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Put a Lid on It

A good hat should do many things. None the least of which is stay on your head. It’s even better this time of year if it keeps the sun off your face and out of your eyes. But staying “cool” can be harder than you think. I used to despise chinstraps on hats, but somewhere along the way I realized they are one of the best features on a hat, and help make it versatile and handy in a variety of conditions. You will notice I tip my hat to those with one below.

Let’s explore some good hats for the sunny and warm days ahead. Hats that will help us stay cool and shaded while we enjoy our favorite activities.

Columbia Omni Shade

Columbia offers one of my all time favorite chapeaux. The Omni Shade offers a wide brim, mesh in the cap, and a chin strap—all the makings for a great hat, and it doesn’t mind getting wet. The brim is soft yet stiff enough to stay down in windy endeavors. The mesh will let you keep your cool, and let’s not forget the chin strap … it can be pulled up to the brim if you feel a little down and under, or cinched up so you don’t blow your lid, and it’s a great way to hang your hat if you decide to take it off for the sunset.

Shady Brady Hat Company

Fellas, this one’s for you. Ladies, I wish we could share this one, but the hats are simply too big and well, manly for our heads. Have you heard of the Shady Brady? Willie Nelson and Steve McQueen have. John Brady is a surf-lover who started making leather goods so he could eat—even surfers need food. Soon he made leather hats, and then he turned to straw as the cost of leather suddenly doubled. The rest is history. Wonderfully breathable, versatile, and sturdy, the Brady hats offer stylish shade. Keep them away from salt water, and they can last a lifetime. The stiff band in the hat keeps it where it belongs without compromising breathability. Bravo. The Aussi and the Bon Jovi are favorites.

OR Seattle Sombrero

If you’re headed for harsh weather, OR will keep you covered with the Seattle Sombrero. This Gore-Tex hat is breathable and waterproof. The brim is foam, and will stay stiff even in a downpour. Better still, the cap of the hat is adjustable, so if you need to buckle down, it’ll stay snug on your head; or loosen up for lighter coverage. This hat can be warm, but is surprisingly cool when left a bit looser. The velcro on the brim is a great feature.

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