I like wearing Panama Hats and am looking for one that is packable, where it looks really good when I unpacked it. Found this one on Amazon. It says it’s packable, but then some reviewers say it doesn’t look as great unpacked. Hopefully someone here has a good One.
It's a challenge -- I've taken to tying my straw hat onto my carry-on daypack, because I know packing it will destroy it (and I finally found one I like that will accommodate my ponytail). I don't think any hat will look crisp and new after it's been packed, unfortunately. Even hats that hold their shape well and are meant for travel (like a Tilley hat) will look a little rumpled and worn in.
Took a wide-brimmed hat one trip, packed it upside down and stuffed with soft items -- and it came out of the suitcase not too horrible. But too much work to special-pack it every time. Looking forward to the results on this one.
I once bought a great straw had that was "packable." Indeed it was. However, once unpacked, it was no longer the same hat. I did wear it for years, but never tried packing it again.
Hmmm...I’ve carted hats around on planes, but it is a hassle. I’m taking carryon and pack it pretty full. Do street vendors in Italy sell Panama hats?
I am actually thinking of buying this hat and trial packing it for 24 hours to see. It’s returnable, so I guess if it’s a mess, I’ll return it.
It may need to be folded for packing, rather than smashed flat. See if it has instructions.
I have a Scala Collezione raffia hat I bought from REI and it packs ( and unpacks) beautifully, folded. I think it is this one:
Mine is cocoa brown but I like this straw color--might get another! My husband won't let me go outside in the summertime without a hat. And I ( almost) always take one traveling. I didn't think I needed one for ur November Japan trip but it was very sunny. It was a shopping opportunity, but the only one I could find for the 22,000 yen I wanted to spend ( about $20) was a used Dorfman Pacific floppy bucket hat at a vintage clothing store. Faded orange. At least I was easy to spot in a crowd. . .
I have a wide brimmed straw hat that I've had for several years, and successfully packed on a few trips. I stuff the crown with undies and socks, then lay it with the brim down, on top of any clothes like slacks that have been flat folded in the bottom of the suitcase. Then packing cubes and other (rolled) items are placed around the crown, on top of the brim. A full suitcase means the contents are less likely to move around and get smooshed. So far it has worked.
Yes, street vendors in Italy sell hats. I bought one in Venice and wore it for my days in Italy. It never looked as good as it did before it was packed but it was fine to keep the sun off me in Italy. I finally threw it away after I got home because it was pretty mangled BUT it was only 10-15E so was not expecting much, lol!
Depending on when you are traveling, keep an eye on Costco if you are a member. I got a great straw hat there a couple of years ago. I won't buy a hat unless it has a chin strap as I live in a very windy area and this one had a strap and a very wide brim. I've packed it a few times but it is looking a bit battered and the brim has a fold in it that won't come out. I'll be watching to see if they have them again this year. It, too, was about $15.
You might also look at Dr Cynthia Bailey's website. She is a CA dermatologist and usually has good stuff. Her selection right now is not big - just one kind and it does not have a chin strap. Does have some nice colors but is fabric not straw.
You know we are going to want to know what you wind up choosing and how it works!
My packable travel hat is made by Walleroo Hat Company in Boulder Colorado. (I don't know where it's manufactured, however.) I have had mine for at least 10 years.
It's polyester and hand washable.
They come in many many colors; mine is periwinkle.
It not only packs well in a suitcase, but I have rolled it up and smushed it into a small purse and it still looks good.
I believe that they are still for sale since I saw them locally last year. I think they are $20-25 or so.
It's not a Panama as such but you could easily add a scarf or ribbon to dress it up a bit.
Just a side note. I clicked on the OPs link and read through the specs. This is a Panama style hat, but not a true Panama. It isn't made of straw, but PAPER. So I wouldn't want to be caught out in the rain with it.
Check out Tilley.com - their hats aren't cheap but the quality is extremely high and they have several packable varieties.
I also have a Wallaroo Victoria hat that I am very happy with. I haven't tried packing it yet --- that test is coming up in a few months --- but I am not easy on hats, and so far it's holding up well. They make a wide range of styles and colors.
I also have a Dorfman Pacific Scala felt hat that has endured all sorts of abuse. It has sort of an Indiana Jones look to it. I have packed, sat on it, stepped on it, slept on it, and it still looks like it did when I bought it. It has a chin strap. It's too heavy for summer (which is why I got Wallaroo hat). My 80+ year old mother thinks it's not feminine, but I love it.
My husband and I were without hats on a trip to France last year in April. We did not think it would be warm, but it ended up being quite warm and sunny. Bought some cheap but very nice looking straw hats in Alsace region, and wore them the rest of the trip, even hiking in the Swiss Alps. I figured that if they got screwed up it would be no problem as they were inexpensive.
