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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Hoo-rag > Test Report by Michael Pearl

HOORAG
TEST SERIES BY MIKE PEARL
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - August 23, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - January 08, 2013

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 38
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season backpacker and year round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

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Manufacturer: Hoo-rag
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.hoorag.com
MSRP: US $14.95

Measured Weight: 1 oz (29 g)
Measured Dimensions: 18 x 9.5 in (46 x 24.5 cm)

Color/Pattern Tested: Kooky Kaleidoscope
Colors/Patterns Available: 44 listed on company website with custom design available

Material/Fabric: Polyester Microfiber
Washing Directions: Machine wash in warm water and hang dry.

I could not find any specifications about the Hoo-Rag on the packaging or the company website.
Curious as to what the Hoo-Rag is made of I emailed customer service. Their reply was very prompt informing me that the fabric is Polyester Microfiber.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Hoo-Rag arrived neatly folded inside a cellophane wrapper. The label on the wrapper has the company logo, contact information, care instructions and images of ways to wear the Hoo-Rag. The company slogan, "The Better Bandana" is also on found on the label. As someone who always carries a bandana on every hike and uses it almost every time, I find the motto lofty. I cannot image anything doing all the things my trusty bandana does, nonetheless better. But that's what field testing is for, guess I will have to wait and see.

The Hoo-Rag is a tubular shape piece of fabric that can be worn as a head and/or neck covering or hair tie. The fabric is very thin but strong. To test its strength I pulled rather forcefully along the length and width. Along the length the Hoo-Rag did not budge. Along the width or opening it stretched to about twice its size and sprung right back when released. The fabric has a soft, smooth texture. There is a seam along the length but no stitching is visible. The only indication of a seam is a crease in the fabric where the pattern does not line up evenly. The pattern is vibrant and symmetric. I do not see any loose threads or snags.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The only instructions the Hoo-Rag came with are for proper washing. The company website has illustrations showing the Hoo-Rag worn in eight different styles. The illustrations are the same as ones seen on the packaging label in the photo above. There is also a video demonstrating how to achieve most of styles.

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TRYING IT OUT

After playing around with the Hoo-Rag for about ten minutes I could wear it in almost all styles. However the "beanie" or "skull cap" style proved elusive. After watching the video it was easily accomplished. Other styles used to tie or hold hair back remain difficult. The major challenge being my almost total lack of hair.

The Hoo-Rag fits rather snug around my head. The fabric is smooth and soft but has slight itch to it. Maybe after wearing it awhile and washing both will decrease. I can feel a slight insulating quality when wearing it on my head. I feel this with just about all synthetic fibers; they do not seem to "breathe" well. Being such a thin material the Hoo-Rag stores nicely. It folds up very small and easily fits into pants or shirt pockets.


SUMMARY

The Hoo-Rag is neat product. I like that a rather simple piece of fabric can be worn so many ways. The pattern is interesting and fun. I look forward to seeing how many ways I can put the Hoo-Rag to use in the field.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Storrs Pond Recreation Area, New Hampshire - 8 mi (13 km) to 400 ft (122 m), 83 F (28 C) clear and calm

Balch Hill, New Hampshire - 2.5 mi (4 km) / 950 ft (290 m), 85 F (29 C) and sunny

The Pemi Loop, Pemiwagesset Wilderness, New Hampshire four days, three nights
32.5 mi (52 km) loop with a cumulative gain of 9760 ft (2975 m). Temperatures a low of 40 F (4 C) and a high of 80 F (27 C). Mostly sunny with light winds on the exposed peaks and one major downpour.

