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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 11:38:44 MDT Print View

What is the general preference? I can see the pro/con of each. The ball cap with cape/bandana keeps all the sun off your face/neck but traps heat. The full brim hat doesn't trap the heat but isn't necessarily going to provide the same sun protection.

I'm travelling to southern Utah next week for a Bryce-Escalante-Zion drive/hike loop so I'm wondering what the consensus among the desert rats here is.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
UT on 04/30/2013 11:41:44 MDT Print View

I'm going there in two weeks and just two days ago bought a OR Sun Runner. It disappeared when atop my head with an adjustable velcro closure, and has the optional snap on cape for ear/neck protection with toggle closure for a snug fit if desired. perfect for my almost never hat wearing head!

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Visor With Bandanna on 04/30/2013 12:10:05 MDT Print View

I prefer a visor with a bandanna. Doesn't trap heat, allows the most evaporative cooling from the top of my head when not in direct sunlight, and still keeps the sun out of my eyes for short stretches along with catching spider webs tolerably well.

Weighs ~1.5 oz, plus the weight of the bandanna (which I carry anyway as a multitool).

Hope it helps!

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 12:42:03 MDT Print View

On the Colorado Plateau or in the SW deserts I don't screw around. I usually have a wide-brimmed hat AND a bandana/buff around my lower face. (Think old-timey bandits in Western movies). The buff protects my neck and lower face from UV, filters out dust and sand, and creates a humid microclimate that cools incoming air when I inhale. The wide-brim provides full sun coverage over the top half of my face and ears.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: OR Sun Runner on 04/30/2013 12:47:59 MDT Print View

+1 on the OR Sun Runner. Great coverage from the sun and lightweight to boot.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 13:15:19 MDT Print View

How about a shemagh with a hat? Might scare off the locals.

Jeff M.
(Catalyst) - M

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
another OR sunrunner fan on 04/30/2013 13:30:07 MDT Print View

I like the sunrunner as well. It breathes pretty well and covers more than a normal wide brimmed hat would. A wide brimmed hat with bandana would be a good option as well.

Jeffrey McConnell: Mount Whitney Solo &emdash;

Edited by Catalyst on 04/30/2013 13:33:31 MDT.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 13:35:57 MDT Print View

You just have to try both styles and see. I so much wanted the OR Sun runner hat to work. It is nice and light. But I was much hotter in that than an open mesh wide brim hat.

Good luck with the hat choice,
-Barry
-The mountains were made for Tevas

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 13:48:02 MDT Print View

"But I was much hotter in that than an open mesh wide brim hat."

This!

I was just looking at mine in my hat box a few day back and remembering. The top of it is essentially a thin skull cap. Forget about UV, what about IR. It great for what it blocks, but anything it actually adsorbs gets transferred directly to my noggin, with not too much air to let it escape. Still for high mountains where temp is not necessarily high, but where light is very intense is is probably perfect.

It is of course personal, but for actual sweltering temps as well as intense light I might go for something with a bit more air between the top of the hat and my head.

PS. Escalante country is great this time of year. *envious*

Edited by millonas on 04/30/2013 13:49:25 MDT.

Matt Jones
(mjones) - F
sunrunner on 04/30/2013 14:01:41 MDT Print View

After years of using a regular ballcap, I've grown to love my Sunrunner too. The little neck cape looked really neat when I first bought it, but I've never been able to tolerate it for more than five minutes so I usually just throw the cap on. It's light, and it dries fast too. I occasionally go running with it when there's rain out, which is a nice bonus.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 18:57:02 MDT Print View

A lot of full brimmed hats have floppy brims - so worthless in the wind, as the brim blows up and now you are exposed. Check carefully for stiffness of brim when looking at full brim hats.

Andrew Martin
(am1982) - M

Locale: PacNW
Best of both worlds?? on 04/30/2013 20:13:57 MDT Print View

REI and Tilley both make wide brimmed hats that have neck capes that tuck back into a hidden pocket. The Tilley has a ring of mesh around the top so it should be cooler than a baseball cap and it also has a closure on the neck cape to keep it from blowing around in the wind - that's a must have. The REI hat is neither vented nor does the cape have a closure but it is made from thinner material and is also floppy/packable and about 1/3 the price of Tilley.

I've also owned an ExOfficio ball-cap with neck cape and closure that I find works quite well in the mountains on cooler but sunny and windy days.

