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The Best Beach Hats for Kids

🕚 Updated May 2023

Spending time at the beach or local pool is a favorite pastime for many families, but it's important to remember the importance of sun protection, especially for kids. These beach hats will provide the shade their faces, necks, shoulders, and heads need for a day outside, all while adding a bit of style.

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  Best for Babies Best Straw Hat Cutest Design Most Breathable Best with Neck Flap
Kid's UPF 50+ Sun Hat
Pierside Youth Straw Sun Hat
UPF 50+ Kids Beach Hat
Kids UPF 50+ Mesh Sun Hat
Home Prefer
UPF 50+ Kids Sun Hat with Neck Flap
Our SummaryThis hat offers excellent sun protection for the delicate skin of your baby's head and eyes.Keep your child protected from the sun with this 100% straw hat and its handy adjustable chin strap.Keep your little one looking adorable while providing excellent sun protection with this sun hat featuring a cute, fashionable design.Protect your child from the sun and keep them cool at the same time with this extra-breathable beach hat.Between its wide brim and built-in neck flap, this beach hat is designed to provide the ultimate sun protection.
Pros✓ Firm, wide brim
✓ Adjustable chin strap
✓ Breakaway safety feature
✓ Lightweight
✓ Elastic size adjustment feature allows hat to grow with baby
✓ High-quality straw material
✓ Stylish and timeless design
✓ Lightweight and breathable
✓ Wide brim
✓ Durable and long-lasting
✓ Easy to clean and pack
✓ 22 design and color options
✓ Ample sun protection
✓ Lightweight, comfortable, and breathable
✓ Four size options
✓ Adjustable chin strap
✓ Durable construction
✓ Vented sides for better airflow
✓ UPF 50+ fabric make
✓ Adjustable chin strap and elastic band
✓ Machine washable
✓ Long-lasting
✓ Wide brim
✓ Detachable neck flap
✓ Lightweight and breathable
✓ Moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabric
✓ Adjustable straps
✓ Machine washable
Cons✗ Clip on strap pops off easily
✗ Hand wash only
✗ May grow mildew
✗ Possible sizing issues
✗ Frayed pieces of straw may be present in some hats
✗ Potential sizing issues
✗ Odd smell may be present
✗ Sizing run small
✗ One size only
✗ Fabric ring prone to breaking in the wash
✗ Brim may stick to face in windy conditions
✗ Rim may not lay flat
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The Best Beach Hats for Kids

Girl anoints her face with protective sunscreen on the beach.

Buying Guide for Kids’ Beach Hats

Brother and sister ages 4 and 2 have fun digging in the sand at the beach.
Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a beach hat for your child?

Investing in a beach hat for your child is essential to protect their sensitive skin from harmful UV rays while spending time in the sun. The skin on children’s faces and heads is thinner and more delicate than other areas of the body, making it more susceptible to sunburn and long-term damage from UV rays. A beach hat provides an additional layer of protection beyond sunscreen alone, shielding the face and head. In addition to its sun-protective benefits, a beach hat can also be a fun and stylish accessory for kids. Many beach hats come in bright colors and fun designs, adding to the excitement of the beach experience. Moreover, a beach hat can help keep your child cool and comfortable in the hot sun, providing shade and ventilation to prevent overheating.

What should you look for in kids’ beach hats?

  • Sun Protection: The primary function of a beach hat is to protect your child’s skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. A good, wide-brimmed beach hat can provide valuable protection for the head, face, and even the neck. Ideally, your child’s beach hat should have a brim that is at least 2 inches wide for more coverage. Some beach hats are also made from UPF-rated fabric, which blocks out even more UV rays. This can be particularly important for children with fair skin or a history of sunburn.
  • Comfort: It’s important to choose a hat that your child will actually want to wear. Hats that are too tight or too loose can be uncomfortable and may fall off easily, so look for hats with adjustable straps or elastic that can be tightened or loosened to fit your child’s head. Also consider hats made from breathable materials such as cotton or straw, which will help keep your child cool and comfortable on hot summer days. Hats with chin straps or other securing mechanisms can also help ensure a snug fit and prevent the hat from blowing away in windy conditions.
  • Durability: Beach hats should be able to withstand the elements, including sand, saltwater, and sweat. Nylon, polyester, or synthetic blends are durable materials for beach hats that can be easily washed. Additionally, consider hats that can be folded or packed easily for travel convenience. Some beach hats are specifically designed to be crushable or packable, making them ideal for vacations or trips to the beach.

