Hello,I was interested to know what folks use for a hat when canoeing.I saw the Tilley hats but I need a brim that is not so wide l like around two inches.So are there any thoughts as to which you would like. Ravenwolf

Adjust your Tilley
There is no better hat for on the water than a Tilley. I recommend you buy one, trim the brim as you see fit with pinking shears and then re-sew the edge to prevent fraying.

Yup: Tilley
No question about it. They make a narrow brim model, which is what I bought. I’ve used it in all weathers, fishing and golf, for many years. They call them “Endurables” and boy are they! Worth every nickel. Here’s mine:


Walmart has some excellent hats this year for just $10.

For warm weather I use a straw western hat with a stampede string.

Tilley or Filson
Mac-T’s fer hail storms.


columbia make some nice hats

Ball cap
I get most of them free, and I have one old raggy one that is my favorite.

When it is hot as hell, just dip it in the water and ladle some over your head to cool down.

I also have a couple of open ones that have a built in sweat band.

They are perfect for keeping rain off my glasses

You can have one of those high buck silly tillys. I’ll take my ball cap any day.

Jack L

for a fraction of the price, you can also get an attachment to the ballcap, that protects your neck from the sun.

I have a synthetic fabric hat, white and mesh, and it’s impressive at how little my head heats up when I wear it.


– Last Updated: May-30-13 11:30 PM EST –

I have a polystraw that's lasted for seven seasons, a Riverz Delta:

I prefer fedora style, wanted straw and can't abide the look of a Tilley (more importantly, neither can my wife). It's a fairly open weave, so cool, has a sweat-wicking band and is nearly indestructible. It can be dunked to cool down, washed with soapy water and a brush, sat on, shoved in a gear bag, etc.

It does have a 3" brim - not sure why you'd want only a 2" brim, that doesn't offer much sun protection, especially on the back of the neck, ditto for ball caps unless you wear the curtain across the back.

Orvis has a version that is a nice shape, but the brim is floppy compared to the Delta (which has a wire in the brim edge to retain its shape against wind). I have one that I use for hiking, it works well in the rain. The brim on this one is about 2.5", I think:

PS polystreaws float, per the comments below....

boonie hat
I like a military style boonie hat. Light weight, and crushable, with chin strap. About $12. Can’t say for sure where to look; I live in a military town, and have several stores to choos from. Like this:


What’s canoeing hat?
Not clear to me why canoeing would involve some sort of different or special hat than any outdoor activity.

That said, I think no hat is best most of the time. Just make sure you have white hair and keep it long. It reflects the sun and allows all breezes to freely circulate around your noggin.

If you have the misfortune of not having long white hair, or if the sun is blazing hot, I like an 18th century narrow brim Panama straw hat, by far. As a second choice, I like the original mesh Patagonia duckbill cap from the 80’s. In rain, I like a wide brim waterproof hat, which I keep rolled up in my vanity case. It’s too hot to wear other than in rain.

Tilley? It’s heavy, hot, gimmicky and ugly. As a politically correct person, I’ll leave it at that and not enumerate the Tilley’s bad points.

Tilley floats
kind of handy when you lose yours in the Gulf of Mexico under a blazing sun.

Handy in the pouring rain when its relatively warm…yesterday noggins stayed dry with our T4s during a soggy paddle in Muscongus Bay…

Yet if you soak it it will help you stay cool. Necessary while desert paddling. Wrap a bandana around the back strap.

I dont think my 15 year old Tilley is tacky. Uh… yes it is grungy!

actually, not quite
Your head is subsceptible to skin cancer if you have hair. Which for some perverse reason make me feel not so bad.

my chainmail hat sinks like a stone

I’ve had three Tilleys, and they are
very good, but careful shopping through cheaper selections can bring just as good a result.

For me the Kokotat Hats can’t be beat for kayaking: wide brim but not to wide, foam in the brim so it will float, chin cord for brezzzy days, black underside to reduce glare. My wife sometimes pins up the back of her kokotat hat if it is catching on her PFD. Worth the money for it!

Boonie hat
Made by Columbia.

ball cap …

– Last Updated: May-31-13 9:39 AM EST –

...... dirt cheap , excellent used ones around for a buck or two at flea markets , Goodwill stores , etc. .

I like a thin corduroy in the winter .

There was this one I guess it's called combat or bush style hat that I saw at a tackle shop that I wish I would have sprung the $25. for but didn't . It was the only really decent summer full wide brim that ever caught my interest . Flexable , floppy brim (yet kept it's shape well) , open mesh full around side riser (solid top) , and exremely light . Unfortunately that brand was replaced by another the following year and have never found another like it .

I've always worn the type with the stand up front panal (maybe called farmer , truck driver style ??) , which are becoming more and more difficult to find now a days . Seems like "all" the new ones today are the round tops and have sponsor logos or weird color patterns I don't favor . Come to think about it , baseball "league" caps have probably always been the round tops (not the stand up front panals) .

When it's raining hard enough I slip on my lightweight breathable rain gear , the hood fits perfectly over the ball cap ... try that with most other hat styles and it's either impossible or very uncomfortable .

The last thing I'd want to be doing is worrying where my $100.-$200. hat has gone off to ... just like expensive sun glasses . Oh sure , quality has it's place , but not at the expense of carrying a ball and chain around with you .

Hat "advise/help" , tap into the knowledge (hard to think anyone could need it though) , but decent enough topic for discussion ... guess it's just a sign of the times :-)

flap cap
I tend to use one of the caps with a bill and a ear/neck flap.