Heading out? Traveling in style is easy with with our guide to the best packable travel hats for men of 2023. We men carefully choose our headwear to block the sun, cover up our unkempt hair, or to make a fashion statement on the road. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of versatile hats and caps from trusted industry leaders like Melin, Scala, adidas, and more.
Grab any one of these slick toppers and you’ll turn heads all the way from Auckland to Zurich.
I’ve done my best to cover all the bases here, with everything from baseball caps to bucket hats to Indiana Jones fedoras. And all of our top picks are crushable, packable, collapsible, or foldable and built to survive the abuse of travel.
Just grab one of these out of your pack, pull it over your noggin, and transform into Brad Pitt in his signature newsboy cap or Heisenberg at a meth meetup. (OK, maybe not that last one. At least not around TSA.)
So before you grab your passport and pack your bags, let’s get you outfitted with one of our top picks for 2023’s top-rated men’s travel hats.
Best Overall Performance Snapback
melin Trenches Icon Hydro
Material: Varies by model
Pros: Waterproof, stylish, floatable, breathable
Cons: A little pricey for a ball cap
Best for: Active lifestyles
I’m usually a baseball hat guy when I travel, and melin makes some of the sturdiest and most customizable lids around. The Trenches Icon Hydro is perfect for men who lead an active lifestyle. If you’re searching for a hat that’s equally at home on a sunny beach, spray-drenched raft trip, or an urban cafe, this is the one.
Melin makes this hat in a load of configurations, styles, and sizes, each made from lightweight, breathable material that floats on water and has a hidden image that’s only visible when wet. It also has a crushable front panel which makes it perfect for people on the go.
Minimalist Do-Everything Cap
Western Rise Versa
Material: Polyester, spandex, EVA foam bill
Pros: Versatile, crushable, lifetime warranty
Cons: May not fit larger heads
Best for: Small-to-Medium heads wanting a does-it-all hat
The Western Rise Versa is a no-nonsense, minimalist baseball cap with no logos, designs, or distractions. This allows you to wear it with any outfit you please and make fussing over fashion old news.
Its modest looks are only half the story: The four-way stretch material is breathable, waterproof, and wicks moisture away. Its versatile design means you can jam it into your bag and use it anywhere from the gym to crowded city streets.
Dad Hat With Airplane Logo
Material: Polyester, Spandex
Pros: Curved bill, great for medium-to-large heads
Cons: Some may find it a little dorky
Best for: Dads, travel addicts
Here’s a ‘cool’ hat on Amazon with a classic dad hat design with a curved bill that’s clearly made for travel. I like the ballcap design and may snag one of these bad boys for my upcoming trip to San Francisco.
In particular, I like the lightweight and breathable mesh and the front airplane logo so I can let others know exactly where my priorities lie. The NxTSTOP liftoff is the only hat on this list that’s not marketed as “crushable,” but it’s still travel friendly as can be.
Crushable & Ventilated Sun Cap
Material: Cotton, polyester
Pros: Easy to pack; ample sun protection
Cons: Even with ventilation, it can run warm
Best for: Long days in the sun – hiking, biking, beaching
I found two scabby ‘sunspots’ (keratosis) on my face the other day, so I’m taking sun protection seriously here in my mid-thirties. When I visit super-sunny South Africa this summer, I’ll be wearing a hat like this!
I like that this good-looking safari sun hat has a ‘stampede string’ like my favorite cowboy hat, plus it’s crushable, breathable, and extremely well-reviewed. Protect that precious skin, fellas.
UPF 50+ Straw Sun Hat
Sunday Afternoons Havana
Material: 90% Paper, 10% Polyester
Pros: Inexpensive, stylish, packable
Cons: I honestly don’t see any cons here
Best for: Protecting your head from the sun
Release your inner Hunter S. Thompson and embark on your very own Rum Diaries adventure. This Sunday Afternoons faux-straw hat is perfect for blocking the sun as you slyly gallivant around the Caribbean looking for trouble.
It’s a classic travel hat — affordable, stylish, and packable — and a favorite of both men and women. So, like a good sweater, keep your eye on it or your lady friend may run away with it while you’re sleeping one off.
Indiana Jones Style Outback Fedora
Material: 100% wool
Pros: Waterproof, crushable, mysterious
Cons: A little stuffy in hot weather
Best for: Looking dashing as you swing from vine to vine
Just a heads up, you’ll need to be a particular type of traveler to do justice to this hat. So ask yourself — am I the kind of guy who can steal cursed artifacts, run a gauntlet of booby traps, fend off snakes, and still somehow manage to escape with his life? If so, proceed.
If you’re not already Indiana Jones, don’t expect this hat to make you his dead ringer. But you can count on it to reliably protect your melon from sun and rain while conferring a certain panache. Take that, René Belloq!
Wear Anywhere Cowboy Hat
Material: 100% wool
Pros: Easy to pack, waterproof, classic style
Cons: City slickers need not apply
Best for: Country music stars and their fans
Here’s our favorite cowboy-style travel hat of 2023. It’s easy to figure out why: The wide brim casts a lot of shade, and like others on this list, you can jam it into your pack and have it bounce back into shape when you get to your destination.
It’s 100% wool, so it will repel the occasional monsoon and dry quickly. Teton makes this hat in three different colors and five different sizes. And it saves time, too — you won’t ever need to pull out your passport to prove you’re an American.
