The Best 5-Panel Hats to Up Your Outdoors Wardrobe

The Best 5-Panel Hats to Up Your Outdoors Wardrobe

If you are out on the trail or paddling a river and want to look good doing it, your hat can help. A 5-panel hat with the right fit can seriously enhance your low-key, yet stylish, outdoors presence.

When it comes to hats, whether fancy cowboy or workingman’s trucker style, less is often more. The olive green snapback hat is a good example of a simple design that has an outdoorsy feel. But any quality 5-panel hat can do double duty as a durable piece of gear and fashion accessory.

Many hikers give some attention to how their hat will go with the rest of their gear. No one wants a hat too bright for the forest or the mountains, unless it’s the orange neon style during hunting season. Low key and universal shades like green, tan, blue, brown and black are the most popular among hikers. They blend in with the environment and pair well with khaki and microfiber.


Why Choose a 5-Panel Hat

A 5-panel hat is the most durably constructed to hold its shape but allows for some sculpting. With a mid-crown, solid back panel this style can be folded or molded—either way, it looks good if the hat fits its user right. A decent range of  ladies hats are hitting the market now, but any good baseball cap fits most heads (whatever the gender) if it's sized right or shrunk to fit.

The fashion advantages of ladies hats include a wider range of styles and colors. 5-panel hats come in low crown (sometimes called “low profile”) designs and for some, it’s a revelation in fit. Like ladies t-shirts, long ill-fitting on many women, ladies hats finally provide a decent fit for half the population. Bolder colors like burgundy, or two to three-tone hats, make for a nice field of choices for the 5-panel hat.

To spruce up your wardrobe, neutral colors are a great way to go. These hats can be used to keep sun and rain off in the woods, desert or hills but they don’t stand out when hiking down a city block, either. The bottom line with 5-panel hats is that the current line of natural-looking shades has been popular for decades. Natural dyes blend in best with most casual outfits.


Make It Your Own

If your wardrobe needs some outdoor accessories, 5-panel hats are usually a good bet but the buying decision gets put off while pants and UV-resistant shirts and hiking boots often take center stage. Many people end up wearing trucker hats or cheaply made semi-plastic ball caps they found or got for free. But a hat investment is well worth the small price to get something that looks stylish and fits right.

With a 5-panel hat in a cotton/poly blend, you can choose the right style, size, and fit but also shrink the hat if necessary. Natural fabrics are moldable, great-looking additions to natural lifestyles. Any 5-panel hat of good construction, made from cotton twill, and sporting an adjustable band (even a snapback, plastic one) will last for years of rugged use.