Hat for sun and sweat
Jul 18, 2021 at 12:12 pm #3722332Worth DonaldsonBPL Member
I purchased a Sunday Afternoon’s Adventure hat in 1986 for sun protection on the lakes and rivers when I paddle. It is an ugly outdoor hat and I have tried replacing it several times over the years but always come back to using it because it does the job of keeping the glare our of my eyes and protecting my head and neck from becoming sunburned. It floats, it scoops up water and the tail allows the water to run down my back to cool me down, it dries quickly, it feels comfortable beneath a hood and also keeps the rain off my eyeglasses in the rain, I constantly forget which pant pocket I put it in because I can not feel it’s bulk, it hold’s the compound bends I place in the brim to shade by eyes just right and can withstand a moderate breeze, I can loosen it and wear a stocking cap beneath it for warmth, etc., etc. After 34 years of use the nylon sun rotted enough that I tore and separated the front brim from the body two days into 14 day river trip our West. I reinforced the torn edges with duct tape and reattached the brim with dental floss. That Sunday Afternoon’s hat is now retired and has been replace with another ugly Sunday Afternoon’s hat. By the way, I routinely wear a bandana wrapped around my forehead beneath it to keep the sweat off my glasses.Jul 18, 2021 at 1:57 pm #3722342Mina LoomisBPL Member
@elmvineLocale: Central Texas
On the Grand Canyon river trip we went on in 2010, a long slow trip on the dories, the professional guides’ hat of choice was the wide-brim caped Sunday Afternoons. Message received.Jul 19, 2021 at 1:29 am #3722369JoshSpectator
I really like “Headsweats” brand. Great ventilation, light material, and has a thin sweatband sewn in. Looks like they have some fold up “crusher” style ones but I use the version that has a neck flap:Jul 19, 2021 at 9:07 am #3722384jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
If you look at the picture of the woman at the top of the Headsweats site, she’s wearing a ball cap and her entire face, nose, ear and neck is in sun.
Headsweats mentions nothing about spf rating.Jul 19, 2021 at 11:31 am #3722399Dustin VBPL Member
I use a Headsweats hat when I run, most mornings. The hatband does soak up a lot of sweat. It has a slightly longer brim than the hat I use hiking, which is great for running straight toward the rising sun. The hat I have is entirely a solid fabric, which doesn’t breathe as well as mesh, but better than I thought it would.
It looks like Headsweats is consciously not listing SPF. Found this in FAQs.
“We don’t advertise SPF/UPF ratings as there has been much litigation regarding this matter recently…”Jul 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm #3722405
after a bunch of recommendations from ya’ll i’m leaning heavily towards the sunday afternoons hat. my FIL has one and wore it all week hiking.
what i’m going between now are theses options:
the ultra escape boonie or the sun guide cap
i figure with the escape boonie if needed i could pair with their solar curtain. i’m also looking at pairing it possibly with a treadbands head band.
my thinking is the treadbands i can wear running or just hiking to keep the sweat out of my eyes, they claim it will stay in place and keep sweat out of your eyes.
now for the sunday afternoons hat i like the option of the removeable cape for 2 reasons. 1) sun protection duh…. 2) i found that my columbia omni hat did a great job of keeping annoying bugs (that bug spray doesn’t do anything for …. like bitting flying, gnat’s ect) from my ears, neck ect and stopped me from going mad!
so now do i go with the boonie or the cap? any one have experience with either? i’m guessing the boonie is very similar to the adventure hat minus the cape..
why you ask for the removable cape? b/c i don’t always need or want it and on my columbia hat it was a PITA to keep it up when i wanted it up…..Jul 20, 2021 at 6:20 pm #3722582
I picked up a SA Ultra Adventure hat today to see how it compares to my stack of other sun hats.
This summer in the west is a perfect time for a comparison of them all.Jul 26, 2021 at 8:17 am #3723056Brett PeughBPL Member
My head gets really hot with a hat on. I am looking at some of the wide brimmed options like the Sunday Afternoon ones but are the vents on the sides enough to provide some cooling? I am bald so do those vents allow sunlight in that could still expose the sides of my head? Thank you.Jul 26, 2021 at 10:41 am #3723069
I was in Utah, Nevada and Arizona last week and tried several different hats.
To your specific question about your head getting hot, the coolest and best vented hat was a cheap straw hat from Walmart.
The weave has a pattern on the vertical sides that allows a great deal of air flow. You can feel the breeze on your head. I’m not sure if enough light would get through to cause a problem.
