I've tried out a few hats on the trail over the years - floppy hats, a canvas, drover-style Barmah, a Buff (think: Survivor) - even a straw beach hat. Over time I've settled on baseball style caps. They're light and the brim is handy for keeping sun & water out of your eyes as well as forming a rigid peak for the hood of rain shells. I also happen to like the way a cap looks.
The one glaring drawback of a baseball cap is the fact that the brim, being only at the front, doesn't provide a whole lot of protection from the sun. There are workarounds, of course - like wearing the cap at different angles to ward of the sun. You can also use sunblock cream. Neither of these is perfect and walking in hot sun can be a bit of a bastard for cap wearers.
There's been some good news for hikers who attached to their baseball caps. For the past few years an Adelaide-based company has been making and perfecting a extender hat for baseball caps, appropriately named the"CapHat".
I've been using a CapHat over the past couple of months. At only 60 grams it's no big deal to carry it (I am no gram weeny). It squashes up very small so I stowed it in the top pocket of my pack, getting out when the days got hot.
The CapHat sits on top of your baseball cap. A toggle at the back lets you tighten it around your head. The hat wraps around your head, with an open section at the front, Legionnaire style.
Velcro at the front lets you close up the front, stopping the CapHat from flapping about when it gets windy.
It's easy to put it on or remove it, to suit the weather conditions change - a big plus point if, like me, you live near the ever-changeable Melbourne.
I've so far been pretty impressed with the CapHap and I'm recommending for anyone who walks in a baseball cap.
If you want to get your hands on one of these, check out the CapHat website. They're also on facebook. Price is $20.
Note: CapHat provided me with a CapHat for this review. I don't think they want it back, so I will probably just keep it - it will be handy over the coming Australian summer. (If they do want payment, well, hey - it's only 20 bucks and this is a pretty handy garment!)