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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Chaos Summit Pack It Hat > Test Report by Kara Stanley

Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat
February 02, 2017



NAME: Kara Stanley
EMAIL: karguo at yahoo dot com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I have been hiking most of my life and backpacking since 2006. I have hiked mostly on the east coast, doing weekend trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Since moving to Arizona, my hikes have ranged from short desert hikes to overnight backpacking trips in the mountains. Recently I have taken up canyoneering and off-trail hiking/backpacking to spice things up. I currently use a solo non-free standing tent, canister stove, purification tabs, and lightweight trail runners, conditions permitting, to cut down on weight. My hikes are solo and range from an overnight trip to 4-5 nights on the trail.



Packed hat with swatches from the hang tag
Manufacturer: Chaos Hats
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$32.99
Listed Weight:
Hat with chin strap 2.3 oz (65 g)
Hat without chin strap: 2.2 oz (62 g)
Measured Weight: not listed
Sizes: The website lists the sizing as S, M, L; however, the tag in my hat says M/L.
Colors: Khaki (color being testing) and Olive per the website. When my hat arrived there was a hang tag attached that said "Available color swatches" and attached were swatches in 4 additional colors: navy blue, light khaki, grey, and tan.

Additional Details:
Made in China
100% Polyester
Provides UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+ protection
Brim: 2 3/4 in (7 cm) and has an anti-glare coating

Product Description

Inside pocket and clips after removing chin strap
The hat is very light, flexible, and easy to pack. In fact it has a pocket at the top of the hat so it can be easily stored when not in use. Packed, the hat measure 5 in (12.7 cm) across. When packed in the pocket, there is a small fabric loop that sticks out so the hat can be attached to a pack. The hat has a removable chin strap that attaches to the hat with small plastic clips.


While wearing the hat, this pocket is at the crown of the head and closes with a strip of hook and loop fasteners. The hook strip of the fastener is pointed down towards my hair while wearing. I hope that this doesn't catch in my hair. I'd prefer that the hook strip be pointed up towards the crown of the hat instead. There is also a loop that functions as a pull tab to open the pocket when the hat is being used. This pocket is the diameter of the crown - 6 3/4 in (17.2 cm) for the M/L size - so it could easily store a key and some ID and credit cards. I don't think that I will store anything in the hat pocket as I sweat a lot while hiking.
Top view of the hat


It is worth nothing that I always (well 98% of the time) wear a hat while hiking because I do not like wear sunscreen as it can cause my skin to break out.

One of the first things that I noticed about this how is how flexible the brim is, even to the point of being floppy. When trying the hat on, the brim was always in my light of sight and I was unable to adjust it because the brim is not stiff at all and does not have a wire or anything around the outside.

The removable chin strap can easily be stored in the crown pocket when not in use to prevent their loss. I did find that the plastic clips did press against the skin behind my ears when the chin strap was cinched tight. While it didn't hurt, it was annoying to have hard plastic right behind my ears.

The sweat band inside the hat is soft and did not irritate my forehead at all (I have pretty sensitive skin). There are not washing directions either on the tags that the hat came with, the webpage for the hat, or the FAQ section. I expect that I will rinse the hat with cool water as needed to remove dirt and sweat stains gathered on desert hikes. I also find the brim a little bit narrow as I do not feel that it covers my face well in slanted morning and afternoon sun.


Bottom up!
* Very lightweight
* Easy to pack

Areas to watch:
* Plastic clips on the chin strap are annoying as the fall by my ears
* The brim is hard to adjust to keep out of my line of sight
* Brim seems a bit too narrow to fully protect my face while hiking



Describe the locations, conditions (weather, terrain, etc.), and duration of your field experience with the item.


Describe how the item performed during the Field Report period.


A brief summary.


Your continued testing strategy for the Long-Term Report period.



Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, USA
Wavy Brim

Length: 2 nights wilderness car camping
Weather: Sunny Skies during the day

Location: Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
When: December 2016
Length: 3 day/2 night backpack
Mileage: 30 miles/48 km
Elevation: 2,500 ft/800 m to 7,000 ft/2,000 m
Weather: sunny, high around 65 F (18 C) low around 45 F (4 C)
Trail Conditions: well-maintained trail

Location: Superstition Wilderness, Arizona, USA
When: January 2017
Length: 2 days/1 night
Mileage: about 18 miles/29 km
Elevation: around 2,500 ft/800 m
Weather: Sunny, high around 60 F (15 C), Low about 35 F (1 C)
Trail Conditions: well-maintained trail, dry and dusty with some cobblestone areas.

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, USA
When: January 2017
Length: Day hikes around the park
Elevation: 6,200 ft/1,890 m
Weather: Partly cloudy with periods of full sun

Location: Superstition Wilderness, Arizona, USA
Hat in the wind

When: January 2017
Length: Day Hike
Mileage: about 12 miles/19 km
Elevation: around 2,500 ft/800 m
Weather: Sunny, high around 60 F (15 C)


I have taken this hat on several backpacking trips as well as a few day hikes. Since I prefer to wear a hat instead of sun screen, it is hat season year round for me. This hat is solid fabric, so I found it to be too warm during times of hard exertion (aka hiking up hill) when it was 70 F (21 C) or above. During several of my trips, I would take off the hat during uphill stretches to allow the breeze to cool my head down. I liked that it was easy to stuff the hat into any external pocket on my backpack or to cinch between the pack and compression strap. The hat was not affected by being stuffed into a pocket as the brim is very flexible. The chin strap worked well to keep the hat on my head during windy conditions.

There were a few things that I did not like about this hat. First the removable strap clasps were very easy to undo and the strap would unhook when taking it off or putting it on. I would like the clasps to be harder to undo so that I didn't have to worry about losing the strap.

The flexible brim that makes the hat easy to pack is also easily blown up in the wind. It's also so floppy that it's difficult to position the brim to stay out of my line of sight. Every time I put on the hat I would have to try and adjust the brim to stay out of my line of sight. That got old pretty quickly. Also, I feel that the brim is too narrow to be a good sun hat for someone that is looking to wear a hat for full face and neck protection.

I never stored the hat in the pouch or used it to store anything else during the test period.


Overall this is a good, packable hat. It is light weight and easy to stuff wherever there is room in a pack. The brim is too narrow to provide great sun protection for the face and neck. The clip straps unhook by themselves, I wish the clip was harder to undo so it couldn't come apart by itself. Now that the test period is over, I will be switching back to a wider brimmed sunhat for spring in sunny Arizona!

This concludes my testing of the Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat.

Thank you and Chaos Hats for allowing me to test out this hat.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Kara Stanley

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Chaos Summit Pack It Hat > Test Report by Kara Stanley

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