7 Tips For Packing And Traveling With A Hat

October 30, 2023

Have you ever left your hat behind because you were worried it wouldn’t make the trip intact? Well, fear not, hat aficionados, we have a few ways you can pack your hat and wear it, too.

See Related: What Are Dad Hats, And Why Are They So Popular?

1. Just wear it

Whether you’re a fan of fedoras or a guy who never goes without your favorite baseball cap, the most obvious choice may simply be to wear it!

If you’re flying, you’ll have to take off your hat as you go through security, but other than that brief moment where you and your trusty bestie are torn apart, you’ll have it right back on your head in no time.

Another point to highlight is that hats pull double duty when you’re traveling. When you’re waiting in an airport terminal and don’t feel like being super social, you can lay back and tip it forward to cover your face.

You can set your hat aside with your other stuff for a moment or carry it in your hand if need be, but just don’t set it somewhere you’ll forget – like on the counter of a bathroom sink.

If it works with your travel ensemble, we recommend wearing your hat while traveling. This will also keep it clean!

you can pack a hat or hide your face while you take a nap in the airport2. Attach it to a purse or carry-on

As mentioned above, you may need to remove your hat when you go through airport security. And you might also prefer to take it off before take off.

You might not want to pack a hat away in luggage that’s not easily accessible, so what are you to do? Well there’s an answer that’s in-between packing it away and wearing it on your head. You can attach your hat to your purse or bag.

Traveling often requires that you have your hands free in order to access your identification and flight information. Not having to hold your hat in your hand allows you to get what you need while still having your hat handy when you need it.

If you’re holding your hat in one hand, it makes it harder to unzip your bag, search for your wallet, and find cash for that overpriced airport sandwich and latte. So unless you need to use your hat as an excuse to spend less money, this is one of the traveling-with-a-hat tips you’ll want to try.

Visors, snapback caps, and any hat with a hole in the back provides you with the option of looping it around a purse handle or backpack strap.

What about the hats that don’t have any such hole through which to slip a strap, you ask?

Well, there is still the option of attaching it to your bag, with a little help from a handy clip. And while you could probably fashion your own out of a chip clip or other clasp you have laying around the house, there are tons of options you can find online that are a little more chic.

You can use a lightweight hat clip that fastens the brim of the hat to your bag or purse. There are many fashionable varieties. Just make sure the clasp doesn’t crunch the brim of your hat, and remember to actually grab the clip or clasp before you leave home!

Now, what should you do with your hat once you’re sitting in your seat? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have an empty space to your side, you could set your hat right next to you. Otherwise hats can be placed brim side down on top of your luggage in the overhead compartment.

3. Try a super handy hat box

Just like a rug can really tie a room together, a hat can make or break an amazing outfit. However, if your hat gets bunched up or bent out of shape, the whole ‘fit can fall flat.

One easy way to avoid this fate is to give it a home of its own. If you plan to check a suitcase or two, or aren’t particularly worried about carrying multiple bags, a hat box could be your best bet.

While a duffel bag would probably provide the least protection, packing your hat in a box made just for that purpose might provide the most.

A sturdy hat box will help hold your hat’s shape. In fact, a hat box is designed to do just that. This option is optimal if you have multiple hats or a hat with a wide brim. You can fit one hat inside another, and even keep them stored this way between wears.

A good hat box will stand up to the kind of treatment suitcases tend to encounter when being handled at train stations, airports, and the bus and shuttle stops along the way.

There’s almost no better way to ensure your hat arrives in supreme condition at your final destination. Plus, holding a hat box at your side will only elevate your style.

pack nice hats in a hat box for a sophisticated lookSo if you don’t want to attach your hat to a carry-on bag or wear it while you travel, there’s one solution that makes it super simple: you can simply pack a hat in a hat box.

4. Fabric hats are ready to roll

If your go-to travel hat doesn’t happen to be a sun hat with a wide brim, but a cloth cloche or one of those bucket hats with a shorter brim, then you’re in luck.

And hey, if it’s good enough for Gilligan all those years on the island, then it can serve you well as a sun hat, too.

On your next trip, see if you can simply roll up and roll out. The best hats for travel are truly those fabric hats. They won’t permanently bend or get crushed because the whole job of this kind of flexible hat is to be just that…flexible.

It’s a lot like your other clothes that you can simply roll up, lay flat, or fold and will be ready to wear upon unpacking. In other words, you can pack these hats pretty much any way you want.

A fabric hat can be packed in your suitcase without much worry or employing any particular technique. It can be worn right before and right after. You can stuff it in your backpack or purse so that you can have easy access to it when you land.

Hats made completely of cloth or other flexible materials can be packed right alongside your other stuff. You can lay the hat flat on top of all your clothes, or even use the inside of the crown as a space to place smaller items that might otherwise shift around in your suitcase.

If you’ve finally found a fabric hat that tames your hair and provides sun protection, you also have the perfect accessory for your next plane trip.