Crushable Wool & Felt Fedora
Material: 100% Wool
Pros: Attitude, weather-proof, travel-friendly
Cons: You have to be worthy of it
Best for: Cool and confident dudes with a sense of style
This ain’t your grandpappy’s fedora, gents. The Sala Classico is a century-old style that will make you look hot off the press. And durable? Try crushing it, rolling it, and jamming it into your pack — it’s up for anything.
With a bit of Bogart attitude and a soft-spoken tip of the brim, you’ll have the ladies ready to swoon. Scoop them up before they hit the floor revive them gently with a scotch. That’s ageless gallantry, and this is the travel hat for you, comrade.
Made-in-Ireland Flat Cap
Material: 100% wool
Pros: Compact, unique, and oh-so continental
Cons: Would be fightin’ words to diss this Irish classic
Best for: Bald fellas like me
Guess what? With a last name like mine (Riley), I’m duty-bound to love the timeless Irish styling of this cap. Next time I tour my ancestral island, I’ll definitely be sporting one of these puppies and doing my best to blend in.
The Biddy Murphy is an Irish newsboy hat made in County Kerry, Ireland. This 100% wool cap is naturally weather-resistant and sheds rain, sleet, and snow. So pop it into your travel bag and get ready to down a Guinness (or several).
Stylin’ Washed Bucket Lid
Pros: Keeps the sun off your neck
Cons: Looks kinda ’90s, cotton doesn’t shed water
Best for: Looking cool while turning back the clock
My big head doesn’t look good in most bucket hats, but Adidas has me pondering long and hard over their dazzling assortment of colors and patterns. I might just toss one of these into my pack the next time I’m traveling in Eastern Europe or Asia.
The Adidas Originals bucket hat is versatile and relaxed and goes with any travel attire. It’s also the most affordable hat on this list, so if you’re traveling on a budget, this might save you a few quid.
Beanie for Cold Weather
American Giant Shop
Material: 100% acrylic
Pros: Simple, warm, made in the USA
Cons: Colors are a bit bland, not waterproof
Best for: Cold ears on cool dudes
My great-uncle Leon is 80-some years old and has a cool AF sense of style. Nowadays his ears get cold easily, so I bought him this beanie to take on our trip to DC last month. Boom, toasty ears, no problem.
He loves his new beanie from American Giant Shop. It’s so simple, comfortable, and warm. Leon is a traditionalist and loves that this made in USA cap has minimal branding. Throw one in your winter travel bag next time and pretend you’re as cool as Leon. (Good luck with that.)
There’s no magic formula for choosing hats in general — if it feels good and looks good, you’re off to a good start. But when you add “travel-friendly” as a requirement, you’ve got to consider specific attributes, including:
When traveling, a hat will either be on your head or mixed in with your other gear. When it’s on your head, it may be there for hours, exposed to sun, wind, and rain. You’ll sweat into it, and at some point it may start to itch. Choose hats that are soft, properly sized, and won’t lose their shape.
In general, wool and synthetics are more water-resistant, breathable, and odor-free than cotton. I mostly prefer 100% wool because it doesn’t get soaking wet the way cotton does, and it stays fresh-smelling for longer periods.
Style of Hat
Headgear comes in two basic flavors — Hats (‘has a brim but no visor’) and Caps (‘has a visor but no brim’) — and both travel equally well. Choose from this list based on the conditions you’ll encounter when traveling and then add a dash of your personal style. You can’t go wrong… unless you choose a neon plaid propellor beanie.
On a serious note, please do choose hats that offer good sun protection. The folks at SkinCancer.org say, “the best hats for sun protection have a brim of at least three inches to shade the face, scalp, neck, shoulders and upper back.”
Once you take off your hat, it’s got to go somewhere… in a coat pocket, perhaps, or flattened and layered into your luggage. If you want it spring back into proper shape, look for products that advertise as ‘crushable’ or ‘packable.’ Wool felt performs well, as do many synthetics. However, straw is brittle and will crack or crumble, and cotton will wrinkle and crease.
Sad story: I took a spiffy fedora with me to Europe last year, but had to hastily jam it into my bag at one point. In Italy, it emerged crushed and never regained its former glory. Since then I’ve only traveled with caps that can take a beating and still look fresh.
You put a lot of effort and expense into planning the perfect trip, so don’t cheap out on that fashion statement sitting above your ears. Invest in one of these quality products that are sure to survive your globetrotting adventures. Go for it.
When you look good, you feel good. Spending a little extra on an accessory like a hat may seem superfluous, but in reality, can you put a price on self-confidence? Yes. Yes, you can. But most of these hats are affordable and can be the perfect accent for any travel outfit. Splurge a little, buddy!
Wherever you’re headed next, you can’t go wrong with any of 2023’s best men’s travel hats. But which one? Will you tour the Temple of Doom in your Indiana Jones Hat from Dorfman Pacific? Swing up into the saddle in a cowboy hat from Overland? Or make evening rounds in NYC wearing a snapback from Melin?
Of course, there’s no reason to stop at just one new hat. I’ve got busy travel plans in 2023 and the hat I take skiing in Telluride isn’t likely to be the same one I’ll need while sailing in the Mediterranean. And I’m always in the market for a new EDC hat for running errands or people-watching on the mall.
Just remember that the key element of any good travel hat for men is that it must be crushable, packable, and weather resistant. ‘Stylish’ is my close second consideration since I need all the help I can get in that department.
And third, let’s not forget why hats were invented in the first place — to protect us from the imposing sun. A hat that aces all three of those considerations will be your reliable travel companion for years to come.
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Last Updated on July 23, 2023