KLIPSTA Hat Clip Review
Whether you’re a hat collector or looking to carry your own shade, the KLIPSTA Hat Clip makes it easy to pack bulky headgear when you travel.
- Great for packing bulky headgear
- Extremely strong magnets hold hats snugly
- Complements a bag’s aesthetics
- A slight learning curve to use
- Rather bulky
- Hard to flip over wide handles
1.62 oz (45.9 g)
4.5 in x 1.25 in x .5 in (11.4 x 3.2 x 1.3 cm)
Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE)
We’re savvy travelers and even savvier packers here at Pack Hacker, so it isn’t too often we come across a travel accessory that fixes a problem we struggle with when traveling to a sunny destination. Sure, we could opt to grab a more compressible hat when we go to pack for vacation or fill the bucket of a beach hat with packing cubes to make it fit in our travel backpack. Still, we’re happy to find a better way to carry a hat with KLIPSTA.
Has a month of using it to carry everything from a beach hat to an ultralight towel to Mouse Ears changed our minds? Let’s find out.
The KLIPSTA is made with Thermoplastic Elastomer—a big name for something that feels soft like silicone—that’s nearly 10 inches long when stretched out. It folds around a bag handle to be about 5 inches long, enough to get a good grip on a wide-brimmed hat, and it has a 1.25-inch magnet on each end. We havetested the Stone colorway, a sort of taupe-y/gray, but it’s also available in Pink, Green, Navy, Black, and Tan and the time of review, so you can pick one to match your favorite hat or to coordinate with your bag. While it does stand outis obvious when hanging from a backpack, we think it would have better blended in with our bags if we had tested the Black, so pick the hue that works for you.
Whichever color you pick up, it has a straightforward look to it. Its aesthetics aren’t going to be what stands out from your pack—your hat will be when you’re using the KLIPSTA to carry it.
Branding on the KLIPSTA includes its name parading vertically down each strap end and a (K) logo on the outside of each magnet. Printing on the inside straps spells out the KLIPSTA.com website and tells you it was designed and made in Australia. G’day, Mate!
How does it work, you ask? That’s an excellent question and one not readily apparent just by looking at the KLIPSTA. Indeed, it took us about a half hour to figure out exactly how to properly clip it to the carry handle of a backpack at first. To save you time, we’re going to go through it here.
First, slip the side with the name and logo facing up through the handle of your bag. If the magnets snap together at this point, it will look like the strap is upside down around the handle. Don’t worry—we’re not going to leave it looking like this, although the magnets have a fun flower-like shape that could be pleasing enough to look at if you wanted.
Instead, grab the bottom magnet and slide it sideways through the slit in the top of the strap. It will come through with the logo and KLIPSTA name showing and then snaps to the other magnet with the proper side facing out. A notch in the strap locks it in place. Now you can pull the magnets apart, and the strap will stay in place while you slide in the brim of your hat. Hey, presto! We’ve got a hat clip.
The clip attaches a hat to a bag or a belt for a hands-free way to carry your head covering. Australian school children usually need to wear a hat to be allowed to play outside at recess, so an Aussie mom developed KLIPSTA to keep those accessories from going astray on the way to and from class. For our purposes, we find it frustrating when packing for a beach vacation to know just where to stick a wide-brimmed hat. A baseball cap or visor can fold in on itself, so you’re only dealing with the space of the brim—which can also curve for more compressibility. However, cowboy hats, beach hats, and the fancy millinery we pack for the Kentucky Derby or tea at Windsor Castle don’t fit easily in a carry-on bag.
While we have resorted to wearing them on the plane at times, the odd looks we get from fellow travelers give us pause. The KLIPSTA magnets keep our hat on our bag instead so we can tuck it under the seat or in the overhead compartment.
Throughout testing, we found the KLIPSTA extremely effective, especially when testing with a straw beach hat. The thinner brim seems to be what its designers had in mind when developing the hat clip, which hangs on to them well with minimal slipping. We tested it with thicker items, of course, with varying degrees of success. The brim of a baseball cap eventually works its way out of the KLIPSTA, but we have to shake our bag very hard for that to happen. Besides, with baseball hats, the handy hole in the back provides the perfect spot to slide the KLIPSTA through, and the magnets can snap together, leaving no room for slipping.
A cowboy-style felt hat works as well as the straw beach hat. Eventually, with enough motion, either of them may slip off, but we’re talking prolonged galloping-horse-style shaking, and in that case, shouldn’t your cowboy hat be on your head?
We even tested those ubiquitous souvenirs from Walt Disney theme parks—Mouse Ears. While we had high hopes the KLIPSTA could hold onto the ears themselves, the padding on many was too thick for the magnets to get a good grip. They slid off the first time we turned a corner. However, the strap is big enough to wrap around the middle of most Mouse Ears (in between the two ears), so if your model doesn’t have a very fat bow—and those vary from design to design—the KLIPSTA magnets can connect and give you a hands-free way to get those babies home. Then you can wear a second pair on your head!
It also works well on a trip to the beach when already wearing a hat. Ultralight towels like those from Nomadic and Sand Cloud are thin enough that the KLIPSTA can also wrap around and carry them, an excellent option when carrying a damp and sandy towel.
At 1.62 ounces, the KLIPSTA won’t weigh down your bag, whether you’re using it or not. Since it hooks to nearly any carry handle or loop, we don’t need a place to pack it, per se; it’s attached to a bag. If we do need to put it inside a pack for some reason, its small and slim nature allows it to slip just about anywhere.
There are other ways to clip a hat to a bag other than KLIPSTA. A Nite Ize S-Biner or other carabiner can attach just about anything to a bag, including a hat, and DSPTCH designed the CapSnap Hat Clip to hold onto headwear, as well.
The S-Biner is a fancier version of a standard carabiner, and while we like them for many uses, they are harder to use when attaching hats that don’t have a built-in hole. A carabiner-style clip will do the trick if you carry a ball cap. However, while carabiners can hold brimmed hats, neither hold on tightly enough for long-term use.
The CapSnap does a better job with different types of hats, hanging onto thinner brims like the KLIPSTA. The hook that attaches to a bag has about a half-inch opening, which makes it better for hooking onto thinner attachment points than wide carry handles. So if your bag doesn’t have any external attachment points on the front, it may not work well for you.
The KLIPSTA Hat Clip, on the other hand, is large enough to fit around a variety of handle sizes and holds onto different styles of hats well, though it may be harder to flip out of the way on fat handles. If you’re a traveler and a millinophile (a person who loves hats), this may be a great addition to your collection of tiny travel accessories.
- Soft, rubbery material
- Very strong magnets
- Seems easy to use
- Really helpful for packing for the beach
- When removed from a bag, it holds the curved shape rather than going back flat
- TPE starting to show signs of wear
- Unobtrusively hangs out on a bag when not in use