SUNDAY AFTERNOONS ULTRA ADVENTURE HAT
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
January 12, 2020
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mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
132 lb (60.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in 2013. My backpacking trips are one or two weekend excursions per month in Southern California. The locations range from Joshua Tree National Park desert areas in the cooler months to mountainous elevations in the summer months. I always hike with a group and like the gear talk in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad. In January 2017, I added snowshoeing to my winter activities.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Made in Vietnam
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sundayafternoons.com
MSRP: US $42.00
Listed Weight: 2.6 oz (73.7 g)
Measured Weight: 2.6 oz (73 g) of the size M hat
Available in six colors: Pumice (light grey), Wild Orchid (ruby red), Cinder (dark grey), Blue Mountain (aqua blue), Jade (light green), Eucalyptus (darker green).
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat is made of a lightweight fabric with several valuable features. Most importantly it has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+ sun rating. This means it allows just 1/50th of the sun's UV radiation to reach the skin. The mesh crown ventilation also has the UPF 50+ rating. 50+ is an excellent protection category.
|the hat topside|
|a look at the underside|
A feature I have not seen before is that the stiff brim folds in half for compact packing. I like both the well-projecting 3.25 in (8.3 cm) brim with its reverse split center and the soft-flowing 6 in (15 cm) neck cape.
On the left and right side the hat has an opening called Sunglass Lock (see right yellow tag in above left photo) to keep my glasses in place, when I am not wearing them on my nose.
The hat is water and stain resistant. It has a wicking mesh sweatband on the inside. In the back, the hat has a customizable sizing band: an 0.75 in (1.9 cm) adjustable dark-grey fabric ribbon that I use to fit the hat to my head circumference. There are also two reflective strips sewn into the back of the hat crown. This photo shows the two silver reflective strips and the dark grey sizing band that I pull to tighten the hat crown to my head's circumference. There is even a fabric loop through which I push the end of the sizing band to prevent it from flopping in the wind.
|close up look at the back|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Sunday Afternoons guarantees materials and workmanship of its Ultra Adventure hat for life.
The hat consists of 88% Nylon and 12% Polyester Dobby. I may hand wash the hat in cold water and line dry it. I shall not bleach, iron or dry clean it.
TRYING IT OUT
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is available in sizes S/M (small) and L/XL (large to extra large). On the manufacturer's online shop website where I choose the size, S/M and L/XL are in black, while Medium is in light grey. The listing of the three sizes initially made me assume this hat is available in three sizes until I noticed that I cannot select Medium. The shipment packing list says I got the size S/M, yet inside the hat is a tag that says M.
On the manufacturer's online shop website where I choose the size, there is a quick link to their sizing chart right next to the size selector. When I tried the Ultra Adventure hat on for the very first time, it was a bit loose but I can easily pull the hat to a comfortable tightness by pulling on the loose end of the ribbon in the back. I think the hat fits very well with just the right pull.
I received the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat in their Pumice color which is a light grey. The fabric itself has a fine zig-zag pattern. I like this light pattern - better than simply grey fabric. The entire hat upper is in this light grey, except the two ventilation mesh sections along the crown which are a darker grey mesh. The hat underside shows the brim in dark grey, while the cape is again the light grey fabric.
The Ultra Adventure hat has a dark grey 27 in (69 cm) chin strap with a plastic tightener, which allows me to tighten the hat closer to my head when it is windy to prevent it from blowing off.
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat has a great UPF 50+ sun protection rating and a foldable brim for ease of packing.
UPF 50+ excellent sun protection
stiff brim but soft-flowing cape: ideal when backpacking
stiff brim reverse folds in half which makes for small hat packing
pleasant color with fine zig-zag pattern
chin strap allows me to tighten hat in windy conditions
that the packing list says S/M and the hat tag says M
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California, USA
1 day Navigation outing: 4 mi (6 km)
Elevation: 8300 ft (2530 m)
Super cold morning that thankfully turned into a sunny and warm day
Temperature: 60 - 40 F (16 - 4 C)
Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack: 6 mi (10 km)
Elevation: 1900 - 2600 ft (580 - 800 m)
Nice and sunny Southern California day
Temperature: 66 - 55 F (19 - 13 C)
Inyo National Forest, California, USA
3 days of dayhikes: 22 mi (35 km)
Elevation: 9850 - 10300 ft (3000 - 3140 m)
Sunny, clear blue sky fall days
Temperature: 68 - 50 F (20 - 10 C)
Cooper Canyon Trail Camp, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 9 miles (15 km)
Elevation: 5700 - 6300 ft (1700 - 1900 m)
Sunny and blue sky
Temperature: 67 - 50 F (19 - 10 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I love wearing the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat ... and definitely not only on sunday afternoons when I am walking on local trails on the nearby hill.
