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Hat recommendations for a first-time Camino pilgrim

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by Ginabina, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Ginabina

    Ginabina New Member

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    Hi, fellow pelegrinos! I'm so excited about my upcoming (first) pilgrimage on September 7th from SJPDP to Santiago and then to Fisterra! I've purchased nearly everything I need, except a hat. I am NOT a hat person at all (I'm very sensorial and tend to be hyper-aware of their presence on my head and find them annoying! lol), but I also realize the great necessity and wisdom of wearing one to protect my skin and eyes from from the bright and hot sun. I get hot very easily and quickly and I sweat profusely -- unfortunately, mostly from the top of my head ... like a fountain -- so, I need a hat that won't trap heat on the top of my head and that will breathe and keep me cool ... without feeling tight and annoying. (I'm not a whiner, really! I just know my limits. lol) I also want one that I can collapse and squish into my backpack ... in short, one that will stand up to some serious abuse and not lose its integrity or shape. I was looking at the Tilley. Is there a particular hat that you'd recommend based on my said particular needs? TIA for your suggestions and wisdom.
     
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  2. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    The perfect choice. :)
     
  3. Waka

    Waka Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I agree with @falcon269 the Tilly hat is the way to go. I have the same problem with leaking from the head, but the good thing about the Tilly is that it's washable, quick drying and doesn't go out of shape.
    I know they're expensive (certainly in the UK) but worth every penny, you'll find that it will become your best friend on the camino.
     
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  4. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999

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    Tilley or any wide rim fabric head with a chin strap for windy days - dip into water on hot days. Stores without damage in your backpack when not needed. Buen Camino, SY
     
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  5. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi Ginabina, Good Luck finding the right hat. Everyone on this forum tells you to wear a hat. But, like you, if I wear a hat I keel over from the heat trapped on the top of my head. I have tried all types of hats, and none of them breathe and keep me cool. I have finally decided that I am perfectly happy wearing just a sun visor to protect my face from the sun. If it’s really, really hot (and I mean really, really hot) then I dunk my head in a stream or fountain; or empty a bottle of water over my head to cool down. I would never suggest to anyone not to wear a hat, but for some people it just doesn’t work, and most people just don’t get this. Good Luck! Jill
     
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  6. marbuck

    marbuck Active Member

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    Two Camino's down and we still wear a Tilley, wouldn't be with out one. They are worth the extra cost.
     
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  7. I also have difficulties with hats and prefer to go without. I feel they interfere with the view. But in case kf heatstroke or what have you I do carry one. This is what I took this year:

    http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/womens-solar-roller-hat.html


    I also chose a bright colour (the light green) so that it canbe used instead of a high visibilty vest.

    The material is very light, hat folds up easily and had a chin strap in case of high winds.

    But now I carry an umbrella and bought the one that is silver on the outside to help in high heat. I must prefer that to the hat, as it covers more than the head.
     
  8. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I am a Tilley afficionado - mine is brilliant and I wouldn't walk without it, but it was expensive, and you might well find a good, wide-brimmed visor or another brand of hat acceptable.

    I might add that, irrespective of how brightly coloured your hat might be and how much more visible you might be wearing it, it will never be an acceptable substitute where the use of high visibility clothing is mandated.
     
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  9. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    I use an umbrella provided there is no wind. Otherwise (and when it rains) a sun visor. I hate the heat trapped under a hat. The visor also works to keep rain off my glasses - those peaks on ponchos and jackets are useless!
     
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  10. pilgr

    pilgr Guest

    Tilley or OR Sombrero
     
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  11. MTtoCamino

    MTtoCamino Veteran Member

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    My hat has large mesh like some Tilly's. I shaped it like my western hats, after 2 years using they get beat up I also carried / used a rain cover. It worked ok but it holds heat/sweat so don't recommend.
    Keith
     
  12. Walli Walker

    Walli Walker Active Member

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    Kanga, do you have a 'trekking' umbrella that attaches to your pack?
    If so, what brand and where did you get it?
    I'm looking for one to use on the Via de la Plata as a sunshade.
    Thanks, Jacki.
     
  13. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    @Walli Walker yes - I have the Euroschirm handsfree. They are not available in Australia (other models, but not the handsfree) so I imported it. Try to get it from Europe if you want it, the postage is less. It works well but is very heavy imo. I wish they made it in a carbon fibre.

    Before I got the Euroschirm I used another lightweight trekking umbrella, and that was taken by my friend Robyn on her Camino last September. We rigged it up as a handsfree by threading the shaft through the "handle" of her backpack, at the back of her neck, then across her shoulder and down towards the front of her backpack waist belt , with the elastic from the bottom of the handle tied to the waist. She was quite happy with it rigged that way. Here are the two "dollies with brollies" - Robyn with hers rigged handsfree, me with the Euroschirm. She's the good looking one. IMG_4240.JPG
     
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  14. Walli Walker

    Walli Walker Active Member

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    Thanks, Kanga, much appreciated. Jacki.
     
