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A Post-Summer Boonie Hat Report

This is the year I considered a pith helmet due to the climate. A straw hat works better in the sun and heat, but not so much in rain. Plus, we can have temperature swings. That said, there's a certain connotation to wearing a pith helmet, and I don't mean colonialism. Unlike epaulets on shirts, a pith helmet actually has a purpose. The question, though, was whether they worked as advertised. Having worn hardhats in the sun and heat, I was skeptical.

The Tilley Hat came up in this forum, and looked like it would do the trick. Unfortunately, at that price I'd want to try one one first.

I ended up with two Boone hats purchased from a Dollar General for $5 US. The first was a disappointment. The thing seemed to hold heat despite the construction. Even so, it became my "chance of rain" hat. Still, the heat was hard to bear, so when I saw a more open crown one for $10 US (again, at a Dollar General), I tried that. Unfortunately, the crown was too floppy, and let rain through the vents.

After the second washing, my Boone hat developed wadded up lint between the liner and the outside. Weird. But that prompted me to buy a second from Dollar General. The ones they had was a slightly different design, and looked hotter to me. The price was still $5 US, so I got another.

The experience with this one was much better. It doesn't hold heat as bad, and while it doesn't turn water, it fares better than my straw hat. It quickly became my go-to hat for weekdays when there was a chance of rain. We had temperatures over the last two weeks that ranged from the lower 60s F to upper 90s F (upper teens C to upper 30s C), and this worked better in the cool mornings than a straw hat. But when the mornings are warming and afternoons are hot, with no chance of rain, the straw hat is still a better choice.

Probably not the best solution for what I need, but good enough.
 

Bhugo

Contributor
I bought a military issue one off eBay last spring and love it. I agree with your assessment.
 

Ad Astra

Ambassador
Any hat needs to be lighter in color than your hair for relative cooling ... And actual milspec boonie hats are not found in dollar stores but are cheap on the bay etc.

They come in many colors and patterns ... my faded/worn "coyote" brown one works, but the desert camo are lighter.

Get milspec, doesn't matter which maker. And there's one with a wider brim style, too.


AA
 
Any hat needs to be lighter in color than your hair for relative cooling ... And actual milspec boonie hats are not found in dollar stores but are cheap on the bay etc.

They come in many colors and patterns ... my faded/worn "coyote" brown one works, but the desert camo are lighter.

Get milspec, doesn't matter which maker. And there's one with a wider brim style, too.


AA
I doubt this is milspec. It's a light khaki color, which makes for good sun reflection. I do think the hats were factory seconds, due to things like vent placement. Not bad for the money.
 
I picked up a new tri color boonie at a surplus store. my original ones grew feet and left. I noticed the surplus stores insist the military issue ones they carry now are real because of the seen in issue label. Even if they are tiger stripe , or some other odd color. The one I grabbed seems legit though.
 
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