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Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed)
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Locale: South West US
Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/23/2006 23:14:33 MDT Print View

I am curious to know who perfers a ball cap to a wide brim hat and why.

I've been using a wide brim hat (a patagucci trim-brim) for a while now and it works well, but i'm thinking of trying out a ball cap for a change and wonder if those who use them have a problem with sunburn on the ears and neck. I've been looking at the OR sun runner cap, but am worried that having the fabirc so close to the head will be uncomfortable and if it will provide enough protection.

OR sun runner cap(



Edited by oiboyroi on 05/23/2006 23:15:15 MDT.

ball cap. on 05/23/2006 23:22:23 MDT Print View

baseball cap and an all-purpose bandana worn safari-style to shield your ears and back of the neck. and perhaps to keep mosquitoes or gnats outta your face. that's my approach.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/24/2006 00:44:49 MDT Print View

Simple answer - BOTH (depends upon conditions or route, or both).

Hooded poncho, P-T, or cape = usually a ball cap (though not always) as hood is a bit more comfortable to wear with ballcap, but still can be worn with a flexible wide-brimmed hat.

hoodless poncho, or very humid conditions before and after rainfall (just roll poncho hood into back of poncho neck opening and lay it along the upper back) = wide-brimmed as even with Rain-X ANTI-FOG my glasses tend to fog up less as the Rain-X ANTI-FOG is wearing off if no hood is worn (particularly if i stop movement to rehydrate when using bottles instead of a bladder.

wide-brimmed if route will be more open and there's lots of sun (rare in the forest, but some routes might have more openness).

hunting - camo boonie. (haven't personally hunted in years though).

i also have a fabric neck and side "cap cape" (similar to the link you provided) with an elasticized band that can added to any ball-cap for sun protection. this provides plenty of protection from the sun. It's actually cooler than having the sun directly strike my neck and face.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: ball cap. on 05/24/2006 06:31:52 MDT Print View

Ditto on the ball cap, or visor. Like Anon, I add a bandana or silk scarf tucked under the headband if I need to protect from sunburn over the ears and neck. I've actually never owned a wide-brimmed cap, so I can't make a fair comparison there. But I've never had too much trouble with the cap.

Chad McClenathen
(cmcclenathen) - F
Face Exposure on 05/24/2006 08:27:25 MDT Print View

I regularly have pre-cancerous growths burned off my face due to years of wearing a ball cap. Admittedly I boated all those years in Florida, so maximum sun exposure, but the point is a ball cap does not protect the sides of your face, only your nose and forehead. I now always wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors. For backpacking, I currently am using a rain resistant waxed cotton hat and find it adequate in the rain so don't have to worry about using a hood. I have noted that not using a hood seems cooler and also allows you to more fully enjoy the sights and sounds when trekking in the rain. The only drawback so far is a bit of head stink after a few days on trail, but it is otherwise comfortable and provides the needed protection from sun.

Stephen Eggleston
(happycamper) - F

Locale: South Bayish
Re:Wide Brim or Ball Cap? on 05/24/2006 08:38:03 MDT Print View

Location, location, location.
Weather, weather, weather.

I recently moved from CA to NM and can say that what works in one climate doesn't necesarily work in another. In northern CA a ball cap usually worked for me except in high elevation sun. In NM my usual ball cap leads to a sun burnt neck, even on day hikes.

Sun, light rain protection and thermal regulation are the reasons I wear a hat. In NM there doesn't seem to be any rain but there is plenty of sun; a wide brim is the way to go.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
ballcap a home run (no steroids) on 05/24/2006 10:34:27 MDT Print View

Ditto, ditto on the ballcap/bandanna combo. Soaking the bandanna at stream crossings on a hot day's hike is oh so refreshing. No brim on the back to conflict w/ a tall pack. The bug pro element is there, too. Works well w/ hoods on my hardshells to extend precip pro-- for colder wet conditions, anyway. Low elev. or tropics would be another matter.

It's lighter (1 oz. for my Patagucci Airius) and less bulky than a wide brim hat.

No sunburns, no worries.

Edited by kdesign on 05/24/2006 10:43:53 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: ballcap a home run (no steroids) on 05/24/2006 11:02:16 MDT Print View

I'm 5'7" 155 lbs male. I'm like a furnace. I hike hot... even in cool spring/fall weather.

My Environment:
I hike mostly here in Nova Scotia, Canada... which means coastal hiking and boreal forest with spring/fall temps around 5-15 celcius and summer highs of 20-25 celcius (maybe in the 30's sometimes... for a few weeks in high summer). Humidity is also very high of course.