Can kids wear beach hats in the water?

Wearing a beach hat in the water is a great way to better protect your child’s head, face, and neck from the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, not all beach hats will hold up in the water, as some materials become heavy, uncomfortable, and/or lose their shape when wet.

When choosing a beach hat for water activities, look for hats made from quick-drying materials like polyester, nylon, or synthetic blends. These materials are water-resistant and can withstand repeated exposure to saltwater, chlorine, and other elements. Quick-drying hats will also help your child stay comfortable by wicking away moisture and preventing chafing or irritation. A hat with a chin strap or an adjustable strap can help keep the hat secure on your child’s head, even when they are swimming or playing in the waves.

Even if you pick a child’s beach hat made from water-friendly material, it’s important to care for said hat properly once you’re back home. Rinse the hat with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or chlorine, and allow it to air dry completely before storing it away. This will help prevent mold or mildew from growing on the hat and ensure that it lasts for many beach trips to come.

Our Picks for the Best Beach Hats for Kids

Best For Babies

SwimZip Kid's UPF 50+ Sun Hat

This hat offers excellent sun protection for the delicate skin of your baby's head and eyes.

Pros: This is the perfect accessory for your little one during sunny days at the beach, park, or pool. It’s designed with your baby’s safety and comfort in mind. The firm brim ensures that the hat stays in place and doesn’t obstruct your baby’s vision. The adjustable chin strap is easy to use and provides a secure fit, while the breakaway feature ensures that it will release in case of any snag. It’s available in nine cute colors and even comes with a reusable bag for storing wet clothes or the hat itself. The wide brim provides ample shade to protect your baby’s delicate skin from harmful UV rays. The elastic size adjustment feature means that the hat will grow with your baby and can be used for years to come. Plus, the lightweight design makes it easy for your baby to wear and doesn’t weigh them down. It’s available in nine cute colors and comes with a reusable bag for storing wet clothes or the hat itself, plus larger sizes for toddlers and older kids.

Cons: The clip on this hat’s strap can pop off easily, which can be frustrating for parents when adjusting this hat for their child. This sun hat is also meant to be hand washed rather than machine washed and may grow mildew if left wet in a bag or car.

Bottom Line: This cute little sun hat is a great investment for parents who want to protect their little ones from the sun’s harmful rays. Its comfortable and adjustable design ensures that it stays on your baby’s head, while the wide brim offers excellent sun protection. You’ll be amazed by how much children love wearing this hat and how easy it is to keep on, even for babies who don’t like things on their heads.


Best Straw Hat

Quiksilver Pierside Youth Straw Sun Hat

Keep your child protected from the sun with this 100% straw hat and its handy adjustable chin strap.

Pros: This beautiful beach hat is made of high-quality straw, perfect for a day out in the sun. It’s the perfect accessory to keep your little one looking cute while protecting them from the harmful rays of the sun. It’s lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear for long periods, and the natural straw texture gives it a classic look that complements any beach outfit. The wide brim provides ample shade and protection from the sun, making it perfect for long days spent lounging on the sand or playing in the water. It’s also great for other outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or gardening. With its high-quality construction, this straw hat is durable and long-lasting. It’s designed to withstand wear and tear and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. It’s also flexible, making it easy to pack in your suitcase or beach bag without taking up too much space.

Cons: You may have some sizing issues with this ha. Additionally, there’s a chance the hat you order might have frayed pieces of straw that weren’t woven in, which could affect the quality and durability of the product.

Bottom Line: This straw beach hat is a fantastic accessory for any child who loves spending time in the sun. It’s stylish, functional, and comfortable to wear, making it the perfect addition to any beach or outdoor adventure.


Cutest Design

KOMOREBI UPF 50+ Kids Beach Hat

Keep your little one looking adorable while providing excellent sun protection with this sun hat featuring a cute, fashionable design.