Turns out, we have used them for many trips since, we just put them in the overhead bin and they have been surviving just fine so far. So, my advice is to buy in Europe, you will find them everywhere.
A resounding "Yes" to what SharYn says. I also have a couple of Walleroo hats and love them. So packable, you can roll them, fold them and squeeze them practically down to nothing and then just shake them out to their original shape.. Even though I am not that far from Boulder, I order online. Lots of pretty colors and cute different styles and for this Colorado person with a history of skin cancer, this part is of the utmost importance to me: "The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the material of every Wallaroo hat with a UPF rating and a 3+ inch brim as an effective UV protectant." Here is their website: https://wallaroohats.com.
I know this isn't a Panama Hat, but I've really had good luck with one like this from Duluth Trading:
I've carried it around folded in a backpack, squashed it into a suitcase, and it always comes out looking great! I believe it's also machine washable, which is a bonus. I'd recommend it!
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond and suggestions. I do see 3 that I like from the Wallaroo website. Little more expensive, but sound like they pack wonderfully.
Wallaroo hats are lightweight and definitely packable, at least the one I had ( the Breton). Unfortunately I lost it in New Zealand.
Just got the Magellan's catalog in the mail and there is a nice looking hat on p. 28. The quality of Magellan stuff varies so I've no idea what this is like. Here's a link to the online page for "Sun Protection". I love the look of the Laurel Burch hat on that page (which is not what I was looking at in the catalog). Very cute and yes, it goes with my travel capsule wardrobe colors, lol.
Pam, I like the Vineyard on that page. It's a lot like the straw I've been wearing for about 20 years - and should have composted about 10 years ago.
The Hat Depot 300N1510 Wide Brim Foldable Double-Sided Outdoor Boonie Bucket Hat (S/M, Khaki) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DCNSKPS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_F5PfEbP50R4FV
This hat is similar to what I found at my local target for about $4.00. Love it and easy to pack and fine when I unpack it to wear. It has been on 6 RS tours since 2016 and going strong.
I'm happy with this one and plan on getting it in a few different colors over time. It's reasonably priced, so as Pam mentioned, if you're not happy with way it looks after a trip, you can always get a new one. We live in the tropics and I wear hats all the time.
I have tried so many hats. Now I just wear my running Adidas running hat. It’s cool, wicks away sweat, and keeps the sun out of my eyes. Our first day out in Japan I told my husband “People can tell we’re American by our hats.” As soon as I said that we passed a Japanese couple wearing hats identical to ours.
My favorite packable hats are from Wallaroo. Some travel shops sell them but the best selection is online. www.wallaroohats.com
THANK YOU! I'm a hat-person and you all have given great referrals!
Kim, I wanted to pop in to comment on the hat you suggested. Mine just arrived and I love it! It’s small enough to not dwarf my small head, big enough to do its job, and cheap enough to replace if it doesn’t wear well...but it looks like it will; so thank you!
I received the hat I linked to with my original post. I also ordered another below. Both came in today. The were both packable, could be put in a taco fold. But the rims of both were sort of funky shaped from the packing and I couldn’t seem to get them to,work. Plus, they seemed bigger than the photos, and not exactly what I was looking for so I sent them back. I will keep looking. Was just trying a cheaper route...may need to purchase a more expensive hat. I’m half inclined to buy there.
Darn it! Every time this thread comes back to the top I look at the aqua Laurel Burch hat again. I might as well go ahead and order it.
Lulu, sorry you had to send your last 2 back!
Pam, I like the Vineyard. Hmmm, I'm about due for a new hat. Do they allow returns?
I have two Tilley hats that are brilliant travellers. Absolutely indestructible, roll 'em, stuff 'em, or just lay them flat and they come out as good as new. One is canvas with a raffia brim, the other is hemp I think. Both breathable and with washable sweatbands. My husband loves his Tilley too. Not cheap though.
But then I started looking at the Walleroo hats...so cute! Maybe I need another expensive hat? I rarely go out without one.
Well, I got the Laurel Burch hat in the mail yesterday. It folds down flat but even for me who insists on a wide brim, this one is too much. I also have a fairly big head and it's down over my ears with no way to adjust the size. It does have a chin strap and since the hat is reversible you can move it from one side to the other via clips.
I'm sending it back....
Pam, the Walleroo hats are adjustable. I'm sorry the Burch hat you ordered wasn't what you wanted. The Walleroo hats also offer a variety of brim length (width??) with their different styles. Mine are just wide enough to shade what needs to be shaded on my face and neck.
Thanks Andi! I was attracted by the beautiful aqua color of the Laurel Burch hat but that does no good if it doesn't fit! I'll look at the Wallaroos!