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21 Best Brands of Totally Kick@ss Cowboy Hats

girl wearing cowboy hat
Written by Holly N.

Most Classic and Comfortable Brands of Cowboy Hats

There’s always a good reason to wear a cowboy hat. Whether you’re out in the sun all day and need protection or want to hit the town in style, a cowboy hat is an invaluable part of any outfit. Not just any ‘ol cowboy hat will do, however.

Buying a quality cowboy hat not only completes your outfit—it also provides protection from the sun, warmth in the chilly evenings, and even a way to water your horse when there’s no bucket at hand!

If you want to look your best with a hat that will survive whatever you throw at it, you need to look at the best brands of cowboy hats before you even start thinking about style or shape.

two women riding mules in Bryce Canyon

Horse Rookie Susanna (right) in her American Hat Makers Roughstock straw hat

Cowboy Hat Basics

There’s a reason many people refer to the cowboy hat as a Stetson, and that’s because John Batterson Stetson is believed to have come up with the concept.

Inspired by the sombrero-style hats favored by the Vaqueros, Stetson developed a wide-brimmed hat with a handy crease down the center that enabled users to remove it by the crown rather than the brim, thereby reducing damage.

people riding horses in field

Source: Canva

Common Materials

Cowboy hats are traditionally made from either straw or felt. Straw cowboy hats are ideal for hot weather and felt hats are more versatile—offering protection against the sun, rain, and wind. Rabbit and beaver fur are used to make felt cowboy hats that are lightweight yet durable.

Modern cowboy hats are sometimes made of leather as well, although this is less common.

two cowboys riding horses with rope

Source: Canva


The perfect cowboy hat should fit snugly on the back of your head and forehead but have a little space on either side. A cowboy hat that’s too tight could give you a headache, while one that’s too loose is liable to blow off in a strong wind.

Although custom cowboy hats are available, if you’re buying off the shelf, you’ll generally have a choice between small, medium, and large. Some hats are also available in XL sizes.

Here is a summary of the main cowboy hat sizes:
  • Small – 6 ¾ to 6 ⅞ inches
  • Medium – 7 to 7 ⅛ inches
  • Large – 7¼ to 7 ⅜ inches
  • XL – 7 ½ to 7 ⅝ inches

Always review the sizing chart for specific brands before buying!

Hat Styles & Shapes

Cowboy hats come in various styles and shapes. These can vary a little from brand to brand. For instance, a cattleman-style cowboy hat will always have a crease in the center and an additional one on either side, but the height of the crown and the width of the brim may vary.

Other popular styles include the gambler with its low, oval crown and wide brim, the brick crease with its distinctive rectangular dimple, and the pinched front, which features a sharp V-shaped crown.

What Makes a Reputable Brand

The most reputable cowboy hat brands have been perfecting their craftsmanship for hundreds of years. They have withstood the test of time and mastered the art of felting and shaping.


The best cowboy hat brands have been around for quite awhile. Stetson started mass-producing cowboy hats in 1865, and Greeley Hat Works has been forging a rich history in hat-making since 1909!

Not only have they perfected their style and process, but they also know where to source the materials needed to make their products stylish yet durable.


The quality of a cowboy hat can be judged using the X factor, although this isn’t 100% reliable. The X factor refers to the quality of the felt, which is judged according to its density and form.

A single X-factor cowboy hat is made from lower-grade fur, while a 100X beaver hat is the creme de la creme.

That sounds simple enough, but the problem is that the X factor isn’t consistent across all brands. One brand’s 5X might be better quality than another’s 10X, making the system a bit confusing and subjective.

Nevertheless, the best cowboy hat brands consistently produce items with a soft, silky texture indicative of a high-quality hat.


The top cowboy hat brands are trusted household names. They have spent years focusing on the quality of their products and customer service, ensuring they maintain a trustworthy reputation.

