Need advice on a hat, material..
I couldn't find a better forum for this so if there is please tell me and feel free to move this thread.
I am wanting to get my first western style hat. I have always just worn a baseball cap but I want something to cover my ears and give me some shade and coverage for rain if that happens.
The problem is that I don't want my head to cook in the sun in a wool or leather hat, and I am afraid that one of the straw types will let water through if it rains or get crushed the first time it gets stepped/sat on.
I don't know anything about the "Aussie" Oilskin stuff so I don't know if that is hotter or cooler than felt or wool.
I live in the NW so the riding conditions can range anywhere from almost freezing and pouring down rain (not that we would be out riding in that unless by accident) to 90+ direct sun.
So I am just really looking for suggestions on what kind of material I should look at. Thanks for reading.
Truthfully, I've been wearing a black felt hat almost exclusively for several years now. Once I kind of got used to it, the heat doesn't bother me much anymore, even in the triple digit temps here in TX.
If you want something that is lightweight, light colored, and will stand up to being rained on, I suggest a palm leaf hat. They are similar to straw except you shape them with water instead of steam. I wore one for several years before I got my felt and my only complaint with it was that it was just too dang hard to keep it on my head in the wind we have down here. They are a bit heavier weight than your typical straw, but some of them look similar.
I have an Aussie oilskin hat that I LOVE. It's oilskin on the top and brim and mesh around the middle to let the air flow. I'd actually like it to be a little larger on top so I could fit a larger ice pak in it! But it's good for keeping most rain off your head, unless it's sideways rain, and the brim is shapable so you can adjust how low it is.
Cool as a Breeze Leather Australian Hat with Scarf
This is similar to the one I have.
There are various qualities in the straws. A good one which may run you $40 or more is waterproof and it can be soaked and reshaped without doing any harm. The straw hats that were a trend for a while were actually paper. Stetson is a good hay. It's 20 years old and still like new. As styles changed I changed the style of the hat.
Straw for summer/felt for winter.
Palm is very nice, easy to shape and not so expensive as to make you clutch your throat and scream "it's the big one."
Good advice given above IMO but if you found hat locally I think it would be wise to try on. For instance in Resistol I wear 7 3/8 but in Stetson I wear 7 1/2. Like lots of other appearal, saddles etc what have I have found different companys sizes varie. Once you find a brand you like then you could order with more confidence and have them deliver.
I really like the palm leaf straws. I like Sunbody Hats. They come unshaped and in different brim sizes. I just bought a 6'', lol! But they are cheap, I payed $30 it. You just get it wet and shape it anyway you like.
For winter or cooler weather I wear a felt hat, I bought a cheap Seratelli 5X and for some reason it has managed to survive rain, snow, hail, mud...
I just read my post. Stetson's are not made of hay. It's a good hat. I swear I'm going to ditch this keyboard first chance I get for a new one. Some keys have to be touched a few times to get them to work. Capitalizing is a pain as it seldom works. Arrrrrrrrgh. I am tired of having to constantly edit and correct. Junk is what it is.
I would love to see the hats you are talking about.
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