Which travel hat is best for HOT weather?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by agape2travel, Jun 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    Just wondering...does anyone have a strong opinion on which travel hat is best for folks who desire protection from the sun PLUS cool ventilation (we are looking at traveling to Egypt ...HOT!) plus large enough for people with big heads (literal big heads - size 7 & 7/8)? I have a Tilley and it has a narrow strip near the crown for ventilation but it's not enough for 110 temps in Egypt. Any ideas?
     
  2. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    I have a great Columbia hat, it's old, but I think the link I added is the same style. It's very lightweight (totally mesh around), broad rim, UPF 50 (great for my red hair/irish complexion!). I've used it for 11 years in Fl for golf, kayaking, beach, etc. It's been to China, Tunisia (in the summer!), Southern Africa, Costa Rica (for surfing, yes it's great in the water) and countless other places. It has a lot of stretch, dries quickly, is very lightweight and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine.

    This looks to be the exact same style (just much less faded!) as the one I have:
    http://www.columbia.com/Omni-Shade™-Bora-Bora™-Booney/CU9745,default,pd.html

    Suggestion: sew a small piece of elastic near where the brim meets the mesh for your SPF chap stick. I've found this to be very helpful when running around adventuring in the sun!
     
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  3. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    JMRICH1432: Great info...I will check out the link but it sounds like a good possibility for me. Like you, I have fair skin so I burn easily plus I sweat a lot. A super ventilated large brim hat will be a must for me. Thanks again JMRICH1432. Anyone else?
     
  4. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    The Columbia hat unfortunately is a "NO GO" - it is not currently available for us 'big head guys'.
     
  5. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    I've been to Egypt when it was hot and thought I was going to dry up and die when walking to the entrance of Queen Hatshepsut (?) temple so I know of your concern. I've experimented w/ various hats in other hot desert areas as well and have come to three conclusions:
    1) don't waste your money on the so called 'cooling hats' that contain crystals that absorb water and keep head cool. Tried that but realized over time with water drying out in extreme heat that my $20 hat had ballooned to a $150 hat w/ the pricely cost of water to add outside the tombs there in Egypt.
    2) at the risk of being called a "tourist" there's a reason why they wear those white wrap around turbans ... they work. I bought one under the snickering eyes of the lovely bride but I no longer risked heat strike. And enough fabric aside ... no worries about head size.
    3) and since you came here for real advice: here's the hat I now wear in hot conditions and it works for me -- It's cheap and works even when there is no water available as noted above. Other cooling hats run $30.
    http://www.bestglide.com/cooling_hat.html

    Hope this helps and maybe I will post my picture of my "cool" turban from Egypt, even under the snickering eyes of fellow milepointers!
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    This one ought to be just perfect, since it's been tested and perfected by the British Army over many years :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Elope-British-Pith-Helmet/dp/B001ASHYW8

    Personally, I have a Columbia hat from my local REI store that I like and that has helped me survive Wadi Rum and Petra, but the one posted above has a bigger "ventilation" mesh and might be a candidate for a future upgrade for me.
     
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  7. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Living in the desert of the SW US, I have found that the Tilley is still the best. The secret is to put a wet sponge in the pocket in the crown. The sponge will drip lightly thru the material in the crown and actually will create a slight cooling effect.
    Barring that, a wet bandana wrapped as a "Do-Rag" also works well. (That is what you find the welders wearing in the desert.
     
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  8. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    If you read the comments on that hat, someone with a size 8 mentions it works for him. It really does look like a great hat!
     
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  9. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    Wow guys! Once again Milepointers have come through...thanks for the info!
     
  10. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    FYI: According to their site, the extremely affordable hat ($8.95) that Randy mentions in his post is currently not available. I will call when they open up and see if they are planning on restocking. Thanks again everyone and happy travels to all. Hope to see you at the Chicago DO.
     
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  11. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I am a huge fan of Tilley hats.

    http://www.tilley.com/Hats.aspx

    In the Canadian military, we used them in hot weather countries in non combat situations.
     
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  12. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    Randy...we are looking forward to a picture of you in your 'cool' turban. Happy travels!
     
  13. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    FYI: I have found a ventilated hat that offers 50 SPF, can be crushed for packing purposes, and comes with free shipping at this time. It's from Duluth Trading.
     
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  14. ItsADryCold
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    ItsADryCold Silver Member

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    There are two ways to go on this: either a keffiyeh or a halfbreed.

    By a quality keffiyeh and you'll never go wrong. It's an all-in-one scarf, dust filter, sun block, towel, and bundle. If you can get a Syrian one, buy it. Otherwise, buy one from the above link.

    For wear in more civilized environs, the halfbreed has a stiff beaver brim with a panama straw top. I have a broad-brimmed fedora made in this style, the straw top set off by the dove grey brim. The design allows your head to breathe while the brim properly blocks-out the sun. Expect to pay USD 300-500 for such a bespoke hat.

    The Tilly hat is fine for fishing, but one does look like a bit of a doofus wearing one. A heavy cotton floppy hat also can do in a pinch, but it will only protect to top of ones head and ears. Stay away from anything looking remotely military (khaki, green) for there are many places in the world where one does not wish to be mistaken for a soldier.
     

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