SUNDAY AFTERNOONS QUEST HAT
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - July 24, 2014
LONG TERM REPORT - November 15, 2014
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons|
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sundayafternoons.com
MSRP: US $36.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 4 oz (113 g)
Colors Available: Indigo, Sandstone and White
Color Tested: White
Sizes Available: One Size Fits Most / 21.75-23.5 in (55-60 cm)
Other details: (from the manufacturer)
* Certified sun fabric blocks 98+% of UV
* Internal wicking sweatband
* Foam core brim floats
* Chinstrap with cord lock
* 3.5 in (8.9 cm) full brim
* Stain / water resistant
* Mesh crown ventilation (not UPF rated)
* Designed in the USA / Imported
* Fabric content: Body: 100% polyester
|Picture Courtesy of Sunday Afternoons|
DESCRIPTION & INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
| ||The Sunday Afternoons Quest hat is a women's specific hat with very cute styling! It appears to be very lightweight with the wide (3.25 in/8 cm) foam-filled brim of the hat accounting for most of the weight. My hat is a bright white with a turquoise-colored trim at the brim which matches the color of the underside of the brim. The (outside) crown of the hat sports a crescent-shape "slice" of grey mesh near the top rea that wraps around the sides tapering off at the front. |
Inside the Quest is a lining of the aforementioned grey mesh which covers the entire crown of the hat and a slightly heavier mesh hat band of the same color grey. The back of the hat band 6 in (15 cm) grosgrain grey ribbon with a black plastic clip for adjust the fit of the hat. This ribbon is held securely to the hat band with a white perpendicular loop. There is a tiny Sunday Afternoons' sun logo and a small informational label attached to the hat band as well.
A black thin woven chin strap with a black plastic barrel lock completes the components of the Quest.
Putting my new Quest hat on my head for the first time was a pleasure! From the picture on the website, I knew what the hat would look like, but not how it would feel. The Quest is very soft and lightweight feeling. Many other hats I already own are heavy and made with stiff fabrics. Not so the Quest - it almost "disappears" once in place!
The crown of the Quest is just right for me - 3.75 in (9.5 cm) high, it covers my head without sticking up or drooping down onto my eyebrows. While it hugs my heads nicely, it doesn't cut off the blood supply to my noggin. I did not have to use the hat band adjustment feature at all.
The brim is generous and on first impression, shades my eyes nicely without further restricting my already poor peripheral vision.
I like the chin strap and know I'll get a lot of use out of it with all the winds I encounter in the mountains here in Colorado.
Lastly, I like the fact that Sunday Afternoons adds only a tiny, tiny logo on this hat. I'm not generally a fan of being a walking "billboard".
Oh wait, I almost forgot - there is a neat feature hidden inside the top of the Quest! The whole top of the hat is a pocket of sorts with a hook-and-loop closure in the middle of it. Though a video on the Sunday Afternoons' website mentions this hidden pocket and suggests storing credit cards or cash, the fabric is so lightweight; I didn't even notice it at first. Not sure yet what I will do with this pocket, but it will be fun to experiment with it. Maybe some ID? Or a cooling gel? Or maybe a map? ...
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
|Seeing that the Quest is a hat and wearing a hat is pretty much intuitive, Sunday Afternoons doesn't include any directions with the hat. I mean, really, what are they going to say - "Put hat on head"? However, since the Quest is a "one-size-fits-most" kind of hat, I was pleased to find the website does give a bit of information on just exactly what "one-size-fits-most" means. Apparently, 98% of adults will fit "easily" in the Quest. That means 98% of adults have heads 21.75-23.5 in (55-60 cm) around. Humph! I learn something new each day!|
The website directed me to measure my head by circling the crown of my head with a string or dental floss (above my eyebrows and my ears). Then to use a ruler to measure the string and compare that to a chart on the website. I sort of bypassed the whole string/dental floss/ruler thing by simply using a cloth tape measure I had in my sewing kit. My 21.75 in (55 cm) measurement puts me right at the lower range, so I fit into that "98%" bracket just fine.
Actually, much to my chagrin, there was a three-line set of "instructions" at the bottom of the Size Chart pop-up! "Upon receiving the hat, loosen or tighten the rear sizing system for a custom fit. Fit the hat slightly above eyebrows and ears to allow front and peripheral vision. Crown fabric should remain loose." So hats DO need directions for use after all!