There are at least three SA hats with a design similar to each other.
The original was the Adventure Hat, wide brim, long cape and mesh vents. The other two are very close to each other in design, but slightly different than the original Adventure Hat.
The Ultra Adventure Hat has a slightly smaller brim that folds in the front, which is a great feature. It doesn’t have mesh vents, but does have a different fabric panel on each side that is more breathable. This fabric looks like they wanted it to breath well, but not let UV rays hit your head, so its not an open mesh.
The Ultra Adventure Storm Hat has the same design and size with the folding brim, just uses waterproof fabric with no vents.
Since the original Adventure hat has a larger brim and cape, it does provide better sun protection.
I noticed in the pics I took that the cape on the Ultra Adventure hat didn’t always completely cover the back of my neck, there was at times a slight gap above the neckline of my shirt. This may have been from how I positioned myself for the selfie, or it may have been like that more often than thought. I was hiking alone, so I didn’t have anyone to ask about it.
The cape did blow around some in a breeze, but appeared to settle back into place without any fiddling.Jul 26, 2021 at 11:02 am #3723073
I also had an OR Sun Runner hat and a similarly designed Cabelas Guide Wear hat. Both are ball cap types.
The OR hat has a short brim and large cape, the Cabelas hat has a larger brim and smaller cape. I have other hats similar to the Cabelas hat that perform about the same.
The OR hat is very light with mesh vents. The brim being short reduces the protection for your face a bit, but the cape is larger and can be almost wrapped around your face to protect it if needed. This reduces the breathability though.
The more traditional Cabelas hat with the larger brim did a better job for your face, but the smaller cape didn’t cover the sides of my face very well. I wore this hat early in the day and could feel the sun on my cheeks, later there was noticeable irritation from too much sun in that area.
The Cabelas hat also had no way to secure the cape, so it would blow around in the wind, and frequently didn’t return to a position that offered good protection. Your ear or neck may be left exposed if you didn’t reposition it.
The OR hat can be fastened so it isn’t as affected by the wind, so you didn’t need to fiddle with it. It doesn’t breath as well in this configuration though.Jul 26, 2021 at 11:31 am #3723075
Three other hats were on hand, two straw and one REI large brimmed sun hat that appears to be an earlier version of the vented Explorer hat.
These hats were very close in comfort and protection, the straw hat with the loose weave did offer better airflow though.
Since they all had a chin strap they were fine in the wind unless it was strong.
The feeling of actual shade along with airflow was nice. Not having to fiddle with anything to retain protection was good too.
These hats could easly be tipped to the side or front to back, so the sun protection was easily adjustable.
The big advantage went to the REI hat since the brim could be flipped up in front for climbing or going up hill. Plus it could be flattened for packing, I don’t fold it though, they will develop creases.
The straw hats are used for day hikes in open sun, the REI hat would be better for overnight stuff because it can be stowed easier.Jul 26, 2021 at 11:49 am #3723080
Unless it was a total sun hike with no shade, I’d probably have a ball cap along too.
The fact that the SA Ultra Adventure hats can be folded up and suffed almost anywhere probably makes them my top pick as a do it all hat for sun protection. The original SA Adventure hat offers better protection but is slightly heavier, and doesn’t have the folding brim.
I’m not sure I’d wear one anyplace but on the trail though, so to look a bit more normal I’d bring the OR Sun Runner hat, or something similar.
I have a couple of bucket hats but never use them, they don’t offer near the sun protection of the larger brimmed hats. And if sun protection isn’t required I’m wearing some type of ball cap.Jul 26, 2021 at 1:43 pm #3723084
i just stumbled across another company with similar hatsJul 26, 2021 at 4:58 pm #3723118DWR DBPL Member
The original was the Adventure Hat has a mesh panel on the sides for ventilation, but the tag specifically says it does not meet the advertised 50UPF rating… indeed, when I put my hand on one side of the mesh, I can clearly see the skin when viewing from the other side of the mesh… this could be a problem for those who are follicle challenged….
The Ultra Adventure Hat also has venting panels on both sides… I can not see skin through the panel… and the tag specifically says that the vent panels meet the advertised 50 UPF rating…
Also, the fabric of the Ultra Adventure is thinner and looks like it would be cooler and breathe better… a quick blow test seemed to confirm this…
Indeed the Original Adventure Hat has a wider brim and longer cape, but this would also be a disadvantage in wind….
