The Best Trucker Hats (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Hide from the sun in style whenever you hit the road.
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON December 4, 2020
Some things are iconic when it comes to long-haul truck driving, not the least of which is the famed trucker hat. Especially considering the long stretches on the road, protection from sun and sweat is essential. Trucker hats are large, usually rising significantly above the wearer’s head. The lid protrudes noticeably and covers a wide area. This provides the driver with optimal sun protection.
Another key feature is the breathable mesh back. High-quality trucker hats are lightweight and provide optimal airflow. The cap should be adjustable and sturdy enough to last. When looking for a trucker hat, you want to look at the overall style and price. Of course, there are many different options in terms of both style and utility, and there are plenty of top contenders for the best trucker hat.
This hat is made of 100 percent cotton and has a mesh back with an adjustable plastic snapback. It also has the image of an animal embroidered at the front.
- Designed to fit any head size
- Features a cotton sweatband that helps to retain the shape of the hat
- Great for airing out sweaty heads
- Available in seven different colors so you can diversify your choice
- Animal patch may not appeal to everyone
- Might come with a crooked logo. Might feel tight on a large head
This hat has a simple design that’s made of polyfoam material. The bill has a contrasting color to the front panel to create a more fashionable look.
- Affordable and available in a variety of colors
- The front panel can be customized with embroidery or printing of your choice
- Fits small, medium, and large heads because of the adjustable snap closure at the back
- The sizes run small
- Polyfoam isn’t as good at managing moisture as cotton is
- Might ship with a crease on the bill.
This is a woman’s hat that’s made of a combination of polyester and cotton. It also has an adjustable back tab so that it can fit different head shapes.
- The fabric combination helps to keep your head cool and dry
- It has a low profile that gives it a fashionable look
- The mesh back provides excellent breathability
- Fits most standard head sizes
- The sizes run small, and there are limited designs to choose from
- Machine washing can damage the fabric
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Benefits of Trucker Hats
- Protection from the sun. Trucker hats have a straight or curved bill that helps prevent direct sun rays from hitting your face. The bill is typically about three to five inches wide for maximum sun protection.
- Fashionable. A well-chosen trucker hat is a great way of accessorizing your look. Since brands have come up with creative designs to enhance the classic trucker’s hat, it’s possible to find one that will allow you to show a bit of your personality.
- Business promotion. Trucker hats are also known as “gimme hats” because they are often given to the public for free as a way of promoting a business or brand. The front panel can be customized with a business logo or any other design to create brand awareness.
- Adjustable. Most trucker hats have a plastic snap closure or Velcro enclosure, which you can adjust to ensure a good fit. While they do sit taller on your head than a standard baseball cap, they still feel comfortable.
Types of Trucker Hats
A structured trucker hat has a stiff front panel supported with thick layers of fabric so that the cap can hold its shape when placed on a flat surface. The back still has the typical mesh design, and it may come with a button at the top. It can make you look taller, but it feels somewhat uncomfortable when new because of the stiff design.
An unstructured hat has a front panel made of thin fabric so that both the front and mesh panel “flops” are placed on a table. While such a design may not be long-lasting, it feels comfortable and can conform to the shape of your head. It’s also easier to clean.
From its headquarters in Michigan, Carhartt designs some of the best work apparel and outdoor gear, which are favorites of most construction workers, farmers, and outdoorsmen. It was founded by Hamilton Carhartt way in 1889. Some of its best trucker hats include the Men’s Rugged Professional Cap and the Men’s Silvermine Cap.
Billabong is an Australian retailer of apparel, accessories, and sporting goods. It was founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant and is currently a subsidiary brand of Boardrider Inc. Besides designing trucker hats, it also designs backpacks, snow apparel, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
Goorin Bros is a family-owned business with more than 120 years of experience designing hats such as baseball caps, fedoras, beanies, and flat caps. It’s headquartered in California and has retail shops in Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Check out the Men’s Animal Farm Trucker Hat if you are looking for a high-quality trucker hat to complement your style.
The North Face
The North Face has more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing sports apparel and outdoor gear. It’s a subsidiary brand of VF Corporation and has its headquarters in California. Its product line includes vests, jackets, hoodies, backpacks, and hats. If you want to try out one of its trucker hats, check out the Unisex Mudder Trucker Hat.
Trucker Hat Pricing
- Under $20: This lower price range includes trucker hats with simple designs, including a curved bill, a low profile front panel, and a breathable mesh back. Most have plain front panels and come in a variety of colors. Also, most are comfortable so that you can wear them all day.
- $20 and up: The trucker hats within this price range come with more fashionable styles and are designed with long-wearing material such as cotton and nylon blends. Most have high-profile front panels that are designed with brand logos. You can also expect diverse bill designs, including a straight or partially curved bill.
When looking at the material making a trucker hat, it’s important to ensure that it’s long-lasting and can keep your head somewhat cool and dry. Cotton, polyester, and nylon are some of the best materials for making a hat; cotton helps to absorb moisture on your forehead, and the polyester or nylon mesh back keeps your head cool so that your hair doesn’t get damp and sticky from sweat. Wool is also a great fabric for making longer-lasting hats.
Trucker hats are also classified as fitted, flex-fit, and adjustable fits. They may come in small, medium, or large sizes. A fitted hat is not adjustable, so you have to get the correct size for your head—it’s mostly worn for fashion. A flex-fit hat has an elastic band at the back that stretches to accommodate the shape of your head. Lastly, an adjustable-fit hat has an adjustable Velcro closure, a metal buckle strap, or a plastic snap closure at the back with a small opening where a ponytail can be pulled through.
- Comfort. Above all else, it’s essential to ensure that the hat is comfortable, especially if you will be wearing it frequently. The last thing you want is a hat that grazes your forehead, a velcro strap that scratches the back of your head, or an uncomfortable tag that you have to cut off.
- Sweatband. Choose trucker hats that come with a moisture-absorbing sweatband that keeps the sweat from trickling down to your face.
Best Trucker Hats Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- To break in a trucker hat, wear it as frequently as possible so that it can conform to the shape of your head.
- Always handwash your trucker hat so that you can better clean the inner bands and lining with sweat and dirt deposits. You can use a toothbrush and a mild detergent. Machine washing can damage the stitching and seams.
- Allow the hat to air dry in an open environment to avoid unpleasant smells and keep mold at bay. When it’s dry, hang it in a well-ventilated room to maintain its fresh appeal.
- In case you get a stain on the thicker front panel or bill, spot cleaning works best to get rid of it and keep it from penetrating to the other side of the fabric. You can use a damp cloth with a mild detergent.
Why is it called a trucker hat?
A: Mostly because it was popular in the '70s among blue-collar workers, including truckers. The hats helped to keep their heads cool by shielding them from the sun.
Do trucker hats protect from the sun?
A: Yes, they do. They are designed with a curved or straight bill that protects your face from the sun, making it one of the best hats for blue-collar workers. They can also help to shield your face and head from the elements such as a heavy downpour.
Are truck hats in fashion this year?
A: Trucker hats have been in and out of fashion throughout the years. But, since fashion is subjective, you can always wear a trucker hat as long as it complements your overall appearance.
The Goorin Bros. Men’s Animal Farm Trucker Hat won our top spot because it’s made of comfortable and breathable material, which makes it great for keeping your head cool as you drive. You also get plenty of colors to choose from with different animal logos.
If you are looking for a more affordable trucker hat that you can customize with your logo, consider the Dalix Two-Tone Adjustable Trucker Hats.