The Best Hats for Prepping and Survival

The head is a pretty important part of your body. Someone in ancient Egypt thought it a good idea to put a basket on their head at some point, and that’s how the hat was invented. Now that their heads are protected from the elements, they can do much more. We’ve strayed far from that straw basket over the years, but the principle is the same: Wear a hat to protect your head from the elements and improve your skills in different environments. The best survival hat may not be a straw basket, but that is precisely why hats are important for survival.

There are many types and brands of survival hats to choose from. Many hats offer shade, keep you dry or warm – but the key is to find a versatile hat that is both durable and comfortable. That’s where we can help. We have extensive experience in combining the headgear we wear in everyday life, military operations and survival situations. Moreover, we have done research and testing only for this Roundup. We have selected four hats that stand out for their versatility, durability and most importantly comfort.

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Best Survival Limit

Tilly LTM6 Air Cap

Wide edge, airy and clearly the best.

This hat is a perfect example of that, with impeccable quality backed by the best brand in the industry.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

I first met Tilly many years ago when I did kayaking as a summer job. As I spent most of the day feeding in the swamp, I learned how important sunscreen can be. The Tilley hats sold in the store were much more expensive than the fishing hats I wore, but the owners of the kayak shop swore by them. After wearing another warm and absorbent fishing hat, I tried Tilly and never returned.

The Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat is perfect for all weather conditions and has established itself as the best wide-brim hat on the market. It is preferred by professionals who work outdoors in different climates. Hats fit like gloves and exert very little pressure to stay on your head, preventing headaches and stains even if you wear them all day. They are quick drying, top ventilated, waterproof, offer SPF 50+ sun protection, are stackable and have a hidden pocket in the crown.

Tilly also offers excellent customer service and is known for its quality. Born in Canada with a mission to create the perfect sailing hat, the hats they designed have become the best for a variety of outdoor activities. Everyone who owns one becomes a fan. If you are looking for a survival hat that you can wear every day, this hat is your first choice.

Survival budget Cap

Rothko Booney Hat

Cheap, MILSPEC and efficient.

A sturdy, tried-and-true army hat that’s inexpensive enough for any survival gear.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

We don’t do exams based solely on personal experience, but I admit I have a soft spot for wellness after my service. These hats are uncomfortable, flexible and just plain silly when worn outside of a military context, but they do exactly what they were designed to do. This soft hat isn’t as light, comfortable or cute as our first choice, but it’s over 6 times less expensive, and you can’t ignore that.

Rothko produces a fairly strong Babone and is certainly MILSPEC qualified. The construction is 55% cotton, 45% polyester and has branded attachment loops on the belt and an adjustable chin strap. This hat is perfect to have on hand in case of emergency.

Best Baseball Cap

Condor Tactical Cap

Durable, comfortable and user tested.

This will be the most comfortable baseball cap you’ve ever owned and tested worldwide.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

Condor is a well-established tactical gear company, specializing in transport plates, tactical bags and clothing. That simple tactical hat they made turned out to be a work of art. It’s extremely durable: you can rub it through the dirt while trekking through the mud, then throw it in the washing machine without damaging or deforming the spout.

The Condor Tactical Cap is a lightweight baseball cap that is surprisingly easy to put on. The patch on the front with the Condor logo is elegant, but discreet enough to get away with a grey man look. Take it anywhere or hide it in your pocket. This hat will stand the test of time.

Best winter survival cap

Icebreaker Merino Bag Bini

Light, warm and multi-layered.

An extremely compact and lightweight wool cap that keeps you warm well above its weight class.

*Price at time of publication; check for price changes or clearance sales.

Made from 100% merino wool, this hat is thick enough to keep you warm in freezing weather, but thin enough to cover you when the temperature drops below a certain limit or when it rains. Paddling is essential in extreme temperatures and changing conditions, and the Icebreaker Merino Wool Pocket Cap is the best base you can buy. It slips easily into a pocket, hence the name pocket hat, and fits into any bag.

The icebreaker is known for its cold-weather clothing, especially its support layers and liners. They specialize in merino wool and are based in New Zealand, where it is abundant. Their equipment is slightly more expensive than the competition, but is of superior quality and comes with exceptional service.

All we recommend

Condor Tactical Hat

This will be the most comfortable baseball cap you’ve ever owned and tested worldwide.

Where to buy

15* for the Amazon

* during the investigation

Hats we compared

Tilly, Columbia, Patagonia, Rothko, 5.11, Condor, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, Carhartt, Tinsulat, Icebreaker and many others have been researched, tested and compared for this survival hat review. People come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the products we chose were an excellent and consistent fit for the sizes we tried out and for the comments about the other sizes. Preferences for comfort may vary to some extent, but it is always easy to know when the whole group decides that one hat is more comfortable than another. All this information helped us to formulate our recommendations.

Pioneers, Cutlasses, Balaclavas, Shemags and others

There are many different types of hats that work in a survival situation. So why aren’t all these devices on our list of choices?

Tracker and Carver hats are among the best hats for extremely cold weather. But they are not suitable for all other situations. Their lack of versatility led to them not appearing in our best films. Flap hats are perfect as sun protection, but their application is too specific to cover a wide range of possible situations. If you are going to Antarctica, bring a professional floater hat, otherwise opt for a more versatile choice.

Balaklava, shemaghi, kefiyeh and shawls belong to their category. Sure, they can cover you in a survival situation, but their versatility puts them in a class by themselves.