They focus on transparency, fairness, and bringing value to their customers.

woman wearing straw cowboy hat

Source: Canva

Best Cowboy Hat Brands

Count Brand Quick Fun Fact Price Point You’ll Love Them If:
1 Stetson An American Classic! $$$ You love the classic look and appreciate quality
2 Greeley Hat Works 110+ Years of HATtisfaction $$$$ You’re a traditionalist at heart
3 Resistol Resistol hats are designed to “resist all” weather conditions $$$ You want to express your personal style and HATitude!
4 Shorty’s Caboy Hattery The only women-owned and operated custom hattery in the United States $$$ You’re looking for a custom hat and have money to spend on quality!
5 American Hat Company Even their straw hats are waterproof! $$$$ You want something durable and practical, as well as stylish
6 JW Brooks Custom Hats JW Brooks personally crafts each custom cowboy hat $$$ You want a heirloom as well as a hat
7 Bailey Western Catering to the needs of the New West since 1922! $$ You value good craftsmanship
8 Rodeo King Specializes in straw and felt cowboy hats $$$ You value tradition
9 Specialist by Rod’s Western Palace The Specialist is available in a range of colors and qualities $$ You want a classic look at an affordable price
10 Tenth Street Hats Uses specialist hat-making machines to give their products individual flair $ You want a hat that will last a lifetime
11 Master Hatters of Texas Famous for its high-quality products and iconic designs $$$ You like a simple yet classic look
12 American Hat Makers All products come with a lifetime guarantee $$ You’re looking for a choice of styles and colors
13 Charlie 1 Horse Each hat is hand-pressed to create a unique look and style $$ You want to flaunt your individuality with cutting-edge designs
14 Outback Trading Co. Technically not a cowboy hat, these Australian dusters fit the bill $ You value functionality over the classic Western look
15 Cavender’s A family business that prides itself on producing high-quality products at affordable prices $$ You want the Western look without the Stetson price tag!
16 Watson’s Hat Shop Producers of high-quality, customized cowboy hats $$$$ You want a custom-made hat and don’t mind splurging
17 Ariat The world’s leading performance equestrian brand $$ You want a combination of style and functionality
18 Justin More famous for making boots, Justin also produces affordable yet authentic cowboy hats $$ You want a hat as iconic as your boots
19 Brixton Makes high-quality cowboy hats using cruelty-free wool $$ You want a product made without cruelty to animals
20 Bullhide Innovative and stylish designs have made Bullhide a leader in Western fashion $ You want to choose from a wide selection of styles and colors
21 Burns Cowboy Shop One of the oldest family-run Western retailers in the world $$$$ You want a one-of-a-kind hat that reflects your unique style

Best Cowboy Hat Brands


One of the oldest cowboy hat brands in the world, Stetson is synonymous with Western style and functionality. Stetson produces classic cowboy hats made from top-quality materials. Each hat is expertly crafted for comfort and durability.

Not only will a Stetson protect you from the sun and rain, but it will also complement your unique style.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1865
  • Location – Garland, Texas
  • Specialty – Durability – Stetson hats last a lifetime

Key Drawbacks:

  • Higher price range

Product Feature

The Skyline is one of Stetson’s most famous and popular designs. Made of genuine beaver fur pelt and sporting a classic cattleman crease—it’s a classic.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Greeley Hat Works

With over 100 years of experience, these guys pride themselves on customer HATisfaction! Choose from classic ready-to-ship designs to customized Beaver pelt perfection.

Pick your hat, then choose from nine different shapes and a multitude of brim designs.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1909
  • Location – Greeley, Colorado
  • Specialty – Custom-made designs with HATitude!

Key Drawbacks:

  • Prices may exceed many people’s budgets

Product Feature

If you’re not in the market for a custom-made hat but still want premium quality, you can’t go wrong with Greeley Hat’s classic buckskin cowboy hat.

Made from European hare pelt, it comes with a chocolate sweatband and silver buckle. Customize it by choosing your ideal crown and brim shapes.

Where to buy it: Greeley Hat Works


Designed to protect you against the harshest elements, Resistol’s hats really do resist all.

They’re comfortable to wear all day, in any weather conditions, and give a real sense of the Texan cowboy culture.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1927
  • Location – Garland, Texas
  • Specialty – Weatherproof cowboy hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • Dark colors aren’t colorfast in heavy rain

Product Feature

The 20X Conley is one of Resistol’s best-selling products. This lightweight straw cowboy hat is handwoven, breathable, and wide-brimmed to protect you from the glaring sun.

Where to buy it: Resistol

Shorty’s Caboy Hattery

Producing high-quality hats with fun designs and intricate details, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery can create the perfect hat to suit your unique look.

Alternatively, you can select from their ready-to-ship wide-brimmed straw hats.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1990
  • Location – Stockyard’s City, Oklahoma
  • Specialty – Custom-made cowgirl hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • While the straw hats are affordable, custom-made hats need serious investment!

