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Tips for best "all weather" hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Gusman, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Dear all,

    This is my first post on the "Fedora Lounge forum" and I've found this forum after buying my first hat last week on holiday in La Rochelle (France). For many years I wear a several baseball caps to protect my "rather high forehead" against the sun, cold and rain when I'm walking and cycling. But last week I've bought a Stetson Evergreen traveler and I have to say I should have done this much earlier. A hat on my head feels much more comfortable than the baseball cap that I've been wearing for many years.


    After my purchase I start looking for more "hat" information on the internet and amongst others I've found a website about hats from a Dutch guy and he explains his definition of a hat:

    - a baseball cap and other caps are "no cool hats"
    - hats who costs less then 30 euro's are no quality hats and have to be considered also as "no cool hats"

    I think he's right with his statements, although there are possibly a lot more reasons to define a "Cool Hat". But I'm very pleased with the hat section in the Fedora Lounge Forum to learn more about hats. At this moment I am still an "entered apprentice" in hat wearing and owning.

    The reason for me to buy the Stetson Evergreen traveler is the fact it's water repellent and crushable (Vitafelt characteristics) and for a new kid on the block as I am it's a little bit protected against "hat-mistakes". I've searched the forum, but I'm curious if I've made a good choice to wear this hat on my daily trip to work on my bicycle.

    I live in a little village near Amsterdam in the Netherlands and I travel every day (sun-wind-rain-snow) for 12 kilometers to my work in the city-centre of Amsterdam. My goal is to "find" a hat to wear on my bicycle trips that is capable to resist the weather conditions all year round. I'm curious what's your experience with sweating and rain while wearing a hat. My experience with the baseball caps is that they become a little bit "smelly" after using them a while. These caps could be washed but the felt hats can't. I realize a fisherman's-hat would do the job nicely but I'm looking for a better alternative. On the other hand I realize it could lead to having a hat for traveling/cycling and also having a hat for going out.

    So, all hints and tips are more than welcome and thanks in advance for your contributions..........

    Kind regards,

    Gusman ;)
    the Netherlands
  2. High Pockets

    High Pockets Practically Family

    Nice to meet you!:) I got tickled a couple times reading your post!
    "No cool hats!"; I think we've all owned several "Ats'a no-cool hats."
    "hat mistakes"; I've made many, and I'm sure I'm not finished yet!

    Congratulations on your new hat!:)
  3. zetwal

    zetwal I'll Lock Up

    Welcome to the Lounge.

    While it's true that you can't put fedoras in the washing machine, they can be cleaned periodically of both dirt and odor. There are many treads here on the Lounge explaining how this can be done. That said, I think that having one hat for cycling and another for going out is a good strategy.
  4. Woodfluter

    Woodfluter Practically Family

    Welcome Gusman! Nice to see you here.

    Couple of thoughts:

    (1) Not sure about hat prices in Europe, but the best you could get in the US for the equivalent of around 30 euros would be one of the wool-felt kind that's been stabilized to prevent, or at least minimize shrinkage. They might not be "cool", but even a hat like that serves a useful purpose and shouldn't be scorned - as long as it'll handle weather without damage. I have some in storage from years back, don't use now as I have better options.

    (2) Don't know about you, but I sweat a lot when I cycle! I wear a well-ventilated helmet. But if I were to go the hat route, it'd be a Tilley. They have models with good ventilation, a very practical sweatband of synthetic furry material that wicks away perspiration, are washable, and best of all is a wind strap system that will keep it on in anything short of a hurricane. Now cool is in the eye of the beholder, and other hats may look sharper, but these are extremely practical for rough outdoor use and are well made. But not exactly inexpensive.

    (3) If you do go for a decent fur-felt fedora, I'd suggest rigging up something for a chin strap (e.g. cord that can attach to the sweatband and then removed when not needed - contact me for some specific options). I'd hate to see you grabbing for a hat in traffic.

    Best of luck!

    - Bill
  5. Duper

    Duper Practically Family

    I also enjoy and recommend a Tilley LTM5 very much. It travels well. You can stuff it in your back pocket or your back pack. It is ventilated. It comes in a number of colours and is actually hat sized rather than small, medium or large so you can get a better fit. The brim size is suitable for most sunny days. It is not a ballcap which most folks in my neck of the woods wear and I like that. You can jump in the pool or the ocean with it on and and there is no harm done. Great for the beach. You can wash it in the washing machine or in your hotel sink. It dries quickly. Maybe they aren't exacty stylish, but they sure are usable. They are well built and should last a lifetime if you follow the simple instructions to wash them regularly.

