Straw or Felt?


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 . . Β 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!


118 thoughts on “Straw or Felt?”

  1. Straw when hot. Felt rest of the year, and if it’s raining. I usually buy a new hat when I can get Vern Elliott to find the time to build me one!

  2. Vicky Howard

    Hi πŸ™‚

    It has to be 5) It’s always a helmet for me when riding as my mare is only recently backed and still green so you never know! Prefer a straw hat for shows and ball cap for home usually though πŸ™‚

    Spring always makes me want to renew all my riding clothing including my hats!

  3. Leanne ingham

    Straw!! I haven’t purchased a new hat in years, but I’d say spring if I had to. New year, new start.

  4. 3! The weather plays a huge role in what i wear and also when i buy. A felt or wool cap i will buy in the fall to break in and be comfortable for winter.. a new palm leaf i buy in the spring and break in for summer!

  5. Ive always been partial to felt. I have a few straw hats but I never seem to wear them even though they are nice hats. Sure a felt hat might be hotter in the summer months but it just feels more comfortable to me and seems to leak less when a rain storm hits. And when I’m not wearing my felt, I usually end up in a ball cap.

  6. I will ride in either straw or felt. I also like palm leaf. I will switch hats as the weather indicates. As the sun comes out I will go from winter Buffalo Stetson to full palm then to a vented summer straw. I will usually purchase a new summer straw as winter starts to fade which in my part of the world is in Febuary. I don’t wear ball caps nor a helmet–have nothing against either it is just not my choice.

  7. Kristy Slattery

    It’s a ball cap or headband when practicing. When I show I only have a straw that fits right but nothing completes a cutters “look” then a nice felt hat

  8. MacKenzie L James

    Seasonal thing for sure.

    Buy a new hat during the off season for that type of hat.

  9. Straw if I’m competing because its eaier to clean if it ends up in the dirt which happens frequently. Any other time it’s felt πŸ™‚

  10. adam schroeder

    For me there are so many factors involved. I would say #3 is the closest. I also factor in where iam ridding if it is through heavy timber I may not wear one at all or on sunny warm day maybe no hat of any kind. The mood iam in takes affect as well, I may choose straw felt or no hat. I rarely wear a ball cap and never a helmet.

  11. I prefer a straw hat with a larger brim in summer…when the felt hat screams my touque is no and I find its just to tight! Ball caps for baseball and bad hair days only. ..and although all the kidz where helmets…mine hangs on the post till a young filly trotts in!
    JUNE is the month for me to buy a new hat. Its Birthday month …what a better gift to ME! Its super Mucky but I feel Lucky…”new splint boots for me!’
    yew haw

  12. PeggySue Moffatt

    3…for comfort.

    I tend to refresh my western wardrobe prior to the Calgary Stampede every year!

  13. Shandie Ratzlaff

    3) It’s a seasonal thing – straw in summer, felt in the cooler seasons, but I like them both!

  14. matt roberts

    I always liked Felt, its is a lot easier for me to get water in the hat to water the horse when they were not able to get to it…I loved purchasing my hats at spring, I knew then that spring trail rides were on the way…

  15. It’s all about the weather for me! I can’t fathom the idea of wearing a hot, felt hat in the summer…give me something that breathes :). Likewise, in the winter I want something that will keep my head warm, so I reach for my felt hats. Although, I do prefer the look of felt hats to straw hats…they look just more buttoned up.

    As far as time of year to purchase a hat? I just buy new ones when I need them!

  16. Laura Means

    #3 straw in spring/summer felt in fall/winter; although a good felt is always needed for dress up. Buy a new hat anytime but make sure if you’re getting a haircut to buy the hat after the haircut.

  17. For us seasonal folks, it’s gotta be # 3! I’m old-school and anything else just looks silly to me. As for when to buy, it’s pretty simple. If it’s really on sale, it fits and I like it, then we’ll talk! I have a hard-to-fit noggin that precludes waltzing up to the counter and buying on a whim, which has saved me a lot of money.

