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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS ECLIPSE CAP
TEST SERIES BY CHERYL MCMURRAY
INITIAL REPORT:  November 19, 2010
FIELD REPORT:  February 8, 2011
LONG TERM REPORT:
  April 5, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

Name: Cheryl McMurray
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (66.6 kg)
Hat Measurement:  22.5 in (57 cm)
Email Address: cherylmcmurray2ATgmailDOTcom
City, State, Country: Garden Grove, California, U.S.

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND


I've been backpacking and hiking for four years, mostly on weekends year around.  Overnight trips are usually long weekend trips in the Eastern Sierras with 32 lb to 40 lb (15 kg to 18 kg) loads depending on the season. One class two rock climb with a day pack is common. Day hikes are 10-15 mi (16 km to 24 km) in the San Gabriel Mountains with loads of 15 lb to 20 lb (7 kg to 9 kg). I'm a tent style camper and have experienced snow, freezing temperatures, high winds, light rain, thunderstorms, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer:  Sunday Afternoons
Year of manufacture:  2010
URL:  www.sundayafternoons.com
Product:  Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap
Listed weight:  2 oz (57 gm)
Weight as delivered:  2 oz (57 gm)
Sizes available:  Medium, Large
Size tested:  Medium
Color tested:  Baltic
MSRP:  N/A
Guarantee:  Lifetime

Photo from manufacturer
Photo from manufacturer (Baltic color)


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap is a lightweight UPF 50+ cap made of a breathable, water resistant nylon sun fabric featuring a hook & loop sizing adjustment with a rubberized pull tab in the back.  The cap features a flip up ventilated crown with mesh panels beneath and integrated wicking sweatband that extends around the inside of the cap measuring 3 in (8 cm) wide in the front and tapering to 2 in (5 cm) wide in the back of the cap.  The brim measures 7.5 in (19 cm) wide and 3 in (8 cm) long and is made of two separate pieces joined together at the center to enable the cap to be folded. 


Brim fold
Cap folded
Brim fold
Cap folded

Vented crown
Cap inside out showing sweatband
Vented crown flipped up
Cap inside out showing the sweatband

INITIAL IMPRESSION

My first impressions of the cap are that it is very lightweight, is an attractive color and the material is very soft.  It appears well constructed with attention to details like the foldable brim, flip up side ventilation and the pull tab on the hook & loop sizing adjustment strap.  The integrated sweatband is a nice touch and the cap seems to contour very nicely to my head.  I like the wide longer brim and have high hopes that it will keep the sun out of my sensitive eyes.  The seams are very neat with a nice finishing hem around the cap.

TRYING IT OUT

I took a 1 mi (1.6 km) walk around the neighborhood at 2 pm with very sunny and warm conditions.  I was amazed as to how comfortable the cap was with no pressure points at all on my head.  The long wide brim kept the sun out of my eyes and I never felt my head overheat at all.  I tried different positions of the rear adjustment strap and was able to adjust it from a looser but fairly secure fit to a snug fit that I'm hoping will help in higher winds since there is no chin strap.  In order to get the fit to be snug I needed to adjust the strap as far as it would go but it did seem to stay put.

Front view Side view Back view
Front view Side view
Back view


SUMMARY

The Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap is a stylish UPF 50+ sun hat with some unique features like the foldable brim, convertible side air vents and integrated sweatband.  The cap appears to be well made with attention to details and so far has been very comfortable on my brief walk to try it out.  The material is soft and molds nicely around my head.


FIELD TEST REPORT

TESTING LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Mt. Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  8 mi (13 km) day hike
Elevation:  6,200 ft (1,900 m) to 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Temperature:  40 F (4 C) to 60 F (16 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, windy

Eagle Peak, Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California
Duration:  2 days, 1 night
Distance:  5 mi (8 km) backpack, 6 mi (10 km) day hike
Elevation:  3,100 ft (950 m) to 5,300 ft (1,600 m)
Temperature:  41 F (5 C) to 65 F (18 C)
Conditions:  Windy, cloudy, light rain

Peter's Canyon, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km) day hike
Elevation:  300 ft (90 m) to 600 ft (185 m)
Temperature:  65 F (18 C)
Conditions:  Sunny

Sunset Peak, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Elevation:  4,600 ft (1,400 m) to 5,800 ft (1,770 m)
Temperature:  60 F (16 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, warm

Mt. Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike snow climb
Distance:  8 mi (13 km) day hike
Elevation:  6,200 ft (1,900 m) to 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Temperature:  47 F (8 C) to 70 F (21 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, breezy, worn under a climbing helmet

COMFORT AND BREATHABILITY

I have worn this cap over a fleece cap in the cold, under a climbing helmet and by itself as the temperatures warm up and it has been comfortable in all situations.  I am pleased that no matter how long I have it on my head, there are no pressure points at all while fitting snug enough to stay on my head even in breezy conditions.  Although I have not used the cap in extreme heat I have not noticed my head sweating or dampness inside the cap from sweating.  My forehead does tend to sweat easily and the cap works very well at absorbing the sweat and keeping it from running down into my eyes.

worn under my climbing helmet
Worn under my climbing helmet


FEATURES

Since the material of the cap is so light, I have not had the need to use the flip up crown ventilation but I have played with it and both sides flip up easily with one hand by starting at the front and running my hand underneath all the way to the back. 