My Solution:
For me... I've tried technical fabric ball caps, with and without capes and I've also tried a Tilley LTM5. I hate the ballcap solution. No air space above my head. I get very hot. A cape is good for the sun but I find a cape very annoying. The Tilley is much better... but I still get hot in it... even in the fall. What I have now is a Henschel Breezer... and I LOVE it!!!! Love it love it love it. It is made completely from open mesh polyester (bucket and brim) with a solid lid. Just under 5oz... crushable... wire brim. It's very cool and very shady.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/24/2006 11:40:13 MDT Print View

Tilley T-5, broad brim, thank you very much. Chin strap keeps it on in the wind, good in the rain, good in the sun, keeps the sun off my face and notably off my ears. Makes me look like a handsome devil too.

Baseball caps are decorative uniform stuff.

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/24/2006 11:40:45 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Tilley Hats--fruit or vegie? on 05/24/2006 11:46:18 MDT Print View

<makes me look like a handsome devil too.

Look again.

Edited by kdesign on 05/24/2006 11:49:20 MDT.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Re: Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/24/2006 12:09:46 MDT Print View

Wide Brim
Tilley TH4; weighs a little more that the the TH5, but offers much more shade.
I have tried the baseball style hat with a bandana, but it is just to close to the skin for good airflow. Granted a B/B hat does support a poncho hood better, but like others have posted, tuck the poncho hood inside and use the wide brimmed hat.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/24/2006 12:11:36 MDT Print View

It depends on how much sun exposure you're willing to subject your face to. A wide brim hat provides much better sun protection. I work outdoors and spend a lot of free time both below and above the treeline. For me, wide brim is the way to go. In fact, I may spring for a Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat. I'm sure it'll make me look like a handsome dev... Oh, never mind.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Wide Brim or Ball Cap? (fixed) on 05/24/2006 12:52:11 MDT Print View

Tilley TH4 for me too. I wear it on my boat and in my jeep when the top is down. It provides excellent rain and sun protection. Tilley hats are kinda like are not impressed until you wear them..then you start wearing them around town so much your friends don't recognize you without them :)

Chad McClenathen
(cmcclenathen) - F
Tilley on 05/24/2006 13:49:26 MDT Print View

Tell me more about these Tilley hats. Do they have a fairly stiff brim. I forget the brands but other hats that I have tried over the years had floppy brims that were worthless due to drooping, especially in the rain.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Tilley hats on 05/24/2006 13:54:59 MDT Print View

The brims are quite stiff - on both the cotton and nylon T5 models the brim blows up at about a 20mph wind.

For rain, they are excellent, especially for glasses wearers.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tilley on 05/24/2006 14:17:12 MDT Print View

No droop, but they will catch wind. I had an Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero and gave it up as it was too hot and way too floopy-- really useless in the wind.

If you want a hat with a really stiff brim, the Filson "Tin" hats are great. They make one with a chin strap too:

Duluth Trading Co has some knock-offs too.

The other hat I like is the military "boonie" hat. Any surplus store will have a bunch and they come in khaki, camo, green, and black. Should run about $11-$12. They come with a lanyard, made of rip-stop cotton. Fold up it and stuff in a pocket, biner it on your pack, throw it in the washing machine, wet it in a stream and cool off your noggin, use it for picking berries... I like khaki flavor-- better in the sun and not as scary as the other colors.

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/24/2006 14:53:34 MDT.

Patrick Baker
(WildMan) - F
Re: Re: Tilley on 05/24/2006 14:41:25 MDT Print View

Tilley hats are meant to be sized 2 fingers larger than your head size. The weight will keep it on your head and this will be much more comfortable than a tight fitting hat.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Tilley on 05/24/2006 15:11:16 MDT Print View

Good to see that as a group we are conflicted over head gear. I keep bouncing around, myself. No one thing seems to do the job.

In Texas heat, where sunlight has weight, I need a wide-brimmed hat even in the woods, a Columbia Bora-bora (with a silnylon cover for rain).

On the AT I like a visor. In heat, a wet bandanna under the visor band keeps me cool. A fleece helmet fits under in cold weather. A W/B whatchacallit, bandanna like thing, goes under the band in the rain. None of this will work as well as a brimmed hat in Texas or elsewhere in the Southwest. The visor is not enough sun protection and the wet bandanna trick doesn't let in enough air.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tilley on 05/24/2006 19:12:43 MDT Print View

Seriously check out the Henschel hats! They are almost a third the price of a Tilley with a wider brim (without looking goofy) and they hold their shape much better. They are also much cooler... if that's an issue for you. I have a Tilley LTM5 which is a wonderful hat... but the cheap and brezzy Henschel is always my hat of choice now.

Here's a link... Canadian pricing

And here is me weaing it... click for bigger versions if you want...

Edited by davidlewis on 05/24/2006 19:23:26 MDT.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Sunday Afternoon Adventure Hat on 05/24/2006 19:19:46 MDT Print View

At only 3 oz the Sunday Afternoon Hat is great sun protection and it crushes in your pack easily.

I've tried others, but have found nothing better.'s_Hats&sc=Outdoor_Active&nr=&pc=