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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat > Test Report by Ray Estrella

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
Test Series by Raymond Estrella
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - June 06, 2010
FIELD REPORT - August 17, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - October 10, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 50
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, plus many western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly UL, I try to be as near to it as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with brother-in-law Dave.


INITIAL REPORT

The Product

Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons
Web site: www.sundayafternoons.com
Product: Adventure Hat
Made USA
Year manufactured: 2010
MSRP: US $36.00
Weight listed: 3 oz (85 g)
Verified weight: 2.9 oz (82 g)
Size: Large
Color tested: Cream/Sand

Adventure Hat
Image courtesy Sunday Afternoons

Product Description

The Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat (hereafter called the Adventure or hat) is a light weight hat that offers major sun protection. It is a five-panel hat with the center panel running straight across the head from forehead to nape of neck. The next two panels are cut on an arc and go down to either side of the hat. The bottom most panels are made of mesh to allow ventilation.

A decorative nylon strap compliments the front of the hat. At the back the hat has been gathered with some light elastic. There is also a flat sliding dis-connect buckle to allow tighter cinching to the head. Just above all this is a square of sewn on Hook.

The Adventure is made of 100% nylon. The hand is somewhat smooth and slippery. The dome of the hat is made of a single layer of nylon. The nylon is said to block 98% of UV to provide an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+.

A large, stiff 4 in (10 cm) brim extends from the dome to provide shade and protection for the eyes. The underside of the brim is covered in khaki nylon to alleviate reflected glare. The brim is made with a foam core to make it float if dropped in the water. As may be seen above, an 8 in (20 cm) veil drapes down the back to provide sun protection for the neck and ears. This hanging portion is lined with the darker color nylon too. A sewn on square of Loop at the very bottom center matches up with the Hook mentioned above to hold the back up off the neck if so desired.

The Adventure may be kept on my head in windy conditions by tightening the adjustable draw-cord that drops from the sides. Inside the hat I find a moisture wicking sweatband. At the back is a tag with the company information on one side, and washing instructions on the other. They are: hand wash cold, line dry, no dryer, no iron.

Looking over the Adventure I have to say it is extremely well made. The stitching is all straight and uniform.

I just about always wear a hat as I know I need to keep the sun off my face, and often fail to remember my sunblock lotion. Summer is just getting going as I write this. So I am looking forward to getting the Adventure hat into the field. Please come back in two months to see how the hat works for me.


FIELD REPORT

Quick & Dirty, Nitty Gritty

The Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat has been everything I want in a hat and nothing I don't want. I have zero complaints for this super sun blocker and it even helps keep mosquitoes and ticks off me. Read on for the details.

Field Data

It's a kilt


I have been very active this year hiking and the Adventure hat has been with me on every hike to date. Here are most of the hikes I have had it on.

I took it on a 26 miles (42 km).overnighter in Cleveland National Forest to Fisherman's camp starting from the Ortega Candy Store. I started with it weighing 19.4 lb (8.8 kg) in temps to 85 F (29 C).

Went to the same location as a dayhike taking a shorter brutal route in temps to 90 F (32 C). This hike saw 20 mi (32 km) and 3740 ft (1140 m) of gain. The shot above is from this trip. (Notice the flat, wide brim.)

Then I went with a friend to the Upper Kern river area on a backpacking/fishing trip for two days. It was very hot and sunny, getting to over 90 F (32 C) during the day

A week later I went back to the Upper Kern area for three days trying to get down to the Durwood Creek/Kern River cable crossing, and to find and take pictures of waterfalls on feeder creeks. Temps ran from a low of 48 to over 90 F (9 to 32 C).

It came along on a backpacking trip with my children to Itasca State park where we made camp at McKay Lake.

Next I spent two days backpacking and fishing in the Dinky Lakes Wilderness. The weather was great, nice and sunny with highs around 80 F (27 C).

I snuck in a two-peak bagging trip in the Baldy area in temps in the 80's F (29 C) once past the saddle and in the bright sun.

Next was my big trip, a 91 mile (147 km) backpacking trip through Yosemite National Park where some days it passed 90 F (32 C).

Last was a hot two-day hike in the San Jacinto Wilderness where I camped above Miller Creek at Law's Junction.

