Breezer - the perfect hat?
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David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Breezer - the perfect hat? on 02/06/2006 18:53:55 MST Print View

I think I may have just discovered the perfect hat... at least for me. It's called the Breezer by Henschel. Lee Valley tools is carrying them now in Canada... which is where I discovered it. Here's a pic. I've never found a hat that I could wear in the heat. Ball caps are the worst since they sit right on top of the head. Tilley's are better... but I still find them hot. This sucker should be very cool... being made completely from mesh:



Here are the features of the hat:

- 3.9 oz for a Large
- 100% Nylon lid and band
- 100% Polyester mesh brim and bucket
- Coolmax inner head band
- SPF of 45+
- Wire brim, holds it's shape
- Crushable without losing it's shape
- Half the price of a Tilley

Edited by davidlewis on 02/07/2006 14:21:39 MST.

L. T.
(Guinness1759) - F
Breezer on 03/21/2006 08:08:50 MST Print View

Did you ever buy this hat? How is the fit? I am looking at the one that has a twill brim and top with the mesh crown. I intend to waterproof the brim/top of crown.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Breezer on 03/21/2006 08:21:54 MST Print View

Yes... I did buy it. It's a tad heavier than my Tilley LTM5 (?)... but not by too much. I was hoping it would be lighter... being all made from mesh. The fit is fine. It only comes in a few sizes... s, m, l, xl... so it's not a custom fit like a Tilley... but that's fine with me. I like a hat to fit nice and loose. I haven't had a chance to use it yet... spring has not quite sprung... but I can't wait to use it. I think it will really keep me cool and shaded. I sweat with a hat on even in winter (during activity... like hiking)... so I'm hoping the loose fit and all mesh material will keep me cool.

Edited by davidlewis on 03/21/2006 08:23:29 MST.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Kavu Hat on 03/21/2006 09:02:35 MST Print View

In my never ending search for dorky looking hats... Actually this one looks like it might be a keeper. 5 oz for a sun & rain hat.

Image hosting by Photobucket

http://www.tahoemountainsports.com/store/chillba-hat.shtml

It shades and attaches to your head with a webbing cap in under the main body. It's waterproof and also would make a good sit pad. I haven't tried it yet and I'm concerned it will hit my pack when walking, so it may need some modifications, hehehe.

Edited by ccorbridge on 03/21/2006 09:08:23 MST.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
IMHO the Breezer is not a good choice for very hot conditions on 03/21/2006 11:21:51 MST Print View

Hi David,

I'm afraid the Breezer will not keep you as cool and safe from heat stroke in very hot conditions as the Tilley. Why? For the same reason desert nomads have worn layers of light colored head wrapping and long robes instead of shorts and mesh caps - the pocket of air in the top of the Tilley is insulating you from the hotter air around you. No matter how hot you feel, in very hot and sunny conditions, the total shade and that pocket of air above your head and below your hat, in a light colored hat, will protect you. You will find references to this in the classic Complete Walker IV and other sources.

The Tilley is amazingly durable and light, breathes well, is fairly water resistant and looks nice to boot. You can crush it any which way and with little effort get it back to original shape. My only problem with it is that I sometimes feel like I'm in a scene in an old Tarzan movie when wearing in a town - it has that jungle explorer look to it. Otherwise, it's the best 3 season sun hat I've found.

Edited by mountainwalker on 03/21/2006 11:45:23 MST.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: not a good choice for very hot conditions on 03/21/2006 11:38:39 MST Print View

Thanks mountainwalker. That's great info. It almost never gets hotter than 80 where I hike / live... so I think it will be ok... but I'll keep that in mind. For me the issue is not really about the outside temps... it's just about how much I sweat when hiking. I sweat in the fall... in 60F or less... so I want something "breezy". I still have my Tilley in any case. And the Brezzer does have a solid "lid" on it. Also... it didn't set my back much. Was only about $30 as I recall. But I didn't know that about the 'pocket of air'. Thanks.

Edited by davidlewis on 03/21/2006 11:40:04 MST.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: IMHO the Breezer is not a good choice for very hot conditions on 03/21/2006 12:44:58 MST Print View

mountainwalker,

Do desert nomads wear synthetic fibers? While I agree with your premise if applied to natural fibers, I would disagree when applied to synthetics.

