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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hats > Test Report by joe schaffer

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Storm Hat

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - August 22, 2019
FIELD REPORT - October 30, 2019
LONG TERM REPORT - January 8, 2020
REVIEWER INFORMATION:
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 71
GENDER: Male
HAT SIZE: Medium
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.

INITIAL REPORT
sideProduct: Ultra Adventure Storm Hatback

Manufacturer:  Sunday Afternoons
    Website: https://www.sundayafternoons.com
   
        Weight: 2.9 oz (82 g)
            
        Sizes: S/M and L/XL 
   
        Colors: Pine, Taupe, Shadow   
 
        Features: (from mfr. website)
         

    100% waterproof
    Breathable fabric
    Fully seam taped
    3.25" (83 mm) Reverse Split Brim™ and 6" (152 mm) neck cape
    Reinforced brim structure
    Reflective details
    Integrated wicking mesh liner
    bluesign certified main fabric
    Adjustable sizing
    Packs for travel
    Patent pending
    UPF 50+ sun rating
    Weight: 2.9 ounces


WARRANTY: Lifetime materials and workmanship.

CARE: Hand wash cold, line dry; and don't do anything else to it.

MSRP: $54 US

Received: August, 2019


foldedMy Specs:  S/M size
        Weight 2 3/4 oz (79 g)
        Front brim: 3.5 in (9 cm)
        Cape: 6 1/8 in (15 cm)


My Description:
       Ultra is a lightweight weather hat with a broad brim around the front and a long cape around the back. It features reflective strips on the back of the head; webbing strap adjustment to fit the head; and a chin strap. The strap feels like flattened para cord and has a cord lock. The brim of the hat has a crease in the center to allow the hat to be folded up (not down). The inside of the hat is lined with polyester fabric. The hat body is 78% nylon/22% polyester.

  
Impressions:
     I'll have to give up the manly swagger of my cowboy hat, but I'm eager to give this headpiece a run. It seems remarkably light, and I like that it folds up to a very tidy, flat package.
I've not seen a hat before that figures out how to fold in half without stressing the pellon that keeps the brim in shape. The hat adjusts to fit me perfectly; and the chin strap is a must for windy conditions or granite scrambling.

    I wore the hat in the 72 F (22 C) house for an hour and was impressed with how well it breathes. Then I wore it in the shower and am certainly initially impressed with how well it sheds water. Water beads up and can be almost completely shaken off for the hat to dry in minutes.

    The hat's cape deserves special comment as I'm often at risk of a sunburned neck when I neglect to take appropriate defensive measures. The cape looks like it will provide ample coverage. It's also long enough to go well over the collar of a shirt or jacket, deflecting water that would otherwise run down the inside.

     Reflective strips on the back should help SAR find me when I'm face down on the trail some night.


Field Conditions:
    1. Aug 27-Sep 4, 2019. Kibbie Ridge, Emigrant-Yosemite Wilderness, California. 6 nights, 22 mi (35 k) trail and cross country hiking, 16 hours; leave weight 41 lb (19 kg); 50-85 F (10-29 C), mostly sunny. 5,100-8,000 ft (1,600-2,400 m). 4 camps.
    2. Sep 8-12, 2019. Emigrant Wilderness, 4 nights, 21 mi (34 km); leave weight 31 lb (14 kg)
trail and cross country hiking, 15 hours; 32-70 F (0-21 C), mostly sunny. 7,200-8,900 ft (2,200-2,700 m). 4 camps.
   
3. Sep 14-20, 2019. Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, California. 6 nights, 13 mi (20 km) trail and cross country hiking, 14 hours; leave weight 45 lb (20 kg); 30-60 F (-1 to 16 C), mostly sunny. 8,200-10,000 ft (2,500-3,000 m). 5 camps.
    4. Sep 23-26, 2019. Emigrant Wilderness, California. 3 nights. 14 mi (22 km) trail and cross country hiking, 6 hours; leave weight 33 lb (15 kg); 40-75 F (4-24 C), sunny. 7,000-7,500 ft (2,100-2,300 m). 3 camps.
    5. Oct 3-9, 2019. Emigrant Wilderness, California. 6 nights. 23 mi (37 km) trail and cross country hiking, 19 hours; leave weight 41 lb (19 kg); 30-70 F (-1 to 21 C), sunny; 7,000-8,000 ft (2,100-2,400 m); 5 camps.
   