Giles Mountain, Vermont - 3 mi (4.8 km) to 1873 ft (571 m), 76 F (24 C) and cloudy

Trail Maintenance Appalachian Trail, Vermont - 2.2 mi (3.5 km) to 1295 ft (395 m) cloudy intermittent light rain

Velvet Rocks, New Hampshire - 5.2 mi (8 km) to 1243 ft (379 m) on the Appalachian Trail, 66 F (19 C) mostly sunny

Camels Hump, Vermont - 18 mi (29 km) to 4081 ft (1244 m) with 3963 ft (1208 m) gained in 5.1 mi (8 km), 60 F (15.5 C) mostly cloudy with a few breaks of sunshine

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Moose Mountain (South Peak), New Hampshire - 10 mi (16 km) to 2300 ft (701 m), 32 F warming to 36 F (0 to 2.2 C) with mixed precipitation changing to all rain

Mt. Ascutney, Vermont - 6 mi (9.5 km) to 3144 ft (958 m), 30 F (-1 C) very sunny and windy where exposed

Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 6 mi (9.5 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 25 F (-4 C) with a dusting of snow and windy

Farnum Hill, New Hampshire - 8 mi (13 km) to 1336 ft (407 m), 30 F (-1 C) periods of light snow

Moose Mountain (Ridge Trail), New Hampshire - 12 mi (19 km) to 1800 ft (550 m), 28 F warming to 35 F (-2.2 to 1.7 F) snow turning to rain with gusting winds

Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 10 mi (16 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 30 F (-1 C) and snowing

Pine Park / Girl Brook, New Hampshire - 5 mi (8 km) 600 to 400 ft (180 to 120 m), 18 F (-8 C) with gusty winds and sunshine

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On days with a temperature was 80 F (27 C) or above I was too hot wearing the Hoo-Rag. I found it wicks moisture away and does not allow much air in or out. This greatly reduced any sensation of cooling. I discovered this when removing the Hoo-Rag after feeling too hot. The first time was after wearing it as a beanie. Worn this way the Hoo-Rag is double layered. So I switched the Hoo-Rag to a single layer and loose in the back. This allowed some heat to vent, but still I felt the Hoo-Rag retained heat.

Next time I wore the Hoo-Rag I removed it just as I started to warm. I tucked it around my sternum strap. Well of course I still got hot but this time sweat ran down my face. I used the Hoo-Rag to wipe away the sweat. I didn't feel the Hoo-Rag really removed the sweat. The fabric not being absorbent just pushed the sweat around. I missed my breathable, absorbent cotton.

I needed a pot holder while boiling up water for dinner in camp. I had the Hoo-Rag on my head and an old cotton bandanna in my pack. Being made of polyester microfiber fabric I did not use the Hoo-Rag for fear of it melting from the heat.

At cooler temperatures I find the Hoo-Rag to be comfortable. The Hoo-Rag is even cozy when a cool wind blows. It blocks the wind quite well. I like bein able to cover just the part of me that is cold. The flexibility to adjust the shape and location worn is nice.

When the temperatures hit the freezing mark I started appreciating the Hoo-Rag. The transition from warm air to very cold air can create a burning sensation in my nose. Wearing the Hoo-Rag around my neck and pulling it over my nose was a big help. This made the transition easier by making the change much less abrupt.

The last two outings during testing I were on cross country skis. When skiing I start off cold knowing I will be roasting in no time. Here I wore the Hoo-Rag folded in half as a bandanna under a fleece hat. When I warmed up I removed the hat. The Hoo-Rag kept my ears warm while heat dissipated from my exposed head.

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SUMMARY

The weather and conditions can be the determining factor for choosing many gear items. I find this to hold true for the Hoo-Rag. I found it very helpful in lower temperatures. Throw some wind in and the Hoo-Rag is great. However when the heat is on I had to take the Hoo-Rag off. I prefer a more breathable fabric when the weather is hot and humid.

CONTINUED USE

While not a huge fan of the Hoo-Rags warm weather performance I did like using it when it was cold. Being so packable and light the Hoo-Rag will make it into my "cold weather kit".

This concludes this Test Series. Thank you to Hoo-Rag and BackpackGearTest.org for making it possible.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Hoo-rag > Test Report by Michael Pearl



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