The majority of people love spending times outdoors. It could be that you love going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, going for a leisurely walk, surfing, or doing something equally as active and enjoyable. Basically, it doesn’t matter which outdoor activities you do, but one thing’s for sure, you’ll get plenty of sun exposure.
Sun exposure (to some extent) is important; it’s a way that you can get vitamin D naturally[i], but prolonged sun exposure can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging, skin damage, skin cancer, heat stroke, cataracts, and even uneven pigmentation.[ii] Many people think sunscreen is enough, but it’s not. These days it’s absolutely essential you take all the necessary precautions to avoid such things while still being able to safely enjoy the sun and the outdoors.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re outside for just 20 minutes or a few hours, wearing a sun hat is a must, and guess what, it doesn’t even have to be a sunny day to justify wearing one, because it’s still possible to get burned when it’s cloudy out.[iii]
In saying all of this, despite sun hats being an absolute necessity, some people get it oh so wrong when buying a sun hat…
1. Is It Rated?
There’s no doubt about it, before you begin to even think about how good your sun hat looks on you, you’ve got to consider how much protection it offers.
Look for a hat that has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. The rating should be at least 30+, but realistically it needs to be 50+. If you’re wondering what a UPF rating is, it’s a rating system that allows the measurement of how much UV radiation is let through fabric. If the fabric has a UPF of 30+, approximately 96 percent of UV radiation is blocked while about 99 percent is blocked with a rating of 50+.[iv]
2. How Big Is Your Brim?
When choosing your sun hat, you’ll also need to look at its brim. You can opt for a sun hat with a large brim, which is perfect if you’re just hanging out outdoors and not really moving too much. There’s also the option of a bucket hat, which suits most outdoors activities. They typically have smaller brims that are sloped, making them ideal for skin protection throughout the day.
Bucket hats have featured as a must-have item in the 2016 spring trends[v], so you will not only be protected you’ll also look great and be in fashion as well! The boonie hat, a cousin to the bucket hat, has been a favorite sun hat for fishermen, beachgoers and hikers for some time, and it’s really no surprise given the many benefits of a boonie.
3. Is There Any Breathability?
Wearing a sun hat to protect and cool yourself down on a hot day is necessary, but if it doesn’t have any breathability capabilities it can also heat you up.
Make sure your sun hat is made out of a breathable fabric. This will ensure you won’t overheat in the hotter months when the sun’s beating down.
4. Is It Comfortable?
Your comfort should also be taken into consideration when selecting a new sun hat. It has to be comfortable for all the different activities you’ll be using it for. Hats with a medium to small brim, such as the bucket hat, are the most versatile sun hats on the market. For example, if you’re looking for a sun hat for climbing, a bucket hat will allow you to look up and see your route ahead without the hat hitting your back and falling off never to be seen again. Or if you’re going to use your sun hat for running, it needs to be super-light, breathable and secure, so it doesn’t fly off your head when you’re running in the wind.
A sun hat’s fit is equally important – it must fit properly! A poor-fitting sun hat that is too tight will end up leaving you with constant headaches and a loose one will impair vision, be unstable, and of course you’ve got more of a risk of losing it.
5. Is It Durable?
A good quality sun hat will last you a very long time. If your sun hat could speak, it’d have many tales to tell. And, if you’re really active and love to be outdoors, your sun hat will become your trusty companion – this is why durability should take precedence!
Many of the sun hats that are sold are light-colored. The idea behind using light colors is that a light color such as white or beige helps reflect heat. But one thing you have to remember is that a light-colored sun hat is likely to get dirty and stained easily, meaning you’ll have to replace your sun hat more often.
A good sun hat is made out of quality material, with quality sewing. So keep your eyes peeled for woven sun hats as woven construction is known for its strength and durability.
6. What Does It Look Like?
Of course style is still important. You want to impress and feel great in your clothes and accessories, and the same goes for your trendy bucket hat. Look for something that suits you, and look for the colors that complement you; because regardless of what they say, looks do matter!
The Marina Bucket Hat with its realistic water prints by Aqua Design is both fashionable and versatile. Thanks to the hat’s reversible designs, you’ll be able to wear your hat more often. Wear it one way one day and then turn it inside out for a completely different beach look.
Life’s all about enjoyment and that includes spending plenty of time outdoors whether it is by the sea or river. Look great outdoors and remain protected at the same time, so stay calm and wear your hat!
Visit Aqua Design to see their whole collection of active wear for men and women.