Top 5 Ultralight Hiking Hats (2023)

Hiking Hats: Girl hiking in a mountain valley with a hiking hat attached to her backpack

In this post, we'll take a look at:

When selecting an ultralight hiking hat, consider factors such as weight, sun protection, breathability, comfort, packability, and the essential need to maintain head warmth.

Among the available options, our guide acts as your companion, offering insights to help you make an informed decision among the lightest options on the market.

Top Ultralight Hiking Hat Picks

  1. Most Ultralight: Montane VIA Stretch Beanie (0.56oz/16g)
  2. Best Overall: Montbell Wickron Cool Light Cap (1.02oz/29g)
  3. Best Value: Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino Beanie (0.9oz/26g)
  4. Most Comfortable: KUHL Renegade Cap (4.97oz/141g)
  5. Budget Option: REI Co-op On The Trail Cap (1.8oz/51g)

1. Most Ultralight
Montane VIA Stretch Beanie

Ultralight Hiking Hat: Montane VIA Stretch Beanie

Key Specs

Weight: 0.56 ounces (16 grams)
Price: $


✅ Ultralight

✅ Affordable


❌ One color only

The Montane VIA Stretch Beanie is an excellent choice for ultralight hiking. Crafted with THERMO LITE stretch fleece, it keeps you warm while remaining breathable. The hat’s antiodour treatment and POLYGIENE finish ensure moisture-wicking and odor prevention, maintaining its freshness.

We praise its versatility for early mornings with cold winds and its compact size, which allows for easy stashing in any pocket. Montane delivers once again with a hat that offers both comfort and performance, making it the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures.

2. Best Overall
Montbell Wickron Cool Light Cap

Ultralight Hiking Hats: Montbell Wickron Cool Light Cap

Key Specs

Weight: 1.02 ounces (29 grams)
Price: $$$


✅ Various sizes available

✅ Various colorways available


❌ Expensive

The Montbell Wickron Cool Light Cap is your ideal companion for fast-paced activities like trail running and speed hiking. Its quick-drying fabric excels at absorbing and dispersing moisture, offering highly breathable comfort.

Designed to keep you cool, it features lightweight materials perfect for warmer conditions. The cap’s top fabric provides effective UV protection, and its flexible peak can be flattened or scrunched for easy storage.

3. Best Value
Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino Beanie

Ultralight Hiking Hats: Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino Beanie

Key Specs

Weight: 0.9 ounces (26 grams)
Price: $$


✅ Merino blend

✅ Comfortable


❌ Runs small

The Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino beanie conquers chilly temperatures with ease. Its innovative design incorporates thermo-regulating technology, ensuring warmth while actively managing sweat.

We were amazed with its upgraded performance and comfort, making it a great replacement for older hats. Despite some size concerns, the beanie stands out as a reliable choice for outdoor adventures.

4. Most Comfortable
KUHL Renegade Cap

Ultralight Hiking Hats: KUHL Renegade Cap

Key Specs

Weight: 4.97 ounces (141 grams)
Price: $$$


✅ High quality

✅ Good fit


❌ Heavy

The KUHL RENEGADE cap offers both comfort and functionality. Designed with an anatomically correct, multi-panel structure, it provides a personalized fit with the one-handed adjustment strap.

The quick-dry, stretch fabric and water-resistant finish shield you from the elements, while UPF 50 protection adds to its benefits.

We can highlight its suitability for warm weather hikes, ensuring comfort and sun protection. With a reputation for durability and adjustability, this hat becomes a reliable companion whether you’re on the trail or in town.

5. Budget Option
REI Co-op On The Trail Cap

Ultralight Hiking Hats: REI Co-op On The Trail Cap

Key Specs

Weight: 1 ounce (28 grams)
Price: $


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable


❌ Lack of colors available

The REI Co-op On The Trail cap proves to be a practical and versatile choice. Designed with stretch polyester fabric, it fits snugly and can be easily packed down for convenience. The cap’s quick-drying material and UPF 50 sun protection make it suitable for outdoor adventures.

Ventilation from the open holes on the side enhances breathability, and the moisture-wicking sweatband keeps you comfortable during hikes.

However, there is a possibility of sweat stains on the brightly colored caps, although this issue can be mitigated by promptly rinsing and allowing it to dry. Despite this minor concern, the cap excels in terms of comfort, adjustability, and visibility.

How to Buy the Right Ultralight Hiking Hat

Choosing the right ultralight hiking hat is key for a great outdoor experience. These hats do more than shield you from the sun; they also protect you from UV rays, rain, and wind.

When picking a hat, consider materials like cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic, rayon, or polypropylene, and match them to the expected weather.

Look for a high UPF rating for sun protection and make sure it’s somewhat weatherproof for unexpected weather changes. Fit, comfort, and suitability for your activities are important too.

Most importantly, select a style that fits your taste and outdoor wardrobe. Your hiking hat should not only keep you safe but also make you feel confident and comfortable during your outdoor adventures.

For more tips on choosing the perfect hiking hat and becoming an expert, check out our posts for both men and women.

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