Fishing Hat vs Bucket Hat: A Quick Look at Fishing Headwear

Thomas Krik

Written by

Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

fishing hat vs bucket hat

Many people confuse bucket hats with fishing hats, and what differentiates one from the other? Fishing hats were designed to protect the angler from UV rays, rain, and insect bites. The bucket hat protects the wearer from glaring sunlight and is worn as casual headgear.

In this article, we shall discuss both hats and their uses. Both fishing and bucket hats have similar factors; however, the similarities end in protection.

Here are some factors that show how fishing hat vs bucket hat differs.

  Bucket Hats Fishing Hats
Rain Protection Yes Yes
UV Protection Yes Yes
Versatility can be worn anywhere worn as fishing apparel and camouflage
Design One style Various designs and types

Bucket Hats and Fishing Hats: An Overview

Bucket Hats


Introduced in the 1900s as a farm and fishing headgear, the humble bucket hat is made from a few materials like unwashed wool, nylon, and cotton.

Though it started as a sporting and farm headwear, some people saw its versatility and style that complements any casual wear.

Many iconic acts in the 80s and 90s have dawned the fashionable headgear and even became synonymous with their personality. The bucket hat has become a fashion statement for the rebellious youth and hip-hop counterculture of the 80s worn by artists and dancers.

Fishing Hats

types-of fishing-hats

Fisher hats come in various styles, from straw to cape hats; they protect the wearer from the elements. Every fishing hat is explicitly designed for the angler’s needs, from repelling insects to keeping the wearer cool.

Here are some types of fishing hats available in the market.

  1. Straw hats are made from natural materials and worn by many local fishermen in tropical countries.
  2. Boonie hat with a chin strap to secure it from the wind; it is an excellent all-weather headgear for a wide-brim.
  3. Baseball caps are the most basic and accessible fishing caps; they provide minimal shade and a broader visual range.
  4. Up-downer is an extended baseball cap version with a cape-like extension for much better protection.

Fishing Hat vs. Bucket Hat – Head-to-Head Comparison

We’ve looked at the general differences between fishing and bucket hats. Let’s investigate some significant factors that set the two headgears apart.

1. Brim Size


Bucket hats typically have narrow brims that slope toward the wearer’s face, protecting the neck and face from the sunlight.

On the other hand, fishing hats have wide brims that provide better shade and UV protection to the wearer.

2. Materials


Bucket hats are usually made from heavy-duty cotton materials like denim or canvas, with metal eyelets around the crown to enhance ventilation. Other manufacturers use tweed and other heavy wool materials to create durable, breathable bucket hats. Terry and straw are other bucket hat materials that are getting more popular, especially for the warm summer weather.

For making fishing hats, most manufacturers opt for materials like polyester and nylon for better water resistance since these head coverings are used near or on bodies of water. For those who want fishing hats with natural fabrics, waxed cotton variants are available.

3. Protection/Coverage

protectioncoverage-of-fishing-hat-and-bucket-hatFishing and bucket hats offer wearers ample protection from the harsh midday sun or an unexpected drizzle when out fishing. Most fishing and bucket hats are waterproof or water-resistant, while wide-brimmed fishing hats have better UV protection capabilities.

4. Visibility


With their narrow, sloping brim, bucket hats may hinder the wearer’s vision and make spotting things in front of you a challenge.

Fishing hats have the upper hand in this department, as the wide, straight-brim design doesn’t block the vision.

5. Versatility

Compared to fishing hats, versatility Bucket hats have one general design that can come in many design options and types. They’re also gender-neutral, allowing anyone to wear them and still look amazing.

One aspect that bucket hats have above fishing hats is that they’re wearable in any outdoor activity. Whether on a camping trip or in the middle of the sea and reeling in the big ones, the trusty bucket hat has you covered.

However, the fishing hat will be the better option if you’re trying to hide yourself from sharp-eyed fishes.

6. Price


With its straightforward design, bucket hats are more cost-effective headwear options for avid anglers. Their prices range from below $10 to over $20, depedning on the materials and styles.

Which Is the Best?


Choosing the winner between a bucket hat vs fisherman hat depends on where you are going. Both provide shade and are made with breathable materials keeping the wearer cool.

The bucket hat is a versatile casual accessory used for farming and fishing activities, worn as activewear and an iconic outfit of some music artists.

At the same time, anglers wore their fishing hats on fishing activities. Though some fishing hats are bucket-style, they have features that separate them from the bucket hat. Some styles are specific for better visual range, sun protection, camouflage, and insect repellent.

Check out these headgears’ pros and cons to consider when choosing one:

Hat Types Pros Cons
Bucket Hats Comfortable

Cheap and readily available



UV protection

Excellent ventilation

Poor protection against insect bites

Doesn’t fully cover the face

Fisher Hats Straw hats Lightweight

Well ventilated


High maintenance


Not waterproof

Boonie Excellent rain protection

Trendy in summer

Secured by a chin strap

Obscures vision slightly

Minimal protection against insects

Baseball caps Accessible

Provide a broad vision

Good air circulation

Minimal sun protection

Less wind resistant

Up-downer Waterproof

Perfect fit

Full coverage around the head

Excellent protection against insects

Poor airflow

Minimal visual range



For fishing or daily casual wear, the bucket hat is an essential head accessory for both males and females. It is included in the fishing hat category as a sun hat; however, various hats are considered fisher hats in the market.

What separates the bucket hat from fishing hats is its significance in fashion. The iconic bucket design works well for casual apparel as a head accessory.

Fishing hats are worn by anglers for fishing, and a bucket hat is one type of fisherman hat. They are specifically designed according to the weather of the fishing location to protect the angler.

And that’s how a fishing hat vs bucket hat are similar and different from each other.

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