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What is Boonie Hat —— Beginner's Guide

Jul 05,2024 | ForemostHat


Have anyone heard of boonie hats? The kind of hat was introduced to the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, when U.S. Army Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group began wearing them in the field, along with Australian and Army of the Republic of Vietnam units.

The official Army boonie hat we know today first came to be in the jungles of Vietnam in 1967. This is when the construction included the iconic screened vent holes, drawstring, and foliage ring - the tape/band around the base of the hat meant to attach foliage as a means of camouflage.

For today’s article, we would try to explain the origin of boonie hats and its adoption by civilians, let’s dive in!! 

boonie hat

Section 1: The Design and Features of Boonie Hats

- Material composition (cotton, polyester, blends)

Cotton: Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae.

Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fabric that's usually derived from petroleum. This fabric is one of the world's most popular textiles, and it is used in thousands of different consumer and industrial applications. 

- Key features: wide brim, chin strap, ventilation holes, and branch loops

A boonie hat or booney hat is a type of wide-brim sun hat commonly used by military forces in hot tropical climates. Its design is similar to a bucket hat but with a stiffer brim. The Australian giggle hat has a thinner brim. Often a fabric tape band of "branch loops" is sewn around the crown of the hat.

Wide brim: Traditionally, a wide brim hat might be considered a hat with a 2 5/8" or greater brim. Many of our hats in this collection feature brims over 3". 

Ventilation hole: a hole for the escape of gas or air. synonyms: blowhole, vent, venthole. types: smoke hole. a vent (as in a roof) for smoke to escape.

- Variations in design across different countries and military units

Hats design matters. When you feel good about how you look, it reflects in your posture and demeanor, making you appear even more attractive and self-assured.

Section 2: The Practical Uses of Boonie Hats

- Military use: camouflage, protection from elements
Camo patterns have a rich military heritage, and for some individuals, wearing a camo hat can evoke feelings of nostalgia or pay homage to those who have served in the military.

- Civilian use: hiking, fishing, hunting, and outdoor sports
A boonie hat is an essential piece of gear for anyone who spends time outdoors. It’s a great way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays and to stay cool in hot weather. 

A hat can help keep your head cool in hot weather. Wearing a hat can help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. A hat can help prevent sunburns. Wearing a hat can help shield your eyes from the sun's glare.

- The boonie hat in fashion: a trendsetter’s accessory
The hat, as a fashion accessory, became popular in the 20th century. Around 1900, dress etiquette dictated that a woman should not leave the house without a hat. Owning and wearing a unique model of hat signified the wealth and social status of the wearer.

Section 3: Choosing the Right Boonie Hat

- Factors to consider: material, size, color, and additional features
When choosing a boonie hat, look for one with a wide brim that extends all the way around the hat. The brim should be at least 3 inches wide to provide adequate sun protection. The back of the brim should be slightly extended to provide an excellent protection factor.

The Importance of High-Quality Materials: One of the key aspects of creating a durable and long-lasting hat is using high-quality materials. Sustainable hat makers often use materials such as organic cotton, hemp, and recycled fabrics that are strong, breathable, and resistant to wear and tear.

The Importance of Hat Size: Although high quality hats are adaptable, and will usually conform to differences in head shape with a little wearing, it is essential that the hat size be correct for the head.

The Importance of Hat Color: Because a hat is worn so closely to your face it is important that the colour of the hat flatters your skin tone. If you have pale skin, a warm colour such as pink or rust is a good choice. Darker skin is easier to choose for, although if it is very dark, black is best avoided.

- How to ensure a proper fit

Perhaps the easiest way to get your hat down to size is using hat tape, also called hat size reducer. Unlike double-sided tape, which could ruin the sweatband by tearing at the material, hat sizing tape only has adhesive on one side with a foam strip on the other.

- Recommendations for various outdoor activities
Hiking and trail running, mountain biking, paddling, whitewater rafting, etc, are all recommended out door activities. Exercising outdoors isn't just good for your physical health. It helps with your mental health as well. Spending time in nature and the natural light can improve your mood and reduce stress and depression.


Section 4: The Cultural Impact of Boonie Hats

- The boonie hat in popular culture: movies, video games, and celebrities
    Both fictional characters Inspector Clouseau from The Pink Panther film series and Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza of the television series The Closer and Major Crimes frequently wear bucket hats: for Peter Sellers' portrayal of Clouseau, a grayish-shade Irish tweed fabric variety, with Provenza wearing a white bucket hat while at crime scenes. 

    The character Gilligan in the TV series Gilligan's Island ubiquitously wears a cream-colored bucket hat throughout its episodes. 

    During the 1990s Liam Gallagher, lead vocalist of the rock band Oasis, has been photographed multiple times wearing a bucket hat.

- Symbolism and representation: what wearing a boonie hat signifies in different contexts

The name "Boonie" comes from the Australian slang word for a bush hat. It's possible that the hats were originally designed for soldiers to wear in jungle warfare, as they provided good protection from the sun and from branches and leaves. The best boonie hat was designed as a lightweight alternative to the steel helmet and to protect the wearer from sunburn, rain, and brush while in combat.

Section 5: Care and Maintenance

- Tips for cleaning and preserving the life of your boonie hat
Resting a hat on the brim will flatten-out the brim. Dust your hat with a soft bristled brush to keep it clean. Heat will shrink the interior sweatband - avoid exposure to stoves, radiators, lamps and car windows. Store your hat in a cool dry place to help it to retain its shape and stay clean.

- Storage advice to maintain shape and functionality
Correct storage of a hat is essential to prolong its life. If you are storing your hats in a box ensure they are dry and that if you are putting multiple hats on top of each other ensure the heavier items go to the bottom and that hats are stored in the correct sizing order, smallest on the bottom to avoid crushing.

The best method for storing hats is to use a hat box. This is the most surefire way to avoid dust and keep the hat's structure in tact. Admittedly, keeping hats in their own boxes requires a little more effort to store, remove, and return every time the hat is in use.

Section 6: Where to Buy Boonie Hats

- Online vs. in-store shopping: pros and cons
Both online and in-store channels have their advantages. Online shopping offers unparalleled convenience and a vast product selection, often at competitive prices. In contrast, in-store shopping provides tactile experiences and immediate possession of items.

 - What to look for in terms of quality and authenticity
Product quality earns customer loyalty, helps establish brand recognition and manages costs. Customers often buy more from companies they know and trust, and businesses can reduce costs that result from product returns, defects and losses through product quality control.


Boonie hats provide excellent sun protection for the face, neck, and head. They are especially helpful for people who are outdoors for extended periods of time, such as soldiers on patrol or hikers in the desert. If you are looking for a hat that will keep you cool and protect you from the sun, a Boonie hat is a good choice.

Many people love the outdoors and get out there as often as they can. Whether you like to go hiking, camping, or hunting, you want to enjoy your time in nature to the fullest extent possible. If you're headed outdoors this summer and want to protect your face and head from the sun, consider a boonie hat. 

They come in many shapes and styles and should provide excellent UV protection—if you choose a broad brim hat with an extra-wide brim, which is recommended for extra protection.

That’s all for today, if you have any questions, please comment below and let us know!!