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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > ShredAlert Hippy Beanie > Test Report by James E. Triplett
Reported by James E. Triplett
Initial Report - February 21, 2011
Field Report - April 26, 2011
Long Term Report - June 20, 2011
Personal Biographical Information:
I am an
experienced hiker, backpacker, and camper, and am gaining more
experience with winter camping every year. I hike every day,
backpack when possible, which leads to many weekends backpacking and
camping each year. I try to take at least one annual
backpacking trip in addition to many one to three-night weekend
trips. My style can best be described as
not at the cost of giving up too much comfort. I generally
in a tent, and seem to be collecting quite a few of them to choose from.
The Hippy Beanie has a cord and cord-lock for tightening the cap.
February 21, 2011
The Hippy Beanie is currently found in the "Global Collection" on the ShredAlert website. There are three designs to choose from. Step (this test), Bluechevron, and Incasun, all sporting different designs for the exterior headband. In the pictures of these three models a cinch-cord is visible only in the Bluechevron image, however the Step model I received also has a cinch-cord. In the picture of the Step model, there is a ShredAlert logo integrated into one of the panels in the headband. The beanie I received does not have this logo. Besides the pictures, the only additional information is the price and the following: [SA10.018], polartec® recycled poly/fleece, $32.00.
The decorative band is also functional in that it anchors the tightening cord.
Cord-lock at the back of the Hippy Beanie.
There were two hang-tags on the Beanie. One simply has a cartoonish figure, the "ShredAlert" name, and website. The other says "Polartec Recycled" and "Repreve 100, Recycled Fiber By Unifi". On the back of this tag, in very small print, it says "Fabric contains at least 50% recycled content using Repreve 100 - a recycled fiber made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles. This fiber saves natural resources & energy while reducing CO2 emissions." The tag is printed on recycled paper. I like this as I try and do my part to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Also included with the beanie were no less than four ShredAlert decals and a personal note thanking me for my interest in ShredAlert .
Decals, Tags, and a nice note which accompanied the Hippy Beanie.
The Hippy Beanie I received is all black, inside and out, with a decorative woven band centered in the front and going about 2/3 of the way around the Beanie. The pattern on the band reminds me of woven belts I seem to recall seeing in the 70's (thus the name "Hippy"?). The band is about 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. Anchored at each end of the band is a cord with a cord-lock, making the band not only decorative, but functional. Inside the Beanie are exposed seams, and three tags. One saying "Polartec Eco-Engineering", another saying "ShredAlert Made in the U.S.A.", and the third saying "Body-100% Polyester, Band-100% Organic Cotton", and the washing instructions of "Hand wash Cold, Do Not Bleach, Dry Flat".
Inside-out view of the Hippy Beanie.
The Hippy Beanie seems reasonably thick, and has a soft fleece-like feel to it. The fit is perfect. Not too tight, and with enough height for me to leave a little space at the top, or pull it down fully over my ears.
My plans are for evaluating the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie for fit and comfort,
th and durability, while hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing, as well as shoveling snow, gathering firewood, and other outdoor activities. Typical temperatures should fall below 0 F (below -18 C), and hopefully will remain suitably cool for continued testing throughout the test period.
This is a soft, comfortable, stylish hat, made largely from recycled products. I really have nothing bad to say about the Hippy Beanie.
April 26, 2011
ShredAlert Hippy Beanie on a snowshoeing trip.
I have worn the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie on a daily basis for morning hikes during the week, and longer day hikes on the weekends. This is in addition to three overnight car-camping trips to Pinicon Ridge County Park in Eastern Iowa, and several snowshoeing day-trips. Since I started wearing the Hippy Beanie in February I estimate that I have worn the cap for approximately 55 hours and roughly 100 miles (161 km) of hiking and snowshoeing.
Temperatures have ranged from around 0 F (-18 C) to over 50 F (10 C), and the elevation has been around 800 feet (245 meters).
Fit and Comfort:
As described in the Initial Report section, the Hippy Beanie fits me perfectly. The fit is loose enough to not seem "tight" while tight enough to not feel "loose". I can pull it down as far as it will go and it will cover my ears, or leave it up a little, so there is a space between the top of my head and the cap, for occasions when maximum warmth is not needed.
Hippy Beanie in the woods near my house.
When hiking in temperatures below freezing, the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie has kept me warm and toasty. I have found it easy to get my body fully warmed up after hiking for 20 to 30 minutes, indicating to me that the Beanie is effective at preventing heat loss through the top of my head. At that point I usually need to unzip a shirt or jacket or untuck my shirt in order to allow some body heat to escape. When snowshoeing this happens much more quickly, and on several occasions I have found my head perspiring rather heavily. I have also worn the Hippy Beanie while shoveling snow, and sawing and hauling firewood resulting in the same perspiration activity. This has been to the point where sweat is trickling down my face, but I will say that the Beanie is absorbent and even when I've had it fairly soaked it has been comfortable to wear.