Here are links to the two brimmed hats:

Tilley: http://www.tilley.com/LTM6IS-AIRFLO-Hat-with-Insect-Shield.aspx

REI: http://www.rei.com/product/795922/rei-sahara-outback-cape-hat

Edited by am1982 on 04/30/2013 20:17:39 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Boonie Hat on 04/30/2013 21:02:52 MDT Print View

Look to the left. Ugly, dorky looking...but effective for me.


It is what I use anyway. Is it the "best"? Couldn't tell you.

I do know it has worked for me. (Including this past weekend in Dominguez Canyon while backpacking. Oh yeah! :D)

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 21:24:57 MDT Print View

I'll take my Tilly brimmed hat over a billed hat any time except in winter under a hood. The brim is way more complete sun protection and rain deflection, and better at holding a mosquito net than a bill, and much cooler in heat. And, you can hang a bandana from the back of either one just fine . . . How about an umbrella? ;)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 04/30/2013 21:27:50 MDT Print View

when it's really hot my favorite is sunday afternoon adventure hat. Huge brim, cape on the back, but with enough space that air freely moves between me and the cape making it cooler wearing that the OR Sun Runner. Downside is that it's ugly and a bit large / awkward.

--mark

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Sunday Afternoon Adventure on 04/30/2013 22:28:05 MDT Print View

My wife has a Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat. While I don't think it is ugly (wife looks pretty cute in it), it is DEFINITELY A GIRL'S BONNET no matter how anyone tries to spin it!

I have a few hats. The OR Sombriolet Sun Hat and the Montbell Crusher ball cap get the hiking nod most of the time. What I like most is that they both fold/stuff easily into the pack when not needed.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Sun-Hat-Reviews

Edited by rmjapan on 04/30/2013 22:31:50 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
A nike dri-fit running cap + some dri-fit cloth on 04/30/2013 23:34:07 MDT Print View

My Nike dri-fit running cap is 47 gram. Add to it very light dri-fit fabric and you get UL hat which is very airy and protects from sun.

I live in Israel. Believe me we have enough of that UV radiation.

Joel Benford
(Morte66)

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 05/01/2013 01:33:58 MDT Print View

Millonas wrote: "The top of it is essentially a thin skull cap. Forget about UV, what about IR. It great for what it blocks, but anything it actually adsorbs gets transferred directly to my noggin, with not too much air to let it escape. Still for high mountains where temp is not necessarily high, but where light is very intense is is probably perfect."

Yup. A ballcap is an insulating piece, just like a very thin fleece hoodie. If the problem is UV rather than excess heat-minus-windchill, all well and good -- I've never walked above 4000 feet, but I can imagine it would be good for that.

If you're just hot and sweaty, you want shade and ventilation. Get a grimmed hat with several square inches of mesh, or better still a reflective umbrella if it's practical (wind etc).

And if you just want to keep sun out of your eyes, get a strap on sun visor.

[Fun fact for desert rats: in Britain we have fifty times as many deaths invloving a lack of UV as a surplus.]

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
my solution on 05/01/2013 04:02:14 MDT Print View

So it's pretty funny this was brought up as I will be hiking the PCT next weekend. I have gone back and forth on what would be the est headwear system. I initially was planning on hiking in a visor/bandana, but after some careful deliberation relized that this would likely leave me sunburned. So I was contemplating the northface bad water, or the arcteryx spiro. I ended up going to dicks (i'm bored at my parents while I'm waiting to leave) and they happened to have the northface badwater hat on sale for 8.00! I really like the hat itself and think that the way the cloth buttons under the chin is an excellent solution as well. The cloth is lightweight and airy. I have a few gripes: the hat is a little small for my large noggin, and the brim could be a little wider. It's roughly the size of an average hat. good luck in choosing your headwear

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
OR Sombriolet on 05/01/2013 05:53:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for all input.

It seems like a fully brimmed hat might be the way to go so long as long as the brim is stiff in the wind. I had/have a fully brimmed OR rain hat(not the Seattle Sombrero) that I really liked for rain protection, it would just be too hot, I think, for desert wear.

