12 Best Cowboy Hats in 2017

It takes a special type of person to rock a cowboy hat, but you don’t have to live on horseback to buy one. Anyone with a degree of style (and confidence) can give one a go. That led us on a quest to find the best cowboy hats available, which turned up a few surprises along the way.

While our list does not contain any hats that fall into the “novelty” category, there are several geared more towards style than functionality. Whether you are a cowboy, cowgirl or just want to look like one for a while, we have included something for you on our list along with a quick buying guide.

Top 12 Cowboy Hats Ultimate Table

DesignNameGenderMain MaterialRating (1-5)
  1. Down Under Leather Hat Unisex Leather 4.7
  2. Stetson Men’s Bozeman Wool Felt Crushable Cowboy Hat Men Wool 4.6
  3. Western Pinch Front Straw Cowboy Hat for Men Men Straw 4.6
  4. Sterkowski Cattle Leather Classic Western Cowboy Outback Hat Men Leather 4.5
  5. Stetson Santa Fe Straw Hat Women Straw 4.4
6. Sterkowski Cattle Leather Classic Western Cowboy Outback Hat Men Leather 4.4
7. Stetson & Dobbs TRROXB-8434 Mens Roxbury Shapeable Leather Wester Hat Unisex Leather 4.4
8. MG Womens Straw Outback Toyo Cowboy Hat Women Straw 4.2
  9. Silverado Men’s Crushable Wool Felt Hat Men Felt 4.2
  10. Kangaroo Brown Studded Cowboy Hat Unisex Felt 4.1
  11. Henschel Hats Weekend Walker Oiled Pullup Western Cowboy Hat Men Leather 4.1
  12. Simplicity Men’s & Women’s Western Style Cowboy / Cowgirl Straw Hat Women Straw 4.0

Saddle up with These Quick Tips

Cowboy hats can be worn anywhere hats are allowed, but you’ll want to choose the right one for your style and the occasion. That means you need to consider a few key areas before settling on a perfect cowboy hat.

Style or Utility?

Hats are an accessory that can be worn by anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are 90-years old or a baby, you can rock a hat, and your gender doesn’t matter either. When it comes to the best cowboy hats, things are a little trickier as they do come in all sizes, but not everyone can pull one off. Before you figure out what style is right for you, think about if you’re Roy Rogers or Bear Grylls.

Cowboy hats can be quite stylish and come in a variety of colors as well. If you plan on actually “using” your hat on the back of a horse or in work environments, your choice is going to become simple rather quick. Casual cowboy hats aren’t going to hold up in harsh conditions like a stylish straw or felt hat. That said, an authentic cowboy hat can look just as good at a formal event as it will on the trail or farm.

Materials

This ties into our Style and Utility section to a degree as what your hat is made from often decides how or where you can actually wear it. While anyone can pop a cowboy hat on his or her head, you’ll want to think about what it’s made from. Leather will hold up under duress, looks great, and will last for years. It can also be very hot on your head and is not ideal for everyone.

Felt and wool cowboy hats are common, and come with some cool features as well. There are hats deemed “crushable” which is great if you are worried about ruining your new hat while others actually allow you to shape the brim or to even the crown to a degree. Straw hats are another popular option, and can actually be work casually or in the field as well. They won’t heat up your head while still offering up ample protection from the sun. On that note, if you need protection from the sun, look for a hat with a UPF rating.

Sizing

Being able to buy something online and have it magically appear at your doorstep is wonderful, but not without a few drawbacks. One of those would be the fact that you can’t try on items before you buy them, which includes cowboy hats. As you might suspect, this can be a big issue unless you have worn one before or know the size of your head from other styles of caps.

If you are new to the wild world of western wear, we are here to help. To get your general measurement, you simply need to wrap a paper tape around your noggin near the middle of your forehead about where the hat would sit. A piece of string will work as well which can be measured with a ruler if all else fails. The crown height and brim width are also areas of interest.

Top 5 Best Cowboy Hats Reviews

1. Conner Hats Down Under Cowboy Hat

From Derbys and Bricks to Pinched Front Cowboy hats, there are a lot of traditional styles to choose from for Cowboys born in the U.S.A. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention styles from other locales as well including the Australia. The aptly named Down Under Cowboy Hat comes from Conner Hats and offers up a style that will look good on the trail or casually as well.

