View Full Version : Sun Protection

Chaco Taco
01-11-2010, 16:25
Looking at some hats for the desert. What are some cool hats that people have worn that help with the sun? Pictures would be good as well or links

01-11-2010, 16:31

01-11-2010, 17:05
Now, Hooch, do you really think that hat would work on Mt. Washington?

Sorry, I need to watch my forums. I was a bit hasty. It may work on the PCT.

01-11-2010, 17:44
That pink number looks good to me. Personally, I wore a Tilly hat, and it was one of my favorite pieces of gear. It has a front AND back strap, so your hat won't blow off when the wind hits you from behind. Washable in the sink, and dried fast.

Good protection from the sun. You'll want sunglasses for the PCT as well, for the desert and the Sierra at least. I also wore gloves for sun protection.

01-11-2010, 17:48
The ventilation is nice on this style:

Spirit Walker
01-11-2010, 17:48
I wore one of the OR desert hats with the long back brim. Looks dorky, but it works to keep the sun off the back of the neck. Jim wears a boonie hat - doesn't work very well but he won't wear anything else.

01-11-2010, 18:42
A wide brimmed boonie-style hat, sunglasses and olive oil in the blood stream.

The last item is something I had nothing to do with. ;)


01-11-2010, 18:54
Some desert clothing/hat options:

01-11-2010, 18:57
Looking at some hats for the desert. What are some cool hats that people have worn that help with the sun? Pictures would be good as well or links

I used this hat on the JMT and it worked very well. Kept the bug away and the sun off my neck.


01-11-2010, 19:00
I had one like this.

I also used an umbrella.

01-11-2010, 19:43
I like the OR Sunrunner hat, basically a baseball type hat with removeable neck flap. I like being able to look a little more "normal" in town. The neck cord that comes with the neck flap keeps it on well in high wind, and in fact the flap covers my ears somewhat in windy weather.

Another fellow I knew didn't like his at all and replaced it with brimmed hat. Each to their own!

01-11-2010, 19:55
I have two hats. The first is an älfwear boonie-style hat. I got it when I lived in the high desert. The shockcord in the brim, plus the neck cord meant I was less likely to lose my hat, and it never once blew off my head, not even close. The second is an OR Sun Runner cap, which is basically a baseball cap with a detachable cape that covers ears and neck.

The älfwear hat is my preferred hat to wear because the neck strap allows me to easily remove the hat when I start to overheat. The OR hat protects me from the sun better and doesn't hit the top of my pack when I look up, which means fewer neck cramps. The OR hat is hotter due to the flap, and also because I'm less likely to take it off because it means I have to hold onto it while I cool down.

I think the älfwear hat would be perfect if it had a snap to hold up the rear of the hat and had a detachable cape. I feel like a bigger dork in the älfwear hat, which makes me chuckle when I'm wearing it, and that's not exactly a bad thing.

01-11-2010, 19:57
Oops, I forgot that the Sun Runner has a cord, but I always hated that thing because it feels like I'm pulling a bag over my head when I put it back on.

01-11-2010, 20:43
I got used to the cord on my Sun Runner hat; it's adjustable, so I could adjust it to be out of my way in some configurations.

One benefit I forgot to mention about the OR Sun Runner (or I guess any baseball hat + neckflap combination) is that it covers my ears, back of head and neck from insects. At times this is very nice.

01-12-2010, 00:51
Tilley Airflow hats (the 6,5 and 3 series) are popular as they are light and many have a wide brim. This year they introduced a neck protector that drapes over the back of your neck (or it can be stored in the hat when not in use). They also have a version with insect treatment available.

A list of Tilley Hats with Mesh (look at any of their models with Airflow in the title that have mesh around the top of the hat).

I personally wore the LTM6 in Khaki color and saw several others wearing it:

It kept enough of the sun off me where I didn't need to use a lot of sunscreen and I felt cooler wearing it in direct sunlight. I've also saw others with the slighly smaller LTM5 and some like the Auzzie style of the LTM3.

01-12-2010, 01:09
I too prefer the LTM6. Nice big brim.

