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Again with the Summer Hats


I bought the cheap boonie hat from Dollar General. So far I'm glad I've only spent $5 for it. I ended up having to wear it at lunch. Conditions were sunny, with temperatures just at 90° F/ 32° C.

Assessment: It retains heat more than I anticipated. It was particularly noticeable around the brim right about my ears, which was unusual. I had worn my straw lifeguard /farmer's hat just a few minutes earlier, and the difference was quite noticeable. The straw hat was cooler. I'd have have one of my Panamas to compare it to, but I think they would be cooler than this thing. A pity: It's well made, though I suspect it's a factory second. One of the vent holes is placed slightly off, but they're screened, and it has a thin inner liner.

I need to find somewhere I can actually try a Tilley hat. The LTM2 looks the most promising, but I'm reluctant to put down that much money for something I can't try on first.

Another alternative: A thin, tight-weaved, Western style straw hat with vent holes. This I should be able to find at a local feed store, or, failing that, maybe Tractor Supply. I'm quite serious about Tractor Supply. If you're into Western style hats, they can be a surprising source. Also serious about the local feed store. I bought my life guard /farmer straw hat at one, and it looks much better than the last Walmart had on sale.

The last alternative is the French style pith helmet. Unfortunately, I just don't see wearing something like that to town. OTOH, I'm not too comfortable wearing this boonie hat in the same situation.


I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
That leaves me stumped. I suspect the hat I want may not exist; a wide brim, rigid enough to take the rain, and comfortable in temperatures from 50° Fahrenheit/10° Celsius to over 105° Fahrenheit/40° Celsius.
That is one tall order. I think you have described three or four different hats all at once.

The ventilation needed to deal with really hot weather means the rain will come right in. (Unless you don't mind that, and you just want a hat that will be resilient to getting soaked, rather than one that keeps your head dry ... and in hot weather, if it's waterproof enough to keep your head dry ... it will almost certainly have such poor airflow that the sweat inside it will end up making your head wet anyhow.)

I need to find somewhere I can actually try a Tilley hat. The LTM2 looks the most promising, but I'm reluctant to put down that much money for something I can't try on first.
That's one I have and like.

Compare/contrast to the LTM8 (which I don't have) ... which has more ventilation but will let rain in and not provide as much sun protection to the scalp either. On balance, I will stick with my LTM2. But that's just me.
Looks like I won't have to worry about a hat for cool temperatures for a while. Lows aren't going to get to 70° F/ 21° C, and highs are going to be in the 105° F/ 41° C neighborhood.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm already using the best solution for this climate: straw hats with a wide brim. If only they withstood rain better.


I use a Tilley LTM6 to meet the needs you describe. On rare hot days in Seattle, or while on holiday in the heat, it’s my go-to. Handles rain well, too. A bit pricey, but well made and effective.
I live in Texas and first bought a Tilley LTM6 AIRFLO®. It is great and is very cool and wears light on the head. In saying that, the only thing wrong with the hat is that in strong winds the visor flops all over the place and doesn't shade your eyes and the glare from the sun, I don't care for. So, I then purchased a Shelta Seahawk hat because it has a stiffener in the front brim which keeps the visor from flopping about in a strong wind. Fantastic, and in videos they show the visor not flopping about even riding on a fast boat. The only problem I have found with that hat is that it is made of a different material than the Tilley hat so it is a little heavier and wears warmer than the Tilley hat. So, if it is windy I wear the Shelta hat, and I wear the Tilley hat in no or light wind days.

The Tilley hat is also guaranteed for life and washes great and dries quickly. In fact they tell you to clean often!

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