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Why I Love My Coolibar Sun Hat (Review)

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador, Product Reviews, Resources & Gear

The sun in Ecuador is strong all year round. And because there is no winter (well, at least no ice, snow, and wind chill) we are outside a lot. We need to be very careful to avoid sunburn.

When we first arrived in Ecuador, I wore the famed Panama hat (actually made here.) While they are fine, the Coolibar sun hat has quickly become my favorite for sun protection.


Why I Love My Polyester Coolibar Sun Hat

  • The shell is 100% polyester which means it’s durable and packs easily for travel.
  • It’s lightweight and breaths because of the weave.
  • The sun protection is excellent at UPF 50+.
  • It goes easily from the beach to shopping, or something a little more formal.

The lining (a polyester/cotton mix) is more comfortable than many of the straw hats I’ve tried. Straw hats can be rough against the skin and they are not as durable as polyester.

Straw hats are worrisome because the rain damages them – and they can lose their shape.

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In light rain the polyester is worry-free.


Inside lining of my Coolibar sun hat

This hat is comfortable, looks good. And most importantly it has a 50+ level of sun-protection.

Sun protection is important everywhere, and even more so living/traveling in the Andes mountains. We live in the Andes of Ecuador so our hats go everywhere we do.

The UPF 50+ of these sun hats means that they block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.

How To Get Your Coolibar Sun Hat

Shopping online will probably be your best option, unless you live near a retail store. We ordered our Coolibar Sun Hats on Amazon and had them shipped to us in Cuenca Ecuador.

If you are planning a trip or move abroad, order before you travel if possible. It can be hard to find a good quality sun-safe (travel/weather friendly) hat abroad. To help, we created this guide to the best sun protection hats – specifically for travelers to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

To ensure a good fit make sure you read the customer reviews on Amazon before placing your order. The reviews said that the style hat I was ordering was a small fit and they were right. I have a small head so it’s perfect, but if my head were any bigger it would be too small.

We ordered a different style for our daughter because her head is “one size fits all” perfect.


My hat is the Coolibar Packable Beach Hat and Drew’s is the Marina Sun Hat. (Coolibar makes makes more than just sun hats. They sell a wide range of sun protective clothing.)

Have you tried the Coolibar line of sun hats? What is your favorite all around hat for sun protection? Please share by commenting on this post.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

5 comments… add one
  • Lisa Nov 14, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Good to know. I like your hat.

  • Kerri Oct 28, 2014, 8:40 am

    Cute hats!

  • Dave Haines Oct 28, 2014, 7:45 am

    I think this is a good suggestion and I’ll probably try a Coolibar for the reasons you give. However I really like the wool hat I got in Ecuador for back here in Canada during fall and winter. It’s made by Shaman in Iluman Ec.

    It’s a rigid, wide brim hat and gives good sun protection, warmth and the rain doesn’t seem to bother it; but I’m not sure how it would do if it was totally soaked. I wore it a lot last winter and it still looks good.

    The look of a good straw Panama hat is hard to beat for Canada in the summer as well, but I expect a Coolibar will be in my bag for our next trip to Ec.

    I never felt comfortable wearing hats, but I am becoming used to the idea out of necessity, due to sun damage and the dermatologist’s urging . Now I don’t feel comfortable without a hat. At least there are some good choices.

    Thanks for your suggestions

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