Paddling hat?

My cross-over neck drape paddling cap has finally come apart at the seams. Locally no one is carrying the style of cap with a way to secure the drape so it does not blow up and back in the wind. Since I will need to order something I was thinking of possibly making a change to a wide-brimmed hat like a Tilley or Ultimate Hat.

So far I have info on Tilley, Ultimate, and Watership hats. I want 4" brim (or close) but I want a brim that will not fold up going into 20mph winds.

Are there any other brands/models I should be considering?

Any specific hat in the Tilley, Ultimate, or Watership line that would have the wider brim, but would resist bending in the wind best?



I found A Tilley while paddling
I was paddling in open water and found a Tilley hat floating. They have foam built into their top to allow them to float. I picked it up and stuck it under my deck bungees and then went on my way.

When I got home I took a closer look. The hat was very weathered, but still intact. Then I noticed a little pocket with a contact number in it. I called and left a message saying I had found their Tilley hat out on the ocean.

They came to pick it up a few days later. The hat had traveled many many miles from where they had lost it while sailing some two months before. Anyway, the were very gracious and went on their way.

I’m not a big fan of the Tilley hat look, but those are some tough hats.

Another option…

– Last Updated: Jun-01-08 5:54 PM EST –

Buy a wide brimmed hat.
Buy a large bandanna.
Tie 2 of the bandanna's corners together, on the same end/side of the bandanna. Square knot works well.
Put the bandanna on the top of your head; the end not tied together will drape down/cover your neck.
Put on your hat.You're good to go; head & neck is covered.

Head gets hot........remove & dampen either the hat, the bandanna, or both.

I don't know any hat with a 4" brim that will stand up to a 20 mph wind without bending, except the Smokey the Bear hat I used to wear as a former DI.


I’m a fan of the canvas tilley
It’s very tough, comfortable and adaptable.

The shape of the brim helps it to stand up to higher winds. Adjust the angle on your head and it will usually stand up to the wind. I find that mine stiffens (even when dry) after being used in salt water. You could probably soak it in salt water to achieve the same effect.

The look of it? Most people I see in them look a little goofy. I’m sure I do too. If that is important to you, I’d factor it into your decision making process. But for me, it’s not a factor. I drive a minivan. After that, nothing much matters.

If Tilley is goofier than this
I would be surprised. This is my self-portrait in the kayak when I first reached 1000 Nm paddling distance in a single year.

Please take note of the duct tape, the bad fitting flip-up sunglasses, and the torn chin strap that was knotted in place to just allow slipping it over the chin.

A man has to be supremely confident or supremely oblivous to appear this way in public especially wearing a sprayskirt. You can make your own judgement into which category I belong.


I did the bandana
thing for a while. Always seemed to get blown or trapped to one side and left me with sunburns. That’s why I do not want to use a drape cap unless it has a really good way to secure the drape back around to the front so that I do not get exposed areas.

I even played around a little with the idea of using 2 bandanas. One for the neck and one reversed to cover ears, cheeks, and chin. It just seemed to complicated.


LOL you win! it is goofier than theTilly

That’s Clarion on the left in a Tilly

Just got to a surplus store
and pick up a military boonie hat - come in many colors nowadays and dirt cheap.

ok, that’s a close call
But I’d think if you replaced that fine head piece with a tilley, any potential degredation in overall “coolness” would be negligible

Which Tilley?
Which cut and which material?

Soo many choices

I have the T2. It stays on…remember to reverse the strap when going downwind and wear the strap on the back of your head.

I’ve been thinking


– Last Updated: Jun-02-08 3:02 PM EST –

4.95 Walmart well.

I have the LTM5 and love it.
But I got it before the exchange rate was so bad.

Fedora style
Here’s what I use, works well:

It’s polypro straw, very durable, big brim, windcord, etc.

Or if you feeling more like Tom Mix:

Don’t think the brim will hold up to the wind, but your kayak might be cooler in the shade of the huge brim…

aaah but does it have a name tag?
and a guarantee?

Some Choices
Boonies work well and can be had for $8 to $11. Since they aren’t all cotton they dry out quickly. The OR Seattle Sombrero has an adjustment so you can snug it up on a windy day so it’s less likely to fly off. It’s Gore Tex so it handles water well. The brim isn’t especially stiff, however.

Kavu Chilba!
Works great, lots of ventilation, wide brim, wierd-looking.

Sunday Afternoon hats
Here is a link for the untimate hat for men and women…and on sale! It is the Derma Safe hat…I don’t think any hat that will protect from sun is going to be great for wind resistance…My husband and I both have these and in the Florida sun, it works great!

I have a T3
and am very satisfied with it. Am on my 3rd one now as the first 2 rotted in the front where it soaked up the sweat from my forehead. Just sent them back and within 10 days had a new one delivered.

Don’t forget to wash it often, as the owner’s manual says.

Only bad thing about the tilley is the front will discolor from absorbing the sweat and nothing will take it out. But in my opinion still worth it.

REI was selling just the neck capes
Though intended for use with a specific brand/model of hat, I don’t see why it couldn’t be used with similar hats. You could sew in a Velcro strip to attach it.

The bottom could be kept from flying up by adding another thin Velcro strip to the bottom of the cape (wrap around your neck), or by adding an elastic cord to tie in front.