  18. 5) always ride with a helmet
    I still wear my cowboy hats, one is draw and one is felt. I’ve bought them both in the spring time. I find that that is when all the new styles start to come out

  19. Wayne Lenfesty

    Prefer to ride in a felt. And I prefer to buy a new hat in the winter when I have more time to look

  20. #1 What sort of hat do you prefer to ride in?
    Answer -2 – Felt hat- This may sound silly but the hat just makes me feel good wearing it.
    I feel best buying a hat in the fall. This is because I’m a little superstitious in the fact that I think it to be bad luck to switch hats mid show season. I then will be willing to go hat shopping to prepare my self for the upcoming season.

  21. shari attendorn

    Actually, I wear an oilskin outback hat. Its great when raining or snowing. I would love to wear a ball cap or my oilskin while riding like we did in our younger days, but I wear a helmet these days .

  22. Deborah Deason

    I prefer felt most of the time. But on hot days, working , or just casual trail rides, usually just a ball cap. As for when I buy my hats. Don’t have to very often. Try to buy the best I can afford and take care of them. Best time to buy is if I happen to catch one on sale! : )

  23. John Barbee

    I like a good 20x felt for riding or any type work holds up to the west texas wind when u suck er down I buy hats when ever I switch a dress hat to a work hat in fact I need one now. Thanks

  24. Rene Bartlett Wright

    I ride in ball caps. In the past it was seasonal, felt in winter, straw in summer. I prefer to purchase new hats in the spring time. Coming out of winter it just seems like something new for the wardrobe makes you feel better.

  25. I prefer felt hats in a buckaroo / gambler style, I start colts and I like to encourage them to express themselves and explore, and often times that means a taste of my hat! And if I really like them, I may let me flap it around a little. Round pen time should be fun for the horse as well and I can always reshape a felt hat! Though I will say, when I lived in Florida I had to wear a straw hat in the summer. But I love Colorado, felt hats year round!

  26. Monique O'Sullivan

    My answer is 6 all of the above.

    I like Straw in the summer and on the trail.
    Felt I save for shows and rodeos.
    Toque in the winter.
    Ball cap when training/in lessons
    Helmet when on green, or spooky horses or jumping.

    There is a time for them all and as most horse people tend to be collectors of some kind or another, tack , boots (both human and equine), horses etc… why not hats as well?

  27. Number three It’s a seasonal thing. I like my straw hat when it’s wRm out and the felt when it’s cooler in the spring and fall.

  28. Felt. Definitely felt. It’s more durable, and like the Timex watch, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. straw is too fragile for my taste. I went through several straw hats, but still had the same felt hat

  29. Nicole Dievert

    I wear both straw and felt hats somewhat seasonal. Depending on what I’m doing or which horse I’m ridin I will wear a helmet as well.As Far as purchasing hats mainly in the summer months.

  30. Meghan Black

    Number 5 – always a helmet for me. Even at the horse shows inthe western classes this season, I will be wearing a helmet. As hot and stuffy as they are, a rider can’t control their environment or how their horse will react to that enviornment.

  31. Mandy Johnson

    Number 3, definitely a seasonal thing. Love a warm, felt hat in the cold and a cooler, straw hat in the summer months. I prefer a felt hat on a man who is dressing up, no matter the season.

  32. Meghan Black

    And wheb do I buy a new hat? Whenever there is a sale! As for a helmet, after a major fall or every three years.

  33. Melissa Johnson

    It is a seasonal thing. I have always believed the hard were like women with white shoes and that the change date was Easter and Never wear white shoes after Labor Day.

  34. Jessica Newell

    Normally number 4 but if I were to start wearing cowboy hats on a regular basis it would be number 3 for me as well. And there isn’t a particular time of year for making those purchases.

  35. Morgan Dominguez

    Number 2. I love my Felt hat and my favorite time to buy one is the end of spring because there is no better time to wear out a new hat then summertime.

  36. 2…Prefer felt…I’ve just had better luck and comfort wearing felts… I seem to have a very difficult time finding a hat to fit my “odd sized head. Seems I am and inbetweenie size.

    As for the time of year to purchase one?… no… don’t have one. Depends on need and if there’s a good sale somewhere when that need arises.

  37. Glenn Nelson

    #1 and like to buy a new hat at the beginning of spring unless I find a great deal on one that fits good. Then I’ll buy it at that time.

  38. It’s a seasonal – straw in summer, felt in the cooler seasons
    I don’t have a time of year I prefer to purchase a new hat. I buy one when I can afford to.

