Tahoe Brim Sailing Hat Review

Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Brendan

Jason Hall in Maui with Tahoe Brim hat

We all know that a good sailing hat is important when out on the water. But does the Tahoe Brim Sailing Hat stack up against the rest? Is this the best sailing hat? What makes it a good sailing hat?

I, like I am sure most people, have had a lot of sailing hats over the years. Most of them do an ok job, but there are always a few things that aren’t quite right… things such as it’s a bit too loose or tight, your head gets hot, your ears or back of the neck get burnt. The list goes on.

As you get older and spend more and more time on the water, it gets more important to protect yourself from the sun. So when I had the opportunity to give the Arntson Marine Tahoe Brim a go, I was cautiously optimistic. I had heard about the Tahoe Brim before, but what made them stand out from the others?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken the Tahoe Brim out a few times… below is some info on what I found.

Arntson Marine Tahoe Brim Sailing Hat Overview

Here is a look at some of the important things you may want to know and consider when looking at whether the Tahoe Brim will be the best sailing hat for you:

Material and Construction

The Tahoe Brim is made from nylon. However, it feels a lot like cotton so is quite comfortable to wear. The top is lightweight so your head doesn’t overheat.

The brim is thicker and more rigid and also provides buoyancy if it accidentally ends up in the water. It has double-stitching throughout.

Overall, it feels like a good quality, sturdy, and durable hat.

The Brim

tahoe brim sailing hat out of packaging underside
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The brim is one of the main features that makes this hat stand out from the rest.

The Tahoe Brim is a full-brim hat… not a cap. Its brim is not as wide as some other wide-brim hats. The brim on the front of the Tahoe is about 3.1 inches / 8cm, which is about the same width as the brim length on my favorite cap (2.8 inches / 7cm). The Tahoe brim is slightly smaller on each side (2.5 inches / 6.5cm).

The brim is quite stiff. This means that it stays in place well when in a breeze, which is obviously quite handy. It also means that it will stay in position if you’re on a powerboat traveling motoring along at speed. I’m not sure what the maximum speed the brim can handle, but it seemed to hold up well in 20+ knots.

Because the brim is quite stiff, and also naturally angled down slightly (to provide better sun protection when it is being worn), I was a little concerned that you would not be able to flat pack it in your sailing bag. However, this did not seem to be an issue.

If you want to fold the brim up at the back or front, you can do so. This makes it easy to look up when trimming sails but still keeps your face or neck protected.

The Fit

We’ve all had our hats fly off in the middle of a race. So, of course, you need your sailing hat to fit well. The Tahoe Brim has quite a few features that help in this department.

I’ve got a pretty big head and I’ve found that the one-size-fits-all option of other hats quite often ends up too small… giving me a headache and cutting into my forehead. If you’re buying online, you don’t have the luxury of being able to try on hats to see what fits, but all you have to do is get a measuring tape and measure your head’s circumference. When you order your Tahoe Brim hat online, there are 4 sizes to choose from… S/M, M/L, L/XL, XL/XXL (as well as 6 different color combinations). My head was at the upper end of the L/XL range, so that’s what I ordered. When it arrived, I was keen to see how it fit, and it was snug but comfortable.

On the outside, it has an adjustable cord that goes around your head and can be tightened to provide an optimal fit. On the inside under this cord, it has an elastic strip that stops that cord from digging into your head. Arntson describes this elastic strip as a “load-spreading band”, and this is what it seems to do. It seems to distribute the tension from the cord evenly around your head and provides padding so that the cord doesn’t dig in, making it comfortable.

There is a chin strap to stop the hat from accidentally flying off. The strap is comfortable and easily adjustable. It also has a bit of give, which adds to the comfort. The strap is about 0.4 inches / 1cm wide and, unlike a small diameter cord/rope, it doesn’t dig in and is quite comfortable. The strap also easily detaches for anyone who prefers to wear the hat without it.

Pros

Very light and comfortable
Stiff brim that stays in place in a breeze
Brim can fold up/down depending on preference/requirement
Good fit, with chin strap included

Cons

A bit pricier than other options, but you get what you pay for

Conclusion

I was looking forward to testing the Tahoe Brim sailing hat, and it didn’t fail to impress. It’s obvious that Arntson has put a lot of time and effort into developing a hat that is specifically designed for use on the water.

The brim is the stand-out feature. It protects your face, ears, and neck, but doesn’t limit your ability to do what you have got to do when sailing. And with the other features like being lightweight, it floats, has a chin strap, and is comfortable, it’s a great option to protect you from the sun when you’re out on the water.

There’s nothing worse than having to worry about your hat when you’re looking up and trimming a spinnaker in a breeze on a sunny day. I don’t know how many hats I’ve lost over the years, so hopefully, this will put an end to that.

Sure, it is more expensive than many other hats out there. But, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. You can buy something for half the price, but there will likely be something that isn’t quite right. And when you are wearing your hat for hours on end when out on the water, the extra features and functionality and features will make it worth it.

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If you are interested in the Tahoe Brim sailing hat, check it out on the Arntson Marine website here.

Disclaimer: This is an honest review of a product supplied to me by Arntson Marine. If you would like a review of your sailing gear or product, please feel free to contact me here.

About Brendan

Brendan has over 30 years experience sailing dinghies, yachts, and windsurfers, but has recently started Laser sailing. "I found it difficult to find all the information that I needed when I started sailing my Laser, and I am sure that others have had the same problem. So I combined all the information I could into this website to help other Laser sailors get the most out of this sport. If you have any questions or comments, let me know... I will get back to you as soon as I can."

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