When temperatures are scorching, a sun hat can do more than just provide relief from the heat…a good hat can shield you from the sun’s harmful, sunburn-causing UV (ultraviolet) rays.
Before spending time outside in the sun, it’s essential to put on a hat that blocks the sun and the harmful ultraviolet rays that are known to cause basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which account for 90% of all skin cancers, and often appear on the head and neck.
Healthy sun protection is about keeping the sun’s rays from ever reaching your skin and a hat is one of the most important ways to do that. Your face and neck get the most sun of all your skin, and it’s where most skin cancer is found. It’s also the most wrinkled part of anyone’s skin, and that too is because of sun exposure.
What Makes a Good Sun Hat
Go Wide: Not all sun hats are created equal. Brim size will determine the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat, and many experts recommend at least three inches for optimum protection of the face, neck, eyes, and ears. The brim also needs to be firm enough that it doesn’t fold and buckle in the wind, leaving you exposed.
Cover Your Entire Scalp. The hat needs to cover your entire scalp with sun impenetrable material. This means no visors and no hats with mesh tops. You don’t want skin cancer on your scalp. A billed hat like a visor or baseball hat is never good enough; they’re designed to keep the glare of the sun out of your eyes, not to protect your skin
Pay Attention to Color: When it comes to the fabric, go for hats with a darkly-colored, tightly-woven fabric like denim, canvas, wool, or synthetic fibers, which can effectively shield against harmful UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. To check the coverage of the fabric, shine a flashlight through it to see which areas are shaded and which are exposed, If you can see through the fabric, UV radiation can reach your skin.
Read the Label: Find a hat that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or above. UPF represents how much UV radiation (both UVB and UVA rays) a fabric allows to reach your skin. In order to earn the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval a fabric must have a UPF of at least 30. Anywhere between UPF 30 to 49 is very good protection, while UPF 50+ qualifies as excellent.
Keep it on your Head: A good sun hat needs to stay on your head. This means it needs to fit well. Some hats have adjustable brims so you get the perfect sizing for your head. Also, depending on your activities, you may need a chin strap to keep it from blowing off.
Finding the Best Sun Hat
Convinced of what was needed in a Sun Hat, I wanted to find the hat that would meet all of the requirements and looked good. After all, even knowing all the reasons of why I should be wearing the hat to be sun smart, if I didn’t like the way it looked, it would be easy to just leave it at home.
Using Google as my guide, one name came up over and over, Coolibar…and not in the paid advertising results but the natural results. I decided there must be something to this Coolibar brand.
Boy was I right! I learned that Coolibar has been developing the most innovative, technical and high performing sun protective apparel and accessories for nearly 20 years. In fact, they were the first sun protective clothing company to receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.
Innovation is at the heart of Coolibar’s philosophy, working closely with outdoor athletes, cancer survivors, dermatologists, medical advisors and organizations like the Melanoma Research Foundation, The Skin Cancer Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America, for additional design insight and technical expertise. The result is a new “user group” strategy with product groupings around seven activities – swimming, golf & tennis, fishing & boating, fitness, travel, relaxing and garden party (upscale occasion styles), designed to provide maximum comfort, coverage and UV protection for the whole family. Making sun protection versatile and effortless to keep up with all outdoor adventures.
With all of that going for them, it became obvious that Coolibar was the brand, now it was just a matter of deciding which Coolibar Hat would meet my criteria.
After carefully searching at least 15 Coolibar Hats that would all be appropriate for the golf course, I needed to find the hat that would be the best hat for me.
I wanted to go wide, looking for at least a 3″ brim that wasn’t floppy. The Beach Comber Sun Hat with a 4″ brim caught my eye. The hat checked all the necessary boxes for providing maximum sun protection on the golf course (or beach). The rustic styling made it meet my criteria of looking good. This would be a hat I would be willing to wear without any hesitation.
The Beach Comber Features
- Oversized 4” brim provides superior sun protection around the face and neck
- Brim offers UPF 30+ and the Crown offers UPF 50+ sun protection
- Made from a paper cotton blend that looks like natural seagrass
- Chin cord with wooden bead lock holds hat in place
- Lightweight breathable 100% cotton blend liner for maximum sun protection and extra comfort
- Coolibar branded sweatband
After my first round, playing in this hat on a sunny Florida summer afternoon, all I can say is, “This hat is fantastic – amazing quality, light weight, comfortable and protected me from the sun like no hat I have ever worn.”
If you are serious about finding a hat to provide the maximum amount of sun protection possible, you can’t go wrong with the Coolibar Beach Comber.