If you’re looking to shop for the best brands of cowboy hats in 2024, you first need to know which top hatter companies truly stand out from the herd, especially in terms of quality, durability, and style. After decades of personal experience, I’m glad to share my top 10 picks with you. Let’s start with the established brands and then follow up with some of the smaller, emerging brands. Here we go!
“To design a character, especially when designing a Western, I always say the hat makes the man, because on camera — on the screen — that’s what you’re seeing and that’s truly what gives the actor his or her character.“Janie Bryant
Stetson: Iconic choice, sometimes a little common
Stetson is a true icon of the West, bring a mix of heritage and quality to the table.
- Steeped in history, a true classic
- Unmatched quality, built to last
- Wide range of authentic styles
- Premium quality comes with a higher price tag
- Classic popularity means you might blend in with the cowboy crowd
Resistol: High quality, and slightly costly
Resistol hats are the talk of the town in the wild west, known for their blend of style and sturdiness.
But let’s break it down, partner:
- Tough as nails, ready for any rodeo
- Fits like a glove, won’t fly off in a gust
- Styles for every cowboy and cowgirl.
- Might cost ya a pretty penny
- Popular styles can be as common as cactus in the desert
Bailey Western: Affordable, many choices
Bailey Western offers a mix of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.
- Innovative styles for the modern cowboy
- Quality materials for durability
- Wide variety of designs
- Some styles may prioritize fashion over function
- Premium designs might come with a higher cost
American Hat Company: Awesome! But only at retailers
American Hat Company is renowned for their craftsmanship and innovation in cowboy hats.
- Pioneers in waterproof straw hats
- High-quality felt options
- Diverse styles with unique weaves
- Premium products may come at a higher price
- Direct purchase not available; must buy through retailers
Justin: Low prices, focus on boots
Justin is known for their blend of tradition and modern flair.
- Trusted for quality, with a heritage in Western wear
- Offers both classic and contemporary designs
- Accessible pricing for quality hats
- More famous for boots, so hat selection might be limited
- Hats may not be as widely available as other brands
My experience with specific brands
I’m positive about the American Hat Company (AHC), especially for their hats felt at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). The 20x AHC is particularly a great pick for its rain resistance. I’ve had some issues with Stetson and Resistol’s quality. This suggests their names might outweigh their current product quality.
Custom hat makers like O’Farrel, Greeley, Catalen have a superior quality rabbit or beaver blend hats, ranging from $250 to $400, offering better a value than Stetson or Resistol.
Greeley Hat Company has receiced some skepticism lately about their pre-distressed offerings, but you could contact them for custom hats.
Brands like Rodeo King and Seratelli are fine options for their respective price ranges and quality, with Seratelli for its lifetime cleaning and reshaping services.
Spradley Hats in Texas has my vote for its honest approach to felt quality and the unreliability of the “X” system for quality determination.
If you have big bucks to spend, check out the high-quality, higher-priced options like Atwood Felts, Capital Hatters, Flint Hat Shop, and Catalena Hatters.
Akubra is highly recommended for its good quality control and durability, being a family-run Australian brand.
Key company recommendations
- American Hat Company: Good for rain resistance, quality felt hats
- Custom Makers: O’Farrel, Greeley, Catalena, Nathan Funmaker, Put a Lid On It, Mike Marsh Milliner
- Rodeo King: Good for the price range, decent 7-10x hats
- Stetson: The iconic brand that cannot be denied
- Seratelli: Lifetime cleaning and reshaping services, good for fancy occasions
- Spradley Hats: Honest about felt quality, good Beaver/Hare blend
- Resistol: Quality concerns, mostly relying on brand name
- Bailey: Best wool felt hats
- Atwood Felts, Capital Hatters, Flint Hat Shop, Catalena Hatters: Higher quality, higher-priced options
- Akubra: Family-run, good quality control, durable
Compare for yourself
|Family-run, emphasizes good quality control and durability.
|Notable names include O’Farrel, Greeley, Catalena, Nathan Funmaker, Put a Lid On It, Mike Marsh Milliner. Known for custom quality.
|American Hat Company
|Renowned for rain resistance and quality felt hats.
|Recognized for offering good value within their price range, with decent 7-10x hats.
|Offers lifetime cleaning and reshaping services, making them a good choice for fancy occasions.
|Honest about felt quality, known for their good Beaver/Hare blend hats.