My new tranquilo tarp hat, made from road-ravaged Brazilian truck canvas

hat_booksth.jpgI tend not to accessorize much when I travel, but in the tropics, everyone needs a hat. Not entirely happy with the nylon mesh hat I’d been sporting the last few years, it seemed like destiny when this beauty from Brazil landed on my dome. After only a day of filling it with sweat on a 100-degree Colorado day, the material has already begun molding to my head, the rim already curving toward perfection.

These canvas hats also come with a story, from Brazil, where The Real Deal has created a micro-industry of family hat-stitchers. No two hats or bags are alike, each is patched together from discarded pieces of cross-country cargo truck tarpaulins. Sure, the intentionally roughshod look is a bit hokey, but I don’t care. They still look good.

screen-shot-2010-07-19-at-102717-am.png“The fabric in our hats and bags,” brags the company, “most likely has traveled from the Amazon out to São Paulo and back again, slogging through sudden deluges of blinding rain, and being baked and broiled in scalding heat, whipped by harsh salt winds, assaulted by road debris and sometimes even stamped upon in Portuguese with waterproof black ink.”

I can’t wait to take mine to Nicaragua in a few weeks. If you’ve got a medium sized head (or even if you don’t, I bet they would swap you out for the right size), just leave a comment below, telling about your favorite travel hat. This contest will end at 8 pm EST on Tuesday, 20 July, 2010.

FREE HAT GIVEAWAY!  Tell me about your favorite travel hat in the comments below and I’ll enter you in a contest to win one of these tarp hats from Brazil. [[CONTEST IS OVER, THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPANTS, CONGRATULATIONS TO DANIMAL, RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER!]]

Real Deal hats home
[Disclosure: The Real Deal supplied me with review samples but this is NOT a paid endorsement]

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