Pros: This adorable and stylish sun hat is perfect for your little one’s outdoor adventures. The cute designs and colors will make your child stand out in a crowd, while the UV protection will give you peace of mind that they’re safe in the sun; it comes in a variety of cute designs and color options (22 total), so you won’t have any trouble finding one to match your child’s outfits. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and breathable, providing ample protection from the sun’s harmful rays. The four size options and adjustable strap ensures a more secure fit, and the durable construction ensures it will last through your child’s rough and tumble play. It’s perfect for any outdoor activity, from a day at the beach to a hike in the mountains.

Cons: Even with the size variety and adjustable chin strap, you may have to deal with some sizing issues, with the hat being either too small or too large for your child. This hat may also come with a chemical smell (due to the manufacturing process), which may take some time to dissipate.

Bottom Line: This cute and stylish hat is the perfect accessory for your child’s outdoor adventures. It is comfortable, breathable, and provides ample protection from the sun, while the cute designs and color options ensure your child will look adorable while wearing it.


Most Breathable

Connectyle Kids UPF 50+ Mesh Sun Hat

Protect your child from the sun and keep them cool at the same time with this extra breathable beach hat.

Pros: Hats are ideal for sun protection but can also make the wearer’s head sweaty in warm weather. This lightweight and breathable hat is perfect for a day at the beach or any outdoor activity since it provides superior aeration while still protecting your child from the sun’s rays. With its vented sides, it allows air to flow through to keep your child’s head cool and comfortable. The sturdy brim provides excellent coverage for your child’s face and shoulders, keeping them protected from harmful UV rays, especially since this hat is made from UPF 50+ fabric. The adjustable elastic band ensures a more comfortable fit for years to come, and the chin strap keeps the hat secure even on windy days. It’s machine washable and durable enough to withstand wear and tear, making it a long-lasting investment. And with a range of colors to choose from, your child will look stylish while staying safe.

Cons: Sizing on this beach hat tends to run smaller than expected, so it’s essential to measure your child’s head and double-check it against the hat’s measurements before purchasing. And since there’s only one size available, you’re out of luck if its dimensions are too small for your little one’s head.

Bottom Line: This breathable and protective sun hat is a must-have for any child’s summer wardrobe, especially if you live or vacation in very hot areas. With its superior airflow, you can rest assured that your child will stay comfortable and safe under the sun.


Best With Neck Flap

Home Prefer UPF 50+ Kids Sun Hat with Neck Flap

Between its wide brim and built-in neck flap, this beach hat is designed to provide the ultimate sun protection.

Pros: With a wide brim, UPF 50+ fabric, and a detachable neck flap, you can rest assured that your child is well-protected from the sun’s harmful rays. The neck flap is a particularly unique feature, as it provides extra coverage at the neck and shoulders where other hats might leave your child exposed. In addition to offering superior sun protection, this hat is also incredibly lightweight and breathable. The fabric is specially designed to wick away moisture and keep your child cool and dry, even on the hottest days. And with adjustable straps that ensure a comfortable and secure fit for kids of all ages, you can trust that our hat will stay in place no matter how active your child might be. Cleaning this hat is also a breeze, thanks to the quick-drying fabric. Not only will it dry out fast in the sun, but you can simply toss it in the washing machine, and it will be ready for your next beach adventure in no time.

Cons: The fabric ring used to attach the string to the hat is prone to breaking after a few washes, so consider removing the string before washing and drying. The brim may also stick to your child’s face in windy conditions, and the rim may not be lay flat, causing some minor issues with ear positioning.

Bottom Line: This beach hat is lightweight and breathable and provides excellent sun protection for your child’s face, eyes, neck, and shoulders. With adjustable straps and quick-drying fabric, it’s comfortable and easy to use, allowing you and your little one to enjoy your day at the beach worry-free.

Final Thoughts

A beach hat is an essential accessory for kids during pool or beach trips, especially in the summer months. When choosing a hat, it’s important to prioritize sun protection, comfort and fit, and durability to ensure that your child stays safe, comfortable, and stylish while enjoying outdoor activities.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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