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Best backpacking hat?
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Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
:) on 08/04/2011 00:52:14 MDT Print View


how ya been jack?

I wear this one, love it! and it's eVent which is nice when you come by a stream in the heat :

not the new version that has weird gussets in the front:

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Best backpacking hat? Columbia Omni-Shade Bora Bora Booney Hat on 08/04/2011 01:06:56 MDT Print View

REI has the Hat for 25 bones, you can wait for their sale to get 30% off. Campmor and Big5 also carry it
Columbia Omni-Shade Bora Bora Booney

it comes in grey, beige, and white colors, while the bright white reflects the most light, it doesn't blend in with the outdoors colors, I have been happy with the beige for many years.

wide brim covers the back of the neck, and enough front shade to cover my adam's apple. it is a one-size fits all, with an adjustable bungee. it feels weird at first, but when you find the right tension for you, its good. (too tight is too much)

the forehead part is breathable mesh. I wash it in the shower with soap.

I did modify a little bit by adding a long plastic stiff line on the outter brim, so it doesn't turn into an old ladies floppy hat, and now its more taut like a park ranger's hat.

been happy with the same hat for 5 years

Edited by RodneyOndaRock on 08/04/2011 01:14:32 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Best backpacking hat? on 08/04/2011 01:07:57 MDT Print View

And for a really nerdy look, the faux pith helmet, worn by letter carriers. Not only does it protect from the sun, it has excellent ventilation and makes an excellent rain hat. Is that you, Livingstone?

Letter Carrier's sun helmet

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Best backpacking hat? Columbia Omni-Shade Bora Bora Booney Hat on 08/04/2011 04:47:58 MDT Print View

Bandannas or polyester and merino wool buffs for me.

My favorite hiking "hat"

My bandannas are the extra large 27" x 27" variety and come from .

I am currently using a white polyester buff during my summer day hikes and I have a "Kaky" colored (read OD green) merino wool buff that I use during the cooler months.

I've tried caps and hats and none of them do the trick for me. I find all of them uncomfortable and hot when it is warm. I can sweat through a bandanna or buff and enjoy the cooling effect of a breeze while I am hiking.

BTW my oversize bandannas sell for $2.50 each and serve all of the multiuse duties that have been discussed on BPL in past threads.

Party On,


T kawa
(kitsune) - F
bora on 08/04/2011 14:50:51 MDT Print View

now I have a columbia bora hat, it works well, the ventilation is nice compared to my old helios hat (lost at pinnacles, hope someone found it and used it=)... but now I think i'll get a kavu chilba and get in touch with my roots.... teehee.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
More on buffs on 08/04/2011 15:24:54 MDT Print View

You are so right, John. I like my bandannas of the "do rag" variety for headwear. Forgot to mention in my previous post that buffs can also be worn as sun hats to protect the back of the neck. Just tuck the back extra cloth under to form a neck protector or it in "pirate mode" to protect the neck and tuck your ears under the buff in harsh sunlight. Seriously, IMO, buffs are by far the most versatile of headwear in all conditions.

Stargazer (a Buff buff)

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
bandannas on 08/04/2011 22:14:35 MDT Print View

Bandannas are great. They keep the sweat out of my eyes and are so multi-functional.

BUT, I'd hate to wear just a bandanna in the harsh UV radiation of Colorado.

I tan very well (thanks to my southern Italian ancestors and various invaders of southern Italy over the years ), but anyone fries up at 12k or so feet on a high alpine pass.

So, I wear the dorky sun hat to keep the sun off my face and the melanoma at bay! :D

I hate sunscreen (see above about sweat in the eyes..even worse with sun screen!) and would rather wear clothing to protect me from the UV radiation than glop; esp on a multi-day trip.

Edited by PaulMags on 08/04/2011 22:17:24 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Best backpacking hat?" on 08/04/2011 22:19:53 MDT Print View

Works wonders down here.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Ah! on 08/04/2011 22:22:43 MDT Print View

That ain't a dorky hat.

That has panache and is sure to make any man hiking the trail have women desire them and have men desire to be like him.

Now excuse me while I reminisce about my trip to the the Pecos wilderness and ponder more green chile' beer from Eskes Brew Pub in Taos.


Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Best backpacking hat? on 08/05/2011 08:23:11 MDT Print View

In the forest in summer: a headband.
I only need something to keep the sweat out of my eyes and glasses.