Observations

The Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat has certainly seen some major use so far this summer. Between backpacking, camping and dayhiking I have had it out 23 days. Because I am testing it I make sure to wear it always by not bringing my sunglasses, forcing me to keep the hat on. And it shows by this being the first summer I have not received a sunburn, even on my long Yosemite trip.

When I first got the hat the brim was somewhat flat and very wide. On one of the first trips I followed Sunday Afternoons recommendation of rolling it for storage and placing it in the stuff-it pocket of my pack. When the sun came up (and I got out of the deep canyon I was hiking in) I pulled it out to find that the brim was permanently rounded. Here is a shot right after I put it on to climb out of the Kern Valley.

No, not a skirt, kilt.


I was disappointed in the sharp curve at first and attempted to re-flatten it by washing it and letting it dry flat. It never did regain the shape but I ended up liking the way it was as it blocked reflected glare from rock and water.

One thing I realized right away is that I should have got the next size down. When the wind blows I prefer to tighten the strap at the back rather then resort to the drawstring. Even pulled all the way tight the strap is still loose enough for the hat to easily blow off, which it has done many times. In the picture below the wind is cranking as I look at the heavy flow Kern River.

Fine, I'll wear pants


The Adventure has been easy to keep clean. I have washed it a couple times and have just rinsed it many times. In fact if the weather is hot (as it has been for most of the trips with it so far) I rinse it in each stream I cross to let the hat cool me as I hike.

Another thing I have done to it is to soak it in a permethrin solution. This gives it the same properties as the hats and clothing that use the Buzz Off fabric to keep mosquitos and ticks at bay. It works quite well. The best use of this was on my three day hike in the Upper Kern area where I did much of it off trail. The ticks were horrible and dropped from the brush and trees as I push through. Any landing on the hat decided quickly to roll off rather than crawl down to find edible me… Here is a shot overlooking some waterfalls on Peppermint Creek.

Waterfalls are cool


To date I see no wear to speak of. The color is still fast, no sun bleaching that I notice. No pulled threads or holes from passing brush. But the summer is young! Well, no it's not. But I do have some more hiking planned to use the Adventure hat on so please come back in two months to see if it is still doing me right.


LONG-TERM REPORT

Field Data

On the East Fork San Gabriel


I went up the East Fork San Gabriel River for an overnighter. I stayed in the Narrows near Iron Fork where it only made it down to 53 F (12 C) and was 97 F (36 C) in the shade which was pretty much non-existent for two thirds of the trail. The shot above was taken at the beginning of the Narrows.

Next was a 21-mile (34 km) group hike back to Willett's Hot Spring in the Sespe Wilderness. This was a very hot hike under full sun with almost no shaded areas until we made camp. The temperature was 96 F (36 C) the first day and hotter the second, although we never sat in a shaded spot long enough to get an accurate measurement on the way back out.

Dave and I did an overnighter in the Mono Pass area. The picture below is taken past the pass looking over the Owens Valley. He actually has the exact same hat in his hand, but took it off for the picture.

Last was a 26-mile (42 km) overnighter in the high Sierra Nevada in the Piute Pass/Pine Creek Pass area. It was partially cloudy both days with a tiny bit of rain.

Near Mono Pass with David

Observations

Well, after a total of 31 days of use over the past four months I think I can say that the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat is a great backpacking hat.

Again I used the Adventure hat to keep mosquitoes off my head and neck, touching up the Permethrin treatment a couple times with a spray bottle. I also switched to using a Photon Freedom Micro-Light instead of a head lamp so I wear the hat whenever I need hands free use as it will clip to the brim.

I finally got it pretty dirty and needed to wash it in the washing machine to get it clean as hand washing was not cutting it. Because of the hot hiking I was soaking it every time I crossed water and some of it was not the prettiest water to look at. Plus a lot of dust kicked up by me or fellow hikers settled on the constantly wet hat a lot. It ended up with a patina of darker tan mottled over the light tan of the hat.

The washing machine did seem to beat up the brim a bit but it still works fine. Other than that there is still no wear to speak of. I have never stored it rolled since that first time and the brim did flatten back out somewhat.

The protection from sun has been stellar. Almost every hike the past two months have been in strong bright sunshine. The Adventure hat has kept those UV rays from making toasted Ray. I love the hat and plan to continue using it for a long time to come.

My thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test this great hat. I will leave with a shot of me and another David near the Sespe with my man-made shade.

In Sespe with another David

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat > Test Report by Ray Estrella



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