Product Feature

With these custom-made hats, there is no best-selling product—each one is unique. Choose from a range of colors, styles, materials, and finishings to create your perfect look.

Where to buy it: Shorty’s Caboy Hattery

American Hat Company

The American Hat Company was the first to produce waterproof straw cowboy hats and continues to do so, alongside top-quality felt hats made from beaver, mink, and rabbit fur.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1915
  • Location – Bowie, Texas
  • Specialty – Waterproof cowboy hats

Key Drawbacks:

You can’t buy direct from the American Hat Company

Product Feature

The great thing about the American Hat Company is you can buy the same hat in various qualities, so you can customize it according to your budget.

The standard 10X cowboy hat looks much the same as a 1000X to the untrained eye, so why not customize a cheaper version, like the AMR 20X Grizzly, and make it stand out without breaking the bank?

Where to buy it: The Best Hat Store

JW Brooks Custom Hats

JW Brooks creates customized hats using top-quality materials. You can choose to have a hat manufactured entirely from beaver belly fur or opt for a luxurious mink blend.

Although the process may seem a bit daunting to begin with, the website offers step-by-step instructions to help you create the perfect design.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 2006
  • Location – Lipan, Texas
  • Specialty – Custom cowboy hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • The ordering process is quite complex

Product Feature

Use the online hat package to create your perfect design. Step-by-step instructions guide you through the process, starting with color options before moving on to crown shapes and brim styles.

Where to buy it: JW Brooks Custom Hats

Bailey Western

While most of the leading cowboy hat brands started making hats for cowboys, Bailey Western focused on a different market—movie stars.

Using innovative designs and luxury fibers, Bailey Western produces stylish, functional hats that won’t look out of place around the ranch or on the movie screen.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1922
  • Location – Lipan, Texas
  • Specialty – Custom cowboy hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • Quality is good, but doesn’t compete as well with the big-name brands

Product Feature

The Windriver Firehole combines a classic Western design with the latest innovations. Using treated wool, the hat retains its shape, is durable, and water repellent. The Dri-Lex® sweatband completes the design, making it cool, dry, and comfortable.

Where to buy it: Bailey Western

Rodeo King

Rodeo King prides itself on its range of styles and colors, so if you want something specific, you stand a good chance of finding it here.

These high-quality hats are handcrafted yet affordable and come in some interesting colors, making them ideal for those with lots of flair, but not so much money.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1921
  • Location – USA
  • Specialty – Wide range of colors, styles, and designs

Key Drawbacks:

  • Rodeo King does not sell directly to the public

Product Feature

If you’re looking for something stylish yet simple, you can’t go wrong with Rodeo King’s Black 5X cowboy hat. With a 4 1/4 inch brim and subtle buckle decoration, it’s a great hat for roping, barrel racing, or a night out on the town.

Where to buy it: NRS World

Specialist by Rod’s Western Palace

The Specialist is a felt cowboy hat made from a blend of rabbit/hare and beaver fur. While you can choose from different qualities and colors, every Specialist comes with a silk lining, leather sweatband, and three-piece buckle decoration.

specialist cowboy hat

Click to see it at Amazon

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1976
  • Location – Columbus, Ohio
  • Specialty – Manufactures a classic Western hat in a range of qualities and colors

Key Drawbacks:

  • Although the Specialist range caters to most budgets, it’s still quite limited compared to other brands

Product Feature

The latest addition to the Specialist range is an entry-level 4X offering, which is more affordable than the 20X but looks every bit as good. It still has a silk lining and buckle detail and is available in a range of sizes.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Tenth Street Hats

This family-run company uses rare hat-making machines to create functional cowboy hats that will take your outfit from ordinary to extraordinary.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1921
  • Location – Los Angeles, California
  • Specialty – Uses rare hat-making machines to produce high-quality products

Key Drawbacks:

Only a limited range of cowboy hats currently available

Product Feature

The 6X Real is a fur-felt Western hat with a soft finish and comfortable fit. While functional, it’s also trimmed with an eye-catching buckle set that will shimmer in the city lights.

Where to buy it: Tenth Street Hats

Master Hatters of Texas

Master Hatters‘ founder, William Cook, learned his trade at the Byer-Rolnick Hat Company in Dallas before manufacturing for Resistol. This experience led to the development of the Master Hatters range, which is now improving with the latest technology.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1968
  • Location – Garland, Texas
  • Specialty – Straw and felt cowboy hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • You can’t buy directly from Master Hatters and finding their full collection elsewhere is challenging.