Robert

Edited by procab on 03/21/2006 12:47:43 MST.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
synthetic or natural = what's the difference as long as the microclimate is maintained? on 03/21/2006 15:18:36 MST Print View

Hi Robert,

It's not my premise, but Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins' premise, from the Complete Walker IV, if I recall. And it makes perfect sense. The Tilley LT I have is not waterproof - it's synthetic and breathable. Natural fibers are breathable as well. I use the synthetic Tilley for the weight savings, water resistance and quick dry properties. A good head covering or hat will keep a pocket of air around your head. And the total shade is important - the sun's energy will really cook your egg. The fact that a pocket of cooler air is kept near you is what matters. How would this change with synthetic or natural fibers, if both are breathable enough to let moisture out?

BTW, I have lived in the desert for weeks at a time, carrying a lot of gear, wearing a similar style boonie hat that keeps a pocket of air above your head but still breathes, and have spent time with desert nomads, and they have learned a thing or two after living for so many generations in such harsh conditions. They wear wool and cotton (and sometimes even an insulated synthetic jacket in the cold desert nights).

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Hat type for hot weather depends of the temp and activity on 03/21/2006 16:50:44 MST Print View

If the ambient temperature is higher than 93F, then wearing a hat with insulation on top will benefit you. If the ambient temperature is lower, then you will be cooler with a hat that doesn’t insulate you on top.

You don't want any insulation at the top of your hat when the temp is lower than 93F and you are hiking. Your body needs to dissipate excess heat. The vessels in the head don't constrict and so they can most effectively radiate excess heat if you don’t have insulation at the top of your hat.

Color of the hat will also determine your comfort. If you use a white hat, then most of the energy in light will be reflected by the hat.

Edited by richard295 on 03/21/2006 16:52:07 MST.

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
Re: Hat type for hot weather depends of the temp and activity on 03/21/2006 17:07:34 MST Print View

I'm not sure I'd want to be wearing an insulated hat in 93 degree plus weather. By that logic we should wear insulation on the rest of our bodies when its very hot to protect us from the heat. I agree the shade from a hat is important, but what is going to keep you from getting heat stroke is proper hydration and ventilation so that your body can disipate heat by evaporative cooling. Once the ambient temperature rises above your core temperature this is the only way our body can cool itself. If you insist on hiking in the sun on very hot days an umbrella is probably the way to go. Great ventilation and portable shade. If its reflective like the chrome dome from golite it will work even better.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Hat type for hot weather depends of the temp and activity on 03/21/2006 20:01:23 MST Print View

James,

I was referring to Jamie's picture of the Breezer and its effectiveness for protecting him from hot weather.

It is all mesh except for the dome. The sun's light energy is converted into heat energy when it hits the hat’s dome. The dome is insulated from the top of his head by an air gap and the convection cooling of the mesh surrounding it. This is similar concept to your umbrellas effectiveness in cooling you. The Chrome Dome has the added benefit of reflecting long wave radiation and it has a bigger insulation air gap.

The ventilated mesh in the Breezer hat should allow most of the unencumbered perspiration evaporation you correctly referred to. Remember this thread is entitled “BREEZER - THE PERFECT HAT?” I agree that a chrome dome umbrella would be even cooler in hot weather but it is not really a hat. If Jamie’s hat was lighter in color, I would be even better but as it is I agree with him that it is a near PERFECT HAT for his intended purpose.

Eric Eaton
(ericeaton) - F
Dr. Shade Hat on 03/21/2006 20:13:00 MST Print View

Hey, just wondering if anyone has experience with the Dr. Shade hat.

I grabbed one at a bargin bin in store at Campmor. Haven't tried it yet. It's made of light colored, supposedly UV resistant nylon, has an under-the-dome pocket which it hanily tucks itself into, also had a bunch of little belt loops all over it (I presume for fishers, but I wouldn't know as I'm a veg head) that came off easily with judicious application of my trusty seam ripper.
The brim seems stiff enough to be useful in sunshine. It weighs just over an ounce after modifications (belt loops and lables gone, added aircore chinstrap).

How does it function? Only time and sunny trails will tell...

Eric