Chin Cord on Hat. Yes or No?

I mostly paddle on Class I and II. I’ve been wearing a wide brim straw hat, and it’s blown of twice recently. It has a chin strap, but I keep it behind my neck because I don’t want it choking me should I end up in the water. Suggestions? What do others do?

I have skin cancers removed on a regular basis, I always wear a hat use the strap with it.

A solution

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 12:21 AM EST –

I find that with a hat using any kind of adjustable strap, I always like to go with the military style of securing it around the area in back of my head. Surprisingly secure, much more comfy to me.

I’m with Kenpontes on this
I too will secure my basic REI wide brim hat with the strap around the back of my head. If it gets windy I put it under my chin so I don’t have to chase my hat. I can’t imagine it being able to choke you. I’ve found even with the strap under the chin, when I’ve played around with wet exits and such, the hat will come off anyway, strap or not.

Be careful with the chinstrap. On a flatwater stream a fellow paddler had a close encounter with a rootball. While she struggled against the current pinning her to the rootball her chinstrap snagged on a protruding root. Had she flipped, the chinstrap could have easily strangled her. Fortunately, we were able to paddle back up to disentangle her. As a friend says, Murphy prevails. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

My Tilley,
with both chin AND nape-of-the-neck straps has yet to choke me.


Let the Tilley-bashing begin!

the more chance for entanglement the more likely it will happen. Plus 1 to the suggestions made by others

please try a helmet
My old ww helmet twice saved my life when trying to roll in shallow water. At blackburn and at the 70 I was scared of my hat blowing off so I wore a visor under the helmet. I did remove some foam from the front to expand the air flow. Imagine you are trying to do a rough surf landing on some remote beach and really cut your head on a seashell. How long until you reach the nearest ER? How much blood will you lose?

Usually I wear a narrow brimmed cotton golf hat that pushes down and stays on, unless I swim. Dipping it into water works well.

Harrison Ford solution
as seen in an outakes film of making Indiana Jones. His hat wouldn’t stay on so he grabs a prop maker’s staple gun and acts like he is stapling the hat to his head. I don’t use a chin strap, just a snug hat and quick reflexes.

Another thing that works,
A short cord with a clip at each end. Put one end on the hat and the other on your PFD. If the hat blows off, it won’t go far. It works

I will not wear my chin strap if I am

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 12:19 PM EST –

near anything that can snag the hat. My Tilley got grabbed by a tree branch and almost jerked me out of the canoe. They float, so no big deal to recover.I will use the chin strap out in big water on windy days.

Stetsons used to come with

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 12:02 PM EST –

"wind trolleys." Basically, a cord attached to the hat with a button on the other end that gentlemen would fasten to the hole in their lapel to protect their investment in windy conditions.

A break-away cinch on the chin strap would be a nifty invention!

If you try to roll…
It won’t kill a solid roll, but a hat filled with water can be distracting with the strap under your chin. Hats with mesh sides have less of this issue.

If you are on a small creek with lots of low branches, there is some small chance your hat will get caught on something. Better to let a tree have it that risk being choked from an entanglement. You typically don’t have strong gusts in those situations anyway.

On wide open water, you can use it under the chin if you have a good breeze.


Wind trolley
I have a couple of polystraw hats with a modern version of the wind trolley mentioned above. Normally, the chin cord is attached the hatband with a clip. The cord unsnaps and goes under the chin only when needed. These are great kayak hats, although they’re pricey, about like a Tilley. I’ve had the Delta for 5 years and the Joe Fedora for 3 and they’re still in good shape.



I also

– Last Updated: Aug-27-10 10:23 PM EST –

took all the line off my fishing poles. If your pole catches on a branch and the line wraps around your hand, you could die. And don't forget to cut those lines of your drag sock and anchor also. I am just saying..

chin strap
The chin strap just has to be snug enough to stop the hat from blowing off. I have a columbia hat that has a cord that goes around the hat that can be tightened(“An adjustable toggle customizes the hat’s fit to your head” the companies description) and it also has a chin strap if it is really windy. If the possibility of getting snagged exists, get a knife that attaches to your pfd. Or wear lots of sunscreen. John

Why are you wearing this hat? Sun protection? Image? Do you need a hat? Do you need this hat? Are you paddling real whitewater in a kayak? If so, you need a helmet with visor. I don’t understand the problem from your perspective. If I am paddling a river I wear a helmet. If there is sun I have a visor and sunglasses. If I am paddling a lake or ocean I wear sun protection for my eyes (visor, hat, sun glasses, etc.) So what is the problem? You have a straw hat you want to wear but it is not appropriate? Dump it.

The Hat
The hat is for sun protection. It has a very wide brim. I wear it in addition to sun screen. I’m in an open canoe with a saddle on Class 1 & 2 “whitewater.” I’m comfortable with my decision to wear a hat instead of a helmet.

I have that Columbia hat too!

– Last Updated: Aug-28-10 10:55 AM EST –

I must say, I make that hat look good.