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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Pendleton Outback Hat > Owner Review by joe schaffer

Pendleton Outback Men's Hat
Owner Review
by Joe Schaffer

August 17, 2017

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 69
HEIGHT: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Hayward, California USA

   I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; often solo. Summer trips typically last 5 to 10 days; about 5 mi (8 km) per hiking day, starting off with about 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related. I winter camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); 1 to 2 mi (1.6 to 3 km) on snowshoes. I've always had a priority of camping comfort.

The Product:
        Manufacturer: Pendleton Woolen Mills, Inc.hat top
        Web site:
        Product: Outback hat
        Purchased: April, 2012
        MSRP: US $69.50
hat inside
Manufacturer Specs & Features:
    brim: 2 7/8 in (7.3 cm)
    pure virgin wool
    sizes: SM, M, L, XL, XXL
    colors: Black, Dark Olive, Fall Brown, Putty

As I measure it:
    height: 4 3/8 in (11 cm)
    brim: 2 5/8 in (6.6 cm)
    weight: 5 1/8 oz (145 g)
    size: not indicated (sampled the pile to find one that fit)
    This is a crushable wool hat which I would describe as being in the 'cowboy' configuration. The front part of the crown has a deep pinch on both sides. The top crease follows the circumference of the crown at a varying depth of about a quarter-inch (6 mm) in back to one inch (2.5 cm) in front. The brim circumference is hemmed by doubling the fabric over about one-half inch (1.3 cm) and sewing it down. A half-inch (1.3 cm) leather band surrounds the crown at the brim. The brim has a slight roll of about one-and-a-quarter inches (3 cm) and a front-back dip about the same. The inside has a one-and-one-eighth inch (3 cm) sweat band with four surrounding stitch lines, with a bow in back where the sweat band joins. Crushable means the hat will tolerate being mangled and restore to its original shape. The hat is dark brown with a hint of green. It is not machine washable; spot cleaning is recommended.

    I probably didn't use the hat the first year I had it, saving it until I'd wrung the last and final bit of utility from the first one. My best estimate for the number of times I've worn it is 285 days of backpacking. (I never wear it in town as I don't have a pickup truck.) I do wear it all year long--every season every outing, all conditions.
IMPRESSIONS: hat on head
    My last Pendleton crushable lasted 24 years before it started breaking down in the crease, but when I saw this one I thought what the heck. Even if it doesn't hold up longer, it's still certain to outlast me. I love Pendleton wool for how luscious it feels; and I like the style because I want to think I'm Clint Eastwood while trying to fend off a coronary going uphill. I find the comfort range phenomenal. The hat is windproof yet breathes supremely well in the heat, and (excepting the sweat band) retains heat when wet. It is not waterproof and gets heavy as it saturates. The crease actually will hold a puddle of water which will cascade off the brim in a shower, giving substance to whining that the weather gods are treating me unkindly.
    The likely reason for the previous hat's pending demise is the number of times I rolled it up to stuff it in my pocket when scrambling windy granite. I resolved that by adding a lanyard to hold this hat on my head; or at least to keep it attached to me in the event a stout enough sprite does strip it.
    The hat provides terrific shelter for the head in rain, sun, hail, snow, wind and night air. I can't abide sunscreen and the hat keeps enough radiation off my nose that it generally does not burn, and neither do the ears. At night the wide brim in front lets me look at other people who may have their headlamps on without lasering my eyes--just dip the head a bit and keep the eyes shaded. The brim also keeps my own headlamp from disturbing the darkness zone my eyes prefer at night.
    Of course the brim's a problem when scrambling uphill--the pack knocks the hat forward every time I look up to see where I'm going. It does get heavy when wet, and drying time is not insubstantial. The not-wool sweatband is cold when wet. I would rather the brim hem be on the top side where it won't catch on the edge of my mug or bowl when I take a pull.

Quick shots:
    a) supremely cool

Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Pendleton Outback Hat > Owner Review by joe schaffer

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