An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: Sunproof brimmed hat.

AIMED AT: Tilley hat fans with a wild streak.

HOW MUCH: $49.99

BUT DOES IT WORK? Sun worshipers who can't kick the habit but are spooked by threats of skin cancer, baby boomers trying to stave off that dried-leather look and those who just want to block the sun while reading at the beach can find relief with the new line of SunStuff cinch hats. Woven with material that blocks 100 percent of the sun's UVA and UVB rays and equipped with a four-inch brim, the hat kept us safely pale after several days at the beach (we wore sunscreen too). Its reversible feature -- khaki on one side, colorful stripes on the other -- made it marginally more fashionable than the other goofy-looking floppy hats in its genre. The cinch means one size fits all, although an underchin drawstring to prevent it from flying off in the wind would be more valuable. We also wish it had some air holes for ventilation -- it gets hot under there -- and wonder how we'll keep it from getting funky without throwing it in the wash (spot clean only).

-- Carol Sottili

The SunStuff Cinch Hat is available through the company at 888-838-9868,