What to look for

When choosing the best headgear for training and survival, there are a few important points to consider:

  1. Costs
  2. Quality
  3. Versatility
  4. Confort

Below is a breakdown of what each means for a great survival hat. When you choose the right combination, you get a truly versatile hat of high quality with good value for money. Every consideration is important, for example: You don’t want to put cost over comfort – a hat that hurts to wear won’t help you in a survival situation.

Cost of ceiling

If you are looking for a hat, you will find many options with prices everywhere. First of all, you can exclude any kind of fashion hat or anything related to fashion. Apart from the concept of the grey man, looks don’t matter when it comes to hats. In fact, many of the best hats look quite ridiculous (flapper hats, for example).

Baseball caps are very useful for the COB, but you might want to make them less sticky….

They must have ceilings with prices that vary according to quality. Some hats, like our Tilley Top Pick, are very expensive, but their quality and guarantees are internationally recognized. Other hats, like the Boonie budget, are cheap (in terms of manufacturing in China), but you can always count on them to get the job done in no time.

The amount you pay for a hat depends on how often you plan to use it. If you’re going to wear it every day, invest in quality. Otherwise, save your money for more important equipment and hide the cheap option in your travel bag.

Quality and reliability

With all types of hats, there are many factors that affect the quality of the hat.

One of the main factors that differentiate all hats is the type of fabric and the weight. Light fabrics do not last as long as heavier fabrics, and this depends on the composition of the fabric. Sealing, UV resistance, abrasion resistance and peeling resistance also contribute to this. The cap can have a metal, composite or plastic wire to make it rigid. The plastic mouth of the cap should be soft enough not to break, but stiff enough to hold its shape.

With all this in mind, one of the easiest ways to find out is to try on the hat in person to get an idea of its quality, look at the criticisms of it and get recommendations from reliable sources.

Versatility for every situation

It is very important to choose the right type of hat for a likely survival situation. If you live in the Arctic Circle, a very warm trapper hat would be perfect. If you’re in the Sahara, it can be hot in a fall. To cope with different weather conditions, hats can be worn in layers just like clothing.

It’s best to have a hat that works well in hot and humid weather and adapt it to the conditions with a lined hat, shmau, bandana, etc. The edge is also suitable for a wide range of climates and weather conditions.

Keep comfortable

In the military, combat helmets are a good example of the importance of comfort. When you have a comfortable helmet, you adjust it less, take it off less often, and have fewer headaches. Over the years, from the M1 to the PASGT and then to the ACH and the ECH, each model has become more comfortable and the US Army has become less busy.

This also applies to your survival hat. You may have a great survival hat with integrated MOLLE pockets, a massive visor, removable insulation and a face shield – but because of all the weight and distraction of pulling stuff out of storage pockets, you’re wearing a smaller hat.

What good is a hat if you don’t wear one?

Why hats are important for survival

If you think about it, the hat is a kind of wearable protection. If it is a good survival hat, it will protect you from the elements, such as extreme cold or the heat of the midday sun. Housing is one of the five pillars of survival, and survival rule number three is that without housing we cannot live long. In the United States, approximately 1,330 people die each year from extreme cold and 670 from extreme heat. Nobody wants to become a statistic, and if you’ve ever been to any of these states, you already know that a hat can help you.

Without the hat? People have been making them all over the world for thousands of years.

Hats have helped people survive and thrive for over 5,000 years. From this Egyptian 3200 b. Chr. put a basket of straw on his head, people wear hats for survival or for fashion (or both!).

Even aside from the immediate threat of radiation exposure, a dyed hat can prevent long-term damage from UV radiation and associated melanomas. Skin cancer is no joke, and it’s best to cover up with a hat and sunscreen if you have to be outside for a while.

Who needs a helmet?

Anyone with a head can benefit from the right head covering in a survival situation. Most hoppers have a multi-purpose hat as part of their wardrobe. Whether it’s a shiny hat or a baseball cap, a hat is great for working on projects, going out, or just doing things around the house.

Because of their versatility, survival hats are an indispensable item:

Rescue helmets are a recommended addition to some portable kits:

Whether you keep it in your closet, hold it in your hand, or slip it into your pocket, a hat is comfortable clothing for everyone.

How we inspect the goods: We do extensive research before selecting the best products to review. We consult with experts in the field to better understand what constitutes good transmission. The devices are tested for hours in the field under stressful conditions. We set performance criteria and evaluate each tested product impartially. You can support us through our self-selected links, allowing us to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. After our investigation, some of the points we investigated can be found in our documents.

Sources and references

Our analysis of the best survival and training hats would be useless without our sources and references. We draw on these sources for book knowledge combined with our practical experience in military and disaster management. If you want to learn more about survival hats, check out our resources :

Amphlett, H. (1974). Hats: The history of fashion in the field of hairdressing. Dover Publications. (Source).

Diffie, B. and Cheeseman, J. (1992). Sunscreen in the hats. British Journal of Dermatology. (Source).

Sperber, A. & Weitzman, S. (1997). Don’t forget to stay warm. Lancet. Volume 349, number 9062. S. 1337-1338. (Source)


Survival hats are an important part of every community member’s wardrobe.

We’ve given some information, but as always: If you have any questions, please let us know and we will be happy to help. Our research and testing led to the conclusion that the Tilley LTM6 Airflo hat was the best option because of its quality, durability, versatility and comfort.

As always, I recommend that you try on your hat – even if you choose a cheap hat to put in your bag. Make sure it fits well, is comfortable and doesn’t cause a headache. If you discover that your hat is not the best for you, you should do it now, not in the middle of an emergency. If you want to learn more about survival clothing, check out these articles we’ve written:

Keep exploring, prepare and be safe.

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