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My Pick for Best Beach Hat for Kids (After Trying Dozens)

This is, hands-down, the best beach hat for kids. We have 2 young boys and have tried many beach hats for kids. This is the one we now buy in multiples so we are never without it for each boy.

A kid wearing a beach hat at the beach.

Our first son was born almost 7 years ago. If you have kids, you know how new that experience is. All the reading will not prepare you for all the stuff you’ll need to learn.

While our little boy loved being outside from day, he didn’t like wearing hats. It drove me nuts trying to keep hats on his head in the bright sun.

I bought a lot of different hats hoping one would take. My persistence paid off. I found one hat that he’ll actually wear that also serves the main purpose of protecting his face, ears, and neck from the sun.

Sure, you can apply sunscreen to the face, ears, and neck, but when young with little hair, they still need scalp protection. Moreover, applying sunscreen to faces and necks isn’t all that pleasant for kids and parents. It’s much easier (and probably healthier) to just put a hat on.

In fact, we love the spray-on sunscreen but we don’t use that on faces. With hat in hand, we can quickly spray sunscreen on arms and legs and be done with it.

Which hat do we love for our kids?

It’s the Sunday Afternoon Child Play Hat.

Here’s a photo:

Sunday Afternoons Kids' Play Hat

What’s so great about this hat?

Let me answer that with what I look for in the perfect hat for our kids. The Sunday Afternoon Play Hat for kids meets all of the following.

1. Light-weight:

It’s made of nylon and mesh, which is a super light and thin material yet blocks the sun. This hat is as close to not wearing anything as you’ll get.

2. Comfortable:

While it fits snug, it’s also comfortable. This is the main reason both our boys don’t mind wearing it. In fact, it got to the point with our toddler son that he insisted on wearing it whenever he was outside.

3. Shields face, neck, and ears:

As you can see, it has a brim in the front and side with a shield that drops down over the back of the neck. This hat properly shields kids’ faces, ears, and neck. This particular hat is rated UPF 50, which is more than sufficient for us.

4. Dries quickly:

The lightweight nylon and mesh material dries quickly. In fact, to cool down, our boys soak the hats without worrying it’ll stay heavy and wet for an hour or more. They cool down and it’s dry in 15 minutes.

5. Secures with drawstring:

There’s a drawstring in the front so that it can be secured under the chin, which is a must-have feature when it’s windy. There’s also a safety break-away snap where the drawstring attaches just under the side brim protecting kids from getting strangled.

6. Can be crunched and stuffed into a bag without being ruined:

This is such a convenient feature. This hat is indestructible and retains its shape no matter where you stuff it. We stuff it into bags all the time without the brim permanently bending.

7. Looks good:

They’re cool looking hats. They’re sporty and because they fit well, look good on kids’ heads. At least I think so.

8. Adjustable:

There’s a draw strap on the outside of the hat part that you can cinch tighter or release to loosen the fit. This way the hat will fit your child no matter how big or small their head.

9. Not hot:

The mesh offers ventilation. Moreover, it’s a very lightweight material that doesn’t get too hot. Sure, in 95-degree heat, any kid (and adult) can overheat, but for a hat, it’s remarkably cool and comfortable.

10. Safe – has break-away drawstring:

Drawstrings, while a nice feature, do pose a strangling risk. Not so with this hat because the drawstring will break-away with enough pull. It’s not too much and not too little.

Not just the beach

I talk about the beach because we go there a lot, but obviously not everyone can or does.

This hat is really an ideal outdoor hat for kids, especially in the heat. It’s a staple in my bag whenever we leave the house from April through September. In fact, we’ve lost a couple already so I make sure I always have 2 on hand for each boy.

Whether you and your kids hike, bike, hit the beach, go camping, swim in a pool, play in the field, go to the playground, ride a scooter… anything outside, this is a great hat. I’ve recommended it to dozens of moms and dads (when they ask) and they’re inevitably very happy with it.

Please keep in mind that…

I have not tested every single hat available for kids. I’ve bought and tried a lot, but not all of them. This blog post is my opinion only. Please do your own due diligence whenever buying anything. All I can tell you is me and my kids are big fans of this hat.

Click here to check pricing for this hat at Amazon.