Straw or Felt?


Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Because it’s a gorgeously warm Wednesday morning, and the first real inklings of spring are finally manifesting themselves in abundance across the country, I thought it would be a good day for an impromptu contest.

This week the enquiring minds at the magazine want to know about your hat preferences. So, in the comment section below, please answer the following question:

What sort of hat do you prefer to ride in?

1) Straw

2) Felt

3) It’s a seasonal thing – straw in summer, felt in the cooler seasons

4) Riding in my ball cap is preferred

5) It’s always a helmet for me when riding

And, finally . .  is there a specific time of year you prefer to purchase a new hat? Answer this, and you’ll receive a double entry into the draw!

At the end of the week, we’ll do a draw from all the answers and the lucky respondent will win a brand new set of Professional’s Choice splint boots!


  1. #2 for me! I’ve tried to like straw hats, but nothing beats the comfort of a nice felt hat. I’m not picky about when I buy… I wait until I find one that fits/looks just perfect, and then I buy it! Simple as that!

  2. Hailey Stewart says

    It’s definitely a seasonal thing! Wearing a straw in the winter just looks silly and cold! Felts keep your head warm and straws keep them breezy and cool. I like a good deal if the hat suits me and is on sale it’s a good day, but I’m not above going on a whim and splurging from time to time. A cowgirl can never have too many hats, boots or horses.

  3. #2, Felt all the way. I have a dark coloured one for fall and winter or when it is cooler and a light coloured one for spring and summer or when it is warmer. I think they just fit better and are more comfortable. I have a nice straw and I can’t remember the last time I wore it.

  4. #3, it is a seasonal thing! Felt feel wrong in the summer, and straw is too cold in the winter! It only makes sense! … I buy the right hat when I see it, any time of the year! .. I actually got my straw hat in August 2 years ago, on sale un-shaped, and I could barely wait until summer arrived so I could finally enjoy it!! … But it is about time for another!

  5. Patti Finch says

    I usually don’t wear a hat but when I do, I prefer the look of felt, especially for showing!

  6. #3, although I have 2 straw hats to show in. I’m not really a hat person everyday, so a warm felt hat in cooler weather and a cool straw in warmer weather is definitely the way for me!

  7. April Tanner says

    3- I wear my hats by season with the exception of wearing whatever is most becoming with a particular show outfit! But def a ball cap in the practice pen or around the farm!

  8. LISA FAGAN says


  9. Cindy Wood says

    # 5 Always wear a helmet when riding!

  10. Andrea Williams says

    Felt hat for fancy places, straw for summer but helmet whenever I ride!

  11. I ride in my ball cap because I only have 1 hat and want to keep it clean for shows and special events. I currently have a straw but have had felt in the past. If there is a sale and I find a hat that fits then I will buy it. Time of year doesn’t matter to me.

  12. David Lockwood says

    its number five for me had one brain injury don’t another. I like buying a new hat in the spring.

  13. Bev O'Dwyer says

    I like to ride in my ball cap during the spring/summer months, and my straw hat for the really hot sunny days and when we go to the mountains. Felt hat for the fall/winter shows.

    And I seem to buy hats whenever I see one I like, doesn’t matter the season!

  14. Lauren Turner says

    I always wear felt… Haven’t found a straw hat that I don’t look goofy in!

  15. Andrea Williams says

    Felt for fancy events, straw for summer but a helmet always when I ride!

  16. Sheila Toll says

    I prefer the #3, but I ride at home in a ball cap.

  17. Pearl Kersey says

    Felt hat all year round. I only buy a new hat if the one I got just cant be worn anymore from being to beat up!

  18. Brian Maxwell says

    Well, I have a gourd head so they are hard to come by, and haven’t mustered the money for a felt custom yet so straw it is, #1. When to purchase, at the annual cutting horse Futurity in Augusta, GA, custom by Kendall’s Western Hats!

  19. Felt, but I would love to find a nice straw or palm hat for the summer. Problem is most straw, unlike felt, are un-shapable. I personally need my hats shaped a certain way to flatter my round face :D
    I am always looking for a nice hat no matter the season! Thank you for the contest!

  20. Susan Wall says

    I guess #3 is the closest …. palm leaf is my fav in summer, colder temps usually see me wear a toque tho!
    When do I buy …. when it’s on sale!!

  21. 5 – I try to set a good example for my kids so I always wear a helmet. However when I do have to wear a hat, it’s always felt. Such a classy look!

  22. Felt hat year round! Although up here in northern Canada, I switch from my flat top felt hat in the summer to my felt ranchers winter cap in the winter. Need to have those ear flaps when you’re out riding in -20 Celsius! No specific time of year to buy, if something suits my fancy, and my using hat is getting a little worn, then I’ll buy it.

