Shelta Sun Hats Fit Guide

What are the challenges of getting the right fit when purchasing online?  While it’s always easiest to try a Shelta Sun Hat at your local dealer, it’s not always possible.  Our goal is to give you as much information as possible to make the right choice for your online purchase.  A few things that make hat fitting difficult online are:

  • Head Shape. Every head is a different.

  • Thick, thin, or none.  It is a factor on how a hat fits.

  • Hat size consistency. A Shelta sun hat is hand-made, so sizes may vary slightly.

  • How you like to wear your sun hat. Everyone has a personal preference.  High or low, loose or snug, and most importantly, how you feel the hat looks on you.

How do I measure my head?

To measure your head, use a tape measure and draw it right around your head. Please make sure that the bottom of the tape is slightly above your eyebrows and ears while resting straight around your head. Hold it there comfortably and do not pull tight! If you don’t have a flexible tape measure, you can use a piece of string and then lie it flat on a ruler for the measurement.  Find your measurement and check our sizing chart to get the right Shelta hat size for you.  Always go up in size if you fall right in between sizes!  We recommend that you use this method even if you already know what cap size you usually wear.  Especially if you are right in between sizes.  Cap sizes can vary greatly from brand to brand.

How should my Shelta Sun Hat fit? 

A Shelta Sun Hat should fit comfortably snug with a about a ¼” of horizontal play between the hat edge and forehead.  Since most of our customers use their Shelta unlike any other sunhat, they have a tendency to wear it too tight. The plastic vision visor should not be putting pressure on your forehead.  If in between sizes, always choose to go up a size.

Can I adjust the fit of my Shelta Sun Hat? 

There is a cinch at the back of your hat crown.  This is for micro adjustments.  Use both hands to tighten cord. Do not over tighten and crank the cord as tight as you can for the purpose of keeping your hat from coming off.  This will cause your forehead to hate you, your sun hat will still come off and it may distort the brim shape.

How do I keep my Shelta Sun Hat from coming off in extreme conditions? 

Use the chin cord and cinch it snugly under your chin to make sure your hat stays on in extreme wind or water sports.  The plastic front brim will not flop, but the air or water pressure under the brim may pull your hat off.  Over tightening the back pull cinch will not keep you hat on! Check here for some methods of keeping your hat safe by using the removable cord system in different ways.

What are the crown differences?


Boonie Crown (Seahawk & Osprey) is a more traditional crown that has a fuller fit with a medium height.  Since this crown is made for water use it has a side mesh vapor barrier and the “no sag” headband.  It also has metal eyelets for air and water venting. There is usually some room in the crown, which may allow more play on how low the front of the brim can be worn.  Because of this, the boonie crown tends to fit more head shapes.

5-Panel Sport Crown (Raptor & Firebird) is a more modern sport crown that fits directly on your head.  It has a compartmentalized moisture management system, side venting and is lighter than the regular 5 panel crown. The front visor brim fits a bit higher on your forehead and head in general than the Boonie.  The 5 panel crown also tends to fit smaller head shapes better than the Boonie and doesn’t move around on your head easily when being aggressively active.

Can I bend the plastic visor brim piece?

The plastic visor can be re-bent by carefully manipulating it with your fingers back to its original shape, or may be slightly altered to fit your personal preferences.  Note that bending the visor too severely or folding it will crease it permanently out of shape and is not covered under our warranty!

Can the brim shape be tweaked?

If you want the back brim to point more downward, roll it towards the ground and forward before each use. It will eventually stay in that shape.  The vision visor limits molding or bending of the side brims by design. 

Do all Shelta styles offer Brim technology?

Yes, all styles feature our exclusive Winged Vision Visor.

How should the vision visor be worn?

Our patented winged vision visor gives you amazing peripheral vision and does not allow the front of the brim to flop up or down.  Just like a baseball cap, the front of the brim cannot be tilted down or up without moving the whole hat with it. The front brim should be level with the horizon or may point slightly up or down, depending on head shape, fit and style.  There is no right or wrong, only personal preferences.

Why do you offer different brim sizes?

We feel that wearing the wide brimmed hats that are often recommended is not a practical solution for athletes and adventurers looking to reduce their exposure to harmful UV rays.  A wide brimmed hat may work for lounging by the pool, but may not be functional when trying to participate in most sports or active outdoor activities, especially if it’s in windy or wet conditions. And a wide brimmed sunhat, by itself, can only do so much for complete UV protection.  Why? At high noon, when the sun's rays are directly overhead, even a small brim hat provides sun protection for your head, ears and face. But when the sun is either ascending or descending the sun's rays can sneak under your brim and strike your face or neck. Even a hat with a 5-inch brim that isn’t angled downward will not offer suitable protection when the sun’s rays are coming in from the horizon.  Also, the widest brimmed hat will not stop UV rays reflecting up from the ground or water.

Our solution is a comprehensive system of UV protection based around your specific needs. First we offer you a sun hat style the works for your performance needs. Then the use of sunscreen, face/neck masks, UPF rated clothing and sunglasses need to be considered. Ultimately you have to decide on how much UV protection you desire and when to implement it.

Do all Shelta sun hats float?

Yes, all of our styles float. Since the Osprey & Seahawk were designed for in water use, they float the best.  Please note that while our styles float in calm water, they may not resurface for a while or in the same place when used in big waves, rough seas or fast flowing rivers.  Use your chin cord!

Are all the Shelta fabrics you use rated UPF 50+?

Yes, all of our fabrics are certified to block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation and deliver an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+, the maximum rating given.

Does hat color matter? 

We usually offer a light, medium and dark color in each style. The lighter the color, the more it will reflect the sun’s heat and be slightly cooler. But light colors are also harder to keep clean. Darker colors become more practical when used mostly in water and cooler temperatures. UV rays are present with or without the sun shining and the color of our hats have no bearing on it’s UPF 50+ protection rating.  Choose the color or print that makes sense for your needs.

Why do you use the color gray on all of your under brims?   

Dark colors underneath the brim absorb rather than bounce the UV rays back to your face and eye. A hat with a dark color under brim is also cooler than light colored under brims.