Product Feature

Master Hatters produces a range of cowboy hats, starting with the lower-quality 3X products and going all the way to the premium 100X. The 3X Dawson black wool cowboy hat is a great entry-level product complete with silver conchos to make you look like the real deal.

Where to buy it: Cavender’s

American Hat Makers

American Hat Makers specialize in producing rodeo hats but also have a wide range of cowboy hats available. With the focus firmly on functionality, these hats are durable and resilient.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in the 1970s
  • Location – Watsonville, California
  • Specialty – Leather cowboy hats, tejana shapes, and rodeo hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • With the focus on leather and rodeo hats, there is only a fairly limited choice when it comes to traditional felt cowboy hats.

Product Feature

American Hat Makers have embraced the leather cowboy hat like no other. Their Women’s Leather Cowboy Hat is a functional masterpiece that protects against sun and rain and molds to the shape of your head for the perfect fit.

Where to buy it: American Hat Makers

coupon code for american hat makers

Charlie 1 Horse

Charlie 1 Horse produces cowboy hats that break the mold but won’t look out of place on the ranch. It specializes in cowboy hats for women and has an extensive range of fashion-forward designs to suit every personality.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1978
  • Location – Garland, Texas
  • Specialty – Fashion-forward hats for women

Key Drawbacks:

  • Product descriptions on the website are limited, making it more challenging to find the perfect design at the right price

Product Feature

You’ll struggle to find anything as classic or classy as Charlie 1 Horse’s Women’s Highway Hat. More suitable for a day at the races than a day on the ranch, this stylish wool-blend offering will add a feminine flair to your cowgirl fashion.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Outback Trading Company

The Outback Trading Company is famous for its oilskin products, giving them authentic Aussie charm. Oilskin is waterproof, durable, and tough enough to withstand the rigors of the Australian bush.

The company has branched out since its early days and now manufactures cowboy hats using wool, straw, and leather, although their oilskin dusters are tough to beat.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1983
  • Location – Oxford, Pennsylvania
  • Specialty – Oilskin hats and garments

Key Drawbacks:

  • Felt cowboy hats tend to be more lightweight than oilskin

Product Feature

If you’re more concerned with staying dry than expressing your inner cowboy, look no further than the Grizzly Oilskin Hat. Waterproof and breathable, it protects you from the elements and is durable enough to last a lifetime.

Where to buy it: Outback Trading Co.


This family-run business has established itself as one of the leading Western Clothing stores in the US. They have their own collection of high-quality cowboy hats, and stock numerous popular brands, including Resistol and Stetson—perfect for one-stop shopping.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1965
  • Location – Tyler, Texas
  • Specialty – Premium Western clothing

Key Drawbacks:

  • You might find it difficult to make a decision with so many hats to choose from!

Product Feature

One of the most popular hats in Cavender’s collection is the supremely affordable Bangora Ivory Cattleman Crown Cowboy Hat. This lightweight, breathable straw cowboy hat combines style with functionality.

Where to buy it: Cavender’s

Watson’s Hat Shop

Producing top-of-the-range cowboy hats is the name of the game for Watson’s Hat Shop, and each one is lovingly handcrafted according to the customer’s specifications. If you want a functional work of art as well as a hat, this is the place for you.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in late 1800s
  • Location – Cave Creek, Arizona
  • Specialty – Handcrafted custom hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • A hat of this quality is a lifetime investment, so you might need to save up!

Product Feature

Customize any of the Watson’s Hat Shop’s offerings, and you’ll have a masterpiece. Start with something simple yet stylish, like The Rancher, and add your own flair with customized colors, shapes, and finishes.

Where to buy it: Watson’s Hat Shop


As one of the leading manufacturers of equestrian boots and clothing, Ariat is known for its technical materials and performance gear. Although its range of cowboy hats is limited, each one has that typical Ariat flair and finish.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1993
  • Location – California
  • Specialty – Equestrian performance gear

Key Drawbacks:

  • There’s only a limited selection of Ariat cowboy hats so you won’t have the range of colors or styles you’ll find elsewhere

Product Feature

This Ariat black wool cowboy hat will keep the sun out of your eyes and the wind out of your hair. It keeps your head warm while giving your outfit a little Western flair. A well-priced, good-quality product with consistently positive reviews.