  23. #3 for me! It always depends on the season, but sometimes my favorite ball cap beats them both out. With spring cleaning come spring purchasing. New season, new styles, new hats!

  24. Henry Luna says

    #2 For sure, Felt looks better anytime! Different colors for the season and for the occasion! I like to buy a new hat whenever one catches my eye! Especially if I see it is a good buy!

  25. Tabitha A. Packwood says

    Helmet 99% of the time. I’m not gonna say I wear one every ride, because there are times when I don’t have it with me and someone says, “hey, jump on this horse and fix this,” so, I don’t wear it all the time. However, I had a serious accident at one point and another concussion could prove fatal. So, I wear one, pretty much every time. :) When you’re on a horse several hours a day, 365 days a year, you can’t be too protected, trust me on that one. :)

  26. Alden Caldwell says

    #4 Ball cap for sure! Keeps the sun off my face when riding all day! Sometimes I just go for sunglasses though, because I’m blonde and always looking for that perfect sun-bleached look ;)

  27. #3 for me, I love a good hat and with all the hats in our home, straw and felt we could open a store. Straw for a warm spring day and for summer, however everyone should have a work hat and then a nice crisp clean one for going to town. The same applies to your felt hat, a felt to work in and a clean one to wear to town. The best time to buy your straw hat is in early spring to get the best selection, just make sure you get one that is in style, they change every year. Anytime is a good time to buy a felt, just make sure you have it shaped right and by someone who knows what they are doing, and don’t cheap out a good hat will last you a long time. Remember girls you can tell a lot about a man by his hat. Lastly everyone should remember it is bad luck to throw your hat on the bed.

  28. Henry Luna says

    #2 For sure! Felt looks better anytime! Different colors for seasons and occasions! I like to buy a new hat whenever one catches my eye, especially if I feel it is a good buy!

  29. Donna Garrett says

    #3- seasonal. And I usually get a new one in the fall after summer of getting wet and dirty

  30. Lili Manning says

    I love them all, and wear them all. But my favorite is my 10x Gus, and I wear it the most! My favorite time to buy is in July to get ready for Fall and Winter!

  31. Chad Salsman says

    Seasonal for me

  32. Janine Payne says

    #3 definitely a seasonal thing.
    Always look at a new hat in the summer, I have a fondness when it comes to hats so I always look them over when in tack stores and I stop at all tack stores when traveling.

  33. What sort of hat do you prefer to ride in?

    is there a specific time of year you prefer to purchase a new hat?
    I seem to purchase most of my hats in the winter, preparing for the upcoming spring/summer/fall seasons!

  34. SCOTT WHITE says


  35. Definitely felt all year as I like the way it feels and looks! I usually but hats when they go on sale at the end of the season.

  36. It is a wind issue here. Depending on how bad the wind blows that day what you wear. Tend to purchase hats in the summer as they are more available at different events.

  37. Love the looks and feel of felt. Wear it till it falls apart and then get a new one.

  38. Jeffery Mercer says

    #5 but the helmet is in a felt hat. Form and function . . . style and safety.

  39. Shelley Bennett says

    Seasonal thing! Winter felt or winter woolies w/ear covers summer cap or straw depending on the wind here in Wyoming!

  40. Straw when it’s hot, felt when it’s cool and waxed cotton when it’s wet.
    I prefer to buy a hat when one start’s to look tired usually at the summer shows where and when I see one I like.

  41. Julie Reid says

    I like my felt(Akubra) I got in Alice Springs for most Of the year. Straw for July and August.
    If I need a new hat I like to get it in the early spring when I store gets new stock.

  42. Lance Cochrane says

    Seasonal and when every I need a new hat.

  43. Mike Dangerfield says

    #2 felt hats are always more comfortable ant look nice. When I am working real hard and getting real dirty in the summer I will put a straw hat just so I do not ruin a good felt hat.

  44. Yvette Carpenter says

    Its a seasonal thing. When it is hot you just cant wear felt. But I have worn a baseball cap, just not very often. When it is very windy cap works best. I have long hair so even with it pulled back/up I need something to keep it out of my face.

  45. Depends on my mood but generally straw in the summer and felt when it’s cooler. I’m also more likely to go straw if I know I’m going to get dirty.

  46. Tammy Layman says

    3&4 and it’s not the time of year when you buy a new hat it’s when you can’t bend it back into shape any more.

  47. Number 5 for me but i love ridding in a cowgirl hat!

  48. Number 5 for me but i love ridding in a cowgirl hat and I do ride in a cowgirl hat when I can and feel like it!

  49. 3. I prefer a straw in the summer and a felt in winter.

    I prefer buying a new hat in the fall of the year, but do not buy every year as I am not real hard on hats.

  50. randy saunders says

    Felt year round. And spring is the time for a new hat!