A review of that staple of sun, light rain and snow protection AND sartorial splendor: The Boonie Hat .
The Dorky Sun Hat.
For most outdoors people who hike in high altitude and/or sunny areas (The Rockies, the desert and so on) some sort of hat is worn.
The hat can be a simple ball cap or visor and slathering on sun screen for the neck and face or worn French Foreign Legion style with a bandana.
And for those who really want the creme de la creme, there is the admittedly well made Tilley Hat.
Being follicle challenged AND hiking out West, I absolutely need some sort of sun protection for not only my face but also my head. I also hate wearing sun screen for more than a day hike.
Over the years, I've used and tried different hats.
Actually tried a Tilley but found it to be stiff and not easily packable.
A ball cap? Except for the occasional day hike, find it does not provide enough sun coverage. And I never did like rocking the French Foreign Legion look ( My seemingly perma-stubble, thick eye brows and round Eye-talian face makes me look more like I belong selling a fake Rolex rather than the dashing and debonair Gary Cooper in classic movies. But I digress….)
My go-to hat?
Crushable, packable, durable. Resists rain and snow. Wide for all around sun protection. Costs $10-$15 at the local surplus store. AND it comes in camo, khaki, black and the ever popular OD green.
Boonie hat while hiking. Fried chicken optional!
"awesome, iconic, and reminiscent of bill murray in caddyshack. thinking how much fried chicken I could have if I hadn't gone tilley"
I look a little skeevy in this photo…don't I ???
Besides hiking/backpacking, it is something that fits under a climbing helmet quite nicely….
And is worn for skiing, esp in the spring….
So all in all, a versatile piece of clothing that looks dorky but works!
The only modifcation I'd do to the boonie is remove the leather chin strap piece and replace it with a cord lock for fifty cents or less and avail from any hardware store.
Inexpensive, durable and versatile. I've been using this type of hat since 1999. It works.