Posts Tagged travel hats
Are you taking your pasty white skin somewhere bright and sunny anytime soon? Are you hiking in the mountains in thinner air? You’re probably going to need some sun protection on your sweaty head and this Mountain Hardwear Canyon Sun Hiker is a great choice.
I don’t normally start off with the price, but this cap lists for $25, which is probably less than your home sports team’s new logo hat. This is a technical sun hat that delivers, however. It has a UPF rating of 50, so you can walk in the sun all day and not get a burned head, even if you’re a bald Irishman. That strip you see on the side is mesh, so it solves the main problem of wearing a hat in the hot sun: the heat won’t get trapped.
I have been wearing this around sunny Guanajuato in Mexico and I had it on pretty much every day during a recent trip to Nicaragua. I like the look of it—technical but subtle—and it’s quite comfortable. It has a band and clip on the back to adjust the sizing, which was especially helpful when I was out on a windy boat and needed to make sure I didn’t lose it. Even in 90-degree heat my head stayed cool from the ventilation and when the other fabric did get wet, it dried in a hurry.
The Coolmax brim is a nice touch as it’s cool against the skin and it dries very quickly too. No matter which of the five color styles you choose, the underside of the brim is dark to reduce glare. Very helpful if you’re on the water or traversing the Bolivian Salt Flat. This Canyon Sun Hiker is a “floater” too: When it blew into the swimming pool from my lounge chair table, it floated on the top of the water until I retrieved it.
It weighs a mere 1.7 ounces (48 grams) and it still looked good after I kept stuffing it into my suitcase or daypack when moving from place to place.
In the photo at the top there’s Mountain Hardwear text on the side, but apparently that got nixed before production as mine just has the icon logo on the front. It looks good and is not obtrusive.
I’ll still wear a sun hat with a brim when I don’t want to slather sunscreen on my face and neck to walk around a city, but this is going to be my heavy rotation cap from now on and is definitely what I’ll pack for hiking or watersports.
David Lee is a the founder of two popular travel blogs, Go Backpacking and Medellin Living. He considers himself a minimalist, and when not on the move is based in Medellin, Colombia. So Dave, what do you always pack?
In 2013, I challenged myself to begin traveling ultralight, with nothing but a 1,950 cubic inch North Face Big Shot backpack. Traveling with a small backpack requires boiling down what I take with me to the bare essentials. Here are 5 things I still find room to carry with me when traveling.
Nylon dry bags are much lighter than the rubber rafting type, and are perfect for protecting clothes and gear against rain, snow, dirt and sand. The type of travel I do often requires taking small river boats, throwing my backpack on the roof of a minibus, or going on multi-day treks. Using dry sacks allows me to relax, knowing my stuff is protected.
They’re also useful for keeping things organized, and can be used as compression sacks to help you fit more clothes into less space. I use a small one to carry my money, passport and documents, and a larger one rolled up at the bottom of my backpack in the event I want to protect everything I’ve got with me.
2. Petzl Zipka 2 LED Headlamp
Hands-free LED headlamps are incredibly useful for camping, trekking and caving, as well as navigating hostel dorm rooms while everyone else is asleep. I’m a fan of the Zipka model because it’s designed with a retractable cord mechanism, versus the typical headband, thus making it smaller and lighter. This also allows you to easily wear it on your wrist, or fasten it to an object.
I carry a hat for sun protection, which became especially important after I began shaving my head in my twenties. Earlier, I’d used bandannas or baseball caps, but since 2010, I’ve been sporting woven hats, which are more traditional amongst the older generations in Latin America.
I’d been hearing the praise about ExOfficio boxers for years before I finally bought a few pairs myself. Now I can’t imagine wearing anything else. They’re extremely comfortable, lightweight, durable and easy to clean.
5. Mophie Juice Pack Air
When I’m traveling to new places, I rely heavily on my iPhone 4S to share thoughts and images via social media apps. Whether using WiFi or a local 3G cellular data connection, the battery drains quickly. The Mophie Juice Pack Air doubles the battery life of my iPhone 4S, allowing me greater use between recharges. There’s also an iPhone 5/5s version.
For traveling to places with frigid temperatures. a Tilley hat will keep your head warm without making you look like a dork. Or a hoodlum. Or someone trying to pretend they’re still in college.
Eventually you reach a point in life where you want to wear nice things when you travel, things that are meant to last past a season or two and that make you look good. And maybe you can afford to step up your headgear purchase from what you’d find at a collection of hats set out on a fold-up table on a city sidewalk.
I’ve worn lots of flashy and crazy winter hats in my lifetime and on the ski slopes it’s great fun to put on most anything from Chaos and the like. But what about when you’re heading to a business meeting in frigid weather, with a suit and overcoat on? Or you’re 50 in Italy and it’s not really a positive thing to look like a 20-something Yankees fan in a blue logo toboggan? Tilley Endurables is best known for their sun hats, but they’re in Canada after all, so they’ve got plenty of experience braving the cold.
