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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Kuhl Clothing Snowflake Hat > Owner Review by Jo Ann Moffi

Owner Review
March 27, 2007

Kuhl Clothing Snowflake Hat
Photo courtesy of Kuhl Clothing.

Name: Jo Ann Moffi
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Height: 168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight: 79 kg (185 lb)
Shoe Size: US 8 women's
Circumference of Head: 57 cm (22.5 in)
Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Backpacking Background:

I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking, and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both countries for our outdoor excursions. My most recent foray has been into Adventure Racing. When making a decision on gear, I like to go lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous bits and pieces.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Kuhl Clothing
Manufacture Date: 2006
MSRP: $25.00
Size: One Size Fits All
Color: Sky/Blue (Also available in Raven/Black, Strawberry and Raven/Red)
Actual Measurements: 61 cm (24 in)
Weight: 45 g (1.6 oz)
Microchamois Fleece
Made In: U.S.A.

Field Information:

I wore the hat on the trails at Hiawatha Highlands, the Voyager Trail around Sault Ste. Marie, on hikes and backpacking in Lake Superior Provincial Park, around town walking to work, to and from the car on cold days, and to hide helmet head after snowboarding at Searchmont Resort.

Description of Location(s):

The Hiawatha Highlands is a 3000-acre wooded area. There are 50 km (31 mi) of maintained trails as well as many more unmaintained trails requiring navigational skills to wind through. This area contains a range of forest types including red and white pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

The Voyager Hiking Trail is an over 500 km (311 mi) discontinuous trail that extends from the Nipigon River Recreation Trail beginning just north of Red Rock, Ontario and ending at South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Each area has it’s own local club that maintain and add to the trail every year with the goal of a continuous, non-motorized trail extending across Ontario. I wore the hat on the Voyager Trail close to my home, a 58 km (36 mi) section of  trail consisting of dense maple and mixed forest, passing numerous smaller lakes, streams and waterfalls.

The areas in Lake Superior Provincial Park I frequented included Gamitagama Lake, the Coastal Trail, and the Pinguisibi Trail.
The Coastal Trail consists of craggy outcroppings, sheer rock faces that drop down into the lake, as well as long stretches of sandy and rocky beaches. The trail ascends and descends over cliffs, rocky outcrops, beaches, boulders and driftwood.  Some sections require squeezing through canyon walls littered with fallen rocks and logs. In the winter, the Coastal Trail is even more challenging, so I avoid the areas that could be dangerous. The areas around Gamitagama Lake and the Pinguisibi Trail are somewhat flatter than the coastal trail. Gamitagama Lake was frozen and we hiked across the lake. The Pinguisibi Trail was still bare of snow when I hiked it early in January.

Weather Conditions:

The temperature range that I have worn the hat in this winter was from -1 to -24 C (30 to -11 F). Wind conditions were anything from a slight breeze to about 10 km/h (6.2 mi/h) from the West/Southwest. Thankfully the 10 days or so the temperatures dipped to -24 C (-11 F), there wasn't much wind. Active weather included snow flurries, blowing snow, overcast, and sunny days.

Product Review:

Kuhl uses a 'temperature regulating ultra lightweight Microchamois Fleece' for this hat. This fleece is very soft! Both sides of the fabric feel the same. There is a darker band of fleece around the bottom edge of the hat made from the same fabric as the top of the hat. This band of fleece extends 6.5 cm (2.5 in) up the inside of the hat and houses a drawcord around the bottom edge of the hat. The back of the hat has an inverted 'V' shaped cut out to allow for the drawcord to come out. The drawcord is tightened via a black plastic cord lock slider. The drawcord has a bead threaded onto it so that the cord lock slider cannot slide right off. The top of the hat is made from one layer of fleece. On the outside bottom edge the hat is trimmed with wool in an attractive snowflake pattern.

I hate hats. As a kid and teenager, I always thought that a hat was something I had to put on when my mother was cold. Now that I am older and 'wiser', I see the reasoning for wearing a hat. I have a really hard time finding hats that I am happy with the looks of, so when I tried on this hat in the store and it looked reasonable to me, I didn't hesitate in buying it. I wasn't thinking of how warm it was going to be or how functional it was. It was purely an aesthetic impulse purchase. Now that I have worn the hat for a winter's worth of outdoor activities, I am really glad I bought it.

The fleece is extremely soft against my skin. It keeps my head warm on really cold days. I experienced temperatures ranging from 0 to -24 C (32 to -11 F). In temperatures over 0 C (32 F) I found I didn't really need to wear the hat, but depending on the condition of the hair at the time, I would sometimes leave it on, especially after wearing a snowboarding helmet for a few hours on the slopes! I have also worn the hat indoors for this reason and didn't find it too hot. I have yet to have a sweaty brow while wearing this hat.

The drawcord on the hat is a much appreciated feature. When I am wearing the hat around town and for low exertion activities I generally have it on a very loose setting relying on the shape of the hat to keep it on my head. If I am snowshoeing, skiing, or backpacking, I can tighten down the drawcord to keep the hat from sliding around. The shape of the hat seems to be enough to keep it on my head when it is windy. I don't have hair long enough to do this, but the inverted 'V' cut out at the back of the hat can also allow a ponytail to be pulled through, similar to a baseball cap. I would imagine this would also help to keep the hat on.

My only problem with this hat was my own stupidity. I wore the hat on a winter backpacking trip in January. I got a little too close to the sparking fire and an ember must have landed on my head. The hat now has a 0.6 cm (0.25 in) melted mark on the top. It didn't melt all the way through, which I am thankful for. The moral of this story is to keep my head away from the fire!

Most desirable features:
* Adjustable drawcord
* Microchamois Fleece is very soft
* Attractive shape in my favourite colour

Least desirable features:
* None that I can think of!

This was a surprisingly functional purchase. I would definitely purchase another one of Kuhl's hats. It is warm, comfortable and attractive.

Read more gear reviews by Jo Ann Moffi

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Kuhl Clothing Snowflake Hat > Owner Review by Jo Ann Moffi

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