Where to buy it: Amazon


The Justin name is more commonly associated with boots, so it doesn’t have the brand recognition of Stetson when it comes to cowboy hats. There’s nothing wrong with their products, though, and they have a great range of entry-level cowboy hats in both straw and felt.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1879
  • Location – El Paso, Texas
  • Specialty – Hand-crafted boots and hats

Key Drawbacks:

  • Justin Boots doesn’t appear to feature cowboy hats on their website, so you’ll have to source them through other vendors

Product Feature

This entry-level felt cowboy hat features a cattleman crease, a 4-inch brim, and satin lining.

Where to buy it: Sheplers


Brixton might not be a household name like Stetson, but it produces good-quality cowboy hats at affordable prices. Available in a range of colors and sizes, their hats are made from cruelty-free wool that also meets the Responsible Wool Standard for Sustainability.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 2004
  • Location – Oceanside, California
  • Specialty – Uses cruelty-free wool in its vintage-inspired designs

Key Drawbacks:

  • You won’t get the same kudos from a Brixton as you would a Stetson

Product Feature

This cruelty-free wool cowboy hat comes with an adjustable sweatband for the perfect fit. A thin band and metal Brixton pin add understated decoration for a more subtle look.

Where to buy it: Brixton


With their innovative designs and attention to detail, Bullhide is a leader in the Western fashion industry. They manufacture hats using traditional processes that capture the flair of the Old West.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1949
  • Location – Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Specialty – High-quality custom-made products

Key Drawbacks:

  • Bullhide has a bewilderingly large array of hats to choose from, which some may find confusing

Product Feature

If you’re looking for an affordable straw hat, look no further than the Bullhide Buffalo. Made from 100% cotton, it’s lightweight, breathable and stylish.

Where to buy it: Amazon

Burns Cowboy Shop

Burns started as a saddlery but soon started selling everything a cowboy could need – including hats. These days, they make their own custom hats from beaver and hare.

Select your perfect combination of materials, and then finish it off with your chosen crown shape and brim.

Key Benefits:

  • History – Founded in 1876
  • Location – Utah
  • Specialty – Traditional family-run Western retail business

Key Drawbacks:

  • Prices will be too high for those on a tight budget

Product Feature

While a custom hat is everybody’s dream, not everyone’s wallet will stretch that far. Burn’s has a range of high-quality, ready-to-ship cowboy hats for every outfit and occasion.

The competitor saddle 4.25” is available in hare, beaver, or a combination of the two and is handmade to ensure top-quality craftsmanship.

Where to buy it: Burns

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What brand of cowboy hats do cowboys wear?

Cowboys often wear classic brands like Stetson and Resistol with Stetsons being preferred for dressy occasions and Resistols preferred for work.

Q: What is the most popular cowboy hat?

The most popular style of cowboy hat across brands is the cattleman crease.

Q: What hat do most cowboys wear?

In the past, cowboys wore various hats, from flat wool caps to the derby or bowler. These days, many cowboys wear caps or even riding hats, but the cowboy hat hasn’t lost its seat in the saddle either and remains a popular choice among working cowboys.

Q: Is Stetson or Resistol better?

While Resistol is perhaps a little more durable and more suited to extreme weather conditions, nothing can beat the quality and tradition of the Stetson.

Ideally, every cowboy or girl should have one of each, wearing their Stetsons out on the town and the Resistols around the ranch.

Q: What brand of hats are worn on Yellowstone?

Greeley Hat Works made the hats for Yellowstone and sells these styles online.

Q: What hat do Texas Rangers wear?

According to the Texas Ranger Dress Regulations, rangers can only wear rancher or cattleman-style cowboy hats with brims under 4 inches wide. They wear both straw and felt hats, depending on the weather and task at hand.

Parting Thoughts

You don’t have to stick with household brands to find yourself a quality cowboy hat that reflects your personality and lifestyle. Smaller brands are producing equally robust and weather-resistant cowboy hats and expertly crafting custom hats.

A cowboy hat from any of these brands will add some Western flair to your outfit and protect you against the rigors of ranch life.

P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to: 


Texas Ranger Dress Regulations

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About the author


Holly N.

Holly started riding as a six years old in the UK and competed regularly in local events, including showjumping, cross country, showing, working hunter, and gymkhana. She now lives and rides in South Africa, working as a trail guide with Wild Coast Horseback Adventures. Her interests are primarily in the areas of DIY horse ownership, trail riding, barefoot horses, endurance, competitive trail riding, and South African breeds.