6. Oct 17-23, 2019. Emigrant Wilderness, California. 6 nights. 20 mi (32 km) trail and cross country hiking, 11 hours; leave weight 43 lb (20 kg); 25-70 F (-4 to 21 C), sunny; 7,000-8,000 ft (2,100-2,400 m); 4 camps.

Impressions:
    Cape flies up in breeze, leaving neck randomly exposed. In some fairly stout breeziness the chin strap never failed to keep the hat in place. For as comfortable as the hat is in heat, it keeps my head from getting cold at night--not a minimal task given the thinning of the natural insulation. When scrambling about in cross country granite, the pack does not displace the hat, which I find quite to my liking. I also like that the hat will lay out so flat I can put it under my mattress, getting the hat out of the way for the night and adding an increment of puncture protection for the pad.

    The ample brim does a great job of keeping the top part of my face out of the sun. The trade-off, of course, is that where the hat prefers to settle on the head, the eyes can only see about 10 ft
(3 m) or so of trail unless I look up. So I've bumped into a few overhanging branches and come close to invading the personal space of silent hikers. This price I'm willing to pay in exchange for keeping especially my nose from burning. (I won't use ointments to prevent sunburn as I find them messy and they make my eyes water behind sunglasses and if I didn't need the sunglasses I wouldn't need to care about getting a burned beak.)

    Fear of the ubiquitous threat of cinder god conflagration prevents using the hat around campfire. I've yet been able to figure out how to justify toting my wool cowboy hat, which laughs off any such threat. So far my only solution has been to wear my must-have-to-sleep-in-anyway sherpa woolie. That hat has no brim, leading to issues when I'm with other folks (who have head lamps). And of course without my cowboy topper I feel shorter and smaller in the need to fend off any lurking bogeyperson.



Field Conditions:
    7. Nov 3-7, 2019. Emigrant Wilderness, California. 4 nights. 6 1/2 mi (11 km) trail, 3 hours; leave weight 38 lb (17 kg); 35-60 F (2-16 C), sunny; 7,000-8,000 ft (2,100-2,400 m); 2 camps.
   8. Nov 12-17, 2019.
Emigrant Wilderness, California. 5 nights. 19 mi (30 km) trail & cross country, 12 hours; leave weight 35 lb (16 kg); 30-60 F (-1 to 16 C), sunny; 7,000-9,000 ft (2,100-2,700 m); 4 camps.
   9. Dec 28, 2019. Mt. Tamalpais, California. Day hike. 7 mi (11 km). Sunny, mild breeze, 57 F (14 C).
 
10. Dec 31-Jan 3, 2020: Dodge Ridge, California. Backpacking and hiking 3 nights; 4 mi (6 km) towing sled. 6,600-7,100 ft (2,000-2,200 m). 25-50 F (-4 to 10 C). Sunny, no wind.

Impressions:
  
Observations from the Field Report are confirmed. No evidence of wear, fading or stress. Folding brim still holds shape. Dodge Ridge nights were cold enough at campfire to need a hoodie, which I relied on to keep most of the hat out of the reaches of popping cinders, a confidence which proved not misplaced. A wee bit of a grime edge shows at the bottom of the cape, but otherwise the hat remains pristine.

Days/Distance hiking: 53 days/148 mi (240 km).

Summation: Feather-light weather hat breathes well and cuts wind. Large brim and cape for sun and weather protection.

Quick shots:
   
a) light
    b) comfortable
    c) great coverage
    d) folds small & flat
   
Thank you Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. This report concludes the test.


Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hats > Test Report by joe schaffer



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