The Americano Hat from Toad&Co is an attractive, light-weight, crushable Panama-style hat that looks as good in town as it does on the trail. Even more important than looking good, it also protects your face from the harmful rays of the sun.
I have a problem when I hike. I overheat unless it’s quite chilly out. In Sonoma County (Northern California) it can get downright hot in the summer. I know I should wear a hat but most hats make me sweat. Not the Americano. All the little holes created by the weave allow plenty of air circulation that keeps my head cool. Another feature that I like about the weave is that it lets in just enough light to not cast a dark shadow across my face despite the wide brim.
The hat is attractive, which might not always be the main reason for selecting a particular hat. I lead a Hiking for Fitness series year-round and Sierra Club backpacking trips in the summer. The hat is more distinctive than the ubiquitous ball cap and the light color is easier to spot than drab cotton or canvass hats.
The only aspect I was concerned about is that there is no chin string. The first time I took it out it was a wild and blustery day at the coast at Pt. Reyes National Seashore. I thought for sure the hat would go flying. I pushed it down a little further on my head and surprisingly, it stayed put. It didn’t feel too snug; rather it felt like it was on my head securely. There is a tiny loop attached to the label and I left a longer loop of cord that probably held the product tag originally. That allowed me to hook the hat on the back of my pack or to my tent when I wasn’t using it.
The Americano hat looks like straw but it is made from a polyester material that springs back to life after it has been crushed in a suitcase or gets wet. There is a cute, colorful woven ribbon that is securely attached around the crown and tied at the back. Inside the crown is an internal band with a thin satin ribbon that can be tied to make it snugger.
I like this hat so much that I’ve started wearing it everywhere—in the pool, at the beach, at outdoor events, when I’m traveling and when I’m hiking. It’s a great all-around hat that can go anywhere. It’s so light that I barely notice I’m wearing it and it protects my face from the sun.
Update: I had to send my regular backpacking hat in for replacement. This has taken all summer so I just kept using the Americano on all of my backpacking trips, first to Yosemite National Park and then to Lassen National Park. I’ve been very happy with it and it has held up well. The airflow is really nice on warm days. It has never blown off my head even in windy conditions. When it started to rain I just put my hood over the hat and kept going. It has turned out to be a great backpacking hat.
- Circumference: 22 in
- Brim: 3 in
All photos by Inga Aksamit, unless otherwise credited.
Disclosure of material connection: I received a sample for testing purposes, but the opinions expressed are solely my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.