is More Comfortable, a Bucket Hat or Baseball Cap?

The individual comfort of a bucket hat or baseball hat depends largely upon the specific fabric. Baseball hats typically feature a stiff visor, which might be less comfortable against your head. This would be especially uncomfortable when pressed against another surface, such as a car headrest or beach blanket. As far as fit, both style hats come in fitted and adjustable varieties, as mentioned above. Ultimately, the main comfort differences will be determined by the material used. At Rayward Apparel, we only use lightweight, outdoor-friendly fabrics to keep you cool even on the hottest of days. As a result, you know you’ll be comfortable in our sun protection bucket hat.

Baseball Hat Exposes Ears to the Sun

A Matter of Convenience: Sun Protection Hats

We would never describe baseball hats as “inconvenient,” but there are certain conveniences afforded specifically to lightweight UV bucket hats. For instance, the soft and shapeable brim of a bucket hat is easier to wash and pack. With baseball hats, you have to worry about protecting the shape of your visor. Additionally, bucket hats are typically made with breathable, moisture-wicking materials. This is opposed to the plastics and foams sometimes used in ball caps. Lastly, any bucket hat worth its weight (light as it may be) will also feature an adjustable neck strap to keep your hat securely in place. Consider how inconvenient it would be for your sun protection to blow away because it wasn’t properly secured. If this sounds far-fetched, just watch this video below:

The Main Event: Which Offers Better Sun Protection?

If the other categories are close (and subject to personal preference), this is where our undisputed sun protection champion emerges. In terms of sun protection, a bucket hat is far better than a baseball hat. Since bucket hats feature a 360-degree brim, the wider of which the better, bucket hats offer protection for all sides of your head. Most critically, this includes UV protection for your ears, otherwise the biggest vulnerability exposed by only wearing baseball caps.

Wearing either a sun protection bucket hat or a baseball cap is better than wearing no hat. However, based on its especially strong performance in the categories of comfort and, most importantly, UV protection, the UPF bucket hat is our winner for best sun protection hat. If for some reason a bucket hat isn’t for you, or circumstances find you without one, at least wear a baseball hat. If that be the case, just make sure you pair your baseball hat with our UPF hooded shirt to protect your ears and neck. Alternatively, you could lather on a bunch of sunscreen, but sunscreen has its own downsides and will probably cost you more money in the long run.

Rayward Apparel has launched its first sun protection hat, the Sun Ops Bucket Hat, and it should come as no surprise that UV protection was our highest priority. With that in mind, we created the best sun protection bucket hat which, like everything else we design, doesn’t compromise style, comfort or performance to achieve the best in UV protection.

Shop Rayward Apparel's Sun Ops UPF 50+ bucket hat today!