GoreTex Hat Hazzard

Today while practicing moving high braces I capsized, so I rolled up, but felt strangled as my Gore-Tex OR Sombrero had filled with water and was hanging off behind me with the neck strap tight around my throat.

My coach noted that he had seen this before and it was why he has refrained from getting a Gore-Tex hat.

I guess I am returning to lower tech hats.

Speaking Of Hats
My buddy and I were rolling on the local lake a while back. He went over with a hat on and came up bare headed. It never broke the surface. When I got home I fixed a piece of cork to the back of my hat to keep it floating should it ever hit the water. On Friday we roll played again and yesterday I pulled my wet hat out of the day hatch and the odor was pretty funky. Dead fish. I hand washed my boonie and the wash water was filthy. I set it out in the sun to dry and was really surprised at how fast it dried out.

Less than 10 dollars at the local Army surplus, dries out quickly, and looks cool, too.

that hat
is great, I use it in cool weather, but it does seem to fill up with water much more readily than it drains.

depends on the model
but Boonies do dry pretty fast.

I have a collection and some are ripstop nylon blend and some (I think) are all cotton.

they definitely have different dry rates.


tech ‘hats’ or was it just the strap/ strings fault?

Personally the idea of having a bombproof “It won’t blow off” string/strap is way more important than the chance it might hang up, full of water behind me.

everything in your kit can be an issue.

loving my OR,


Ditto on the OR Sombrero
I love mine, and agree with Steve that having a hat that says firmly on yournugget is more of an issue than filling up with water. However, you bring up a good point, and it’s wise to be aware of the potential problem. Thanks!

Hat full of water
The biggest issue I found with the GoreTex hat is that, since the mebrane is not permeable, you’ll be trying roll with a few pounds of water on your head. It seems to trap water better than a regular hat. I’ve solved it by practicing a bit with it on for the actual emergency, but for intentional wet work I usually go hatless. It’s just not worth having to stop earlier because you lost so much energy just to roll up a hat. Like rolling a loaded boat, it is doable but that doesn’t mean you always want to have to bother.

I usually have mine on pretty tight, and have never felt strangled by it when I went popped a roll forgetting it was still on. It may just be that the tighter it is, the less inertia it gains as a sea anchor.

Probably the stiffness
I have a cheap canvas floppy hat and it can trap water. I think any material will do so when submerged, except maybe mesh. The cheap hat doesn’t hold it’s shape well so it collapses and sheds more, probably.

It was disconcerting when it slipped forward and covered my face when I was underwater. Roll up, remove hat from face, then breath…

Tag Reads 35% Cotton
65% Polyester.

A argument for baseball caps?
Sounds like it, with the attached sunshade thing that looks like you should be on the desert.

Why wear a Gore-Tex hat in the first place? That just plain doesn’t make sense. Are you expecting rain? If so why are you paddling? If you’re practicing rolls then consider a ball cap under a helmet. That’s what I wear out in whitewater. The cotton keeps my head cooler. A small fishing bobber will keep a hat floating BTW. Fishermen have known that for years.

Expecting rain?
Some of us live in places in which we are always expecting rain . . . and we are always paddling.

It never rains in Southern Calif
but when it does we still paddle. Who says kayaking is a dry sport?

[insert heavy sigh here] Hats…
…should be worn with the strap behind the head.

You tilt it into the wind and it will satay on.

Ever see a drill instructor wearing a smoky bear

in a high wind?

Bloody amateurs.

He he
Who was your instructor? I “demonsrated” this exact maneuver at MIKCo last year right at the boat house with several instructors watching.

So, I may have been the one he was talking about. Damn near choked myself to death, and ended up having to wet exit.

I now make sure my hat is on my head and the chin string is cinched up tight.

Bloody grumps

Rain stopping a paddle?
Huh? Tstorms yeah, but why would anyone not paddle because of a little rain?

My Tilley has a vented crown all
the way around.No worries mate. I also don’t paln on rolling my canoe.

My warm weather hat is straw and the
string will break away if necessary. Floats on it’s own. My winter hat is rag wool, no string.

because of rain
Yes—I am one of those people who do not prefer to paddle in the rain. Don’t mind getting wet while kayaking—that’s not the issue. Just don’t like going out in the rain.