SUNDAY AFTERNOON CHARTER HAT
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - June 30, 2014
LONG TERM REPORT - November 12, 2014
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack 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
Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sundayafternoons.com
Listed Weight: 3.6 oz (102 g)
Measured Weight: 3.5 oz (99 g) for size L
The Sunday Afternoons Charter hat is a functional, lightweight, sun protective hat intended for outdoor use.
I think it's a Fedora style of hat. A bit more stylish than the average outdoor hat. I think it would be best as an outdoor hat but would also look good in the city. I'll just be using it hiking.
It has a 3" (76 mm) brim with a foam core to keep it's shape. There's a spiral pattern of stitches through outer fabric/foam core/inner fabric to keep it together. There's about 10 rows of stitches total. The fabric underneath the brim is a darker color to reduce reflections.
It is UPF 50+ sun protection rated with a top crown ventilated mesh with UPF 40+. It's a light color (cream/sand) to minimize absorption of sunlight to stay cooler.
It has a wicking sweatband inside. There's an adjustable strap to adjust the size to my head. There are Men and Women's size M, L. I got the size L. There's a hidden pocket inside that's closed with velcro.
There are these slits on the sides, at the bottom, adjacent to the brim. I could put the arms of my glasses through these slits so I can put my glasses there if I didn't want to wear them. I would never do that because I'm very near sighted. I tried it just a little, but the arms of my glasses bend down so they don't really fit, and I have to open them up a lot and I'm afraid they'll break. If I liked to put my glasses there it would be a useful feature. I think I've seen other people do that before.
It packs flat for travel. There's a pocket inside with velcro to keep it closed. There's a chinstrap.
It's designed in USA, made in Vietnam.
It's made with nylon that's water and stain resistant.
Top of hat:
The breathable mesh is at the top. There's some foam there to provide the sun protection. I think with the foam and the small size it's not going to provide much ventilation. I'll be wearing the hat in the sun and when it's hot so I'll find out how comfortable it is overall.
There's a small "Sunday Afternoons" label. I don't really like advertisements on my clothes but this is pretty discrete.
There's a binding strip of fabric around the edge of the brim with a wire inside to hide the raw edge of the brim and maintain it's shape. The directions said to bend the wire to give it a curved shape, which I tried a little.
One of the slits to put arm of glasses through is on the left.
The adjustment strap is at the rear and the chinstrap is below. The chinstrap is made of narrow (3/16 inch/5 mm) nylon webbing that's not stretchy. There's a toggle to adjust the length. The chinstrap webbing is sewed to the hat. I usually don't like chinstraps and remove them. I'd have to cut this one off. I'll just use it as is. I might cut it off after the test is over.
Under the brim is only slightly darker than the outside fabric. It would be better if it was darker, to reduce reflections, but that's not too bad.
The Charter hat is very well made. All the stitches are good. All the rows of stitches are parallel and perpendicular. The shape is uniform and symmetric and so forth.
I adjusted chinstrap so it fits good. It feels good on my head.
I read the instructions and they said that if you don't want to use the chinstrap, just put it in the hidden pocket. I tried that and it works pretty good. Maybe I won't have to cut off the chinstraps at the end of the test.
The Sunday Afternoons Charter hat is a nylon hat with wide brim for hiking. It's fairly stylish so it would be good in the city also.
It's light weight (3.5 oz/99 g).
It has a 3 inch (76 mm) brim all the way around.
It has a chinstrap.
It provides UPF 40 or 50 sun protection.
There's a hidden pocket to hide some money or credit card.
I'll be using this hat on about 2 backpacking trips in each of the Field Report and Long Term Report periods. This will be summer so I will test sun protection and heat tolerance.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
July 2-7, 2014 - 5 night backpack on Mt Hood North central Oregon:
* 48 miles (77 km)
* 10,000 feet (3000 m) elevation gain
* 45 - 75 F (7 to 24 C)
* Mostly through trees but lots of open areas and 2 miles (3 km) walking on snow.
Wearing hat in the snow at Paradise Park on Mt Hood:
July 30, 2014 - 4 night car camp on Southwest Washington coast:
* 20 miles (32 km)
* 50 to 70 F (10 to 21 C)
* Half on paved trails, half on beach sand
August 28, 2014 - 5 night backpack around Three Sisters in central Oregon:
* 54 miles (86 km)
* 7700 feet (2300 m) elevation gain
* 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
* Mostly trail, some cross country
September 16, 2014 - 5 night backpack around Mount Hood in North central Oregon:
* 51 miles (82 km)
* 10,000 feet (3000 m) elevation gain
* 32 to 70 F (0 to 21 C)
* Mostly trail, some cross country
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I used the Sunday Afternoons Charter hat on several warm, sunny backpack and car camp trips - a total of 19 nights. I hiked a total of 173 miles (279 km). The temperature was from 32 to 75 F (0 to 24 C).
The size L hat fits good on my 23.5 inch (60 cm) circumference head. I have it adjusted to the maximum size. The adjustment strap worked good. I'm a little confused about sizes, because on the website, the sizes are M/L and L/XL, but my hat has a label that says L. Just looking at a retailer, they have size M and L.
I tested the sun protection with somewhat high altitude, sunny, snowy conditions, and at the beach. The wide brim provided good sun protection for my eyes, ears, and back of neck.
I tested the hat in warm (to me) weather. The warmest it got was 75 F (24 C) which isn't that hot, but I was out in the sun so I felt pretty hot. The hat is somewhat stiff from the wire around the edge of the brim, the wire around the top of the hat, and other design features. When I wore it in warm weather, this stiffness resulted in only a small contact area around where the sweatband touched my head. This small contact area resulted in less sweat. Also, the hat doesn't come down too much at my eyes/ears/back of head. I thought this hat was more comfortable in warm weather than other hats I've worn.
At the beach it was very windy (maybe 30 MPH/50 kmPH). My hat kept blowing off until I used the chin strap. I don't like the feeling of a chin strap under my chin or dangling loose, but with the Charter hat, I put the chin strap in the hidden pocket the 95% of the time it wasn't windy, so this wasn't so bad. I think maybe this has changed my mind about chin straps.
I wore the hat a little in the rain and the hat shed the rain well, but it never rained all that much during my testing.
I have really liked the Sunday Afternoons Charter hat.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
The size L hat fits my 23.5 inch (60 cm) circumference head with only a little room to spare. Maybe if my head was half an inch or 1 inch bigger, it would still fit, but that's about it.
It has a wide brim for good sun protection.
It's stiff and doesn't go too far down on my head so it's more comfortable in hot weather, but I would prefer a hat that makes more contact with my head and goes down further for colder, windier weather.
The hat worked okay in the rain, but I didn't test that a lot.
My only complaint is that it blows off in the wind somewhat easily, but I think that's just a trade-off for being more comfortable in warm weather. The chin strap kept the hat on my head when it was windy, and the fact that it can be put in the hidden pocket the 95% of the time it wasn't windy has maybe changed my mind about not liking chin straps.
The Fedora style is stylish so it can also be worn better in the city, but I'm not really a good judge of this. I prefer a "Booney" style, but that's just me.
I'll probably continue to wear this hat in hotter weather in the future.
Thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test this.
Read more gear reviews by jerry adams