It’s hot. And the only people who need hats more than you are those littlest adventurers—the babies and toddlers we take on camping, paddling and hiking trips. Their sensitive skin burns easily—and sub-six-month-olds shouldn't even use sunscreen.
If you’re an industrious parent looking to take your kidlet into the wild, rain or shine (emphasis on shine), scroll down for our top choices of summer hats for the months-old crowd.
Pros: Mega-coverage, crushable, dries in a flash
Cons: Not-for-everybody style
This baby chapeau is cute like a bonnet but packs technical chops. For starters, the five-centimetre brim and 11-centimetre neck cape offer umbrella-like coverage. Plus, the 100 per cent recycled polyester fabric (bluesign-certified main body) dries in a flash and the whole unit can be crumpled like a piece of looseleaf without damage. It weighs a svelte 22 grams so babes forget it’s there, while a neck strap secures. We could scarcely find fault with this winner from Sunday Afternoons. (Zero to 12 months. Toddlers, check out the Kids Play Hat.)
Pros: Crushable, cute, quick-dry
Cons: Less coverage than some others
Nipping at our winner’s heels is another entry from Sunday Afternoons. Perhaps more stylish and versatile than the SunSprout—it’s very stroller- and car-seat friendly—this 100 per cent crushable, quick-dry poly lid has an SPF 50 rating and a five-centimetre brim. Flip it inside-out to match the outfit of the day. The SunFlip is great option, but it just couldn't match the sun-coverage of our winner. (Zero to 12 months)
Speedo Bucket Hat ($16)
Pros: Price, coverage
Cons: Slower to dry, gaudy
Availability at Canadian Tire means this hat is easy to grab on-the-go in most Canuck cities. For $16, the simple Speedo Bucket Hat is a viable option—a five-centimetre wraparound brim and UPF 50 stops the sun, and the strap keeps it steady. The nylon-Spandex blend didn’t dry as quickly as Sunday Afternoons’ offerings, and we don’t love the logos and graphics. (Zero to 24 months)
Pros: Stylish, big brims
Cons: Fragile, dries slowly
There are more baby ballcaps than there are baby names, it seems—but our favourites come from Headster and L&P Hats. Edging more towards urban parks than wilderness canoeing, these classic caps keep the sun off and look ridiculously cute. But they’re slow to dry, non-crushable and less secure on the dome than the others. (Infants to kids sizes.)