    I wouldn't put it on in a Canadian winter but as I recall the winters in Holland are much milder.
  6. Goose.

    Goose. Practically Family


    There are couple of hats I wear while in the rain. One is an Oilcloth "Packer" from Duluth Trading (link at bottom of this post).

    It is a size "XL". I wear a 60/61 and it fits fine. Very comfortable, even in warm weather. It's not pretty, made in Sri Lanka, but it's functional.

    I ordered one...liked it enough to order a second as a spare. Having just ordered a Barmah Squashy Roo for rain, I will probably never wear the spare Packer.

    Point being, if it is your size and you think you will wear/keep it, I will send it to you for free. No charge or strings attached at all. Just as a "welcome" gift.

    If it is not your size or style, no hurt feelings. Just would rather see it put to good use. It is still in the original shipping box and I have not worn it once.

    Really enjoyed reading your sincere post asking for advice and just wanted to offer you this in return for the smile.

    You need to put up 15 posts before you can PM me. So get your fingers busy and type some more posts so you can send me a PM with your address for shipping if you are interested.



  7. Mulceber

    Mulceber Practically Family

    If you want the best all weather hat out there, I'd go for a custom hat by Art Fawcett. There's no beating beaver felt. Should cost you about 214 Euros. Expensive, but that hat will last you forever and should have no trouble taking whatever weather you throw at it. -M

  8. ''Well done''
    ''Your choice is well founded"
    That Stetson is a nice looking hat. I suggest you look to an Akubra for a great weather resisitent hat.
    The time will also come for a custom fedora. We have more than a few great hatters here on the Lounge, good luck in you hat wearing future.
  9. Sargon

    Sargon Familiar Face

    I've got to second the Akubra vote. When it rains that is what I always grab.
  10. Dear all,

    Thank you all for your kind words and "warm" welcome here on the Fedora Lounge. I understand there are several options for the "all weather hat" depending on the different points of view: practical - stylish - comfortable - etc. So, may be there's no ultimate all weather hat for everybody, it seems it depends on your personal criteria - fill-in the right parameters - to figure out the best all weather hat for your situation/needs.

    The all weather hat parameters for me to use on my bicycle would be: stylish and practical. So the Akubra would be a good option to look at, on the other hand the offer from "Goose" - oilcloth "Packer" - also sounds tempting. To "test" different hats in different weather types may be the oilcloth "Packer" would be a good start (and not that expensive :D ).

    @Goose: Thank you for your kind offer but could it be that the XL size of your oilcloth "Packer" is a little bit too wide. The Steston Evergreen Traveler I've bought is a "L" size and my heads circumference is approximately between 59-60 centimeters or 23.2-23.6 inches. I don't know if the oilcloth "Packer" has a tight XL fit or not....

    I will first start to "produce" 15 replies to be able to "PM" the members of the Fedora Lounge.

    Kind regards,

    Gusman ;)
    the Netherlands
  11. Akubra

    Akubra Familiar Face

    Try a Tilley

    Not as cool or stylish as some other hats but a Tilley is what I wear when I go out and it is raining or I know rain is probable. That said, I don't run for cover if rain starts when wearing a felt hat, the 3 Akubras and the one Stetson I own stand up to rain just fine.
  12. Hi all,

    Browsing through the hat-forum I've found a lot of entries about the use of felt hats and rain and it seems the Akubra hats are doing a great job in the Sun and in the Rain.

    Are there "special" types of Akubra's who will do a better job in the sun/rain then other Akubra's or are they in general doing a better job in sun/rainy conditions compared to other brands?


    Gusman ;)
    the Netherlands
  13. Goose.

    Goose. Practically Family

    Hey Gusman...
    Regarding one Akubra being better than another...all I can say is that I have worn my Federations in heavy rain. They get a bit "droopy" if too wet, but they hold up.

    Here's a pic of my Standard black in the rain...it got much wetter afterwards. Soaked. Then a pic of it the next day after drying out at room temp.

