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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > OR Seattle Sombrero > Owner Review by Nancy Griffith

January 29, 2009


NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 42
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)
HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE 21-3/4 in (55 cm)

My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Now I usually hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops from a few days to a week. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.


Image courtesy of Outdoor Research
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: $54 US
Listed Weight: 3.2 oz (91 g)
Measured Weight: 3.6 oz (102 g)
Color Tested: Black/Purple (no longer available)
Available Colors: Chili/Java, Mojo Blue/Black, Forest/Black, Crystal/Dark Grey, Khaki/Java and Black
Size Tested: M (Sizing chart says for head circumference of 22-1/2 in (57 cm))
Also available in S, L and XL
Made in USA

The OR Seattle Sombrero is a waterproof rain hat. The crown is made of 3-layer 70D Taslan Gore-Tex fabric with fully taped seams. The brim is slightly stiffened. The lining is a brushed tricot material that is soft and comfortable. There is an internal Cinch-Band adjustment that is patented and there is a small tag inside with the applicable patent number (U.S. pat. #4,845,782). It has a short section of elastic to allow for varying head sizes by stretching slightly. The chin cord has a cord lock and is completely removable by untying it from some loops on the sides. The dome and brim have hook and loop tabs to allow for the sides to be held up.
Image courtesy of Outdoor Research

There is a small OR tag inside, a size tag, washing instructions, a Gore-Tex tag and the US patent tag that I mentioned earlier. All of the tags are fairly small and don't get in my way or irritate my head during use.


I have owned the Seattle Sombrero for over 10 years and have used it mainly for winter outdoor activities. I find it to be somewhat warm so I do not wear it in other seasons. I wear it for snowshoeing, walking in heavy snowstorms and for hiking in cold rain.

I don't like to use a hood since I can't hear as well, so the Seattle Sombrero is nice. The brim covers enough area that I don't have any problem with rain running off and going down my neck. But it also is not so long that it interferes with my pack. I have worn it in downpours and in heavy snow where it piled up on my hat and have had no problems with my head getting wet. No water seems to penetrate and even after long periods, water still rolls off of the brim instead of soaking in. I have never sealed any of the seams.

The chin strap is really useful to keep it in place in windy conditions. I also use the chin strap to hang the hat on my back when I don't want to wear it. While the hat is made with a breathable material, my head still gets warm while wearing it.

The hat is great for stuffing in a pack or pocket since it comes back to its normal shape easily. It does not crease or fold or otherwise retain the as-stuffed shape.

The durability of the hat has been outstanding. It looks nearly new even after so many years.


The OR Seattle Sombrero is a simple yet versatile rain and snow hat. It is well-made and durable and has served me well for the past 10 years. It is a testament to its functional design that the same hat is still being sold.


Comfortable lining
Chin strap


As a winter hat, nothing


Nancy Griffith

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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