01-12-2010, 01:14


Tennessee Viking
01-12-2010, 01:23
I would look at army surplus for some desert gear. http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:gtm6bm6yc2gkbM%3Ahttp://www.surplusandadventure.com/images/product/main/hatbushdesert.jpg (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.surplusandadventure.com/images/product/main/hatbushdesert.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.surplusandadventure.com/shop/army-surplus/clothing/british-army-clothing/genuine-issue-british-army-desert-540669.html&usg=__2HKF9-SsHMluyCOulhZ1f8cT3pE=&h=545&w=545&sz=72&hl=en&start=4&sig2=EVn-rqqShwWXkOqaoZ7Zmg&um=1&tbnid=gtm6bm6yc2gkbM:&tbnh=133&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddesert%2Barmy%2Bhat%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3 D1T4GPMD_enUS339US339%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=FwdMS5KBGIiVtgean93nDA)

01-12-2010, 01:32
Meh, I don't think the military boonie hats do much good, at least not by itself. Pretty much everyone I knew in Kuwait got their face sun burnt sumpin fierce. Except me. I wore sunscreen.

Jim Adams
01-12-2010, 01:33

saw a few of these on the PCT in 2007...lots of shade, light, very cool.


01-12-2010, 09:29
:sunThe coast of Guanacaste is pretty sunny and hot.:sun
I have one of these. Best hat I ever bought for the sun.:cool:

01-12-2010, 09:32
This is pretty slick too. Lots of ventilation

01-12-2010, 20:12

What do you use? On overnighters or group deals, I'll use a spray. Those are oh so easy to put on without getting greasy fingers. Also good for putting on other guys without risk of feeling homo. It's also good for hitting the armpits in snow areas if you're wearing a t-shirt. For longer solo trips, I use Dermatone sunscreen stick....although I've never tried it for large areas of skin, and this may not be suitable for wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I always wear spf chapstick.

01-12-2010, 22:19
I found that in the desert I didn't actually need or want much sunscreen. Maybe something for my lips. But I hike in long pants, long sleeve shirt, big brimmed hat, gloves, usually wearing a bandana. Very little exposed skin. I found that sunscreen in the desert attracted sand, dust and dirt, and made me even filthier than I got without it.

And that's saying something.

01-12-2010, 22:57
What Jester said. :)

I prefer using clothing to sunscreen myself.

01-12-2010, 23:31
Jester, were you wearing your bandana on your face? That's one area that always seems to get burned, even when I'm wearing a hat. I may use an umbrella though, which should work much better.

Did you still wear long shirt and pants in the Sierras? Snow glare can be awful.

Canada Goose
01-12-2010, 23:55
Some desert clothing/hat options:

I notice that besides the hat, you are wearing gloves as well. Any particular make/model? And how well did you find that they worked.

My hands get fried in the sun, hence my interest. CG

And, hey! No red shirt?

01-13-2010, 00:54
Obviously white clothing is a good idea in the hot sections. Some say they're better for repelling bugs too.

Now about footwear. Sadly, white is a rare option in outdoor footwear, so they'll probably have to be recolored. Black sucks. I remember many times when I've had to stand in formation in my shiny black boots on an asphalt lake at the peak of summer. While the weather and asphalt were hot, it was usually the oven in my toes that were killing me.

So, have you guys considered white footwear too? The biggest issue I can think of is recoloring my footwear without making them less breathable. Anyone got tips?

01-13-2010, 02:28
I wore long sleeve shirt and long pants for pretty much the entire hike, including the Sierra. My skin is pretty sensitive to sun. I did occasionally unzip the bottoms off the pants, but not often.

I found that my Tilley Hat had a wide enough brim that my face was fine. I did on rare occasion pull my bandana up to cover my face, but this was mostly to prevent dust and grit from getting in my mouth, particularly in the wind farms.

You'll notice in the photo that my friend Huff 'n' Puff (who's a member here, but currently on trail) has an umbrella. He found that for him it was not all that practical while actually hiking. It was always getting caught on bushes and such, and blown around by the wind. He liked it best for guaranteed shade when taking breaks.

As for gloves, I wore full-fingered summer mountain biking gloves. They had a good SPF rating, were very breathable (because they were a summer model), and were white.

