A wide brim hat is often an essential piece of gear. It’s portable shade for those times when the sun is blaring and there’s no place to seek shelter. There are plenty of sun hats available, but my Insect Shield Hat from White Sierra has some smart design details that make it especially appealing.

I like how lightweight and airy the fabric is. I have other hats made of heavier/warmer materials for cooler weather. My Insect Shield Hat is for summer. The light fabric lets heat escape, and it dries quickly.

The chin strap is attached to the hat via a clasp and a piece of elastic. I thought about unhooking the clasp and removing the strap but decided to leave it. Turns out that the elastic allows just enough stretch in the chin strap to avoid tugging when I move.

If conditions get windy I also have the option of snapping the sides of the brim into the “up” position. This reduces windage and makes the remaining brim stiffer so it doesn’t blow down onto my face. This is especially useful when riding my bike. The brim doesn’t blow down and block my vision while I’m riding.

The Insect Shield Hat is available in both S/M and L/XL. My hat size is 7⅜. I wear a large Stetson, but by White Sierra sizing the S/M fits well, and there’s even a little wiggle room thanks to the slightly stretchy liner and toggle-adjustable elastic headband.

My tester hat is white (stone). It’s a great color for helping me stay cool, but it shows sweat and grime easily. I’m not sure if the ease of keeping the sage or blue hat in this style  looking clean would outweigh the added heat absorption of the color. I don’t know that either is enough to be a deal breaker. Personal preference.

Fortunately for me, I have not had a chance to wear my Insect Shield Hat in buggy conditions, so I can’t speak to the effectiveness of the bug repellency.

Bottom Line: My Insect Shield hat from White Sierra has several well-thought design features that make it an essential piece of gear on warm weather outings.

Manufacturer’s  Site: whitesierra.com

buy-now $30, or less at Amazon. Women’s hat also available at Amazon.