I have traveled with my large brimmed sun hats quite a few times. They are essential for when you are heading to a warmer sunnier climate. My pastey winter Canadian skin just can’t handle full sunlight! I have a few different favourite styles of hats for travel and some suggestions on how to pack a hat.
Best hats for Travel
- Spencer Wide Brim Boater
- Agretti Sea Straw Wide Brim Hat
- Brava Wide Brim Straw Hat
- ‘Crochete’ Raffia Sun Hat
- take a walk on the wild side fringed sun hat (on sale)
- Floppy Straw Hat
- Panama Hat
- Catarzi Wide Brim Straw Fedora
- Biltmore® & Madewell Panama Hat
- Fedora Hat In Textured Straw
- Toquilla straw Panama hat
- Packable Straw Hat
Many tourists choose hats for functionality like a Tilly hat or a baseball cap, however these options aren’t exactly stylish options. And who am I kidding I want a hat that looks good even if packing it takes a bit more effort. Trust me it is worth the effort because you will have something that compliments your outfit instead of something you never want in your pictures! Also keep in mind that these brimmed options will protect the back of your neck which a baseball cap will not.
How to Pack a Hat for Travel
I have three tips on how to pack a hat.
First pick a hat for its flexibility, crushability and recoverability. Some straw hats can be pretty stiff, others are really flexible. That said I have the JCREW Panama hat which is quite flexable but if it is held in an awkward position for too long it will take on that shape, not fantastic recoverability. The perfect hat you will be able to crush and it will bounce right back. Few nice looking hats have all three, which leads me to tip number two.
Second carry your hat on with you on the plane. This is usually my go to option. I wear it around the airport then stow it under my seat with my carry on for the flight. Admittedly this can be kinda awkward as it is not like we are just shoving this hat in our carry on and it raises the risk of leaving our fantastic, fashionable hat in the airport.
The third option is to actually pack your hat in your suitcase. This is how to pack a hat.
Place your hat at the bottom or near bottom of your suitcase. Make sure that you leave room all around it to place the other items you are packing around the brim.
What makes this packing technique really work is to stuff the inside of the hat with something stiff to keep its shape. Denim works really well. You can use whatever you like but the stiffer the fabric the better your hat will hold its shape and you will be able to pack lighter items like t-shirts on top.
If you don’t want to pack anything on top then you need to put a layer of clothing underneath to elevate your hat closer to the top of your suitcase.
I am going to reiterate here that placement of the hat is key to this packing technique to work. You need to be able to pack around the brim, so that it lays flat. Make sure to pack heavier items at the bottom end of your suitcase so that when you are rolling it in an upright position they don’t push down and squish your hat. If you pack the heavier items at the top of your suitcase it won’t matter how you have packed it it will be destroyed by gravity.
I was impressed when I packed my hat like this how well it worked and how little movement there was – I recommend trying it for your next trip!