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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Chaos Summit Pack It Hat > Test Report by Marina Batzke

CHAOS SUMMIT PACK-IT HAT
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
January 21, 2017

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 56
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California: desert areas in the winter months and mountainous areas in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Chaos Hats
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Made in China
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.chaoshats.com
MSRP: US$32.99
Measured Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g)
Other details:
available colors Khaki and Olive
available sizes are S, M and L

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat is a unisex sun protection hat, made from 100% polyester. The hat is rated at UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50. Such a high rating blocks UV radiation 97% or more and is judged excellent.

My hat is olive in color. The brim is 2.75 in (7 cm). The hat height is 3 in (7.6 cm). The hat crown has a width of 5.5 in (14 cm) and front to back it measures 7 in (17.8 cm).
IMAGE 1
Outside look

Looking at the outside of the hat, I notice an embroidered logo CTR in the front and a small UPF50 in the back. The polyester fabric pattern is uniform on the hat outside.
IMAGE 2
Inside look

Looking at the inside of the hat, the double-layer brim fabric shows a honeycomb style pattern. Next comes a 1.25 in (3.17 cm) soft, moisture-wicking fabric sweatband. Sewn into the back portion of the sweatband are two tags: Tag 1 has the CTR logo, shows size: S/M, Made in China, and the washing instructions. Tag 2 shows the NO FLY ZONE trademark, highlighting the insect repellent feature of this hat. This Chaos hat contains 0.52% Permethrin, a chemical that repels insects, such as mosquitoes. This Permethrin treatment is good for 70 hat washings.

The center of the hat is its 3 in (7.6 cm) single-fabric layer height and the single-fabric layer crown (top). I was surprised to see that there is a small pouch sewn into the crown of the hat. The pouch has a strong hook-and-loop closure. I could put my car key, credit card or money in here - ideal for a lightweight, small item. And I can stuff the entire hat into this pouch and turn the hat into a compact little bundle. I guess therefore the name: Pack-It hat.
IMAGE 3
Close-up look at that hidden pouch and the chin cord

Attached to the sweatband, on the left and right inside of the hat, are fabric loops with plastic clips that connect to the 33 in (84 cm) chin cord. By un-doing those small plastic clips, I can remove the chin cord from the hat. The chin cord has a small plastic slider that I can move up to tighten the cord closer to my chin.

All seams are well sewn in straight lines. I did notice a few loose thread ends that I can trim off with scissors.

The hat fabric has a durable touch and the brim, being double-fabric is firm but not stiff. I can easily bundle the entire hat into a compact ball that fits into my hands held together. When I let go of the ball, the hat falls into its shape again. It is truly a packable hat.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The tags that are sewn into the sweatband on the inside back of the hat mention that this hat shall not get dry cleaned. The hat may get hand washed but shall not get placed in a dryer and shall not get ironed.

TRYING IT OUT

I am confused that tag 1 on the hat inside mentions S/M as size. This S/M size hat has an inner circumference of about 23 in (58 cm). Unfortunately, the hat is a touch too loose on my head.

I well remember that I did not find a sizing chart on the manufacturer's website when I selected the hat size M. My own hat from a different manufacturer is size M and I found a sizing chart on the REI website when I googled the Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat that made me select size M.

Because the hat is a touch too big for me, the sweatband keeps folding outward, rather than inward. I may have to apply a few stitches of thread and attach the sweatband to the inside of the hat.

SUMMARY

LIKES:
excellent sun protection rating of 50
interesting little pouch on inside of hat

DISLIKES:
no sizing chart on manufacturer's website
drawback of hat being a touch too loose


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap, California, USA
Dayhike 8 mi (13 km)
Elevation: 6585 - 9400 ft (2000 - 2865 m)
Temperature: 80 F (27 C)
Sunny, blue sky

Kearsarge Pass + Robinson Lake, California, USA
2 day/ 2 night car camp
Elevation day 1: 9200 - 11700 ft (2800 - 3600 m) 9 mi (14.5 km)
Elevation day 2: 9200 - 10500 ft (2800 - 3200 m) 3 mi (4.8 km)
Temperatures: 70 - 55 F (21 - 13 C)
Sunny, bright blue sky