    True, I ordered a Squashy Roo, have a Packer, and wear Panamas...but I am really hard pressed to think of a reason for one "not" to get an Akubra of any model. Great bang for the buck (or Euro ;))

  14. Well.........,

    I'd visited the hat shop on the island (ile de RĂ©) near the city I'm on holiday. According to their website and leaflet they sell Akubra's and thus a good reason to visit them. After paying 16,50 euro's for the toll bridge on the road to the shop it turned out they only have one (1) Akubra hat in the entire shop and the size was "M", so it wouldn't fit also [huh]. The best part was the fact I've had the chance to feel the Akubra and it felt different than the vitafelt hat I have, much more "rigid" (I don't know if I use the right English expression for it but I'm curious for another/better expression)

    They could order any Akubra I'd like and the cheapest Akubra starts at 180 Euro's. There are better (and cheaper) alternatives on the internet to buy Akubra's so this shop was not worth the visit for the Akubra's........

    We've visited the rest of the island during the day with my family and we have had a lovely day. So it turned out in a nice day after all.


    Gusman ;)
  15. Corky

    Corky A-List Customer

    If you bike 12 kilometers a day, you need a helmet...

    If you bike 12 kilometers a day, you need a helmet.

    You state:I travel every day (sun-wind-rain-snow) for 12 kilometers to my work in the city-centre of Amsterdam. My goal is to "find" a hat to wear on my bicycle trips that is capable to resist the weather conditions all year round.

    I suggest you get a second fedora and keep one at each end of your commute. I agree with all the comments above about acquiring and wearing an Akubra. But only when you are a pedestrian.

    Get a cycling helmet which is comfortable and as lightweight as possible. Look for one with a sturdy plastic shell, foam padding and a chin strap. These helmets usually have large vents for air circulation and to cut down on weight.

    If you ride 12 kilometers a day, every day, in all weather conditions, eventually you are going to be involved in some kind of accident.

    Consider it cheap life insurance.
  16. Corky,

    Thanks for your reply and suggestion to wear a helmet while riding my bike, although the situation here in the Netherlands might be a little different than in US. Wearing a helmet while riding your bike is not obligatory in the Netherlands and also not very common thing to do. The only guys who will wear a helmet are the ones riding a race-bike and travel at high speeds (> 25 Kilometers/hour). Apart from that the Netherlands has a lot of free bike lanes (even in Amsterdam) so the fact to be "crushed" by cars is a lot less than when your cycling between the traffic. Nevertheless I agree that it's safer to travel with a helmet, but........... it's different here.

    I definitely will go for an Akubra, I can't ignore the tips and hints on the fedora forum. I'm thinking of buying an Akubra fedora or an Akubra stylemaster. Any suggestion on this choice?

    Thanks again for the replies.........


    Gusman ;)
  17. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Outback Outlet

    Both the "OILSKIN MADISON PACKABLE HAT" as well as the "MENS OILSKIN RIVER GUIDE HAT" are quite inexpensive & may be what you are looking for.

    Cheers & glad to see ya' here!

  18. Welcome, Gusman! Great questions asked in your initial post; we've all asked them at one time or another on this site.

    I agree with those who suggest you begin with Akubra. I made the newbie mistake of buying two modern Stetsons (the Saxon and the Chatham) before discovering this site. They're fine hats, but relatively expensive as modern, mass-production hats go, and I found I couldn't wear them in all weather, especially the warm summers. But when I ordered my Akubra Federation IV from Hats Direct, I found a much more versatile hat...and my Akubra Campdraft in Silverbelly also proved to be highly versatile in a lighter shade for warmer weather.

    Check out Hats Direct's website: www.hatsdirect.com. Many here will agree that you can't go wrong with them or with those hats as a good starting point.
  19. Rick and Jazzncocktails,

    Thanks for the reply, I've taken a look at the hatsdirect website to the Federation IV. It seems, when ordered, it comes with a so called "open crown" which means I have to shape the crown myself. Is that easy to do as a "novice".........


    Gusman ;)
  20. Goose.

    Goose. Practically Family

    Look at post 13 in this thread. I know, it looks like less than half an hour's work...but it was. Actually, takes me less than 15 minutes.
    My first bash, on an Akubra Sydney/Fedora, took less than an hour. It's easy and forgiving...the Fed.

    There's another thread with lots of tips and pics: http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?p=763956#post763956

    Get one...and if you stop at just one Federation, I will be impressed by your will power.
    You will not regret it.

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