If Indiana Jones were a sailor, what hat would he wear?
August 17, 2009 7:16 PM   Subscribe

HatFilter: I'm looking for a functional, stylish hat for sailing (worried mostly about sun not foul weather protection). Bonus points for a unique, "adventure" flavor like Indiana Jones.

Hat Notes:
-Function comes before style: comfortable and good sun protection with out getting in the way are key.
-Something with a unique look. If possible a quasi formal, rugged "adventure" look a la Indiana Jones's Fedora.
-It does not need to be an according-to-Ahab traditional, "salty" hat, but it should look at home and function well on the water (and maybe an exotic tropical port of call, if I am ever so lucky).
-At the same time, something that will not look too out of place. I occasionally sail with a swimsuit, an old tee-shirt and sunglasses so too "formal" may look strange. Basically-Unique but not outlandish.
-I intend to wear it sailing in fresh and salt water (should it matter)
-Cost is a factor, I don't want to spend a fortune for it, but if the hat is well made and the last hat I ever need I am willing to spring for a bit. (at the same time, I expect this hat will get really beaten up, or possibly lost at sea... ahh compromises)

Thanks Hive Mind!

PS- I do already own a nice fur felt "Indiana Jones" Fedora. I would wear it but it feels like it would be too heavy for actual extended use in the heat... plus I am afraid to lose it or get it wet. Indy got his drenched and beaten up many times, but I don't have 12 identical replacements and a film crew to make mine look ready for action in the next frame should something happen :)
posted by DetonatedManiac to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Just to be clear, I fully understand that sailing hats are not the place to make a fashion statement, and functionality is paramount, but just a dash of unique character or charming style would be nice (though certainly not required).
posted by DetonatedManiac at 7:28 PM on August 17, 2009

I dig the Seattle Sombrero.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:32 PM on August 17, 2009

Tilley hats have been staples in my boating family forever -- there lots of different styles there to look through.
posted by brainmouse at 7:33 PM on August 17, 2009 [4 favorites]

clich├ęd, but ... Tilley? They really are tough as old boots, and unless you sweat concentrated nitric acid, will probably outlast you.
posted by scruss at 7:38 PM on August 17, 2009

Response by poster: lol uncanny... but if I could find a three cornered hat that was made for functionality and not for pirate/colonial costumes I would give it a shot.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 7:38 PM on August 17, 2009

I've ordered from here because I'm serious about sun protection, and I've been happy with their products--light, cool, sturdy, and in some cases, even washable. I find the men's styles pretty decent as well.
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 7:39 PM on August 17, 2009

Well, Gilligan wore a bucket hat... I was always a fan of a bucket hat and a lid leash myself...

Bucket Hats, Tilleys, Visors and Ballcaps are popular (North Sails, Hinkley Yachts, Hobie, and just about any local Marina loves to advertise themselves in hat form...

From personal experience, you generally have 4 options regarding hats: buy a cheap one you can easily replace, leash a nice hat to your clothing (where it may still be lost), purchase a tilley hat with some form of buoyancy in the top and brim, or be prepared to replace the hat when you return to land.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:39 PM on August 17, 2009

A Sou'wester, of course.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:45 PM on August 17, 2009

Nthing Tilley hats. They last forever. Many float. They have SEEKRIT POCKETSES. They can be crushed into tiny spaces. I have owned two. One I left on a barstool in Florida, because I am an idiot. The second one I bought to replace the first one. When I lose this one, I will buy a third.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:56 PM on August 17, 2009

I am not sure how much of a fashion statement it makes, but these long brim hats with neck snoods will protect you from the sun and they are well made and quite functional. The more traditional swordfish/oysterman style might be more to your liking if you are from down east.
posted by caddis at 8:30 PM on August 17, 2009

Anything you buy for sailing had better have a strap or string under your chin, or else it's going to blow off into the water and you'll lose it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:06 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't get one with a strap under your chin (annoying and ridiculous looking).
Do get a Tilley hat and a clip on leash to attach it to the collar of your shirt.
posted by atrazine at 9:50 PM on August 17, 2009

Pith helmet? They were designed for use by soldiers in hot, sunny, tropical environments, and it will definitely look unique.
posted by armage at 11:15 PM on August 17, 2009

Straw Cowboy Hat?

Lightweight, keeps sun off your face, doesn't look too formal with casual clothing.
posted by CarolynG at 11:33 PM on August 17, 2009

I was thinking of suggesting a pith helmet too (I have this one) but I'm not sure how well it will do if it gets wet.

Also, it's not so much stylish as ... affectatious.
posted by aubilenon at 1:45 AM on August 18, 2009

A Panama hat looks pretty snazzy when you're on the water. Not to mention, the tight straw weave was made for protection against the equatorial sun (the design is really from Ecuador, not Panama).

It should also meet your requirement for a bit of Indy flair, ditching the felt but keeping the fedora.
posted by danthony at 2:21 AM on August 18, 2009

If you get a Tilley, you can get little, tiny, salt-water-resistant SCREEN WINDOWS to keep malaria out of your hat's portholes. You don't want a hat that will give you malaria, do you?

They float. They have sufficient stringage to attach them to your head in any weather. There is a pocket to hide plastic toy crabs in. It also can hold iced tea mix in those little tubes, or, if you're boring, your passport and cabfare.

I've used mine as a lens hood in the rain, to carry a baby bird, to give a dog some water, and to lend to my brother after he used his to puke in. Oh yeah, they're also machine washable.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:45 AM on August 18, 2009

Seconding the Panama. A good quality one is more hard wearing than you'd imagine.

(Oh and [paging languagehat])
posted by brighton at 2:52 AM on August 18, 2009

i love my tilley for sailing. bonus: it floats, for those impromptu "hat overboard" drills.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:04 AM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I came in to recommend Tilley, which was my fieldwork hat in equatorial Africa for 18 months, and is just plain awesome. The only hat I have ever worn that actually makes my head cooler in the hot sun, and doesn't fly off in the wind. If you can, go to a store and try on lots of different ones to get the best fit.

I'll just add to the chorus by saying yes, it is expensive BUT: when I bought mine it came with a 1 year guarantee that if it was lost or stolen, I could buy a new one (same style, same size) for half price. If it ever wears out, they will replace it for free.
posted by carmen at 5:50 AM on August 18, 2009

Tilley.... great hats...
posted by HuronBob at 11:58 AM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: The response for Tilley seems overwhelming. Though I do like the Panama option as well.

My question now, which Tilley hat should I get? What features makes one better for sailing than others or will they all be equally good? What about for general globe trotting (after I have docked the boat say)?

Should I get one with the stow-able neck protector cape or is that too much?
posted by DetonatedManiac at 1:29 PM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: Got Tilley - went with the olive color airflow variety and already had one comment that it looks just like an Indiana Jones hat. I think the hat is great!
posted by DetonatedManiac at 12:35 PM on September 21, 2009

posted by Sallyfur at 3:31 AM on November 23, 2009

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