Paddling hat for South Florida

After 7 years of use (and abuse) my faithful hat will have to be replaced.

I made some search online and found this Anybody use this hat for paddling in warm climates?

Other suggestions?

That’s the most raved about hat

– Last Updated: Nov-20-06 1:58 PM EST –

... that I rarely see worn by it's owners.

Here is the most raved about hat that people actually carry on their heads and not in their packs:

Cheap straw hat…

I have a Seattle Sombrero but save it for paddling in cooler climates (it holds a lot of heat, IMO).

For hot Florida paddling, I haven’t found anything better than a cheap straw hat. The better examples have chin straps and even “headbands” for wicking sweat. These don’t work too well for windy conditions, however. When it’s really blowing, I switch to a baseball-style cap with an attached “cape” to protect my neck and ears from sunburn.

Greg Stamer

Tropical hats…

– Last Updated: Nov-20-06 1:52 PM EST –

Any of these would be perfect in S.Florida...

I agree
but, although I would probably look very sexy wearing one of those, I wonder how the fruit is going to hold when I get serious about rolling :wink:

Watership Trading
Vineyard Haven Performance Wind Hat

Started wearing one of these about two years ago. Extremely happy with it as my eyes are usually sensitive to sun glare. Very durable, light weight and with the foam reinforced brim it floats and doesn’t fold in a stiff headwind.

Thier site:

See you on the water,


USMC Boonie
About $15 at military surplus stores.

Nimbus Sombrero…

– Last Updated: Nov-20-06 5:31 PM EST –

I chose the Nimbus Sombrero over the Seattle Sombrero because I trust the snap button more than the velcro which could get dirty easily and possibly not hold as well.


I have been paddling with this hat in Florida for almost two years now and I absolutely love it. I don't notice it trapping the heat too much. Besides, if it's that hot out... I usually dip my hat in the water to cool off my head. I would definitely recommend the Nimbus!!

matter of personal taste I guess…
I have an old Tilley (for when I used to sail), a current Seat Somb (which I just used on a 8 day trip out in the San Juan Islands paddling) and have paddled in South Georiga, where I live in nothing more than a baseball cap.

All have their advantages, but if I had to pick just one it would be the Sombrero, AWESOME in the rain, great at keeping the sun out of your eyes and tons of adjustments as well.

…for whatever it’s worth…


augusta, ga

Ha! Ha!
Clarion, that is soooooo true!

Jeff “Tilley Wearing” Pringle

Kind of like American Express: “Don’t paddle anywhere without it.”

$48 bucks and up for a friggin hat? You guys all have sugar mommas?



Need a sugar momma for $48? I spent about that much for a hat that lasted me 7 years. It was a very comfy and durable hat, I used it every single time I went paddling, I figured I got my money out of it.

About sugar mommas… tell me more about all those kayaks you own :wink:

got all those kayaks
because I didn’t buy 48 dollar hats!

got your OI yet? see the wood strip one on Ebay?


OK, people don’t seem to like these but in South FL paddling I like the versatility of the Tilley T3 which can be snapped at sides to provide a firm brim when paddling in high winds. The snaps also provide security to hold a headlamp in place for night paddling and trying to find a campsite. Good in rain, wind and sun but keeps you cool. And the medium brim does a good job without being floppy to give you sun protection. Plus they last forever.

I like baseball caps. If you lose them, you usually don’t feel too guilty about it!

Finally think I found one I like
It’s a black boonie from a local Army/Navy. I was looking for one just like it a few years ago and was only finding heavier all cotton. Really wanted all nylon/ripstop - but the ones I found has stiffened brims. Might work well but looks wrong. Floppier blended material was just right.

It’s actually my size so it fits, light weight, good sun coverage - and cheap at $11. Low bulk to roll and stow. Instant favorite. I don’t think those slightly shiny black metal side vents would pass muster with a real SEAL team, but what can you expect from a MilSpec hat made in China?

I also have a really great (as in big - bigger than a Tilley! Smaller than a sombrero) straw hat with a nice wicking inner band just as Greg mentions. Picked it up at Surf World for $16. Can’t remember the brand. Email me if you care and I can check. Like he said, not for high wind days, but band keeps is snug in lighter stuff and it’s a really great sunshade and rain blocker and no worries about getting wet.

I’ve been trying out hats for a few years. The boat store and Outdoor World stuff always close but no cigar. Oddest find (after that straw hat) may be the B/W camo bucket/boonie hybrid surf hat with neoprene chin strap! Good actually, just don’t like the way it feels for touring - but it would definitely stay on rolling.

Mostly (until scoring the cheapo boonie hat) I just end up wearing ballcaps - and living with the burnt neck (too stupid to clip on one of those Lawrence of Arabia things). I have different ones for the QCC (a self made pirated logo QCC hat - all lightweight synthetic, white w. black brim - perfect color/material combo here) and the SOF (the infamous black QajaqUSA hat - not bad for all cotton - has metal hardware - must be meant for shore use).

I have the Nimbus
I’m in the northeast and I find it too hot in the summer sun. It doesn’t breathe very well, although it does keep the rain off.

i’m a fan of the military surplus boonie as well. have worn it in the 'glades and have been very pleased. i like the desert khaki color as i feel it is cooler than the olive drab or the swat black when out in the sun. -harry

No sugar momma…
but an arranged marriage…

Tilley for me
I bought a Tilley LTM6 Airflow Hat last spring and it is now my favorite hat of all time. When I bought it, I could not believe that I had just paid that much money for a hat. I would do it again. I have a nice straw hat, several boonie hats, an enormous collection of ball caps, an Outdoor Design mesh and nylon fabric hat, a GoreTex Norwester, even a KAVU Chillba. They don’t get much head time now.