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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > ShredAlert Hippy Beanie > Test Report by Andrea Murland

ShredAlert Hippy Beanie
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Tester

Initial Report - March 28, 2011
Field Report - May 30, 2011
Long Term Report - July 25, 2011

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 25
Location: Elkford, 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 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 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.


Initial Report – March 28, 2011

Image Courtesy of ShredAlert
ShredAlert Hippy Beanie

Product Information

Manufacturer: ShredAlert
Manufacturer's URL: www.shredalert.com
Year of Manufacture: 2011
MSRP: US $32.00
Colour Reviewed: step
Other Colours Available: bluechevron, incasun
Size: One size fits all
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 59 g (2.1 oz)
Material: Body: 100% Polyester, Band: 100% Organic Cotton
Care Instructions: Hand wash cold, do not bleach, dry flat

Description & Initial Impressions

The ShredAlert Hippy Beanie is what I would commonly refer to as a “toque”. It is made from recycled Polartec fabric. A hang tag tells me that this means that the fabric contains at least 50% recycled content using Repreve 100. The toque is a soft, fairly thick fleece material.

Around the edge of the toque is a cotton band which has the coloured pattern on it. At the back of the band a cord is sewn in on each side. This cord has a cord lock on it so that the toque can be tightened around the head.

The website gives a pretty accurate picture of the beanie, though it shows a tag on the band with a company logo. This tag is missing on the toque that I received. I received the Hippy Beanie with some stickers and a personal note.

The Hippy Beanie seems to be well made, with no loose threads or missing stitching.

Beanie Detail

Trying It Out

The ShredAlert Hippy Beanie is very large on me. It definitely isn’t made for my small head! If I pull it all the way down so that it’s resting against the top of my head, it comes to about 2 cm (0.8 in) below my ear lobes, and completely covers my forehead and over the top of my glasses. I can prop it up to a more reasonable level and tighten the cord-lock and it seems to be tight enough to stay. I’ll have to see during field testing! The fabric is soft and in the brief few minutes that I’ve worn the toque, it seems to be quite warm.

Summary

The ShredAlert Hippy Beanie is a soft fleece toque that seems to be well-made and warm. I’m looking forward to wearing it for my spring backcountry adventures!

Field Report – May 30, 2011

Field Conditions

During the Field Testing stage, I have worn the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie around town on cold days, as well as for any outdoor activities where I was keeping my head covered and not wearing a ski helmet. This included several days and evenings of short hikes and geocaching, trail running, a Search & Rescue practice involving a stretcher carry up and down an old ski hill, and a day of backcountry ski touring in April. Through these activities, I was able to use the Beanie at temperatures down to -10 C (14 F) and up to 10 C (50 F) and in conditions that ranged from sunny and calm to windy and rainy or snowy.

Ski Touring

Observations

The Hippy Beanie has proven to be a very functional toque, and I have enjoyed wearing it.

The Beanie is very comfortable. The fleece is soft against my skin, and I haven’t noticed any itching or anything underneath the hat. I like the style, with the patterned band around the bottom, but have to admit that because it’s so large on me, it looks a little ridiculous. Usually someone snickers when I put it on. From a function standpoint, however, the cord to tighten the band of the hat works quite well, and I’ve never had any issues with it coming off.

The wind and water resistance of the Beanie is quite good. In the drizzle or snow that I have encountered so far my head has stayed dry. Although not wind proof, the hat breaks a great deal of wind and I haven’t had cold ears even in a strong wind. I can feel a bit of cool air coming in through the hat, but not enough that I’ve had reason to be concerned or look for some other way to cover my head yet.

The warmth and breathability of the Beanie also have been good. I haven’t had a chance to test the warmth of the hat in really cold weather, as my test started quite late in the winter, but in the cool temperatures I’ve encountered the Beanie has been more than warm enough. While skinning up a mountain, hiking, or trail running, I have noticed that although my head feels very warm and I’m sweating, there hasn’t been a big build-up of sweat under the hat, and I also haven’t noticed the hat becoming wet from sweat from soaking it up. For such a warm hat I’ve been quite pleased with how it’s performed when I’m working hard.

So far the hat looks as good as new. I haven’t washed it yet, but it’s not showing any pilling or other wear from being worn or stuffed in backpacks and hauled around.

Summary

So far the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie has been an excellent hat and I have enjoyed wearing it, despite continually being made fun of for my small head. Lucky (?) for me it still hasn’t stopped snowing here, so there are plenty of mornings and evenings of cool weather left!

Long Term Report – July 25, 2011

Field Conditions

Hiking During the Long Term testing phase, I’ve carried the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie with me on all of my hikes, climbing days, and camping trips, but only worn it when I’ve been cold. That has consisted of several evenings in camp when the temperatures have dipped to between 5 and 10 C (41 to 50 F) and often it’s been raining. As well, I used it the first week of July on a climbing day and also on a cold dayhike in the rain.

Observations

The Hippy Beanie has been a great toque. I don’t have a great deal to add to my observations from my Field Report. It is soft, comfortable, warm, wind resistant, water resistant, and pretty breathable. Although we’ve had an unseasonably cold spring and summer, I’ve mostly used the Beanie while being relatively stationary during the past two months, and if I started working hard at all I’d remove it since I’d get too hot. So I’d say that the Beanie is more of a three-season hat for my particular conditions. It’s a bit bulky for carrying for summer hiking as well; I like something that packs a bit smaller for a “just in case” hat.

I’ve washed the Beanie twice during this testing phase (and twice total). Both times I washed it in the washing machine and then laid it out to dry. The fleece is showing a bit of pilling, but the colours on the fabric band are still bright and the hat looks pretty new. The cordlock did come apart at some point and is missing a piece, so I’ll have to get a replacement cordlock to fix it.

For me, the biggest downside of this toque was that it was so big on me. I think I’ll let my boyfriend and brother-in-law fight over it for a bit and then pass it off to someone with a bigger head. They’ve both tried it on and it looks great on both of them.

Summary

The unseasonably cold spring and summer meant that I was able to keep wearing the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie for camping, climbing, and hiking trips right up until the end of this test. I really enjoyed using the Beanie and it is certainly very comfortable and functional!

Thumbs Up
Warm
Soft
Wind and water resistant

Thumbs Down
Cordlock came apart
Too big for me!

Thanks to ShredAlert and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this hat!



Read more reviews of Shred Alert gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > ShredAlert Hippy Beanie > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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