Whether you’re a serious or “just-for-fun” pickleball player, a hat is a must-have accessory.
Wearing a hat while playing pickleball keeps the sun out of your face if you’re on outdoor courts. And if you’re indoors, a hat can stop sweat and stray hairs from interfering when you return a serve. Plus, a stylish hat adds the perfect finishing touch to your pickleball ensemble.
But with so many options, finding a pickleball hat that both looks good and holds up on the court can be challenging. We’ve narrowed the field to bring you the five best pickleball hats of 2023.
Two pickleball instructors gave us their top contenders, along with the features they look for in a pickleball hat. Our picks reflect their advice and check the following boxes:
- Quality materials
- Reasonably priced
For more information on how we choose and cover products, click here.
“Atama hats are my go-to, and I’ve tried almost every hat out there,” Jeff Willinger, pickleball pro at Life Time Rancho San Clemente, says.
The OG hat, for one, is equal parts fashion and function, with a minimalist style and low-profile fit. Features like a laser-cut crown, moisture-wicking lining and antimicrobial sweatband keep this hat stylish, lightweight and breathable. It’s the perfect choice for long, intense matches. You can even wear this hat for other activities like running, golfing or lounging poolside.
Score this hat in black, heather gray, maroon, navy, stone or white.
A bucket hat may not be the ideal choice for hardcore pickleball sessions, but it’s a solid pick for a casual player.
This MaxNova bucket hat gets top marks for being comfy, reversible and lightweight. Outdoor players looking for maximum sun protection will also appreciate the shade it provides for your face, neck and ears. You can also find it in many colors, including pink, white, yellow, blue and black.
Plus, the price is pretty hard to beat.
3. Alo Yoga Captivate Visor
If you prefer a hat that’s less constricting, go for a visor. You’ll keep the sun and sweat out of your eyes while keeping your head uncovered for ultimate breathability.
“[Alo] visors are super lightweight and functional,” Willinger says. It’s made of high-performance polyester and spandex to wick away sweat and features an elastic fabric band at the back for comfort. Find it in black or white.
And while this pick is pricier than others on this list, it’s durable and will last you for many pickleball tournaments to come.
Sweat management is important when playing pickleball, especially if the game really heats up.
“In the heat of the Alabama sun, I prefer the sweat-wicking material of JOOLA’s Hyperion hat,” Amy Parkman, Life Time Vestavia Hills‘ pickleball leader, says. Its polyester fabric absorbs moisture and dries before you even realize it’s wet. Meanwhile, a mesh panel in the back releases heat to keep temps under control.
This unisex hat also has a low profile and adjustable back strap for a customized fit. Choose between blue, green, light purple and orange.
Want to rock the trucker hat on the court? JOOLA’s take on the laid-back trucker hat comes with all classic features: a wide front panel with a high crown, breathable mesh sides and back and a snapback strap. It also features the brand’s emblem stitched off-center across the front panel for a stylish touch. It’s also available in white or blue.
“I’m a huge fan of trucker hats off the court and plan to order this one soon,” Parkman says.
What to Look for When Purchasing Pickleball Hats
The last thing you need during a match is to feel weighed down by your hat. Your pickleball hat should be lightweight and breathable, which means choosing hats made of fabrics or materials that check both boxes. Willinger recommends polyester, spandex and wool blends.
When in doubt, look for hats that include moisture-wicking linings and sweatbands in the features list.
Is there anything worse than a hat that won’t stay on your head? Or one that’s too tight? In any case, finding a hat that fits well is essential. Otherwise, you may as go without one.
To find the right size, search for labels in hats you already own for reference. You can also measure your head and compare the measurement to the ones listed by the manufacturer.
Hat sizes will also vary depending on the maker. They may offer multiple sizes, one-size-fits-all or gendered sizes. But it’s best to pick whichever size matches your head size, regardless of labels.
Adjustable-sizing straps are also a handy feature to look for in a pickleball hat, as this helps you customize your fit even further.
There are many hat styles to choose from for pickleball, including visors, baseball hats, trucker hats, bucket hats and more.
Which one(s) you choose is a matter of personal preference and how much coverage you need. Bucket hats tend to offer the most sun protection whereas visors offer the least.