The benefits of wide-brimmed hats for outdoor activities are self-evident. Protection from the elements. Jaunty style. But such a chapeau comes with its own irritation, too. How do you transport it without crushing it or wasting a disproportionate amount of space?
I’ve been testing the Pop Hat on a series of pedal-and-paddle adventures, and the best part is that it packs down to the size of a pancake in seconds. Just twist the flexible frame, fold the hat in on itself, and secure it with the built-in shock cord. I carry the hat in my hydration pack for the bike ride, then pop it out for the canoe trip. No fuss, no crush.
The hat’s 17-inch-wide brim is made from a cotton-polyester blend that mimics weathered leather. The upper is military-grade mesh that allows for ventilation; the shock cord drawstring lets you adjust the fit. My only gripe is that the internal sweatband is stiff and a little scratchy, but the more I use the hat, the more it softens up.
The practical and lightweight (4.2-ounce) Pop Hat fits in your backpack, tackle box, or glove compartment and deserves a try if you like looking smart while being smart in the outdoors. $35. thepophat.com
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