Bucket Hats vs. Booney Hats: What’s the Difference?
To help explain the differences between bucket hats and booney hats, we enlisted Meghan Baldys, principal apparel designer for Columbia Sportswear. Read on for her expert breakdown of these two popular hats.
What's the difference between bucket hats vs. booneys?
- Booney hats have wider brims to provide extra shade coverage.
- Bucket hats have taller crowns, making them more versatile style-wise—they can sit high on your head or be pulled down close to your eyes.
- Booney hats sometimes feature neck capes, but bucket hats usually don’t.
- Unlike bucket hats, booney hats often have chin straps.
How are the performance features different?
“Bucket hats can be worn out hiking or doing outdoor activities, but they're also geared for wearing around town,” Baldys explains. ““A booney hat, on the other hand, is more of a hat you wear hiking on the trail or on the river. From that perspective, bucket hats are more versatile.
“Bucket hats can be geared towards rain too—you can wear them year round. Bucket hats have almost become the new ball cap.”
A recent study found that UPF fabric works better than sunscreen, partly because fabric is more consistent, Baldys explains.
“You don’t have to apply fabric to your body over and over again,” she says. “That’s one thing that's really great about getting your sun coverage from the UPF protection in your booney hat—you're not having to constantly reapply sunscreen.”
You can also find bucket hats made with sun-protective fabric, as well as water-resistant bucket hats if you need additional rain protection. But those features are not as common in this hat that often serves as around-town wear. (Some booney hats feature water-resistant fabric as well.)
Booney hats tend to be made with cooling technologies like Omni-Freeze Zero or Omni-Freeze Zero Ice and also offer wicking technology. These two features help prevent overheating while also wicking away sweat to keep you from feeling sticky and uncomfortable.
“In a booney hat, you'll often get a vent built-in,” Baldys says. “That helps you stay cool.”
Bucket hats can be found with vents built into the crown as well, but it’s nto as common.
What fabrics are bucket hats and booneys made out of?
Are bucket hats and booneys different style-wise?
Why do fishermen wear bucket hats?
Why do hunters wear booney hats?
Why are booney hats popular?
Booney hats also gained popularity after the military used them to replace standard field caps and continued to utilize them in hot climates to provide soldiers with protection from the sun and overheating. Being rollable, portable, and packable appeals to soldiers and civilians alike.