These hats have a one-two punch going on, the obvious benefit being quality construction and materials—usually some kind of good wool—in a hat that’s guaranteed for life. What I really like though is that you’re not just getting a stylish fedora or cap, but you also get ear flaps that fold down for extra warmth. When you don’t need them, you can tuck them away.
Some have a little extra going on in the fabric, like this TTC2 “Tec-cork” hat that has a water-repellant wool blend but also a laminate made from a cork byproduct for extra insulation and protection.
For normal leisure travel when you’re not going to have to hang with business associates (or if you’re in the kind of business where every day is casual Friday), my favorite is the TTWC cap pictured top right. There it has the ear flaps turned down, but here’s what it looks like when they’re up.
That one carries a list price of $79. Some of the ones with brims are more than $100, but again these are hats that are built to last: in the rare case it falls apart you can return it for a replacement. They also have the signature built-in storage flap in the inside top to always have some cash or a credit card stowed away.
Sometimes outdoor excursions require a bit more than a baseball cap. I may have my favorite, acquired in Jackson Hole (complete with moose patch), but when it comes to an ideal shade hat that keeps my head cool, I turn to the Tilley TM10.
Made from a cotton duck fabric, the hat has a broad brim that provides ample shade on even the brightest days. I wore mine nearly every day I was traveling in Namibia, but have also used it on the water. The brim gives me protection even on the sides of my face and my neck. The hat’s polyester UPF 50+ mesh blocks the sun’s rays, but also allows air to pass through, keeping your head cool. That’s far better than that favorite baseball cap.
Even if you wear them occasionally, hats need to be washed. The TM10 is easy to wash and mine hasn’t lose its shape after nearly 15 washes. Plus, even when it’s gotten splashed by saltwater, it hasn’t gotten so crusty that I have to clean it right away.
The chinstrap keeps the hat on your head for the most part, but if it blows off, the TM10 floats. That’s saved me a couple of times while kayaking. And if you’re just headed out on a walk and don’t need to bring more than some money and perhaps a key with you, the secret pocket is more than enough space to stash those essentials.
One of the things I like most about this hat for travel is that it packs flat. I’ve tested plenty of hats that pack decently, but when I have to pull it out of my bag, the brim is creased, or something else has happened to make it look goofy. With the TM10, I just crush it flat, cram it on top of my suitcase, and then unpack later. It looks exactly the same as when I packed it.
The Tilley TM10 Cotton Duck Hat comes in khaki with an olive underbrim and lists for $84 on the Tilley website. At Amazon, it’s priced at $79.80 and you can also check prices at BeltOutlet.com or Paragon Sports.
Taking the best elements of their popular Airflow hat and using recycled fibers to mix up the look, this Tilley TMH5 Mash-up Hat stands out from the sea of other sun hats you’ll see in your travels.
We’re big fans of the Tilley brand here, joining half the traveling Canadian populace in singing its praises. We liked the Airflow so much that two of use reviewed it here (the organic cotton version) and here. I’ve also checked out a few others on trips to sunny places, including the Plaid Hat.
This mash-up hat really hits our eco-friendly buttons though because it’s made from materials that normally would just go in a landfill. Leftovers from the hemp and organic cotton piles are getting reused to make new hats that look pretty darn cool. And each one’s as unique as a snowflake.
Naturally you get high sun protection—the main reason I’m wearing one of these around Mexico right now—and if you get drizzled on like I did the water will bead up and run off unless it turns into a deluge. If the wind starts blowing really hard, it’s got removable string bands to tie under your chin. They’re reflective even if you need to be seen at night. Wearing a hat…
This TMH5 hat has a great mesh ventilation band along the top that lets the breeze flow through a bit and gives the heat coming off your noggin somewhere to go. It also comes with a little pocket in the top on the inside, like most Tilley hats, so you can stash a little cash there for emergencies or a trip to the nudist camp. (Seriously they’re a big hit with the clothing optional crowd.)
I usually subject the items I’m reviewing to all kinds of abuse to see how well they hold up and my years-old Airflow hat is not exactly looking like it did when it came out of the package. I haven’t had the heart to cram this one into my suitcase yet because it looks so pretty. It’s machine washable though, so once it gets too dirty or sweaty I’ll stop treating it with kid gloves. After all, Tilly hats come with a lifetime warranty—something unheard of from most other travel hat brands. They’ll even send you a little certificate showing you’ve managed to wear one out.
Get the Tilley Mash-up Hat in the TMH5 version at their stores in Canada or at the Tilley site —so far this new one hasn’t shown up anywhere else stateside. They also make a version with a wider brim if you want more protection.