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What hats do you use?
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What hats do you use? on 11/19/2012 18:36:36 MST Print View

I got a Kavu Chilba today, which is the second ugliest hat after the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, but like the SAAH, it works. What's on your head?

Kavu Chilba

My headgear herd:

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
Kavu Chilba
Postal worker's plastic pith helmet (third ugliest)
The North Face High Point Andean style cap--- a beanie with earflaps and chinstrap
Patagonia micro-grid fleece beanie
Tilley T3 nylon
OR Seattle Sombrero

Ben Smith

Locale: Epping Forest
my hats on 11/19/2012 18:47:35 MST Print View

I have a wild plethora of snowboarding hats (mainly polyester)
My favourite hat is my smartwool training beanie, thin enough to run in but often perfect alone.
I wear a really old freebie columbia cap for sun protection but my favourite headwear has to be my...
SHARKACLAVA. Yes, it's a balaclava that looks like a shark. Complete with a fin on top of the head.

Frank H.

Locale: California
My hats on 11/19/2012 18:57:51 MST Print View


I just use a visor and a wool beanie. Nothing fancy. If I need more protection from the sun, I will use a bandana along with the visor. I love the addition of hoods on my jackets.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Dorky sun hat on 11/19/2012 19:29:10 MST Print View

Look to the left.

It works.. :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Dorkiest sun hat? on 11/19/2012 19:38:44 MST Print View

Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat, of course. It's well ventilated, doesn't bump the back of my pack thanks to having the drape in back, and really keeps off the sun. The only time I need sunscreen is where the surroundings are really reflective--water, snow, bare ground above timberline. Since I'm allergic to most sunscreens, this is really important for me. The drape in back also means that I can pull the hood of my rain jacket over the hat so I have a nice big brim to protect my glasses in a downpour--definitely beats windshield wipers!

I really don't care how dorky the hat looks. It works for everything I need in a hat!

For cold weather: a fleece balaclava and one of Kat Pierini's beautiful knit hats!

Edited by hikinggranny on 11/19/2012 19:40:27 MST.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Dorkiest sun hat on 11/19/2012 20:00:51 MST Print View

Mary's right - the dorkiest and the best.


Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
I use the Sunday Afternoon's Travel Hat on 11/19/2012 20:06:53 MST Print View

The Sunday Afternoon Travel hat is what I use now. I had the SA Adventure hat and liked it, but I could never figure out how to store the dang thing temporarily when I wasn't wearing it - such as when I'd leave a hot, sunny ridgeline and begin walking through a shady stretch of woods. When my SA Adventure hat disappeared during a river crossing (it wasn't on my head at the time), I opted for the slightly smaller Travel hat. 3" brim instead of 4", with a slightly smaller drape, the big advantage for me is that the SA Travel hat folds in half. I just fold the brim, then fold the drape over it, and it sticks perfectly under my MLD shoulder pouch... ready to be grabbed and unfolded again when the need arises.

Sunday Afternoons Travel hat

Edited by DaveHeiss on 11/19/2012 20:08:03 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hat retainers on 11/19/2012 20:24:54 MST Print View

I have become a fan of the smallest Nite Eyz s-biners for things like attaching a hat or other loose gear to my pack. I use them on the ridge line of my hammock too.

Edited by dwambaugh on 11/19/2012 21:42:20 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What hats do you use? on 11/19/2012 20:34:50 MST Print View

I use trucker style hats with the snap back. I seriously can't find anything else that will fit my head. I must have a big head or something.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
What hat do you use? on 11/19/2012 20:59:54 MST Print View

+1 Sunday Afternoons--Everything you need in a mountain hat. Keep it stupid simple!


Edited by Creachen on 11/19/2012 21:02:43 MST.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: What hat do you use? on 11/19/2012 21:12:53 MST Print View

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap for me. Love the coverage from the sun that it gives and it's light weight.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
Hats! on 11/19/2012 21:26:36 MST Print View

+ 1 on the sun runner. Its awesome in the wind and comes in xl for us large domed folks. Not an ounce of sunburn for this pasty scottsman! Come winter its my trusty wool hat with fleece lining from headgear knits in soldotna ak.

Christian Denniston
(cdenniston) - F
OR on 11/19/2012 21:47:42 MST Print View

Outdoor Research Pocket Cap in warm weather.

