|Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Quest hat > Test Report by Kerri Larkin
TEST SERIES BY KERRI LARKIN
This hat is so light! When I received my hat in the mail I wasn't sure there was anything in the bag it was so light. When I pulled it out I found it was exactly as light as it seemed. At on 79 g (2.9 oz) this is a true lightweight in the hat world. I love the pale blue colour (called Indigo by the company), which is stylish but will 'go' with a lot of clothes I own.
When it arrived, my hat was folded in half and this seems to have left a permanent crease in the brim, however, it doesn't affect the brim's ability to remain correctly flat. The brim is ribbed by stitching to give some firmness but there is no wire in the outer brim which means this is a more 'floppy' style of hat. The lack of a wire also means it's more easily packable.
Initial inspection revealed no loose threads and it appears this hat is manufactured to very high standards. There are some double-stitched areas to reinforce fabric joins and the sides of the hat appear to be made of four pieces of material to give the shaping.
Across the sides and back of the hat is a mesh area for ventilation. Again, this is a stylish design feature and rather than a simple mesh insert, it it tapered at the sides. Although there is only a smallish area for ventilation externally, the inside of the hat is fully lined with this wicking mesh, so it should help keep my head cool. The whole top and sides of the hat are very soft and floppy so I won't have reservations about squashing this in to my pack, and it feels super-soft when worn.
The underside of the brim is a darker colour (grey on my hat) which Sunday Afternoons states is to reduce glare. There is a 1.25 in (3 cm) sweat band which is made of a wicking material. It feels very soft to touch. There is a grosgrain (large grain) ribbon running around the back of the sweat band with a buckle attached and this is used to adjust the sizing of the hat band to suit my head size. I found I didn't need to use this initially as the hat sat very comfortably on my head. I was concerned the buckle might dig in to my scalp but so far, in a very short wear, I didn't even notice it. There is a small logo tab stitched to the end of the ribbon.
A small 'secret' pocket is located on the underside of the crown and would be suited to storing some cash or a credit card. It is held closed by hook-and-loop in the centre, but as the pocket stretches the full width of the crown, it means there are large gaps which things could fall out of.
A very generous chin strap is attached and has a cord lock included for ease of adjustment. The strap is thin and soft and doesn't feel like it will be annoying. It seems almost long enough to attach a small carabiner to, so it could be anchored to the shoulder strap of a backpack. It is stitched with heavy duty stitching to the brim, so should be very strong.
Inside the hat is a small sewn-in patch with information about the hat and washing instructions. An even smaller tab has some letters and numbers on it and I'm guessing this is some kind of model identifier.
Wow! This hat is so soft and so light! It almost disappears when worn. If it weren't for the slight pressure around my head from the band, I could almost forget I am wearing it. It sits quite low over my eyebrows and rests lightly on the tops of my ears but otherwise I can't feel it!
Many hats feel quite warm to wear, but so far, the Quest seems very cool, so perhaps not a great choice for cold weather. However, with spring fully sprung here, this hat should help keep me cooler this summer. I'll be interested to see if it still feels cool when worn in the sun as the material is quite thin and may become hot. I'll report back on this...
I've been told I have a head that doesn't get flattered by many hat styles but, to me, I think this hat looks pretty good. The styling, wide brim and great colours really help it seem like I could wear this hat anywhere. I'm sure looking forward to getting to know it better!
I spent a night in the Bucca State Forest. Temps were around 24 C (75 F) during the day and down to 8 C (46 F) at night. There was plenty of condensation overnight but the days were clear and very pleasant. This was a car-based trip with short hikes.
I spent two nights at Cathedral Rock National Park in the Dorrigo region of New South Wales. I started at Native Dog Creek Campground and walked the 10.4 km (6.5 mi) to Barokee campground, where I spent the night before walking back the next day. This was a more extreme camp with daytime temps around 32 C (90 F) and overnight lows of 2 C (36 F). It was very dry for this trip.
Finally, I spent two days walking in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park near Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Again, it was quite warm with temps around 29 C (84 F) and lows of 14 C (57 F).
Apart from these camping trips I've used the Quest almost every day when walking my dog (around 3 kilometres or about 1.8 miles) with weather varying from mild to quite hot and in winds ranging from calm to very strong.
The Quest has done everything I've asked of it with ease. It's been packed, worn almost daily and coped with some rough weather. I think it's probably the lightest hat I've ever owned and it's sometimes possible to forget I'm even wearing it. That's a testament to it's lightness, but also it's comfort. There's no pressure points or rubbing; it simply molds to my head shape. It's also far cooler than most other hats I've worn for two reasons: firstly, it's so light, and secondly, because of the venting mesh which allows heat to escape. Although it's possible to get a slight breeze going through the mesh to cool the head, mostly I found it was more about letting heat out. In the comfort and ventilation stakes, this hat is a real stand out winner.
That's not to say it's all good news though. Because this hat is so light I've almost always had to use the chin strap to stop it blowing off in anything other than calm conditions. Without the strap, I would have lost the Quest on many occasions. It's possible to cinch the band a little tighter to keep the hat tighter, but that stops it feeling quite so invisible. It is, however, remarkably effective at adjusting the Quest's size. Generally, I leave the chin strap loosely hanging under my chin all the time I'm wearing the hat in case of unexpected gusts.
The other thing I find annoying is that the brim tends to flip up as soon as it gets breezy. No real problem if the wind is behind me, but if I'm walking into the breeze it leaves me looking like Gomer Pyle all too easily. I feel I've got a lot more sun exposure because of this than I would wearing a hat with a stiffer brim. I find myself looking down a lot more to stop the wind getting under the brim. When the breeze is from the side, I look like I'm wearing an Australian Army Slouch Hat.
In terms of wear, the Quest still looks like new. I'm surprised by this as there's been quite a lot of sweating done and, at times, there's been a sweat line extending half way across the brim (yes, I know that's more information than most people need or want, but them's the facts) yet there's been no staining or permanent line left by the sweat as happens on a lot of hats. The inside is looking decidedly like it's ready for a bath, but otherwise the hat looks as good as new. There's a few more crease lines in the brim now, but it still holds its shape very well. I've been pleasantly surprised by how well this hat has worn.
I've also been surprised that the mesh ventilation panel has not got tangled in things, snagged, ripped or otherwise damaged.
The Sunday Afternoons Quest hat is a simple product that does its job very well. It's as light as any hat I've ever worn and far more comfortable than most. It appears to be well made and looks like it will last very well. Its kept my head cooler than most hats but still offers plenty of protection provided it's not too windy.
I've really enjoyed using this hat and will continue to do so well after this test has concluded!
This concludes my Long term Report. I'd like to thank Sunday Afternoons and BackPackGearTest.org for the opportunity to be a part of this test.
Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by Kerri Larkin
Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Quest hat > Test Report by Kerri Larkin
If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.