Check out the huge selection of custom hats from Double Portion Supply if you’re looking for the perfect accessory for your vacation outfits. From casual, low-profile dad hats to our iconic ANXD brand snapbacks, there’s something for any and everyone here.

double portion supply the 3d aloha anxd hat

5. Place sun hats at the center and pack in and around them

If you’re heading somewhere warm for the summer (or any season for that matter), sun hats are as essential as your swim suit and sunscreen. When it comes to sun protection, you need to pack a hat that protects you from the sun’s rays, while helping to highlight your unique style.

A beautiful hat not only performs an important function, but also makes you feel fabulous.

Certain styles hold their shape better than others, but if you follow these tips, your next trip should be stellar.

When you pack sun hats in a suitcase, you first want to place some clothes around the edges. Next you want to place your hat upside down in the middle of the hole you’ve created with those clothes. Just to clarify, your hat will be crown side down in your suitcase.

If you have two hats (or three or four…or more), you’ll want to place hats inside each other. Align them as best you can to maintain the structure.

Continue adding clothes around the hat, to support the brim. You’ll want to have the brim of your hat (or stacked hats) relatively level with the clothing, so it’s not bending either forward or backward.

It’s a great idea to throw some underwear or socks in the crown of the hat until it’s full. If you’ve reached the top of the suitcase and have a little room left, you can lay a jacket or shirt across the top.

Alternatively, your suitcase might come with luggage straps or material that you can zip to hold everything in place. And just like that…you’re all packed.

6. Pack hats one inside the other or try the half moon

stack hats when you pack themWe know you know this by now – since we’ve said it twice above – but it bears repeating. Some tips for packing hats are important enough to mention multiple times.

If you have more than two hats to pack, you can place one inside the other to help hold their form. The softer, more flexible hat or hats should go inside your other stiff hats.

When you’re trying to pack light and choose just one hat for your whole trip, we have an idea. Scarves give you a bunch of fun styling options that allow you to play around with your look. You can tie them around your hat, or wear them on your head to protect your scalp and look chic.

Whether you ultimately decide on one versatile hat or you simply have to pack a few, there are a few things to remember.

Again, if you’re packing hats in a suitcase, you should place the hat crown side down, so that you can make sure it is completely filled (with t-shirts, socks, and the like). Of course, you don’t want to overstuff it so much that you stretch it out.

If you’re bringing any kind of baseball cap when you travel, there are a couple tricks you can try.

Since you still want to keep the structure of the brim intact, there’s the option of doing the half-moon fold. To try this, simply push the back of the hat (where the snapback or strap is located) toward the brim. When you fold the back inward like this, you’ll end up with a half-moon shape. 

This helps lessen the likelihood of the crown getting crushed or smushed.

If you want to maintain the curve of the brim (or bill), be sure to pack clothing all around the hat and add cushioning under the highest point to help hold the shape. 

And finally, don’t place anything of any significant weight on top of the bill since it could break or permanently bend it.

Now all you need to remember is your favorite team’s matching jersey.

7. Steam away creases and bends

When you pack hats, you should always avoid packing heavy items on top of the crown of hats. That’s why most jet-setters either wear their hats on their head or pack hats with the crown side facing down.

Of course, we’ve all been in a hurry, or think things won’t shift around too much, or just forget to follow the tips to protect the structure of a hat.

If you didn’t follow any of the advice above, but have access to a clothes steamer, you can undo some of the damage done. If you can’t find a steamer, you could try a tea kettle. And if you don’t have a kettle, a hot shower could also work.

A light steaming can help both remove wrinkles and soften the structure of a hat so that you can gently reshape it until the hat size fits and looks fabulous.

if you didn't pack with precautions you can steam your hat into shapeSteam will work with a lot of materials, but you may need to be careful with some synthetics, so just start using the steam at a distance. Natural fibers like cotton, wool, and linen, respond well to the heat and moisture that steam supplies.

So if you forgot to pack your hat in your suitcase with the recommended rules above, there’s still room for style redemption.

How to travel with hats: A quick review

To sum it up, here’s a quick review of our hat packing tips.

Certain hats can be worn on a plane with no problem, such as beanies, berets, or baseball caps. Other headgear has its limits. It may be better to attach sun hats to your carry-on bag or purse.

You can use a hat box, and stack hats inside each other. Remember to place hats crown side down and pack around them to provide protection.

And if your hats are made of flexible fabric, you can pretty much place them anywhere and put your mind at ease while you travel. Bon voyage, by the way!

Keep Reading: 4 Tips For Styling A Trucker Hat

Double Portion Supply is the largest snapback superstore in Hawaii. Since 2001, we’ve helped clients across the United States make their creative vision a reality. From low-profile dad hats to ANXD brand apparel, we carry everything you need to keep your own brand stocked. Plus, our custom services extend to T-shirt printing, so you stay fresh from head to toe. Get all the latest information by following us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Aaron Graziano