Icebreaker Pocket 200 Beanie in cool weather. (Although I am looking for a replacement)

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
The Camo Tub! on 11/19/2012 21:56:35 MST Print View

100% cotton Maxxis snow-camo bucket hat. Shaped much like Jimmy Fallons...I mean, PaulMags hat above. ;O)

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
From Buenos Aires on 11/19/2012 22:14:12 MST Print View

From our blog of earlier this summer:

And you may also see that P is wearing a new hat in these latest photos. He picked up the most recent version at the Mataderos Flea Market in Buenos Aires...and he loves it. It looks like it's make of leather, but it is actually very lightweight felt, and coated with oil so that it is waterproof. And it is crush-proof, too. Do what you will, it always pops back into shape. Best of all, we got it when we were visiting Argentina for our daughter's it has additional sentimental value. A perfect hat.

here's a link;

Alex Eriksson

Locale: Austin, TX
Enormous Head Difficulties on 11/19/2012 22:25:00 MST Print View

I've actually been on the hunt for a decent looking ball-cap styling hat for some time now. Problem is A) I have a huge head size 7 3/4 in fitted baseball hats, B) I honestly can't bring myself to wearing something ridiculous looking, and C) whatever hat needs to be fairly light in color. Call me vain, it wouldn't be the first time; but certainly there's gotta be something out there that's breezy with at least a decent brim in a baseball style (not a fan of boonie or those hats with capes). If I could find an Arcteryx Escapa that would be nice. Perhaps a Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper? Both of those options have me at the top end of their "L/XL" sizing though. What a pain in the @ss.

Apparently Nike makes a fitted-style (i.e. flat large brim) nylon hat for their golf line, but I'm skeptical. So for the time being I'm rocking, even in summer, a wool blend New Era. Big brim and it fits.

Alternatively, I wouldn't mind a big lightweight shemagh (arab scarf) wrapped and tied around my head. I actually have one of these scarves, authentic from a military friend in Afghanistan, but it's about twice as heavy a weave as it needs to be.

Michael Bachman
(rivrfox) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Mountain Hardwear Butter Beanie on 11/19/2012 22:26:57 MST Print View

I had this or the possible precursor to it, acquired around 06'. Lost night hiking to Conundrum Hotsprings 1 month ago. Time to repurchase. It's my most worn all around beanie. When it's cold it's the perfect layer underneath. Never to light to carry and takes up no space at all.

MH Butter Beanie 18 grams

Justin McCabe

Locale: Southern California
Re: OR on 11/20/2012 00:05:12 MST Print View

+1 for the OR pocket cap

(plus, it's one of the only pieces of my backpacking clothing system my wife lets me wear on a regular basis!)

Benjamin Brillat

Locale: Northeast USA
Seattle Sombrero on 11/20/2012 00:24:31 MST Print View

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero. Just took a trip to Norway where it rained almost every day... the smartest packing choice of that entire trip was the Seattle Sombrero. It got some serious use... having a Gore-tex rain hat was a fantastic idea. When it isn't raining you can velcro the sides up. One foolish move though was that I removed the neck strap from mine... my wife kept hers and was laughing when a wind gust blew mine off and in to a puddle.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: What hats do you use? on 11/20/2012 03:59:05 MST Print View

If I'm wearing an actual hat it's the Columbia Bora Bora Booney.

I'm the one on the right under the hat ;-)

I've been known to go with the multi-use bandanna / head cover.

Oversize orange bandanna (27" x 27")

At night when sleeping I use a Gold's Gym fleece beanie purchased from Walmart on clearance for $3.00. I alternate between the beanie and a merino wool Buff depending on conditions. The Buff is more flexible in that it can be worn in more than one way.

I guess after reading my own post that hats are my luxury item on the trail. ;-)

Party On,


Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Another 7 3/4 on 11/20/2012 05:52:26 MST Print View

I wear a nylon wicking fabric reebok baseball cap in the summer. It fits, is super light and protects my bald head.

In the winter I have a series if hats spending on the temps - a Novarra thin liner (I use it cycling as well which is what it is designed for), a Spyder basic fleece beanie and a heavier mountain hardwear Dome Perignon ...

I'm bald so I need something pretty much all the time.

Oh yeah and a Columbia waterproof boonie hat.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Size Matters on 11/20/2012 07:56:40 MST Print View

"Another 7 3/4"

When it says L/XL or one size fits most I can still be out of luck. 7 3/4 is tight on me. I just measured my "dome" and it hit the 24" circumference mark!