Once last bit of information is provided on the website and that pertains to washing and care. Simple enough: Hand wash in cold water with a mild soap. Do not machine dry, but hang to dry. Then there is my favorite care instruction - "Do not iron." Good!
|Inside Hat Band Size Adjuster|
I almost always wear a hat to protect my eyes and my face from glare and the harmful effects of the sun. My biggest complaint about most (even summer) hats is the weight (and subsequent heat) and stiffness of the hat. Also because I am subjected to lots of wind on many of my treks, my hat needs to be able to stay on my head even in the most blustery conditions.
I'm pleased to see the Sunday Afternoons Quest hat appears to address my concerns completely. The big brim, soft and lightweight fabric and the chin strap all look to be just what I want and I'm looking forward to many days of use during the rest of summer and autumn.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the last three and a half months of this testing period, up until this week, it's been a typical hot summer and autumn here in Colorado. We've experienced many days when the high temperature was recorded at over the 100 F (38 C) mark. It was the perfect weather for wearing the Sunday Afternoons Quest hat.
I wore the Quest every chance I got - backpacking, day hiking, boating, bike riding, and on almost daily walks/jogs. Places where I wore the Quest include: Wasatch Mountains in Utah, beaches in New Jersey, Mt. Harvard Lakes Trail in south central Colorado and the bayous of Louisiana. Of course, most of my wearings took place hiking around my own "backyard" in Caņon City, Colorado.
|On the Harvard Lakes Trail|| |
|Airboat ride on the bayou near New Orleans, LA|
Two Totally different environments for the Quest Hat!
Above: New Orleans = hot and humid.
To the left: Colorado = cool and dry.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Quest is one cool hat! Literally! Even on the hottest days, I barely was aware I was wearing it. It's so light and airy. The sweat band did a stellar job of keeping my forehead from the sweat. And I do mean "sweat"! I don't "glisten" as ladies are supposed to do. I sweat! The added protection of the very wide brim was particularly welcome for its shade production which in turn, kept the sun off my forehead and the back of my neck - a place I usually forget to apply sunscreen to until it's way too late!
The generous brim also helped immensely with blocking the sun from my eyes. I am severely vision-challenged and must keep the sun out of my eyes as much as possible. The Quest coupled with my sunglasses did just that.
The only downside of that wonderful brim is when wearing a full-on backpacking (multi-day) backpack, the brim fights for space with the top of the backpack (and loses). It gets very, very annoying after a while to have that constant mashing and rubbing going on. Alas, after a couple of tries, I sadly acknowledged the Quest would need to stay on the gear shelf whenever I was embarking on anything more than a day hike.
Another feature I really like about the Quest is the optionally employed chin strap. When I don't need it, I can easily tuck it into the top of the hat. However, Here in Colorado, I need a chin strap more often than not as it is often (very often) very windy, especially above tree line and on summit trails. More than once, I watched another hiker futilely trying to grab his or her hat when the wicked winds would blow. And I was really glad for the chin strap on a recent airboat ride in the bayous of Louisiana. It felt like we were flying over the water there and I'm sure without the Quest's chin strap, it would also have also been flying or uselessly been banished to my day pack!
As I mentioned above, there is a nice-sized secret pocket in the crown of the hat. When walking the dog, cycling, or walking/jogging, I would put my ID in there for safe keeping. The fabric is so thin, I really didn't think I wanted to put anything much heavier than that in there. I did, however, find that pocket to be an ideal place to put my favorite insect repellent "beads". This worked perfectly to keep those nasty gnats away from my face as much as possible. I was very happy about that - the gnats were a bit more aggressive than usual this year.
On a quirky note, on an overnight near Park City, Utah in the Wasatch Mountains, I found the crown-flattened Quest to make a decent Frisbee substitute! Bonus!
This week, the weather progressed to full-on winter with temperatures below freezing and as of right now, 4 straight days of snow. I think it's probably time to pull out the wool caps and store away the Sunday Afternoons Quest until next spring.
I have not noticed any undue wear and tear - no loose stitches, torn threads, compromised hook-and-loop closure, etc. I have not needed to wash the Quest as of yet.
The Sunday Afternoons Quest Hat is an ideal summer hat for women. It's light, airy, stylish and funtional. The Quest has held up wonderfully and looks great even after being crushed in my suitcase on at least 2 occasions, launched into the air during frisbee games, and worn almost daily for 3 months. Despite the fact that I'm not able to wear it with a 65 L backpack due to rubbing, I know I will continue to get lots of use from the Quest when the weather turns balmy again in 2015!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Thank you BackpackGearTest.org and Sunday Afternoons for the opportunity to wear this Quest hat.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters.
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