Endless rain can stop us all from doing what needs to be done in the great outdoors, or at the least, stem our motivation..
Wearing a hat in the rain is a good way to keep the top of your head, hair and neck dry but most importantly it will keep your face dry. This is the advantage of wearing a hat or cap compared to say, a hood. Keeping your face dry helps keep you from suffering colds and allows you to work or play freely with less distraction.
Wearing a hat in the rain is also a great deal safer than the alternatives. A hat or cap allows you to use both your hands unlike an umbrella and will not hinder your hearing or peripheral vision like a hood.
So which hats can you wear in the wet without the material components falling apart atop your head?
As the many farmers of Australia will tell you, all you need is an AKUBRA. An AKUBRA is made out of a refined Rabbit Fur Felt, an inherently water resistant fibre. An AKUBRA, regardless of whether it is an urban, lifestyle, western or country style are all made of the same grade of water resistant felt.
The hats will withstand light to moderate showers without issue and will retain their shape well. Even in an absolute downpour an AKUBRA will keep you dry, however... The more a fur felt hat is exposed to the elements the softer the felt will gradually become. The heavier the downpour, the quicker this process takes place. Now this is not to say that this is not a desirable quality for all of you, we have many customers who leave our Katoomba store and jump in to the closest river, head (and hat) first. We know a lot of you prefer the comfort of a softer and more pliable felt, the hat truly moulds to your head shape. So to be clear, wearing an AKUBRA through many showers will slowly change the shape of the hat. If you like to keep your prized AKUBRA firm and set in its pre-determined shape, then read on..
Made in Australia
Firstly we'll start by mentioning that not all synthetic hats are waterproof, not all are made or designed equally. Any fabric regardless of its origin needs to be treated specifically to be considered waterproof or at least water resistant.
One distinct advantage that synthetic hats have over natural products is that the fabric does not require stiffening or a wire supported structure. Meaning that the hats are packable. The ability to shove the hat into a backpack mid-adventure is a fantastic feature. Great for travellers, hikers, adventure seekers etc. The lack of pre determined shape in these hats can at times feel "fashion-blind" compared to the more structured alternatives but you can't beat their functionality.
The Optimum by Hills Hats of New Zealand, is a Teflon coated poly/cotton hat that in addition to being water resistant, also hosts a bunch of handy features. Dual chinstraps, one for the chin and one for the back of your head, stop this hat from flying away from you, even in the strongest of winds. (A great feature for sailors, fishers etc.) The hat also includes a sneaky cash compartment in the crown, a hidden legionnaires flap in the under-brim and mesh covered eyelets to keep you cool.
The TILLEY brand is synonymous with adventure. Their Airflow LTM6 has been sold in our Katoomba store for many, many years. One of the most reliable hats on the planet and one of the few brands that will supply the you with a registered guarantee that can be applied for, online. Utilising a dimensional brim (longer at the front and back) and made of 100% recycled nylon this shower-proof hat is a reliable favourite.
The Swiss-Army knife of the hat world!
Whether it be cotton, canvas, leather, hemp etc. A waxed or oiled natural fibre is a fantastic water resistant material. The process behind each product can vary but the result is tried and tested, one process is especially so here down under. Australian oil-skin is a world famous product, traditionally used in jackets and riding coats by farmers, drovers and cowboys. The distinct dark brown over coat is culturally iconic. So when applied to headwear, the result is much the same. Due to the process not being a propriety secret, many forms of caps and hats are now made using this process by many manufacturers around the world. Providing the fabric with a barrier, the wax or oil can simply be re-applied at home after a few years of heavy use. Meaning the hat or cap can last as long as you!