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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > ShredAlert Hippy Beanie > Test Report by Michael Mosack

SHRED ALERT HIPPY BEANIE
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT
June 13, 2011

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Mosack
EMAIL: mosack(AT)earthlink(DOT)net
AGE: 47
LOCATION: San Diego, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, Canada California and Grand Canyon, Arizona to Afghanistan and rely on my backpacking equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter whenever possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items I carry are paramount to me over price and weight.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: ShredAlert
IMAGE 1
Shred Alert Hippy Beanie

Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: www.shredalert.com
MSRP: US$ 32.00
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: Will be provided by test end.
Other details:
Made in the U.S.A.
Material: Polartec® recycled poly/fleece
Size: One size, adjustable
Models available: Step, Bluechevron and Incasun
Model Tested: Step

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Packaging:
Within the packaging, I received the ShredAlert Hippy Beanie, hereafter referred to as the hat, or the beanie. The model I received is the "Step" version. There were 5 stickers from the manufacturer in assorted sizes included.
IMAGE 2
Inside seam detail


Initial Impressions:
My initial impression is that the hat feels soft to the touch. Upon looking at the hat, I immediately found that one of the seams was sewn incorrectly. The seam does not completely run down the length of the hat like the other three seams do. (see photo). While there isn't a hole in the hat's seam currently, I'll have to monitor this throughout the testing period.

In the picture on the website, the hat also displays a sewn tag on the outside of the hat that overlies the multi-colored band. This missing tag would normally have the company logo on it. The hat I have to test did not have that tag sewn on it either.

Trying the hat on and with the cord lock at its loosest, I found that my head size at 7 5/8 in (19.5 cm) fit snugly in the hat and I did not need to tighten the hat any further. The hat felt comfortable and warm. It did not feel itchy or scratchy.

Materials:
IMAGE 3
Beanie inside out

This hat includes a product tag that is printed on recycled paper and describing the manufacturing process as eco-engineering Polartec® Repreve 100 recycled fiber by Unifi, that is made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles. The fiber uses natural resources & energy while reducing CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions.

Three tags are sewn inside the hat.
The first tag states Polartec® Eco-Engineering
The second tag states that this hat is made in the U.S.A.
The third tag states,
Body: 100% Polyester;
Band: 100% Organic cotton
Hand wash cold; Do not bleach; Dry flat
IMAGE 4
Cord lock adjustment


Construction:
This hat design is a beanie style, modern day version of the knit and watch cap styles. The primary color is black with an embroidered multicolored design that encircles approximately 75% of the entire base of the hat. The design is in the shape of a band, which is a separate piece sewn onto the hat to maintain the same feel of polyester material throughout the inside of the hat. At the rear of the hat, the band has attached to it, a cord with a cord lock style adjustment to accommodate different sized heads. The cord and cord lock are both black and match the hat.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The only instructions included are sewn into the hat on a tag. These washing instructions, state, "Hand wash cold; Do not bleach; Dry flat."

Checking the website did not provide any additional instructions.

TRYING IT OUT

Trying the hat on, I found it was just a little snug, but I have a larger head and even so, it was quite comfortable. I did not get any sense that it was scratchy in feel and it was pretty much form fitting. I tried the cord lock adjustment and it works fine. I won't be adjusting the hat during my test as it only fits when I have it at its loosest adjustment. I did notice however, that the cord lock does seem to hold its place when I set it at different spots. I gave a slight tug on the cords and am confident that the lock does its job in maintaining whatever setting I have the hat set at. Wearing the hat, I also found that it is large enough that I can pull it down to cover my ears and my eyebrows, while the rear portion comes down to the base of my neck.

Summary

Initially I am impressed with this hat. I am a little concerned by the seam that was not sewn correctly, but the hat appears to be holding together fine so far. I also like the feel of this hat. Please check back for my Field Report.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this first testing phase, I used my Beanie in Afghanistan and Big Sur, California U.S.A. I was in the area of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan for 34 days and nights. The temperatures ranged from 23 F (-5 C) to 55 F (13 C) and the altitudes were from approximately 850 ft (260 m) to 1100 ft (335 m). The terrain consisted of open desert, gravel roads and rocky conditions.

I then made a trip to Big Sur for 5 nights and 6 days. During this period, I wore the Beanie on two day-trips and one overnight while sleeping covering 16 miles (26 km). The temperatures were approximately 48 F (9 C) to 59 F (15 C) and the elevations ranged from sea level to about 400 ft (122 m). The terrain consisted of worn foot trails, rocky outcroppings, sandy beaches and paved roadways.
IMAGE 5
Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I found that the Beanie was comfortable throughout the Field Testing phase and did not leave me feeling itchy. The Beanie breathes well and stays comfortable on my head. Sweat seems to evaporate quickly in this dry environment and was not an issue I found during this test.

I did not wash the Beanie during this testing period, but will be during the long term reporting phase and will report on my findings. I did not have to adjust my Beanie as the cord lock adjustment allows the Beanie to fit me when left opened to the maximum size. The Beanie packs well and squishes tightly into any place I can find in my backpack. On warmer days, I have used my Beanie as a wrap for my water bottle to help keep my water cool. I have also used it to keep my hot chocolate warm longer on cooler days. I have also shoved a "T" shirt inside my Beanie to use it as a makeshift pillow.

SUMMARY

So far, I am enjoying my Beanie and am impressed with it. I have not yet had any issues with the seam coming apart, but will continue to monitor this throughout my test.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this testing phase, I used my Beanie in Afghanistan and have worn the Beanie approximately 25 times. I was in the area of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan for 14 days and nights. The temperatures ranged from 25 F (-4 C) to 59 F (15 C) and the altitudes were from approximately 850 ft (260 m) to 1100 ft (335 m). The terrain consisted of open desert, gravel roads and rocky conditions with a surface ranging from a fine powder type dust to very rocky areas and bright clear sunny skies throughout.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I found the Beanie held up and performed very well. It is comfortable and easily packable.
I followed the instructions (see my initial report) when I handwashed the Beanie. I then let it air dry while it was laid flat over a rock. It appears to have held its color and shape very well and I found nothing negative to write about. The Beanie did not shrink or lose its insulation properties in as much as I can tell anyway.
IMAGE 6
River crossing ahead

SUMMARY

So to summarize, I have found this Beanie to be quite comfortable and lightweight. It seems to breathe well and does not give me that itchy feeling common with my other similar style hats. It feels soft on the skin and is well constructed. I have had quite a bit of use with this Beanie and plan to go to it again.

CONTINUED USE

I like this Beanie a lot. I will be keeping this one for my colder days and nights on the trail. I see a river crossing ahead and a mountain calling my name after that so hopefully I'll see you again on the trail very soon.

I would really like to thank ShredAlert and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Shred Alert gear
Read more gear reviews by Michael Mosack

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > ShredAlert Hippy Beanie > Test Report by Michael Mosack



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