  39. #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!

  40. Hailey Stewart

    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.

  41. #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.

  42. #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!

  43. Patti Finch

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

  44. #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!

  45. April Tanner

    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!

  46. 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.

  47. David Lockwood

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

  48. 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!

  49. Pearl Kersey

    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!

  50. Brian Maxwell

    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!

  51. 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 πŸ˜€
    I am always looking for a nice hat no matter the season! Thank you for the contest!

  52. 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!!

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. #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!

  56. #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!

  57. Tabitha A. Packwood

    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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

  58. Alden Caldwell

    #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 πŸ˜‰

  59. #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.

  60. #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!

  61. Donna Garrett

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

  62. Lili Manning

    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!

  63. Janine Payne

    #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.

  64. 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!

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. Shelley Bennett

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

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. Mike Dangerfield

    #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.

  71. Yvette Carpenter

    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.

  72. 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.

  73. Tammy Layman

    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.

  74. 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.

  75. Becki Krueger

    I live in Northeast Missouri and I prefer to wear my ball cap when riding. But, I do occasionally wear a hat. When I do, what I wear depends on the weather.
    I like to buy a new hat in the fall.

  76. Wayne Lulua

    I like felt hats, it just feels comfortable and on a windy day it is less likely to blow away. I wear it during all of the seasons.

  77. Makayla McGruder

    I am a felt kind of girl. They fit a little better and aren’t as irritating as some straw hats can be. I generally purchase hats in the spring or fall.

  78. I ride mostly in my ball cap, but in the summer and the sun is hot I wear my straw to protect myself and my felt is for good.

    I try and get my hats when they come on sale but when you need one you just have to get it no matter what.

  79. aaron wagnon

    # 3 it is a seasonal and it depends on what I am riding if there is a good chance that it is going too be bucking or sun fishing or if the wind is blowing too hard or if the creek rises then I go with my base cinch cap

  80. Darlene Tingtved

    Straw in the summer and felt in the winter, but now at my age I have visions of my own mortality and the aches and pains of a lifetime of horse related events to encourage me to remember to wear my helmet more often than not:)

  81. Brianna Regier

    I prefer riding in my straw hat (well it is a palm leaf) because if I’m riding in it that means its a beautiful day outside! Also because my brother so lovingly picked it out for me and shaped it to my favourite style, like a cross between a guss and a round crown with the sides a bit bronced up. As for time of year to purchase a new hat, spring. A person always likes to start fresh come spring and a felt is a nice transition from scotch caps to palm leaves right!


    I love my straw hats for riding andit’s alright that I use super glue right to my bald head to keep them on when it’s windy. Felt always for going out and church because my wife tells me to do so.

    I really love my felt hats too.

  83. Liann Farnese

    #3!!! I wear a straw hat when working my cattle but I also show a western pleasure/trail horse so then I go to felt. I will wear anything anytime:) I just love hats!!!:)

  84. #3 It’s a seasonal thing , felt after Labor Day and straw hats after Easter. It’s proper etiquette.

  85. Darren Bishop

    Felt most of the time. Straw for really hot weather. Spring is my preferred time to find a new one, for a better fit andtime to break in.

  86. I like to wear either a ball cap or straw hat riding at home, the straw hat I find especially nice for very hot weather in the summer when there is a lot of sun! At jackpots I prefer my felt hat for my western attire!

  87. Lynn Foster

    Folks when I ride I ALWAYS wear my hardhat….I save the felt, straw, baseball hats for when I am on the ground…..if I win you can send me felt – ITS STILL WINTER HERE IN NEW ENGLAND….gads don’t know when the warm weather will ever arrive…..

  88. Ball caps for the majority of the time! And felt for showing (more professional finished look!) Maybe a straw hat for at home on very hot days! Best (favorite) time to buy…. When you find a great hat for a super price! (on sale!)

  89. I wear a ball cap at home…and wear a straw hat for Western attire commitments . I love felt hats, but haven’t owned one for a long

  90. Seasonal adjustment between straw and felt. Ball cap in the wind or on a green horse. Full flaps down on the sheepskin Outback on the harsh winter day. I guess I’m a form follows function guy! As for buying time, usually when I need one, or better yet when they’re on sale!

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