I really like the fact that this cap can be folded and I do use that feature often in the morning when the sun hasn't come up yet and also when the temperature drops and the clouds come out.  While hiking I can pull out my fleece cap from my pack side pocket and fold up the sun cap easily to quickly stash it and never have to take my pack off which is extremely convenient.  I have even stashed the cap into my pants cargo pocket once which worked well for a temporary storage.  The cap, when unfolded always returns to its original shape without any evidence that it has been folded. 

Folded stored in pack
Folded and stored in pack side pocket

The hook and loop adjustment has worked very well.  I usually have to make the cap larger when wearing a fleece cap underneath and have always been able to adjust it large enough for the fleece hat to fit underneath.  As it heats up and I have to remove the fleece cap, I'm able to adjust the cap to fit snug enough on my head once again fitting my head well.  I have found the cap to be very versatile this way.  When the cap is snugged down comfortably on my head it stays secure in breezy conditions but I have had it come off twice with some high wind gusts that caught it just right. 

One of the stated features of the cap is that it is water resistant.  I have not found this to be the case.  I used the cap in a light drizzle to keep the water out of my eyes and the moisture soaked into the cap immediately.  On another walk I used the cap under a rain jacket with the hood up to keep the constant drizzle out of my eyes and began to feel the right front side of my head getting wet.  The brim did hold its shape but was allowing the moisture in under the brim area.

SUN PROTECTION

I have found the sun protection of the cap over my eyes to be very good.  The brim seems to be a good length and width giving me good coverage but never obscuring my view.  The only area that I've had a problem with sun exposure is my ears as I can feel them burning when the sun is hitting me.  I realize that the nature of this cap is a ball cap style cap but when out hiking all day ear coverage for me is important.  It would be nice to see a flip up ear flap on this cap along with the flip up crown ventilation.  I wear shirts that have a collar so sun exposure to my neck is not an issue.

On top of Sunse Peak, sunny day
Side view in the field

WHAT I LIKE

The long wide brim keeps the sun from my eyes without obscuring my view
Ability to fold the hat up small enough to stuff into a side pocket or pants pocket
Very comfortable cap to wear with no pressure points
Versatile to wear over a fleece cap, under a climbing helmet or just on my head with an easy quick adjustment
Soft lightweight material

WHAT I DON'T LIKE

Not water resistant and bill leaks when wet
No sun coverage for my ears


LONG TERM REPORT

TESTING LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Mt. Wilson, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  15 mi (24 km)
Elevation:  1,300 ft (400 m) to 5,700 ft (1,700 m)
Temperature:  45 F (7 C) to 70 F (21 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, warm, shaded and exposed trail

Peter's Canyon, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Elevation:  500 ft (150 m) to 700 ft (200 m) 1,200 ft (350 m) total gain
Temperature:  55 F (13 C) to 65 F (18 C)
Conditions:  Sunny

Bedford Peak, Cleveland National Forest, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  6 mi (10 km)
Elevation:  1,900 ft (600 m) to 3,600 ft (1,100 m)
Temperature:  45 F (7 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, warm

Mt. Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Duration:  Day hike snow climb
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Elevation:  6,200 ft (1,900 m) to 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Temperature:  41 F (5 C) to 70 F (21 C)
Conditions:  Sunny, some winds

LONG TERM TESTING

I've brought this cap with me on every day hike and backpacking trip that I've done since my field test report.  I've not had the need to wear it except for the outings listed above.  I've worn it under my climbing helmet on the snow climb, over a fleece cap on the cooler mornings and alone when the temperatures heat up.  It has been easy to adjust to all of these conditions, has been very comfortable and has offered me the frontal sun protection for my eyes and face along with the top of my head.  I still prefer to have my ears covered but other than that, I like the design of the cap.  I've yet to have the need to use the venting feature.  I feel that the material of this cap is lightweight enough that it does not need the venting.  I do love how small this cap folds up to so that I can even stash it into a pants pocket quickly if I need to.

DURABILITY

The Eclipse Cap has held up very well.  All of the stitching has held up and the material still looks like new.  There has been no fading of the color due to any sun exposure and the material still feels very soft.  Although it has been stored in its folded position, there is no permanent creasing visible on the crown of the cap.

This concludes my test series for the Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap.  I want to thank Sunday Afternoons and BGT for the opportunity to test this cap.



Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by Cheryl McMurray

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray



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