Cedar Glen Camp/ Icehouse Canyon, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 4.5 mi (7.4 km)
Elevation: 4944 - 7560 ft (1500 - 2300 m)
Temperatures: 70 - 55 F (21 - 13 C)
Sunny to overcast/ windy

Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 6 mi (10 km)
Elevation: 1300 - 2600 ft (400 - 790 m)
Temperatures: 74 - 50 F (23 - 10 C)
Sunny, blue sky

Valley Forge Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 4.6 mi (7.4 km)
Elevation: 3500 ft (1067 m)
Temperatures: 68 - 54 F (20 - 12 C)
Overcast

Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California, USA
2 days of dayhikes
Elevation: 2200 ft (670 m)
Temperatures: 75 - 56 F (24 - 13 C)
Overcast to sunny

Sandstone Peak, Santa Monica Mountains, California, USA
Dayhike 9 mi (14.5 km)
Elevation: 1400 ft (425 m)
Temperature: 60 F (16 C)
Sunny, blue sky

Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 6 mi (10 km)
Elevation: 1300 - 2600 ft (400 - 790 m)
Temperatures: 60 - 48 F (16 - 9 C)
Every weather from overcast to light drizzle to some sun
IMAGE 1
Mt. Baden Powell

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

After I had received the Chaos Summit Pack-It Hat, I contacted the manufacturer and asked about a hat sizing chart on their website because the hat is a touch too loose on my head. The manufacturer's customer service mentioned they did not have one up at that time. Just now, four months later, I checked the website again and still I do not find a hat sizing chart. I find that odd for a hat manufacturer. As customer, I would want to know which size to purchase, so the item fits.

Because the unisex Pack-It hat is a touch too loose for me, I feel it sits rather low on my head and the fabric loops with their plastic clips are right at my ears. I offset the hat a little, so the fabric loops and plastic clips do not rest right on my ears.

I always use the chin cord to make sure the hat stays on, just in case a surprise wind might blow. The plastic tightener on the cord is easy to slide up close under my chin, or to slide down for a relaxed fit. Every now and then, one of the plastic clips (near the ears) undoes itself; maybe because I am fidgeting with the hose from my water hydration system or maybe because of an odd arm movement hitting the hat brim. I usually notice pretty quickly because the chin cord suddenly hangs down like a long cord, only attached to one hat side. In those instances, I have to take the hat off and reinsert the loose plastic clip.

The Chaos Summit Pack-It hat has well protected my eyes and face against the sun. The brim has sufficient width. The brim is a bit wavy (not a straight, stiff brim) and I find this a plus: sun hats with a hard, stiff brim easily bump into the backpack and reposition on my head. I have not had that problem with the Chaos Summit Pack-It hat.

I had issues with the sweatband not folding up into the hat when I put the hat on. After a couple of times, I stitched the sweatband to the hat body in a couple of spots, so it stays in place now. At that time, I also sewed up a couple of loose threads that I had noticed when I had received the hat.

On sunny hikes with a lot of elevation gain, I have missed aeration holes in the hat fabric. It can get quite stuffy under the crown of the hat in those situations. As a result, my hair gets sweaty wet.

I have not worn the Pack-It hat in the cold (at night I always put on a knit hat).

I have neither folded the hat into its interior pocket for storage, nor have I put any items like keys or money into that pocket. I easily roll the hat into a small bundle that fits nicely into the front pouch of my backpack, e.g., once I switch from sun hat to knit hat in camp in the evening. And just as easily, I can unroll the hat in the morning and push it in shape again.

SUMMARY

The Chaos Summit Pack-It hat has well protected my face against the sun and the hat does pack easily.

LIKES:
Olive color does not show stains
Brim width has kept sun out of my eyes

NOT SO GREAT:
No hat sizing chart on manufacturer's website; I would have picked a better fitting size.
During steep uphills, it can get hot under the hat crown.
Plastic clips for the chin cord can release on their own.
Sweatband did not fold up into hat.

Thank you to Chaos and to BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this lightweight sun hat.

Marina Batzke

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Chaos Summit Pack It Hat > Test Report by Marina Batzke



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