SHREDALERT HIPPY BEANIE
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
April 21, 2011
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.shredalert.com
MSRP: US $32.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2.25 oz (64 g)
Colors Available: Step, BlueChevron & IncaSun
Color Reviewed: Step
Sizes Available: Unisex, one size fits most
Body Materials: 100 % Polartec® recycled poly/fleece
Headband Materials: 100% Organic cotton
Construction: 4 panels with adjustable cordlock in headband
Care Instructions: Hand wash cold. Do not bleach. Dry flat.
MADE IN THE USA
|Picture Courtesy of ShredAlert|
FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE
| ||The Hippy Beanie from ShredAlert is a very soft to the touch, thick polyester fleece pull-down-over-the-ears cap. It is one layer, that is to say, there is no liner. The body of the Beanie consists of four panels cut rather like elongated quarter circles and stitched together. The interior seams are tight, small and barely noticeable. On one interior seam are three discreet tags; one with the ShredAlert logo, another for materials and care instructions and the third is a Polartec logo.|
The hem is simply turned-up, sewn and then covered on the outside of the Beanie with an organic cotton headband decorated with a colorful pattern. My particular pattern reminds me of Tibetan prayer flags.
A cordlock mechanism at the back of the Beanie adjusts the fit when I pull on the cord while holding down the lock. Measuring around the (interior) base of the Beanie's headband, the unisex size turns out to be 24.5 inches (62 cm) which fits me perfectly without my having to cinch the cordlock at all in normal conditions.
I've been wearing the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie for the last 2 months whenever and wherever I've been outdoors in cold and/or windy conditions.
|From the snowy mountains of Utah and northern Colorado, to the windy, dry mountains of south central Colorado, all the way to the damp, ridiculously dreary New Jersey coastal area, the Beanie kept my noggin warm and dry.|
While, snowshoeing, hiking and just plain walking around, I found the Beanie to be comfortable in temperatures as low as -10 F (-23 C) on up to 45 F (7 C) in normal wind conditions. There were a few hikes when even though the temps were a bit warmer, I still donned the Beanie to keep the wind out of my ears.
Due to a genetic condition, I wear hearing aids in both ears. When wearing a hat that covers my ears - which I prefer to do when it's cold outside - I have to be careful to have a hat that fits properly. If the hat is too tight, an uncomfortable situation develops where the hearing aids - which are totally embedded in my ear canal - will emit a shrill "feedback". This is very annoying and hurtful. If the hat is too loose or doesn't cover my ears fully, the same feedback can result. So, like Goldilocks, I need a hat that is "just right".
The Hippy Beanie fits the bill perfectly in this aspect and hence the reason I sometimes wore the Beanie even when it really wasn't that cold, but it WAS windy. And it's been a brutally windy winter here in Canon City, Colorado!
Another fact probably known only to the hearing-impaired, when it's cold, hearing aids get cold too. The result of frigid temperatures is a cold piece of plastic wedged in a warm ear canal. Not pleasant, let me say. The Hippy Beanie with its thick construction, kept this from becoming a problem, as my ears were not exposed and the hearing aids didn't get icy. With happy warm ears, I was (and am) a happy camper, I mean backpacker!
|Snowshoe/Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park|
For two weeks in Estes Park at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), I made it a point to hike every single day. One of my favorite jaunts was a 6.24 mile (10 km) loop around Lake Estes. This trek involved some hills and some flat surfaces. No matter what the weather was - and it was generally about freezing and partly sunny - I would be sweating on the uphill climb towards the dam at the east end of the lake. Often, I would pull off the Beanie at this junction.
However, once I started the downhill portion and rounded the base of the dam, I would get hit with strong winds funneling down the valley from the mountains in RMNP. I mean, take-your-breath-away winds! I was extremely happy to be wearing the Hippy Beanie on these occasions as the Beanie not only kept me warm, but it stayed put. On the one day I wore a baseball cap style hat, I not only was uncomfortable cold-wise, but my arms ached from holding onto the cap!
I can't say how the Beanie would hold up to a downpour but I can say it kept me dry in a steady light drizzle which was the only weather I encountered during two weeks down the Jersey shore. In my limited experience, the Beanie shed the moisture nicely.
After two months of wear, the Hippy Beanie had not stretched out and looked no worse for the wearing, except for the horse drool when Doc decided I wasn't doling out treats fast enough. It has held its shape admirably despite being folded, smashed and stuffed into small spaces in my backpack.
Finally, this past week, I washed the Beanie in a sink full of cold water and a liquid tech wash, rinsed it thoroughly and let it dry flat overnight. Now it looks as good as new and is ready for more action as soon as the weather turns cold again.
1.) Soft to the touch.
2.) Keeps my head warm.
3.) Wind can't bother me!
4.) Great style.
5.) Wears and washes great!
1.) After strenuous activities, gives me a mean case of "hat head ".
Although I wore the Hippy Beanie just yesterday when walking down to feed the horses, I fear it is probably getting to the end of the winter season for me. I will probably keep the Beanie stashed somewhere close, but most likely will not be wearing it again (or at least, much) until next autumn. I'm happy to know I will have the Hippy Beanie in my gear closet when Mother Nature sends the cold weather my way again.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Thanks, ShredAlert, for making such a quality product!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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