The Crusher Hat


Crushable wide-brimmed hat

Being a man with pale complexion I had received yet another severe sunburn and was on the market for wide-brimmed hats when I discovered the Crusher. Living in Gothenburg, Sweden, hats are not easy to come by, wide-brimmed hats even worse. So when I bought the previously reviewed Duluth Presentation Jacket, I had a few bucks left over and browsed the web site, and was thrilled when I found the Men’s Crusher (there is a female version too).

This hat has a mesh-sided crown that keeps you cool whenever there’s a slight breeze. It feels like the mesh is creating a form of additional turbulence, because I can’t feel the same cooling effect when I take the hat off my head. It has a three-inch brim which I thought was a bit to small. I have reluctantly had to concede it to be just apt for the task.

Being from Sweden, I am accustomed to using metric, not inches. I expected to be asked of the circumference of my head but instead I was asked for the length of the crown. Thus I found out that I had ordered a hat that was one size too big. Since it was an overseas delivery, I decided to make it work anyway. There is a draw cord (which is actually a leather string) which I pulled over the back side of the brim to tighten it up. The stopper of the leather string was another piece of leather, a bit too big to stop anything, so I replaced it with a rubber band.

This summer when we visited the Philippines it served me excellently. It kept me cool and comfortable in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (that is 104 degrees Fahrenheit). My Filipino wife decided that it had become too dirty and hand-washed it when I had fallen asleep. When I awoke, the cotton hat had dried and shrunken to a perfect fit.

The Duluth Trading Company calls it the Crusher, and it is aptly named. I have squeezed it into a ball and put it into the pocket of my jacket. I have thrusted it in my carry-on luggage. Nevertheless, it still bounces back into shape when I take it out of its cramped storage; the brim remains easily reshaped in the front and back sides to provide the best cover.

This is by far the best head cover I’ve had in warm climates, and it is made only better seeing as it is affordable.

Finally, a few thoughts:

Replace the little piece of leather that Duluth use as drawcord stopper, it is useless.

Create a plastic rain cover for the hat to make it perfect! I have only found those for western style hats, with brims exceeding 4 inches. It’s effective but not necessarily comfortable.

09/6/10 -- Per-Erik Ekberg