How to Properly Store Your Cowboy Hat
A great cowboy hat is an investment for any cowboy or cowgirl. A quality Western hat can last you years—decades even—if properly stored and cared for. If you own a cowboy hat, do you know how to properly store it? How do you transport a cowboy hat since you can't pack it in the suitcase? Have you just been hanging it wherever you can at home and leaving it at home when you have to travel? Here, we explain how to get the most out of your hat and keep it in top shape for years to come with the right Western hat protectors.
How to Pack a Cowboy Hat for Travel
You really can't toss your favorite cowboy hat into a weekend bag, suitcase, or backpack. At the very least, we sincerely hope you don’t! Keeping the shape of the brim and crown of your hat is important to keeping your Western hat looking good for years. And if you've spent a lot of time, effort, and money to find the perfect hat, you probably don't want to do that all over again because it was crushed or damaged in your suitcase.
To protect your hat when you travel, you really cannot get anything better than a large hat carrier can. A large hat carrier can—designed to hold hats sized up to 7 5/8" and a brim up to 5"—ensures that your favorite hat makes it safe, sound, and protected wherever you're headed.
Most often, the best hat carrier cans are made of premium rugged plastic that can resist bumps, scrapes, and moisture contact. Plastic also makes a hat carrier extremely lightweight, easy to carry, and exceptionally portable meaning it won't add much weight to your luggage.
Hat carriers can help prevent your hat's brim from becoming warped from the weight, supporting its original shape without causing stress on the material while keeping the correct bend. No more crown crumpling either, as there is ample room and the rugged plastic keeps pressure from pushing on it.
A great hat carrier can features solid, high-quality metal snaps to keep the case closed securely, and sturdy hinges that withstand frequent use without breaking or sticking. Our hat carrier even features a built-in window for the placement of a name tag or other hat information.
A large hat carrier can works for more than just cowboy hats—this is a perfect case to travel with any hat that fits inside, including your favorite:
- Straw hat
- El Dorado hat
- Marlow Hat
- Soho hat
If you're not ready to get a hat carrier yet, there are a few options for temporary hat storage that you use until you're ready.
Storing a Cowboy Hat Without a Carrier
There are a few cowboy hat storage tips and tricks you should consider to keep your hat safely stored if you don’t have a hat carrier. Make sure you clean your cowboy hat first, before storage. Keeping your hat clean—whether you have a carrier can or not—helps extend the life and look of your favorite cowboy hat. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean off any accumulated dust or dirt gently.
The Best Way to Store a Cowboy Hat:
- If you have to set your cowboy hat down while you’re out, turn it upside down and set it down on the top of its crown—not the brim.
- When you’re not wearing it, put your hat on a hat rack or in a hat carrier box to protect it.
- Keep it clean by dusting it off with a clean brush after every wear.
- If the band is damp from sweat, turn the sweatband up to help it dry faster and keep the sweat from staining your cowboy hat.
When Storing Cowboy Hats, Avoid:
- Never store or set your cowboy hat down on its brim, or brim down. It can cause the brim of your hat to begin to flatten until it loses its shape completely.
- Don't take your cowboy hat off your head by handling the crown. Use the front and or back of the brim to lift the hat from your head. To keep your brim's shape, handle the brim as close to the crown as you can.
- Keep your cowboy hat away from heating sources! Your hat can get too much heat, such as enclosed in a vehicle or left near a heater or stove. Heat and humidity can damage the hat.
- If your hat has gotten wet, from sweat, rain, or snow, never use heat to speed the drying—it can damage the hat.
Is It Okay to Hang A Cowboy Hat?
For temporary storage, a coat rack or hat hook is okay. It's not ideal for the long-term, however: Hanging a cowboy hat for long periods of time is not recommended because gravity pulls down and damages the hat, causing it to lose its shape. The best way to store a cowboy hat is in a hat storage can, upside down on a hat rack, or right side up using a hat rest, which protects the brim and helps maintain the hat’s shape.
A cowboy hat isn't just a hat. It's a signifier. A statement to a way of life that has been distinctly American for more than a century. It's a must for the Western way or the Western at heart. And there is science behind the iconic headwear worn across the American West by buckaroos, bandits, and ranchers since before 1865.
Cowboy hats are made to withstand the worst weather and hardest work. The cowboy hat that we know and love today originated from the Vaqueros, or Mexican Cowboys who wore wide-brimmed, high-crowned sombreros while herding their cattle. The cowboy hat was designed to protect working cattlemen from the bright, hot Western sun. Nowadays you can still wear your cowboy hat when ranching or for a night out in the city, for a special occasion or just because you love your hat. There'll always be a good reason to put on your cowboy hat! If you clean and store it properly after every wear, it’ll provide protection and style for years to come.
Stages West believes a cowboy hat is one of the most iconic and essential pieces of Western wear to express your sense of self, so we want your hat to last and for you to wear it proudly. Next, explore our cowboy hat cleaning tips to keep yours in great condition.