CHAOS SUMMIT PACK-IT HAT
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
LONG TERM REPORT
INITIAL REPORT - September 01, 2016
LONG TERM REPORT - January 14, 2017
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpacking trip was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ctrtechnical.com
Measured Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
The Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat is a sun hat for outdoor use. I would call it a boonie hat - a wide brim all the way around.
It's made with 100% polyester. There's a chin strap with small clips so it can be removed. There's a wicking sweatband. The fabric is specified as UPF 50+, so this should be very sun proof. The wide brim also makes it good for sun protection.
The brim is about 3.25 inches (8 cm) all the way around. It's not very stiff, which makes it packable, but also makes it flop around in the wind - I'll determine if this is a problem during the testing.
I was supposed to get the olive color but what I got was a dark bluish color which isn't an option on their website. This color will be just fine for this test. They also have a khaki color available (light beige).
View of bottom:
The chin strap with the little clips that allow it to be detached is visible. The chin strap has a slider to tighten it. The interior pocket is also visible. There's a small loop of fabric to hang it.
Inside the hat there's a pocket that's a circle with 5.25 inch (13 cm) diameter with a Velcro closure. I could put some ID or money in it. Or, I could put the chin strap - just leave it clipped on. Or, I can turn the hat inside out and enclose it in the pocket:
This may just be a gimmick, or maybe it would be a useful way to store the hat when unused.
It seems well made. All the seams are sewn well. It fits well.
It seems stylish enough if a Boonie hat can be called stylish.
I really like this hat.
It's very light weight.
The fabric and wide brim give good sun protection.
I'd rather have the khaki color so it doesn't absorb heat so much.
I'll be testing this hat on two backpack trips of 3 or 4 nights in each of the Field Report and Long Term Report periods.
LONG TERM REPORT
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
September 1, 2016 - 5 night backpack and 1 night car camp going around Mt Hood in north central Oregon. 45 miles (72 km). 9200 feet (2800 m) elevation gain. 34 to 60 F (1 to 16 C).
Wearing hat on Mt Hood:
September 21, 2016 - 3 night backpack and 3 night car camp in Goat Rocks in south central Washington. 32 miles (52 km). 2300 feet (700 m) elevation gain. 40 to 65 F (4 to 18 C).
October 22, 2016 - 2 night backpack and 4 night car camp on Badger Creek in North central Oregon. 25 miles (40 km). 1500 feet (500 m) elevation gain. 32 to 40 F (0 to 4 C).
November 24, 2016 - 6 night car camp on Metolius River in central Oregon. 35 miles (56 km). 1500 feet (500 m) elevation gain. 25 to 35 F (-4 to 2 C).
Wearing hat on the Metolius:
December 12, 2016 - 5 night car camp on Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington. 25 miles (40 km). 500 feet (150 m) elevation gain. 28 to 35 F (-2 to 2 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I tested the Chaos Summit Pack-It hat on 5 trips. I did 10 nights of backpacking and 19 nights of car camping with day hikes. I hiked 162 miles. I normally do more backpacking, less car camping, and more miles, but my knee was sore.
Unfortunately, I didnít get a lot of nice sunny weather for testing. It's normally nice in September, but my two trips then were cool and rainy - La Nina. And my October, November, and December trips were also generally cool and rainy. Yet, in between rainstorms, I got about 10 days of sun. Another 5 days I wore the Pack-It hat even though it wasn't sunny. The other 14 days I just carried the hat and wore something warmer.
When it was sunny, the Pack-It hat worked great. A couple days I walked on the beach where there was a lot of reflected light off the water. The brim was wide enough to keep the sun out of my eyes, and pretty good at keeping it off my lower face and neck.
A couple times it got very windy, like maybe 30 MPH (50 km per hour). The brim of the hat is not very stiff so it blew around a lot. This is not the best hat for a windy trip. This is the tradeoff for it being so packable. It never blew off even though I didn't use the chin strap, I just left it inside the pocket at the top inside of the hat.
On the Mt Hood trip, the hat got very wet one night but when I put it on the next day, even though it was saturated with water, it felt fine and dried out pretty quickly. I think the wicking headband made it comfortable when wet, and the lightweight polyester fabric didn't absorb much water which is why it dried out so quickly. It got wet on a number of other trips too. I think maybe this is the biggest strength of this hat.
I wore the hat down to 32 F (0 C). It was warm enough in that temperature range.
On a number of days I left the hat in my pack because it was cold so I wore a warmer hat. I easily found a place in my pack to put the Pack-It hat. I put it towards the top where it got a little water on it which didn't bother the hat at all. I never put the hat inside its own built in pocket, except briefly to test this, I just didn't need that form factor for the hat, laying it flat in the pack worked better.
To me, the style of the hat was more outdoorsy than fashionable or dressy, which is fine with me.
I examined the hat carefully at the end of the test and saw no signs of wear. It must be fairly stain resistant because I saw no stains.
I really like the Chaos Summit Pack-It hat.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
The wide brim all around gave good sun protection.
The light weight and packability is great for backpacking.
It performed really well in wet weather.
It fit well.
A negative is that the brim isn't very stiff so it blows around a lot in the wind, but this is just the tradeoff for being light weight and packable.
I think this will be my go to hat in the future. I like this more than other hats I have. Maybe in hot weather I'll use a lighter color hat so it's cooler, but that's just the color choice I have, the khaki color would be better.
Thanks to Chaos and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test this.
Read more gear reviews by jerry adams