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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Hoo-rag > Test Report by Andrea Murland

Hoo-rag
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - September 2, 2012
Long Term Report - January 7, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 27
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
Head Circumference: 21.25 in (54 cm))

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2 to 3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.


Hoo-rags

Initial Report – September 2, 2012

Product Information

Manufacturer: Hoo-rag
Manufacturer's URL: www.hoorag.com
Year of Manufacture: 2012
MSRP: US $14.95
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 31 g (1.1 oz)
Measured Size: 48 cm (18.9 in) long x 24 cm (9.4 in) wide

Description & Initial Impressions

The Hoo-rag is a tubular bandana made from a soft polyester microfiber. It is intended to be worn in a variety of styles, depending on the need of the wearer at the time. The Hoo-rag is seamless, with no hem on the edges and no stitched seam connecting the fabric into a tube. I can visually see where the fabric is connected lengthwise on both sides; there is a crease in the fabric and the pattern doesn’t quite line up. I can feel the connection as a crease, but not on the inside of the Hoo-rag. The Hoo-rag has very little stretch length-wise, but stretches a lot width-wise; I’d guess it stretches to about twice its original width. It springs back to the original shape, but I’ll keep an eye out for permanent stretching as I test. The fabric is soft and smooth, with no loose threads or other imperfections.

The Hoo-rag came nicely packaged in a cellophane wrapper with a label on the front. The label detailed the care instructions (machine wash warm, hang to dry), and on the back of the label were a series of pictures and small text showing the different ways the Hoo-rag can be worn. Unfortunately, these images, viewed from the back of the package, were backwards, which made for challenging reading. The Hoo-rag website has a video showing some of the styles, and I’m pretty sure I can figure most of them out.

Trying It Out

I promptly started fiddling with my Blue Vortex Hoo-rag when I got it out of the packaging. I tried it as a beanie (a toque for the rest of this review), and found that it was easy to get on and comfortable. If anything, it’s a little big for me, as I have a very small head. I also folded it up as an Alice Rag, and found it to be a bit bulky behind my ears but otherwise fine. I wore the Alice Rag style around the house for a while and it was comfortable enough that I forgot I was wearing it.

Blue Vortex Hoo-rag

Summary

The Hoo-rag appears to be a well-made tubular bandana, and I can’t wait to try out all the styles on the trail. I am also looking forward to seeing how it performs in the elements, especially as the temperature drops through autumn and early winter.

Long Term Report – January 7, 2013

Field Conditions

During the testing of the Hoo-rag, I used it on four backpacking trips and ten dayhiking trips. In addition, I used it for five trail runs, two cross-country skis, and four days of resort skiing. Temperatures ranged from 20 C (68 F) down to -15 C (5 F), and I wore the Hoo-rag in sunshine, clouds, and snow.

I used the Blue Vortex and Nu Blue Hoo-rags, and washed them each about 5 times. I washed them with my regular laundry and hung them to dry.
No sunburn under the Hoo-rag!
Sunburn Line

Observations

The Styles:
  • Alice Rag: I wore this style while hiking in warm weather to keep the sun off my hairline and the hair out of my face. It was comfortable to wear, though there was some interference with the arms of my glasses. The only drawback was that it was a bit fiddly to get it folded quickly on the trail, so I pre-folded it before starting each trip. It definitely worked to block the sun...the rest of my face was beet red!
  • Headband: when the wind picked up or my ears got chilly I flipped one fold of the Alice Rag down to cover my ears, which still allowed heat to vent from my head.
  • Toque: I wore this style in the evenings in camp and while sleeping, as well as while hiking in colder weather. I did find that the amount of heat retained by the Hoo-rag in this style was often not as much as I would have liked. The toque crept up on my head during activity…but every toque I’ve ever worn does that.
  • Neck Gaiter: This was how I wore the Hoo-rag while cross-country and downhill skiing, and on some trail runs. I found that while running at about freezing I was too hot with the neck gaiter on, so I’d remove it and wrap it around my arm. While downhill skiing the Hoo-rag quickly got damp from condensation at about -10 C (14 F).
  • Balaclava: I tried this style as an experiment while trail running. I was wearing a normal toque and the Hoo-rag as a neck gaiter, but my ears were a bit cold, so I pulled the back of the Hoo-rag up over my ears and the back of my head and I was toasty for the rest of my run. As a bonus, it kept my other toque from creeping upwards.
  • Towel: I used the Hoo-rag once as a towel to dry off my feet after a creek crossing. It absorbed enough water to be able to comfortably wrestle my socks back on, but was damp enough that I didn’t want to put it back on my head afterwards.

Wearing the Hoo-rag

Durability:
The Hoo-rags show no major signs of wear. They don’t appear to be faded and have no frayed edges or other indications of wear. The edges are starting to roll, which I can feel while I’m wearing them, but doesn’t really affect the function.

Summary

The Hoo-rag is a versatile piece of gear. It easily switches between styles as conditions change. The durability seems to be good, and it is comfortable to wear.

Thumbs Up:
Versatile
Easy to carry once removed
Decent amount of warmth

Thumbs Down:
Fiddly to fold into an Alice Rag
Rapidly gets damp with condensation when breathing into it
Edges rolling

Thanks to Hoo-rag and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this bandana! It has earned a place in my pack as a multi-functional item.



Read more reviews of Hoo-rag gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Hoo-rag > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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