Conner’s Down Under hat is made from 100% leather, so it’s heavier than a hat made from straw, wool or even felt. That’s a good thing if you are in the market for a hat that will hold up, and as with all leather, it’s going to get some “character” over time. The leather itself is made from Buffalo hide, while the hat has a low crown height of 3.75” and a 3” wide brim all the way around. The brim has a bit of a curve on the sides, but cannot be shaped to your liking. What you see is what you get.

One cool perk of this hat is the fact it has a UPF rating. That is the UV rating for clothing or headgear, and the Down Under sits at UPF 50+. It’s also crushable, so you won’t have to worry if someone sits on it as it will keep its shape. This hat is available in black or brown sized Small through XXL.

2. Stetson Bozeman Wool Felt Crushable Cowboy Hat

While our first hat carries a style from the Outback, this name brand is known around the globe – especially in the states. Stetson’s first entry onto our list is the Bozeman Cowboy hat, which is a pinched front hat with a 4” pinch crease at the crown. The actual height will vary depending on your size, but it’s not what we could consider small.

The Stetson Bozeman is made from 100% wool but uses a unique Dri-Lex band around the inside to help keep your head fresh and comfortable. It is water-repellent to a degree, but its best feature is the fact it’s crushable.

As long as you don’t run over it with a tractor, you’ll be able to pop this hat back into its original shape after a bit of abuse. The brim width is average at 3 ¼ inches, and there is a brown leather band around the outside with tails and an authentic Stetson tack.

Due to the material used in its construction, this is one of the softest hats to make our list of the best cowboy hats. While it’s only available in black, it’s a great casual hat that comes in the usual sizes from Small to XXL. On the downside, the brim may be a little too “loose” for some consumer that prefer more curl or a wired brim.

3. Western Pinch Front Straw Cowboy Hat

This cowboy hat is billed for men but will look just as good on a cowgirl providing it will fit her head. The Western Pinch Front Cowboy Hat from the folks at Western Express is made from straw, but not the “see through” pattern that leaves you lacking for coverage. They’ve used a tight weave on this one, which makes it suitable for both inclement weather and warm sunny days.

The outside of this hat has a burned or distressed style that extends to underneath the brim. We don’t have measurements on that or the crown, but it looks to be of average size for this style of hat, and the brim has a large curve. It is not shapeable, however, and we don’t advise putting it through a “crush” test like our top two choices. Straw is pretty darned tough, but does not retain its shape like other fabrics or materials.

We love the look of this hat and its vintage style, but it’s not one that’s best suited for harsh outdoor use. In other words, if you are a real cowboy, look for another hat. For casual cowboys and cowgirls, this one is well worth a look and won’t break the bank.

4. Sterkowski Classic Western Outback Cowboy Hat

Our second leather hat is another Australian style cowboy hat dubbed the Classic Western Cowboy Outback Hat. Sterowski pulled out all the stops for this one, and it has a couple of fan favorite features you won’t find on many of our other picks. It’s also available in three hues in case you’re tired of the usual brown.

Sterkowski’s Classic Cowboy hat is handmade in Poland from stiffened cattle leather and finished in a traditional fashion. On the inside, you’ll find a side leather sweatband for comfort while the outside has three ports on each side to let your head breathe. The brim width is listed as 3.15” while the crown height is 5.1”, something to keep in mind if you like a low top. The brim has a trick up its sleeve as well.

This hat has a wire in the brim that lets you shape or model the hat to your liking. Want more curve on the brim? Not a problem, and you can always switch it back to flat if you want to change your style – or the weather changes it for you. Hat sizes range from 6 7/8” to 7 3/4” and is available in brown, black and dark brown.

5. Stetson Santa Fe Straw Cowboy Hat

The first ladies cowboy hat to make the cut comes from Stetson and is their Santa Fe style hat. It’s another straw hat, and best suited for dressy occasions, not work on the ranch. That said, the design and material will keep you head very cool on hot summer days, just remember white is not an easy color to keep clean.

Stetson had this hat hand-woven with shantung straw, which is very popular in Panama hats. It’s bleached white and very lightweight, even compared to other types of straw. There is a headband around the brim made from leather with a drawstring chin cord while the band on the inside keeps you comfortable and keeps sweat at bay. It’s not waterproof or crushproof, but it does have plenty of style to go along with that famous Stetson branding that shows when the brim is turned up.

While this hat is incredibly stylish and ideal for casual use, there is a downside to the material itself. This type of straw can be more fragile than others can and doesn’t have as tight of a weave. That means the elements will get through which may wreak havoc on hairdos. The Stetson Santa Fe is true to size and listed from Small to Extra Large.