OUTDOOR RESEARCH SEATTLE SOMBRERO
BY JERRY ADAMS
May 02, 2010
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Backpacking Background: I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research (OR)
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.outdoorresearch.com
Listed Weight: 3.2 oz (91 g)
Measured Weight: 3.4 oz (96 g)
I have a size L, color Khaki/Java.
They have 4 unisex sizes: S, M, L, and XL. L is supposed to be for 23 1/4 inches (59 cm) measured from center of forehead around fullest part of head. I measure 23 1/2 inches (60 cm). The size L seems to fit pretty good.
They have five colors - Abyss/Black, Chili/Java, Khaki/Java, Forest/Black, and Black.
The outside fabric is a fairly tight weave Nylon (70D Taslan according to OR). The same fabric is used for the under side of the brim. Inside is a slightly stretchy, knit, soft fabric (brushed tricot according to OR). In between there is a Gore-Tex layer for water-proofness.
The brim is 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide on the front and sides, 4 inches (10 cm) wide at the rear. There is a very thin foam layer in the brim to make it stiff, but it's not real stiff. There are hook and loop fasteners that allow the sides to be flipped up (I don't know whether this is functional or stylish).
There is a hook and loop fastened webbing inside to adjust for head size. There are two loops that attach a removable chin strap to keep the hat on in the wind.
Sides flipped up:
Inside hook and loop fastening - I opened it up to show how it works:
Inside hook and loop fastening - back to normal
Loop on the side for attaching chin strap:
Front and left side of hat showing the front logo and hook and loop tabs to hold up side brim:
Rear and right side of hat showing rear logo and hook and loop tabs:
I have used the Seattle Sombrero hat on about 6 backpack trips of about 4 days each, and about 10 day hikes over the last two years. These have been in Oregon and Washington - in the Cascade mountains and along the coast.
I have used the hat in rain and sun, in warm and cold temperatures, and in windy and calm conditions.
The hat gives good rain protection. It has not wet through on me, even in a number of heavy rain situations. The brim is wide enough to direct the water away from me. The only problem is that if it's windy, rain blows down my neck at the sides and rear. A hood offers better protection, but then there isn't as much ventilation around the rear of my neck so I tend to get more sweaty. It's nice that the brim is slightly wider at the rear, which lessens this problem.
The hat gives good sun protection. The brim is wide enough to provide good shade on my face and neck. The only problem I noticed, is that when it's hot, like over 70 F (21 C), I get sweaty around my forehead and around the sides and rear. The Gore-Tex layer provides good water resistance, but not very good ventilation. A hat with a mesh-like material on the top would be better in hot weather. On the other hand, the elastic/hook and loop head size adjustment band inside is a little smaller than the Gore-Tex/outer fabric, which allows a small air space between the inner liner and the Gore-Tex/outer fabric, which allows better ventilation so I don't sweat so much in hot weather. OR has designed this as best as possible, but it is definitely designed more for wet weather, rather than hot weather.
I do not like chin straps. It's just a personal thing. I immediately removed the chin strap when I first bought the hat. This reveals a defect. The hat is a little shorter in the crown than some other hats I have used. When I put it on, it doesn't go down very far on my forehead. I would rather it came down to my eyebrows. This makes the hat stay on better in the wind. The Seattle Sombrero tends to blow off in strong wind. Of course, if I used the chin strap this wouldn't be a problem. Also, since the brim is a little higher up, rain tends to blow under it more and go down my neck.
The Seattle Sombrero is an excellent rain hat.
If it's windy, it's not so good because rain tends to blow under the brim and go down my neck, a hood is better. Also, the hat tends to blow off, but if I used the chin strap this wouldn't be a problem.
The Seattle Sombrero is pretty good in sun - nice wide brim all the way around, but since it has 3 layers - outside fabric, Gore-Tex, inside fabric, it doesn't breathe very well in hot weather.
Because of these two issues, wind and heat, I don't use the Seattle Sombrero very much anymore on backpack trips. I do use it on day hikes or occasionally on backpack trips if it's going to rain but isn't going to be real windy or hot.
THINGS I LIKE
Excellent rain protection if it's not too windy.
Excellent sun protection if it's not too hot.
Dries off fairly quickly if it gets wet.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
If it's rainy and windy rain goes down my neck at the rear.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
If it's hot I get sweaty.
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