  15. Rajy62

    Rajy62 Active Member

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    I also sweat and have hardly any hair left. So, I avoid any hat that can absorb and retain sweat. I usually wear a baseball cap type. On my last Camino I had great success with the OR sun runner cap. It is light weight, has mesh panels and has a skirt that covers your ears and the neck, for those really sunny days, that can be detached. I find the Tilley hats interferes with my jacket collar as i don't have a long neck. The northface dryvent hiker hats could be an option if you really want a Tilley type.
     

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  16. Albertagirl

    Albertagirl Veteran Member

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    @marbuck :
    Tilley hats are expensive, but the cost averages out with use. I am on my third, which I just picked up from the supplier a few days ago. I only paid for the first one, as they are insured. For a $5 processing charge, my decrepit Tilley is replaced with a new one as often as necessary.
     
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  17. Peterk

    Peterk New Member

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    Earlier this year doing the CF, I lost my hat. Being nowhere near a shop and miles walked with miles to go, my head was getting burned to a cinder! But low and behold the Camino provides: I came across a scarecrow ... With a hat on. I felt my needs were greater than his. After a bit of a fight I managed to get it off him and on to me. A perfect fit. Unfortunately I am now in the process of making arrangements to do the CF again just so that I can give the hat back. With thanks! Peter.
     
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  18. jozero

    jozero Oh... That's what the shell is for... Donating Member

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    Tilley's a great hats and I have used numerous over the years but for heat conditions it's also really important to buy the right size as they are fitted hats. I switched to a OR (Outdoor Research) hat for summer use as it is a much lighter material and it has a tensioning cord around the contact brim. When it was really windy I could just reach up and pull the cord to make sure it stayed on and when it was really hot I'd loosen it right off so it did as much as possible to help air circulate and not build up heat. I know this hat won't be as durable as my Tilley but it's a nice trade off for hot environments. ORhat.jpg
     
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  19. Jeff Crawley

    Jeff Crawley Veteran Member

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    My daughter who, it seems, wishes to be disinherited from my will, suggests I try this instead of my habitual Tilley T3 . . . possibly she was taking the pith? 155805_2.jpg
     
  20. pilgr

    pilgr Guest

    I like this kind! [​IMG]
     
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  21. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    This one is collapsable for transport in a backpack. And has a brim. Far more practical.

    Collapsible_top_hat_IMGP9647.jpg
     
  22. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Coincidentally, I just added that exact hat to my Amazon cart a few minutes ago!
     
  23. homebuilt

    homebuilt Member

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  24. Gillean

    Gillean Active Member

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    I like the Tilley as well and I figure it was good for about 5 degrees C (10 degrees F) worth of air conditioning during my walk on the Via de la Plata last year. Plus, stick it under a fountain and you've got instant super cooling. Bonus according to the Tilley website: it can also be used as a spaghetti strainer. This is the model I like: http://www.tilley.com/canada_en/men/hats/warm-weather/ltm6-airflor.html . Be sure you pay attention to their sizing recommendations. You are generally looking at a size or two larger than what you would normally use. At least I was. Also be careful about how you launder them. I met an English fellow this year on the Primitivo who had given his cotton Tilley to a Spanish laundry and they had used extreme heat on it. He claimed that they boiled it. The brim looked as wavy as the Atlantic and the plastic pouch holding the "instructions" had melted! But, if you treat it right it will be one of the best pieces of kit you have.
     
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  25. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    The Tilleys are very expensive. As a locally made (Australian) alternative, I suggest these. A third of the price and they look just as good. Not quite such a drama if you lose it. And they are packable.

    1057drover__52098.1431427284.1280.1280.jpg
     
  26. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    Check eBay for Tilley hats. New ones often go for under $30.
     
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  27. domigee

    domigee Veteran Member Donating Member

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    ]

    I want one! How much does it weigh? ;)
     
  28. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    @domigee they are described as "super light weight". I don't have one as I only wear a visor, but if I did want a hat that's the one I would get.
     
  29. JimGeier

    JimGeier Active Member Donating Member

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    I walked the Camino Frances for SJPdP to Santiago in April and May. I am not a "hat guy" either. I used an Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero almost every day. Kept the sun off my neck on the sunny days, and being made of Gore-Tex, kept my head dry when it rained. http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/seattle-sombrero.html Excellent had, and I came to love it. When I return to the Camino next spring, that hat will go with me.
     