I saw hikers wearing a lot of different kinds of gloves in the desert. It can be particularly important if you use hiking poles, because of the position of your hands.

Something like this was popular:


Or this, similar, but with a palm:


I liked mine because they covered my fingers entirely, worked very well, and also had a bit of padding in the hand, plus a bit of terry on the thumbs for wiping off sweat. When in camp I always kept them in the right front cargo pocket of my pants so I never lost them. They fell apart around Castella, but keep in mind that I wore them every day.

At that point I was so used to wearing gloves that I bought a pair of framer's gloves from a hardware store.

Leaftye notes that white clothing is a good idea. I had trouble finding a white hiking shirt, but found a nice white one in the fishing department of the local Dick's.

I didn't consider white footwear. It would have ended up brown in a few days anyway, I suppose. I know that's what happened to the gray shoes I was wearing. As long as they're as breathable as possible I think you'll be fine. But yeah, I wouldn't go with black.

01-13-2010, 02:39
The gloves are starting to seem like a good idea. I was planning on bringing one nomex glove for cooking. They were my issue gloves in Kuwait. They didn't really seem to be uncomfortable at all when I was in Kuwait, but then again I'd go jogging when the sun was blazing.

While I may not burn (quite probable that I will), I still prefer to cover everything up to avoid skin damage. It's starting to look like I'll live a long life, so I guess I should try to minimize things that will cause me to suffer later. Even with everything covered, there's still plenty of residual light left to get a tan.

You know, the dirt thing should make a difference, but my black combats never seemed to get less hot when they were covered in dirt. I think the sun knows they're black and finds a way to punish the foot within! I'll be choosing lighter colors when it's an option, but some models don't provide those options. I want to choose footwear by comfort and price. Hopefully color either isn't an issue, or can be fixed.

I'll probably go down to Joanne's tomorrow and see if they have any ideas.

I may have the ugliest funkiest footwear this year. :D

01-13-2010, 04:24
I don't think I tan/burn as much as Jester, but I too like the "stay covered up" approach, long loose sleeves and long pants almost all the time. I'm bald, so ditto a hat all the time.

And in areas where sunburn is a significant risk, I wore sun gloves too. I got mine from Coolibar, and they worked fine; they get grungy over time, but last reasonably well. Looking now, what's sold looks a little different than what I have --- and rats, expensive at $20 IMO --- but FWIW something like this (http://www.coolibar.com/07001.html). The "rubberized surface on palm" is what mine didn't have, however; don't think I'd prefer that addition.
The fingerless aspect was a bit amusing as the ends of my fingers were markedly more tan than the base of the fingers. But I liked having a fingerless type anyway.

BTW, if you do buy online from these guys do *not* give them your normal, daily use email address (periodic snail-mail and email spam both).

I'm definitely a fan of the "stay covered up" approach now, with a really lightweight and quick-to-dry long sleeved shirt that nevertheless has a good SPF rating. It seemed at some point that I gradually used less and less sun screen or lip balm until I was basically using neither. What bits exposed that could tan were tan and that was good enough. Also less exposure for bugs, nettles, thorns, poison oak, and an initial barrier to wind.

01-13-2010, 22:19
This Hot Weather Cooling Hat (http://www.bcbsurvivalusa.com/xcart/catalog/Hot-Weather-Cooling-Hat-p-16180.html) and this BCB Neck Cooling Scarf (http://www.bcbsurvivalusa.com/xcart/catalog/BCB-Neck-Cooling-Scarf-p-16164.html) are for hot weather.

Add Crystal Cool (http://www.questoutfitters.com/miscelaneous-cart.htm#CRYSTAL%20COOL) in your own favorite hat, or scarf.

Johnny Appleseed
01-13-2010, 23:07
Tilley has a hemp hat for women.

Johnny Appleseed
01-13-2010, 23:10
Jersey gloves at dollar general. cloth, thin gloves and holes can be cut in them. Carpenters use them so they can still work with their hands.

01-14-2010, 11:34
I'm blond haired, blue eyed and I stayed covered up completely throughout the entire hike, but I never wore sun gloves or sunblock. I don't seem to burn on my hands at all. My shirt sleeves were pretty long, so only a small amount of my hands were exposed.