In the open in summer: military desert hat, beating others in cost and maybe durability

Other times, excluding very cold winter: polyester running hat with a bill

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
hat on 08/05/2011 10:14:00 MDT Print View

I've been wearing the Sombriolet Sun Hat and a $10 very light nylon "golf hat" from Target. Similar to other sun hats by MH, OR, etc, just a baseball-style cap in nylon/polyester with two strips of mesh to keep your head cool.

Looks a bit like this one from MH:

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Depends on what function you are looking for on 08/05/2011 10:34:15 MDT Print View

I wear a hat so i don't have to use Sunscreen anywhere on my head and neck. That requires a full brim. Baseball style caps are useless for that purpose because it leaves the side and neck exposed.

My hat currently is a Tilley LTM6. I have to admit that it doesn't breath as well as I would like but that's compared to not wearing anything at all so hard to compete with nothing.

I do have to say that Buff's are really nice as well. I really like being able to dip them in a cold stream and put on. You can get the full sun protection if you wear it Balaclava style.

Edited by randalmartin on 08/05/2011 10:39:25 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
bping hat on 08/05/2011 10:56:42 MDT Print View

Merino wool buff- regulates a wide temp range, multipurpose, comfortable

Cheap wide brimmed straw hat- tons of sun coverage, breathable, light, cheap!

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Best backpacking hat? on 08/06/2011 14:54:31 MDT Print View

Outdoor Research Sun Runner & a tube bandana.

I seem to be one of the few who prefer a tube bandana... never understood why more people do not like them.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Tubular Bandana on 08/06/2011 19:19:48 MDT Print View

I googled "tube bandana" and found out that a buff is a tubular bandana. So that puts Stargazer and Newton on board as people who like tubular bandanas a.k.a. buffs.

Eugene may qualify but only when he isn't wearing his straw hat or sombrero.;-)

Party On,


Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
-- on 08/06/2011 22:57:07 MDT Print View


Edited by backpackerchick on 08/06/2011 22:59:47 MDT.

(packdaddy) - F
froggtoggs bucket hat on 10/08/2012 15:15:43 MDT Print View

Found a Froggtoggs Aussie hat. 3 oz. waterpoof, breathable good sun protection with full wide brim, packable, not too dorky, $12.00 at my local sporting goods store.

Edited by packdaddy on 10/08/2012 20:03:24 MDT.

Mal Hooper

Locale: Valley of the Sun
Various on 10/08/2012 16:22:02 MDT Print View

I have a big noggin...okay...a huge I am very limited on the hats I can wear. When I find a hat that works I protect it with my life and/or buy extras for backup. So far my faves are...

Arcteryx toque for warmth and a Tilley T3 for sun protection.

I **love** my merino buff, but I bought it for a day trip into Denali when I forgot my Arc toque. The only color they had was Cru which is basically caucasian skin color so, yes, it looks like I'm wearing pantyhose on my head. Needless to say, I don't wear it much, but I do love the functionality of it.

All that said, I have long hair and my favorite thing to wear while actually hiking is a bandana headband like a good ol' hippy.

Peter Albinger

Locale: Toronto Ontario Canada
Tilley hats are cool on 10/08/2012 16:29:58 MDT Print View

I recently got my fourth Tilley hat over the past twenty five years. I now have two T3's- one in brown and one in what was once olive. I also have a hemp version (the TH5). . However, the one I bought recently I wear all the time- walking the dog, paddling my canoe, hiking the trails north of the city. It is the Tilley Outback (TWC7), kinda like a Filson hat I used to own and liked. You can see it here-

Ya, they're a bit pricy but they're worth it and they look great and they last forever- or, in my case, at least 25 years!

Edited by true_north on 10/09/2012 16:25:31 MDT.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
I have the perfect hat for you! on 10/08/2012 18:38:39 MDT Print View

I bought this baseball style hat from Sierra Trading Post two months ago and got to use it in very bright alpine conditions for two trips. It's by Discovery Expeditions. I'm not kidding when I say that the hat has excellent mesh ventillation, an extra long brim to block the sun (I didn't wear sunglasses while hiking, such a relief), perfect for wearing a mosquito net and keeping it off of your face, a string to attach it to your clothing, and a really nice liner to soak the sweat from your forehead...

I got this hat for $6.95 with a discount code! I couldn't believe the quality of this product.

Oh crap, I should go out and buy more before they stop producing it.

*edit* I just bought two more with an additional 35% for $6.45 a piece. These would make an excellent gift for your favorite hiker. They are one size fits all and not too dorky on my head.

Edited by flutingaround on 10/08/2012 19:04:08 MDT.