  30. Mark B

    Mark B New Member

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    I have a synthetic Tilley, the LTM5, the version with the smaller brim, which was just fine for me on a couple of caminos. It's very light and nicely flattens down and fits behind the mesh on the suspension of my packs (Gregory Z and Zulu models) when not in use. (I keep it there, because the wire that runs along the outer edge of the brim bent while packed under pressure one time, although it returned to its normal shape over a period of time.) The hat doesn't repel water for very long, and in fact the foam in the brim seems to absorb it after a while, but I normally rely on my rain jacket's hood anyway. But it's a hot hat for me, perhaps because it is synthetic, and that bit of mesh at the top doesn't offer enough ventilation. I took the small, foam sheet out of the pocket inside the top of hat, and that helps a little.
     
  31. mary j

    mary j New Member

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    I will be walking sept-October I plan to bring a very packable and practically weightless sun hat by Wallaroo Hat company. I too dislike hats in general (sensory, heat, etc. ) but understand the need. May need to rethink because it doesn't have a chin strap.
     
  32. KariC

    KariC Active Member

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    That is my choice, too. I just get too hot with a hat, even the kind with mesh sides above the brim. I've got an underarmor visor that I really like - seems to be very aerodynamically designed - haven't had it blown off my head once!
     
  33. stewartza

    stewartza New Member

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    I always wear a hat made by Columbia; it folds up and packs away easily when not in use, it also washes and dries very quickly. While I'm on camino I then also buy a "camino" cap for wearing whilst in the towns. This can just be clipped on your backpack while you are walking.
     
  34. HedaP

    HedaP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I walked with an umbrella with 100% UV protection. 10 degrees cooler under it. Protection from not only sun but rain. Did feel slightly self conscious until one day a young man walked past me wearing a pair of underpants on his head!
     
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  35. Marc Hamel

    Marc Hamel Member

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    I can also say that I sweat profusely from the top of my head and would always prefer not wearing a hat, however having lost almost all of my hair, there is no way I can go out into the sun without getting sunburned on the top of my head! Not a good way to do my first Camino. I looked into the Tilley hats but just could not afford one, so I got a decent hat from REI that was much cheaper. Hopefully it will serve me well!
     
  36. jmcarp

    jmcarp Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Great advice, particularly the part about dipping it in cool water on a hot day. I'd also recommend a large bandana / neck scarf dipped in water and worn around the neck on a hot day.
     
  37. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Well, I am very late to this thread, but I have to say that I find the Tilley straps to be ridiculous. My husband loves his Tilley but he has a lot of trouble with those double loops that pose as chin straps. I, in contrast, have a cheap Columbia hat with a wide brim and a very easy-to-maneuver chin strap. My advice is to stay away from Tilleys, they are expensive and silly. :)
     
  38. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The loops are for fore and aft. Only one goes under the chin, and in extreme conditions the other goes around the base of the skull. Most of the time they stay tucked up in the crown, and only if it is really windy do they get used.
     
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  39. jozero

    jozero Oh... That's what the shell is for... Donating Member

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    You could stay away from Tilley hats because of price, dual straps, hidden pocket in the crown, etc or... you could buy one, scan the manual and enjoy the lifetime warranty. They cost a little more but IMO you get what you pay for...! ;)
     
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  40. oursonpolaire

    oursonpolaire Veteran Member

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    Over 8 Caminos I have gone through 3 Tilleys, all working quite well and covered by their lifetime warranty. They are not cheap but well worth the priced- walking in Catalonia I found that a dip of the hat in a fuente provided me with a walking head-attached air conditioner. During the rains of Galicia, they absorbed a comically astonishing amount of water
     
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  41. cherrys

    cherrys Active Member

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    As one of the "can't stand hats" people" I took a sun visor with me last time along with a piece of lace the size of a bandana. I figured that let air in and gave me some shade. Worked ok until I left it somewhere. So I will be taking that combo again in September, but also just added one of those tech neck towels that you get wet. It worked great on a walk into town in major heat yesterday so I was happy with it.
     
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  42. Nancy Love

    Nancy Love New Member

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    I bought a hat with wider brim and chin strap that's breathable at Colombia.
     
  43. KariC

    KariC Active Member

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    Looks like you got a TON of advice - I also barely tolerate hats, and wore a visor while hiking - protected my eyes and face, but wasn't uncomfortably hot the way most hats are. Underarmour brand - washed easily, breathed easily.
     
  44. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
    I'm a visor fan too. Sadly I've left a few nice ones scattered in various bars along the camino. Unintentionally. A visor also works well to keep rain off my glasses.

    I use an umbrella if it is very sunny.
     
  45. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    4,954
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    Camino(s) past & future:
    August - September(2016)SJPDP - Finisterre
    July - August (2017) - SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
    My friend has a Tilley hat that has a gel pad that you soak with water that fits into a pocket in the brim.
     

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