I really like how well the hat can be folded to a small bundle and stashed into my backpack. Once at the trailhead, I pull the hat out, open its fold and put it on. If during a hike I want to take the hat off for some reason or at the end of a hiking outing, I fold the hat back to its small size and stash it between the mesh of my backpack and the pack body. That way I can't loose the hat, yet I also do not have to take my pack off.
The hat is light and airy. Not once have I felt sweaty under the hat crown. I own another sun hat where my hair quickly gets wet and sweaty the moment a hike gets intense. I did not once experience that with the Sunday Afternoons hat. On the three Inyo National Forest day hikes trip, we hiked at around 10,000 ft (3000 m) elevation and the bright sun was intense, yet the large brim well protected my face. Additionally I used sun lotion with 50 SPF due to my fair skin. I like the soft-flowing neck cape because it does not interfere with my backpack.
When we started our Mt. Pinos navigation outing at 8 AM with just 40 F (4 C), I could have used a knit hat. We were in the shade, working on nav assignments and it was really cold. I was glad I had the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat on for some head protection but a knit hat would definitely have been warmer in the shady cold that morning. I was grateful when the sun came up above the tree line and warmed us up.
I love how easy it is to tighten or loosen the headband by pulling on the loose end of the black ribbon in the back. Sometimes I want the fit a bit tighter, other times a bit more loose. Easily done. I have not hiked in windy conditions with this hat yet.
|beautiful fall colors|
The light Pumice color is pleasant in the hot Southern California sun. Despite the light color, I see no stains or dark finger prints. The hat looks fine without any pulled threats or signs of wear. There has not been any need to wash or wipe clean the hat so far.
I have not used the sunglass lock, intended to keep glasses in place on the hat when not worn on the nose. Since I must wear prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses for distance viewing, I do not think I will ever use that feature.
The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure hat easily folds into a small bundle due to its foldable brim.
airy hat crown with the mesh sides
easily adjustable hat circumference
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack: 6 mi (10 km)
Elevation: 7500 ft (2290 m)
Temperature: 35-58 F (2 - 14 C)
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night carcamp: 6 km (10 km)
Elevation: 3050 ft (930 m)
Temperature: 27-57 F (-3 - 14 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I really enjoy the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat. The foldable brim makes it easy for me to pack the hat before any dayhikes and backpacks. This guarantees that I do not accidentally forget a sun hat at home or in the car, as it had happened a couple of times with my old sun hat with its firm, stiff, wide brim that was not that easily packable.
This hat fits me well. It has not once blown off my hat, since I can cinch tight the chin strap.
During my Joshua Tree National Park outing, we practiced navigation and had to take bearings of many peaks on the horizon, looking into the direction of the rising sun. By positioning the hat with its wide brim just above the peaks skyline, it allowed me to see the peaks without having to look into the bright sun. Both days, we had blue skies and the sun was out brightly. In addition to the sun lotion, my face was well protected by the Sunday Afternoons hat's brim. The soft-flowing neck cape has prevented my neck from getting sun burnt. We did off-trail navigation and encountered a lot of catclaw brush that loves to grab onto clothing. A close inspection of the hat shows now pulled threads. The hat continues to look great. I have not had to wash the hat yet.
|rare pine tree in the desert|
I enjoy wearing the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat. It is now my beloved hat for all outings and I look forward to using it in the future.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
foldable brim that gets unfolded to be wide and face-protecting
soft, pleasant-to-touch fabric
mesh strips along hat crown that allow breathability
soft-flowing neck cape
Thank you to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this lightweight UV 50+ protecting sun hat.
Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke