Posts Tagged travel hats
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.
I think it’s fitting that as I write this review, I’m sitting on the balcony of a ski condo in Squaw Valley, CA, with my feet up after a warm spring-skiing day. On my head is a knit Chaos beanie which is doing double-duty keeping the spring sun at bay and taming my helmet hair.
I’ve reviewed several Chaos hats for winter wear for women and children in the past, and am back with two more for warmer winter days, spring outdoor travel, and summer travel in cooler climates. Chaos is a solid pick for a quality hat at a budget price. I love that most of their selections are under $30, including the two below. Both the hats I tried out for spring come in men’s or women’s versions, and both look great as well as perform well.
The Evo Beanie is deceivingly simple. It’s a 100% acrylic knit beanie, adds some flair with fun stripes and bold colors. I can wear mine on a cold spring day and still feel like summer’s close at hand. The lining is polyester with 11% merino wool with a pinch of spandex thrown in, which keeps moisture wicked away in dry-release fashion, and the small logo is reflective for early morning runs or evening hikes. This is a basic beanie that is thick enough to perform on not-so-chilly winter days but take you all the way through spring.
The Genetic Beanie adds a trendy slouch style to your winter and spring wardrobe, and can be worn back on the head or snug on the forehead. It’s 100% acrylic and thinner than the Evo. I’ve sported it at spring soccer games and at ski resorts where I know I’ll be going inside lodges and out again with regularity. The knit of the Genetic is wider spaced so air does flow more easily, making it a great pick for warmer days when you need just a touch of protection (and pizazz).
You can find a selection of Chaos hats on Amazon, such as the men’s Evo in limited colors, but Chaos rolls out new styles quite often, so your best selection in the newest styles will be on Chaos.com. The Evo retails on Chaos for $26.99 and the Genetic retails for $20.99.
You can also find a great selection of new and discounted styles at Sierra Trading Post.
Would you like to do some good somewhere when you buy a winter hat? Get a great travel and outdoors hat from Sherpa Adventure Gear and you’ll be making a difference in one of Asia’s poorest countries—Nepal.
I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of this company recently and he’s got a story that goes far beyond trying to make better outdoor clothing. His uncle, Ang Gyalzen Sherpa, was on the original Everest expedition in 1953. So when Tashi Sherpa moved from a clothing import company to founding his own line, he didn’t just name it after his people. He made clothing for the Sherpas and had it produced in Nepal. So the company gears up the guides and porters, creates manufacturing jobs in a country that many shunned when the political climate got tough, and gives back a portion of profits to under privileged Sherpa children.
Thankfully the products are as good as the story. When I was in Salt Lake City and Park City recently, I split my hat time between a wicking Outdoor Research beanie and this fleece-lined wool Renzig hat from Sherpa that I got as a sample. This one came out on top for pure warmth in the sub-freezing cold, but I also liked how it looked, with real wool instead of some technical fabric. The lining did the trick in feeling soft against my skin and itchiness never came into play. It’s got a little natural stretch to it to fit multiple head sizes and shapes.
Fortunately for Sherpa Adventure Gear, this must have been a strong seller this winter because it’s in “sold out” mode at most online retailers. You may have better luck in the actual stores.
Otherwise, go for one of the other similar styles like the Khunga pictured here. It comes in seven colors and has the same combination of pure lambswool and a Polarfleece lining.
Or if you want something more feminine, the Rani hat pictured at the end here might do the trick. All three of these styles generally retail for under $20 a pop, so you won’t be breaking the bank when you find one you really like.
There are more Nepali-looking ones with tassels that can tie underneath, some that are more urban and less beanie, and others that are solid or retro. See the whole Sherpa hat lineup at their site.
Many Sherpa styles are available at independent retailers, REI stores and at REI.com. Despite the frigid weather out, retailers are already thinking about spring, so buying in February often means buying on sale.
Of course the company makes jackets and pants too: those climbers need more than hats at that altitude. More on that later…
How have I not known about Chaos Hats? I spend most of my winter with a beanie on my head (mostly so I don’t have to brush my hair). My favorites are colorful, fun, and cozy…exactly what Chaos delivers. If you’re a winter hat wearer, or have one on your holiday gift list, you’re going to want to bookmark this page: all of these offerings from Chaos would fit nicely in a holiday stocking. And they’re competitively priced, too.
The Spindel doesn’t mess around: it’s thick and bulky, with chunky braided knit and a full fleece lining. It fits over the ears, and includes cute pom tassels and a pom on top. It’s 100% acrylic, and will keep your head warm in serious snow conditions. The Spindel might be over-doing it for a night out on the town or other casual wear, but for a day sledding, tubing, ice skating–you get the idea–it packs some serious warmth. It’s available at Chaos for $26, and comes in three colors (shown is Isis).
Similar to the Spindel in thickness, the Joses hat is styled after your traditional winter stocking cap: you get a folded hem and a big fat pom on top. Also like the Spindel, it’s 100% acrylic but with only a partial fleece lining (in a band around the forehead area). It comes in three colors, including Real Red, which sounds like it would be obnoxiously bright, but is instead a really pretty reddish-coralish color. $29 at Chaos.
This one’s my favorite. The Actier is a knit beanie bonnet style. What, you say? It looks like a stocking cap, but because of the placement of the dangling poms, once on, it hugs the face like a bonnet, allowing the top of the stocking to sit back a bit on the head. It’s cute as could be, trust me. The Actier is hand knit mixed yarn that’s very soft and quite light. It’s not nearly as chunky as the Joses or Spindel, and there’s no lining. It comes in five colors, including Silex, shown here, which is a soft heather gray. It sells on the Chaos site for $29.
This one’s for the kids. It reminded my boys of Angry Birds, but really, it comes in five different colors, each depicting a different birdlike face. It has cute tassels and knit eyes, nose, beak, etc. At $29 on the Chaos site, the Angries is a little steep for a kids’ hat, but totally worth it in the cuteness department. One size fits all: ours fits our seven-year-old and 11-year-old easily.