Like most everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to just about everything…Jul 26, 2021 at 5:22 pm #3723121
That’s a good analysis, DWR D. As a bald guy who has worked and played outdoors at altitude for many years, the Ultra Adventure Hat is my choice. I picked it up when it first came out and haven’t yet found anything better.Jul 26, 2021 at 5:24 pm #3723122Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I haven’t found anything I “love”. Every couple years I get frustrated with what I am using, and try something else and eventually cycle back to something I used in the past. The four solutions I seem to cycle between:
- Classic Panama (Rollable) Hat – Expensive, rain and use will ultimately destroy… but when it’s in good shape the coolest wearing hat I have used
- Ultra breathable sun hoody + visor to shade face – challenge to find a hoody which combines adequate sun protection, durability, and air permeability.
- Sunday Afternoons ultra adventure hat (sport hat is also pretty good) – super silly looking, but provides the best protection I have used. Fairly cool wearing, though when humidity climbs struggle with sweat. Also not good in high winds.
- Tilley LT6 – Hat build like a tank. Takes all sorts of abuse and good in many conditions. But not as cool wearing as the other options.
I really wanted to like the OR SunRunner. Used it for awhile, but the veil blocked too much wind for it to be comfortable. Still have mine… lives in the trunk of the car in case I forgot whatever sunhat I am current using.Jul 26, 2021 at 5:35 pm #3723126
I’ve been looking at the Sunday afternoons sun guide cap or the OR sun cap along with the Coolibar boating hat and agility sport capJul 26, 2021 at 7:10 pm #3723136
Josh J, I have the SA sun guide cap as well and had great hopes for it. Worn without the cape, it’s a lot less dorky than the Ultra Adventure Hat. But I found that even when worn with the cape it doesn’t provide as much protection for my cheek bones. Also, I’ve found that wearing it with the cape doesn’t provide enough ventilation to keep my neck cool.Jul 26, 2021 at 7:17 pm #3723137
Mark, I love Panama hats as well. They’re my #1 choice for summer in the city. Besides being cool, they look good on almost anyone.Jul 26, 2021 at 7:40 pm #3723141
I currently have a Columbia omnishade hat. Used it in 90 and humid heat. I didn’t like i couldn’t easily raise the cape but the things I did like was it did a good job of transferring sweat to the brim and drop off brim out of my eyes and with biting flies the cape kept them at bay and didn’t drive me nuts! I’m not sure if it had vents if it would have helped but when your that hot and humid I don’t think anything is going to help.
Anything that keep bugs off my head and ears and keeps sweat out of my eyes is a win for me since almost all my hiking is woods. I do some dune hiking were sun coverage on back of neck would be good since that is the number 1 place I get sun more than anything elseJul 26, 2021 at 7:51 pm #3723143
Sounds like we hike in different conditions, Josh. I need to keep in mind that local conditions can make a big difference in the gear we like.Oct 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm #3729699HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
Update: Seems the NYT “Wirecutter” section (wide range of gear and athletic sorta-wear) did some testing on hat including measurements on sensor adorned melons (literally) plus interviewed a number of professional trail runners/well-known multi thru hikers on headwear for the sun, sweat, etc… With dermatologists chiming in.
Seems one Sunday Afternoon model beat them all.
Note: SA updated their mesh on the articles best pick to be UPF 50 too
also ventilation (various), fabric “weight”, color, even hat “crushabality” are discussed if wanting to read into the weeds. Some skin care talk too.Oct 14, 2021 at 5:53 pm #3729703HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
… still the “purchase” button on the Sunday afternoons top pick isn’t really singing to me.Oct 14, 2021 at 7:03 pm #3729709
The flap on the back is appealing only for the fact of keeping bugs, mosquitoes, bitting flies, off the neck
For the more breathable and cheaper bora I might try that and possibly get a neck cape separateOct 15, 2021 at 6:49 am #3729732obx hikerBPL Member
Well I don’t know if there’s any purpose to chiming in here except that you have to stick up for your buddies.
I noticed the wirecutter review also included the Tilley Airflow LT6 with some silly nonsense about how you wouldn’t wear it hoofing up a mountain.
I’ve worn mine doing exactly that above all shade in Cali, Montana, Wyoming, Colo and all through the desert SW.
I’ve worn it in Tipi Walter’s sweaty Mts.
I wear it pretty much daily in this similarly hot-humid beach environment. I wear it going to the grocer or hardware store. Heck when we had church outside for awhile due to covid I even wore it to church.
Protecting yourself from the sun is a longball game. Get after it and stay after it or as the saying goes: If you’re gonna be stupid you better be tough.
So get a hat you like and wear it! sunscreen too! ;)
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