BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Chaos Adrenaline Combo Skully > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly

CHAOS ADRENALINE SKULLY
TEST SERIES BY PATRICK MCNEILLY

Chaos Adrenaline Skully


LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - February 16, 2011
FIELD REPORT - May 02, 2011
LONG TERM REPORT - June 26, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Patrick McNeilly
EMAIL: mcne4752 AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)
TORSO SIZE 18.5 in (47 cm)
WAIST SIZE 34 in (86 cm)

I have been hiking for over 20 years but backpacking only since about 2002. Most of my backpacking is done as overnight trips and occasional weekend and weeklong trips. My typical pack weight is approximately 18 to 20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water. Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to backpacking, I also fish, hunt, and enjoy orienteering. As a result, some of my backpacking equipment gets used in a number of different venues.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Chaos
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.chaoshats.com
MSRP: US$ 14.99
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 1.2 oz (34 g)
Size tested: Adult (also available in Junior size)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Adrenaline Skully (aka Skully) is an ultralight form fitting cap that is constructed of Dri-Release Wool fabric which appears to be made of 83% polyester, 11% wool and 6% spandex, based on the tag inside the cap. There are four hang tags attached to the Skully which mention Dri-Release, Fresh Guard, and Pro-Stretch and it is a little unclear whether these are other fabrics used in the product or features of one specific fabric. The hang tags also indicate that this fabric removes perspiration fast, dries four times faster than cotton, prevents odor, and has no static cling. The outside of the fabric is smooth while the inside seems more like a very fine microfleece. The fabric also stretches quite a bit but the accompanying information indicates that the skully will not lose its shape.

The Skully is part of the Chaos Thermal Regulation product line (as noted by a CTR symbol on the front) and is designed for protection in winter snow sports. The manufacturer indicates that the Skully is ideal for fitting under a helmet. The top of the Skully is constructed of three single fabric layer panels which are sewn to a double fabric layer head band. All the seams are flat lock stitched. The Skully's headband width is approximately 2 in (5 cm) but widens to 3 in (8 cm) where it covers the ears.

TRYING IT OUT

I typically wear a size 71/4 hat [roughly 22.5 in (57 cm)] and the Skully fits snugly but is not overly tight. I find that it covers my ears well and appears to extend far enough down the back of my neck to provide protection from the cold. The portions of the Skully that cover my ears can easily be flipped up and it still feels comfortable without feeling like it will fall off.

One thing that is immediately noticeable with the Skully is that it is very light and can fold up quite small. One of my first thoughts was that this is a hat that I could have with me just about anywhere since it is so small.
Laying flatFolded small
I wore the Skully while walking my dog one evening. The temperature was approximately 30 F (-1 C) and I found that the top of my head felt cold while my ears stayed fairly warm. There is only one layer of fabric on the top of the Skully which could cause such a difference and this is something that I will evaluate further during the test period.

It is a little too soon for me to provide any likes or dislikes. Please check back for more information in my upcoming Field Report.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have worn the Chaos Adrenaline Skully on seven local day hikes in the eastern USA including central Maryland or the Michaux State Forest in southern Pennsylvania. I wore the Skully on one weekend trip along the Appalachian Trail in central Virginia. I have also worn the cap on numerous road and trail runs, as well as four orienteering events here in Maryland. The outings were all on maintained trails, except for the orienteering events which involve off-trail travel. The trips ranged anywhere from 3 to 10 miles (5 to 16 km) per day and were at elevations of 300 to 4000 ft (91 to 1219 m). The temperatures on these outing ranged from 18F to 60F (-8 to 16 C). I did encounter light to moderate rain and snow on some of these trips, as well as some very windy conditions [20 to 35 mph (32 to 56 kph)], particularly on my weekend outing in Virginia.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Cold day on Cold Mt.The Chaos Adrenaline Skully has been performing well over the past few months. It has been getting quite a bit of use and I would have to say that I like it best for vigorous activities. I like to think of the Skully as a hat but it acts more like a wicking layer than a warm hat. I have had to adjust my thinking about how I use it. When the temperatures are on the colder side, say below 40 F (4 C), the top of my head will feel cold if I am simply standing around or sitting in camp. However, at these same temperatures, the Skully seems to work well if I am actively hiking or running. As a result, I have been using the Skully mostly for active hiking or running in colder temperatures. When the temperatures are above 40 F (4 C), the Skully does a fair job of providing some warmth. The top of my head can still be a little cool but the double fabric generally keeps my ears warm.

