The rule in the Caribbean is to always wear a hat when you’re out in the sun. Okay, maybe not when swimming. Too much sun can give kids (and adults) a nasty headache. Also, it is pretty hard to put sunscreen on the top of your head. So pack a hat.

Baseball caps will do in a pinch, but aren’t great for the Caribbean. They tend to blow off when boating and they leave tender ear-tips exposed to the sun. Yikes! No one likes burned ears.


Everyone loves this classic adventure hat from Columbia. One size with a drawcoard around the brim that adjusts to fit most head sizes.

This lightweight, nylon hat from Outdoor Research is great for girls in pink or for boys in khaki or charcoal gray. Hats are sized for adults, so get the small.

The great feature of this Outdoor Research hat is the dark underbrim that really reduces glare. Women’s sizes, but the small fits most tweens.

The camo pattern on this ACU hat gives adventurers a touch of that military look. Also available in sand-color camo. Note that it is illegal to wear camouflage in several Caribbean countries, such as St. Kitts, Antigua, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

This nylon hat from Tilley has a snap up brim for Indiana Jones styling. It also has a hidden pocket and UPF 50. It is the BMW of hats and priced accordingly.

Save a bit for head sizes 20 1/2” - 21 1/2.” This Tilley nylon hat has a snap up brim for Indiana Jones styling. It also has a secret pocket and UPF 50. The dark underbrim protects from glare and the snap-side style is fun.

• Get a hat with a strap if boating is on the agenda.

• A brim is good. It will help to shade face, neck, and shoulders.

• If the hat floats, that’s a bonus.

• Make sure it rolls up so that it can be packed in a suitcase.

• Go for light colors, such as beige or a desert camo print.

• Look for nylon. It is cooler than cotton.

• If the hat is just one layer of nylon, make sure it has an SPF rating.

• Lots of kids can wear adult hats that are size small (size 6 3/4 - 6 7/8).

• Many hats have a drawcord around the brim that adjusts for most head sizes.