Hat sizes like shirt, pants and shoes sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

According to the hat size charts I've found, 7 3/4 falls on the borderline of XL and XXL

I was, until I checked it out, under the impression that your hat size was one third of your head's circumference. That would make me a size 8. But the hat size charts do not bear this out.

When I wash my "ONE SIZE FITS MOST" Booney I put it on my head "wet" and stretch it to fit loose and then line dry it. Ball caps for me better have velcro, elastic or adjustable bands. Beanies in the large and extra large size are more forgiving because they stretch but I still give them a trial run before laying down the credit card.

My merino wool Buff fits fine but I picked up an original 100% microfiber polyester Buff and it's a tight fit.

Size does matter! ;-)

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 11/20/2012 07:58:24 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Size Matters on 11/26/2012 21:37:02 MST Print View

I'm a member of the 7.75 club myself. Three lies you should never believe:

The check is in the mail

No new taxes

One size fits all :)

Ike Jutkowitz

Locale: Central Michigan
Hats on 11/27/2012 03:54:13 MST Print View

I wear my old Tilley fishing hat. Not sure what model. It's on the heavy side and probably dorky, but lots of sentimental memories. My poncho tarp lacks a hood so this doubles as rain hat.


In winter, I like the smartwool beanie, plus a plethora of hoods as needed.

Tanner M
Re: Dorky sun hat on 11/27/2012 03:56:19 MST Print View

> Look to the left.
> It works.. :)

I also have a boonie hat. It is some off brand I purchased several years ago. It is my favorite hat, though. It has some amount of Thinsulate and was advertised to be Goretex. I have worn it walking (not working) in wet snow and the outer wet through but it did the job for my head. I like a hat rather than having to always wear a hood.

If it is rainy but warmer and not windy, I can just rest the hat on top of my head rather than pull it on. The shape of the hat gives me a bill while the sides flop down over my ears (wind gusts push them flat against the windward ear), and the back has a nice round brim.

I mostly walk in cooler weather and typically the hat is for light walking or resting (Long stops to use a camera). When I am working in cooler weather, I use a wool beanie cap. It is easy to put on or remove and tuck away while walking.

I also have a Columbia Bora Bora mentioned by John. This is a nice warm weather sun hat for me.

As far as hats blown off, both of my brimmed hats have bungee cord in the crown. I tuck the chin strap up inside the hat and tighten the bungee. The bungee runs below the.. skull bump at the back of my head and at the top of my neck muscles. Maybe I have a pronounced skull bump... My hats have staid on in wind that had the brims shaped like unhappy umbrellas. I did fit the chin strap loosely while in a boat (seemed prudent) at about 35-40 mph. Not in the bow, but not behind a windscreen and the hat staid on. Much stronger wind and I think the hat would go. Prehensile eyebrows help, too.

RA Amundsen
Boonie on 11/27/2012 11:07:41 MST Print View

Gotten to love the boonie this summmer. Fantastic 360' protection in the sun (no sun burned ears!), good ventilation, the brim is just stiff enough to keep the poncho off my face in rain and works surprisingly well in wind. Great for napping. Draws crowds of admiring... naw, just dreaming.

In winter, an old Norrøna Dovre cap with fleece, Gore-Tex and ear-muffs.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Love me my boonie so much... on 11/27/2012 11:44:52 MST Print View

..I even wrote a 'review' of sorts. :)

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
One size fits all on 11/27/2012 14:05:14 MST Print View

Heck I'd take issue with the fits most...

I had the best lightweight compressible North Face beanie that I left on the subway in NYC when I was there working all winter long. It was windproof and quite warm. Particularly for how thin it was. The subways were warm, however, and I'd have to take it off and unbutton my coat. Had it sitting in my lap and forgot about it when I got up after a 14 hour day at the client site and just zoned... I've never been able to replace it. What made me think of this is that I tried on probably 20 different beanies at the outdoor provision store in manhattan to find one that fit. They only had one of the north face ones in stock - i went back trying to find another one - and had to try on a good 20 more to find the spyder fleece beanie which only worked because it stretched a good bit but was not nearly as windproof...

I pretty much have to try a hat on. Ball caps included even with velcro backs as some still are too small in the body of the hat.

Nike has a range of elasticized dry fit mesh ball caps that also fit well, partly because the mesh stretches but I've had a hard time finding them as well.

It's hard life for those of us with big brains! :-p