The Skully has good coverage of my ears and the back of my neck but when I pull it fully on, I sometimes feel like it is too low in the front and going to cover my eyes. This is sometimes a little annoying but hasn't caused any real issues. One thing that I like is that if I am getting a little warm while wearing the Skully, I can flip up the ear flaps without removing the cap. This has worked when I was running but still wanted something covering my head that wasn't too warm.

A couple of things that have come to like about the Chaos Skully is that it folds quite small and can fit into just about any pocket. This allows me to carry it with me just about anywhere and use it when necessary and store it if I get too hot. Another thing that I noticed is that I don't get much static when I remove the Skully. In colder weather I typically wear a wool watch cap which can produce some serious hat head when I take it off. I would also note that I wore the Skully as a liner cap under my wool hat when I had temperatures around 20 F (-7 C). I found that it easily fit under the other hat and did provide some additional warmth.

The Skully has held up well and I have not seen any rips, tears or seam separations. I have laundered the Skully a few times and haven't seen any problems after washing. I would note that the cap does seem to dry quite quickly which is not necessarily something I can say for my wool cap.

SUMMARY

The Chaos Adrenaline Skully is a lightweight form fitting cap designed to act as a thermal regulator and wick moisture. The Skully works well for active pursuits such as hiking but may not be warm enough during down time. The Skully is very compact and can easily be worn under another cap. It also does not produce much static cling producing less hat head.

What's good:

Light weight and compact
Good for running and hiking
Ear flaps can flip up

Not so good:

Not really a warm hat
Front sometimes feels too low


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have brought the Chaos Adrenaline Skully on at least five local day hikes in central or western Maryland and one overnight backpacking trip in central Virginia near the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have also used the Skully on a number of early morning runs, both street and trail. The trips ranged anywhere from 3 to 10 miles (5 to 16 km) per day and were at elevations of 400 to 1350 ft (122 to 411 m). The temperatures on these outing ranged from 30 F to 85 F (-1 C to 29 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have brought the Skully along on quite a few outings. I have even lost track of the number of day hikes I have used it. This is mostly due to the fact that I typically throw it in my "essentials" bag. It folds very small and is always available if I need it. Now, carrying it with me does not always mean that I use it. The temperatures in the Maryland area have been warmer than usual over the last few months and the Skully hasn't gotten as much actual use as I would have liked. There have been a few cold mornings and I found myself wearing the Skully when hanging around camp or just starting off on a hike or run. As is usual for most any hat, I would wear it until I warmed up then stuff it into a pocket.

As I mentioned in my Field Report, I don't really like the Skully as a cold weather cap. It does seem to work well when the temperatures range somewhere between 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C). In that temperature range, I would feel cool and the Skully was just right. If things were a little warm I could flip up the ear flaps and when I was fully warmed up, I just took the cap off. All-in-all, I would say that I like the Skully as a light cap and something that I can keep on hand when things cool down.

The Skully looks pretty much like it did at the start of the test. The fabric may have faded a bit after about seven or eight wash cycles over the course of the test. The seams all appear in good shape and there isn't any pilling of the fabric. Laundering doesn't seem to have affected the wicking performance of the fabric or caused any shrinking.

SUMMARY

The Chaos Adrenaline Skully is a lightweight, form fitting, cap designed to act as a thermal regulator and wick moisture. The Skully works well for active pursuits such as hiking but may not be warm enough during down time. The Skully is very compact and can easily be worn under another cap. It also does not produce much static cling producing less hat head.

My likes and dislikes have not changed much from what I mentioned in my Field Report. The main thing I would have liked is if there was a double layer of fabric on the top of the Skully.

This concludes my testing of the Chaos Adrenaline Skully I would like to thank Chaos and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the product.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Chaos gear
Read more gear reviews by Patrick McNeilly

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Chaos Adrenaline Combo Skully > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson