Tell me about Boonie Hats

This is bordering on MPSIMS, but I actually want to know more about them… if there’s anything to know.

As I get older, I’m finding my tolerance for the sun is a little more sensitive. People have been wearing big brimmed hats to provide a little shade for probably as long as hats have existed. So I thought I’d look into getting something beyond my typical baseball style cap that I’ve worn for years.

Fun (and I think cute) side story; I used to have a straw cowboy hat when my daughters were little. I called it my “lawn mowing hat” until one of my daughters absconded with it, and she declared it her “cartoon watching hat” and she would put the hat on when she watched cartoons. Ahh what a fun memory. :slight_smile:

Anyway, back to reality. Is there anything in particular I should look for, or avoid? Are there good brands? Or is it more that I’m bored and work and thinking too much about it because I don’t feel like working right now. Yeah possibly that, but that’s OK too.

I’m becoming folliclely challenged and always wear a hat if I’m outside in the sun. I like the hats that are ventilated around the crown so the breeze can blow through.

The Tilly Endurable hats are nice but pricey and I have two for more formal wear.

For cutting grass and such I like the Outdoor Research brand of hats. I get mine at my local Cabela’s. They are available on Amazon of course. Colombia brand are good too and are also on Amazon.

I’m just vain enough to not want to wear a hat that says “Hi, I’m getting old and my doctor says I should wear a hat when I go outside because of teh cancer,” so I wear something more like a Panama hat. I see older-than-me types walking along in their floppy hats with a brim that’s wider than their shoulders, tied under the chin, using a pair of those street-enabled ski poles, and just cringe…

I go more for the Amish style straw hats with the wider brims.

I tried the more military boonie hats and they got really hot and uncomfortable in warm weather and full sun. I got my straw through an Amish store and its given me really hard use for better than 10 years now. And on me it just looks really good.

Nice. I like that the Outdoor Research hats actually come in sizes. A lot of the ones I have looked at are “one size fits all” which means it will be too small for my pumpkin sized noggin.

Ha, I thought that was more or less the purpose of the military boonie hats; to provide some protection from the sun. As much as I don’t want to look silly; I am going for function rather than form… to a degree.

Tilley and Outdoor Research have been mentioned – both are good. Another good brand is Sunday Afternoons.

I have and wear hats of all three brands, mostly choosing the Tilley lately – complete with chin strap when on my bike or windy days on hiking trails.

These are for sun protection; fashion takes a back seat. The most common skin cancer in men is on the top of the ears.(I’m hoping to keep the top of my other ear.) Open weave straw hats and many other types of hats even with broad brims may not actually provide protection from the sun. Pay attention to UPF ratings.

If you decide to try a Tilley try to find a place where you can try them on; they fit differently than other hats and you will likely take a bigger size than other brands. The sizing guide on their website works well.

These hats are expensive but they last for years.

I sometimes wear a semi-Safari hat*, which actually fits into my backyard ethos (seeing the bizarre range of wildlife we get).

*bought it years ago at the zoo. :slight_smile:

Cabelas carries some Tilly hats as does Wild Birds Unlimited. At least my local WBU stocks some.

I’ll +1 the Tilley as well. They are called Endurables for a reason.

My current hiking hat is a RedHead Mesh Crown Hat sold at Bass Pro Shops. Dorfman Pacific makes a similar one called the Solarweave Aussie Breezer Hat.

Yep, get one, it lasts for life. Good for rain or sun.

Best hat for sun is a real Panama hat (which generally aren’t made in Panama)

You look nothing like I expected, but yes, that hat suits you perfectly. Well done.

ETA: Agree with **Ethilrist **in post#3. I don’t need a full-time hat yet, but it’s coming. Some folks age themselves 20 years with bad clothing or shaving choices. Don’t write me off yet ladies.

Another vote for Tilley.

I love my LTM5 and have worn it in every season. Best hat I’ve ever bought.

I got a gigantic head also, and have bought hats from the Big Hat Store. Nice selection IMHO.

Yet another vote for Tilley. The wife and I both wear them. Mine’s a TM10. The wife’s is an LTM6.

I’m a big fan of Outdoor Research hats. Been wearing this one for years.

I actually wore one out and bought another, same style and color. I lost it on the upper Allegheny, just north of Emlenton in some nasty current. I was a little bruised up, but what hurt most was the loss of my hat. Shortly before the takeout in Parker I found the hat, entirely submerged, as I paddled along. Still have it.

Wow, thanks for all the good advice, everybody! I liked the look of the Havana Golf Sun Hat but Turble, you make a lot of sense about sun protection. That is what I want it for, in addition to extra shade.

Regarding hat sizes; I spent many years as an umpire and know all to well how impossible it is to trust hat sizes; so if possible that’s one thing I never order off the internet.


Another vote for Tilley.

I have one, but I don’t have it accessible so I can’t tell you which particular model it is. However, I inherited it from my grandfather who bought it decades ago. It’s been well used for years and years and other than a bit faded, it’s in perfect shape. It doesn’t have a mesh crown but that’s fine as it doesn’t get overly warm even in full summer sun. The brim is wide and offers ample shade. It floats in water and has a double strap for windy conditions (which came in handy during a recent trip to the Oregon coast). It’s machine washable and holds its shape afterward. It keeps my head dry in wet Oregon winters.

If I ever lose it or otherwise need a new hat I will be buying another Tilley.

I’ll admit that I probably don’t look COOL in my hats. But I’d rather look not cool than have to explain why I have all those scars on my face and ears.