When I am inactive, or less active, around camp or on short less strenuous outings, the Hippy Beanie has kept me warm and comfortable. I find it particularly comforting when out in the dark or when there is a breeze blowing.
Warm and toasty on a cloudy and windy day.
Care and Cleaning:
Due mostly to lots of heavy exertion when snowshoeing, and when working on firewood, I have perspired heavily in the Hippy Beanie. As a result I have washed the cap four times during this test period. When returning from a trip I have simply washed the Beanie in the sink with some mild dish soap, and then either hung the cap outside in the breeze or placed it over a heat register in the house. The instructions say to "dry flat" so I have been careful not to distort the shape of the cap when hanging it out to dry. In low humidity and good ventilation the Beanie has dried within four hours.
One thing I find curious that I haven't mentioned above is the way the cord-lock works. The Hippy Beanie fits well enough that I haven't really had to mess with tightening or loosing the cinch cord. But I have played with it just to get an understanding of how effective it is. On one of the first few days I squeezed the spring-loaded cord-lock and found that it stayed open, and thus not locking on the cord. I was wearing the cap at the time, and thought it had broken. In my mind I was trying to decide if it would be necessary to replace it since I didn't really need it anyway. When I took it off and examined it I discovered that squeezing on the tabs on the side of the lock it snapped back into a functional position. (You can see these tabs in the picture in my Initial Report.) I'm not sure what advantage this feature offers, but it does seem to be an intentional design, and not broken at all.
Just a little bit of snow left this spring.
The ShredAlert Hippy Beanie has worked quite well for me this late winter and early spring. It is warm, really warm, and has been perfect for protecting me in rather cold temperatures, and in the wind and blowing snow. After several washings it still seems to have the nice deep black appearance it had when new. I look forward to wearing the Hippy Beanie as much as possible while the temperatures are still reasonably cool.
Hippy Beanie under a Full Moon.
Long Term Report
June 20, 2011
Hiking in the Iowa Springtime.
I continued to wear the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie on daily hikes until the weather just got too warm. This included the end of April, about 50% of my hikes in May, and only a couple of times on the trails in June, although it did get some camp use in June. Interestingly we had an unusual snowfall in April (picture below), but unfortunately we also had temperatures as high as 95 F (35 C) here in Eastern Iowa. So the temperature range for this portion of the test period was around 30 F (-1 C) to 95 F (35 C), although I didn't wear the Beanie in temperatures above about 60 F (16 C). I estimate that for the Long Term testing phase I wore the Beanie for 25 to 30 hours while hiking, as well as camp time on two different overnight trips.
Unusual April snowfall.
As with most pieces of cold weather gear, any individual item's performance is dependent on the "clothing system" being used at the time. Because of this, I was able to continue to wear the Hippy Beanie with temperatures in the 40s and 50s F (4.5 to 15 C) by reducing my other clothing to less-warm attire. During snowfall, or cool rain, I would wear the Beanie under a wind and rain shell. In warmer dryer conditions I could wear it with a single long-sleeve base layer, light gloves, and even shorts. As the temperature increased during the day, and my body temperature warmed, I would pull off the gloves, and push up my sleeves. Eventually, on several occasions, the Beanie was just too warm and had to come off. That being said, on many hikes in a little bit cooler temperatures, and overcast, damp, or windy conditions, the Beanie was a most welcome cap to have along.
Fit and Comfort:
The Hippy Beanie remained soft and comfortable throughout the test period. Even though it is made from "at least 50% recycled content using Repreve 100 - a recycled fiber made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles" it has a nice soft fleece feel to it. When perspiring in warmer temperatures the Beanie seemed to be quite absorbent, and was still a comfort to wear.
Because of perspiration, and totally soaking the Hippy Beanie, I have washed it probably 10 times during the entire test period. I have always hand washed it, which is easy, and the Beanie comes clean quickly. The color of the Beanie has stayed close to the original black, and the colorful band doesn't seem to have faded significantly. I have noticed that the circumference of the cap has stretched a tiny bit, so I have actually used the cinch-cord to snug up the Beanie just a little. You can see in the picture below that the cord has been cinched slightly.
I started using the cinch cord toward the end of the test period.
The ShredAlert Hippy Beanie has been a comfort to wear and I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in this test. The Beanie is very warm and very soft, and has proven to be quite durable in the four months of testing from late winter into early summer. The Hippy Beanie is my go-to cap, and I look forward to next fall when I would undoubtedly be enjoying it again.
June, 2011. About time to store the Hippy Beanie for the summer.
This concludes my reporting on the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie. Thank you ShredAlert and backpackgeartest.org for this testing opportunity.
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