How to Travel With Hats

What Is The Difference Between Rollable, Packable, and Crushable Hats?

The obvious answer to many problems related to hat transportation is to select a hat purpose-built for travel. The Henri Henri hat store offers you a vast selection of felt, straw, synthetic and natural fabric hats that are both sturdy and easy to carry! 

  • Many hats are labeled “packable”, meaning they can be collapsed and sustain compression for the time of a transit. 
  • Some will be considered “packable”, meaning that they can be packed very tightly and sustain compression for longer periods.
  •  And some will be considered “rollable”, meaning that they must be folded and rolled in a specific manner to fit in your luggage, however they should not be compacted during transit.

Learn more about how to roll a hat in the “How to Pack a Hat in a Suitcase” section of this Henri Henri blog post!

A Selection of Rollable, Packable, and Crushable Hats Offered at Henri Henri:

Traveling With a Hat in a Hat Box

Some hats will either be too stiff or rigid, or sometimes, especially in the case of natural straw, too brittle to be compacted or having their shape altered significantly to accommodate travel. In this case, we strongly recommend you either keep your hat on and around you for the duration of your transit or that you use a hat box as a carry-on. Hat boxes are specifically made for maintaining both a constant humidity rate around your hat and preserving its shape while preventing dust accumulation. 

Hat boxes are certainly the preferred way to carry hats while traveling, however they can be cumbersome due to their size and are sometimes not sturdy enough for cargo space in buses, trains and airplanes. Hence, you should always consider taking your boxed hat as a carry-on.

Disclaimer: Do NOT Roll, Crush or Fold Your Panama Hats

There is a widespread notion that every Panama straw hat is foldable or rollable. While this might be true for some Panama straw hats, this notion needs to be clarified. Straw can indeed be supple enough to allow you to roll a Panama straw hat, however this is true for very humid, tropical climates where Panama hats are made. 


A Panama hat in Canada, for instance, is exposed to great variations in humidity rates between seasons, and tends to dry faster due to indoors climatisation (heating and air conditioning). Rolling a Panama hat in such conditions may lead the straw to break. If you are unsure whether your Panama hat can be rolled or not, never hesitate to ask our team of expert hatters for counsel!

How to Pack a Hat in a Suitcase?

If your hat is neither packable, crushable, nor rollable, you can use a regular carry-on suitcase to accommodate certain hats. You simply need one rigid carry-on suitcase, clothes that you intend to travel with, and you are ready to go! Simply follow these simple steps:

  1. Lay your rigid, carry-on suitcase open on a flat surface.
  2. Roll a few articles of clothing such as shirts, shorts, t-shirts, pants, sweaters, towels, etc.
  3. Lay your rolled clothing in superposed layers around the sides of your suitcase. Leave a vacant space in the center that is large enough to accommodate the crown of your hat. 
  4. Flip your hat upside-down and place the crown in the vacant space. The brom of your hat should comfortably rest on your rolled clothing, and your hat’s crown should gently rest on the bottom of the suitcase.
  5. Lay a few layers of clothing flat over your hat, until you have reached the capacity your carry-on suitcase can accommodate in this section.
  6. Close-off the section, and now you have created your very own DIY hat case!

If your hat is rollable, follow this quick and easy seven-step tutorial on how to properly roll a rollable hat!

  1. Take your hat in one hand.
    Take your hat in one hand, holding it from the inside of the crown.

  2. Reach inside the crown with your other hand and push out the creases and pinches. Make sure the hat’s brim is flipped downwards!
    Reach inside the crown with your other hand and push out the creases and pinches.

  3. Collapse one side of your hat inside the other.
    Collapse one side of your hat inside the other.

  4. Start at one extremity and gently roll the hat onto itself. Try to avoid rolling your hat too tightly.
    Start at one extremity and gently roll the hat onto itself.

  5. Once you have reached the other extremity, you will end up with a rolled hat in the shape of a cone!
    hat in the shape of a cone

  6. Pack your rolled hat in a space where it will not be compressed. You can use a soft elastic or piece of string to maintain the hat’s conical shape.

  7. As soon as you arrive at your destination, unpack and unravel your hat, and use your hands to gently push the creases and pinches back in.

What Do I Do If My Hat Was Damaged During Transit?

For most hats, being bent out of shape does not mean the end of the road. The Henri Henri hat store carries a centennial tradition of hat servicing, which includes cleaning and blocking hats of every shape, size, and almost any material. 

As a general rule, if nothing is broken, torn, burnt, or otherwise structurally compromised, a simple cleaning and reblocking might be the easiest solution to restore your hat. 

If however your hat is made of natural straw or bears heavier damage, bears a stain that you have no idea how to get rid of, we recommend you bring your hat to the Henri Henri hat store. Our expert hatters will make a visual inspection. We will be able to provide you with either tips for maintenance at home and assess to what extent your hat can be restored.

Francis Bissonnette-Gilker
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