How is the brim on the OR Sombriolet? I know Tilley makes the Cadillac of brimmed hats, but that's a bit more than I'd like to spend.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: OR Sombriolet on 05/01/2013 06:49:55 MDT Print View

The Sombriolet brim is longer, 10.5cm, in the back than it is in the front and sides, both 8cm. The outer edge is wired to maintain shape but the fabric itself is crushable. My size L weighs 85g.

I also have a GoreTex version of the same hat OR calls the Coastal Sombrero, but it wears HOT so is only worn a few times a year.

My fav hat is a Tilley LTM8, but I don't wear it trekking since it does not store in a pack easily.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 05/01/2013 08:18:30 MDT Print View

There was a thread where we discussed adding a bandana under or over a ball cap, so that is one way to test that design.

The ball cap variations are light, compact and usually less expensive. Wide brimmed hats with a vented crown will give more cooling, like hauling your own shade. The Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat does it all and are quite light. The neck cape works well with a backpack sticking up behind. Ugly enough to be first level birth control, but effective :)

I keep forgetting the Kavu Chilba, which can double as a rain hat. Surpassed only by the Sunday Afternoons hat for quirky good looks ;)

Kavu Chilba hat

A GoLite Chrome Dome umbrella is a option too, cooling your whole upper body, good for rain and a partial shield for one end of a tarp.

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/01/2013 10:32:57 MDT.

Joel Benford
(Morte66)

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: Sun Hats - Full Brim vs Ball cap with neck cape/bandana on 05/01/2013 12:48:12 MDT Print View

The Kavu Chilba comes with the warning "Do not leave in direct sun or a hot car = foam melts when hot."

That is... a bit of an eyebrow raiser for a sun hat.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Plain old wool baseball hat on 05/01/2013 19:15:20 MDT Print View

With a great, absorbent sweat band. Dunk it in a puddle for extra cooling. Once In a while a merino buff for sunburn protection.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
OR sunrunner for me too on 05/01/2013 23:55:19 MDT Print View

I too like the sunrunner, with the French Foreign legion (or Ferengi?) neck flap attached.

A couple of reasons I haven't heard mentioned already:

On a longer trip where one goes into towns for resupply, I like being able to remove the neck flap and turn it into a more conventional looking baseball hat. Yes, I shouldn't concern myself with "looks", but my theory is that if I can clean up a bit and look less like a hobo, I might get treated a little better (?) and perhaps it will be easier to hitch a ride that way. Who knows for sure.

Another advantage over a wide brimmed hat is that a coat or poncho hood fits comfortably over it when there's wind-driven rain (or sleet or snow).

I've logged a lot of miles with my OR sunrunner; I actually bought a second one when the fabric of the first started getting thin/worn enough that I was getting tanned on my bald head under the hat. That took a good deal of miles & time, however, I don't mean to say that durability is a problem in normal use. I'm just saying that after quite a lot of use I'm still a fan.

Oh, one other thing it has over some types of wide-brimmed hat --- it can be put into a mode where you essentially have a chinstrap so that it won't blow off in high wind. In that mode, just the neck flap alone helps a lot when cold wind is blowing by your ears. And then it can be changed to wear it in a more "easy on, easy off" mode.

Edited by brianle on 05/01/2013 23:56:39 MDT.

Ryan Fiske
(palmeredhackle) - F
My 'ethnic' solution on 05/02/2013 00:36:18 MDT Print View

This has been my solution, it's not exactly lightweight, but it's fun and sparks conversations on the trail. This was on the JMT last year.
My Sun Hat Solution

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: OR sunrunner for me too on 05/02/2013 06:56:38 MDT Print View

I ended up ordering both on Amazon last night, and will test them out on this trip. But based on this thread, I'm think that the full brimmed Sobriolet will work best for the desert heat/low wind situations I'll be experiencing on this trip, and the SunRunner will be great for the cooler temps/intense high altitude sun/windy passes and ridge walking on my SEKI hike at the end of July. Plus my black(what was I thinking?) REI ballcap is getting kind of ratty after 4 years and even with sunblock I've gotten kind of burned in the spots where it sweated off the last couple years. The Sunrunner will be great for trail running as well.

Just another case of admitting to myself there isn't one perfect piece of do-it-all gear for every scenario

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Sun Hats on 05/02/2013 20:13:26 MDT Print View

In desert conditions, I much prefer a full brimmed "boonie" style hat, preferably of cotton. Soak that puppy every chance you get and enjoy the evaporative cooling. Air circulation is critical.