SUNDAY AFTERNOONS QUEST HAT
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
November 29, 2014
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sundayafternoons.com
MSRP: $36 US
Listed Weight: 3.4 oz (96 g) (Not listed on website)
Measured Weight: 2.8 oz (79 g)
Listed Brim Width: 3-1/2" (8.9 cm)
Measured Brim Width: 3" (7.6 cm) at sides; 3-1/4" (8.3 cm) at front and back
Size: One size fits most
Color Tested: Sandstone
Other Colors Available: White, Indigo
Made in Vietnam
The Quest hat is a women's boonie hat made of 100% polyester which is stain and water resistant. It has a 50 UPF rating and claims to block 98+% of UVA and UVB solar rays. The brim is wide with a foam core so that it floats. There is no brim wire so that the hat has more of a floppy look to it and is easily crushable. The underside of the brim is a darker color to protect from glare.
Around the crown of the hat there is a mesh section for ventilation. Beneath the crown is an internal pocket with a hook-and-loop closure. The headband is a wicking fabric to handle sweat and has an adjustable strap to tighten the headband for a customizable fit. There is a chin strap with a cord lock.
Sunday Afternoons guarantees satisfaction of materials and craftsmanship for the lifetime of the product.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT
My first impression was how large the hat seemed but then I was surprised at how light it felt. I didn't see any listed weight on the website but found it on the hangtag attached to the hat. When I weighed it, it was even lighter than advertised and wasn't much more than many light caps that I own. That is impressive.
For years I've struggled to find a hat that provides good sun coverage without being too hot or too heavy. After trying many different hats, I have always ended up going back to a lightweight cap to which I add a bandana for mid-days on the trail. I'm anxious to see if the Quest is what I've been seeking. So far, so good.
When I first tried on the hat it was large but then I found the adjustable headband and was easily able to get a nice fit. Just wearing the hat in the house I can see how much shade it provides.
Overall the hat seems to be as-advertised on the website and the product received was what I had expected based on the website information.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Care instructions are to hand wash in cold water with mild soap and line dry. Do not tumble dry or iron.
The Sunday Afternoons Quest hat is a boonie-style hat with a wide brim and floppy look. It is lightweight and has an excellent rating for sun protection.
Likes so far:
Lightweight (and lighter than advertised)
Easy to adjust fit
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the Quest on four backpacking trips totaling 17 days and for day hikes, fishing and around town for an additional 8 days. Temperatures ranged from 37 to 75 F (3 to 24 C).
|Extreme winds near Sonora Pass|
Two Peaks Trail, El Dorado National Forest, California: 3 days; 6,560 and 8,220 ft (2,000 and 2,505 m) elevation; 55 to 72 F (13 to 22 C) with clear to cloudy and windy conditions. This was a loop hike.
Pacific Crest Trail, California: 8 days; 78 mi (126 km); 7,519 to 10,870 ft (2,292 to 3,313 m) elevation; 37 to 75 F (3 to 24 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions and extreme wind on the last day. This was a point-to-point hike.
Yosemite National Park, California: 3 days; 20 mi (32 km); 3,800 to 7,875 ft (1,158 to 2,400m) elevation; 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C) with clear skies to heavy thunderstorm conditions. We hiked down to the river the first day and then fished/rock-hopped all of the second day and climbed back out on the third day.
Desolation Wilderness, California: 3 days; 17 mi (27 km); 6,700 to 9,983 ft (2,042 and 3,043 m) elevation; 39 to 65 F (4 to 18 C) with clear to cloudy and windy conditions. On this trip we hiked into a lake base camp and on the second day hiked off-trail to summit Pyramid Peak.
Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa, California: 7 mi (11 km); 125 to 960 ft (38 to 293 m) elevation; 65 to 75 F (18 to 24 C); clear sunny day with open climbs.
Auburn Dam Overlook, California: 6.5 mi (10.5 km); 1,237 to 1,539 ft (377 to 469 m) elevation; 55 to 65 F (13 to 18 C); partly cloudy to sunny conditions with some light gusting winds.
Auburn Recreation Area, California: 3.8 mi (6.1 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 60 F (15 C); started out sunny and ended in complete darkness using headlamps.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I have tried many different summer hats for backpacking on the search for one that will shield my face from the sun and also be lightweight and breathable enough. After trying every hat I end up going back to my favorite combination of a very light cap with a bandana underneath for sun protection. The Quest is the first hat that I've found which fits the bill for me. I'm so happy to have found it.
|Atop Pyramid Peak|
I noticed on many occasions that a small gust of wind would come up and blow my hat off of my head before I realized that I needed to be using the chin strap. The brim is so wide that it catches a lot of wind and oftentimes my hat was the only one of our group that seemed to fly off in these lighter winds. The brim is wide enough to interfere with larger backpacks and I've used hat and pack combinations in the past where this was quite annoying. However my pack is now fairly small and doesn't extend up high enough over my shoulders to cause this issue anymore.
The hat packed well into various pockets of my pack. I often had it folded or rolled up and stuffed or had it hanging off of my pack. All of these options worked fine and the hat is flexible enough to not notice the abuse. The shape just pops back to its original style.
On our last day to Sonora Pass where we climbed to over 10,000 ft (3,048 m) elevation the wind was blowing hard with sustained winds in the 30 mph (48 km/h) range and gusts to 45 mph (72 km/h). And it lasted for several miles (kilometers). It was difficult to walk in a straight line and I was thankful for my trekking poles. Although both my poles and my legs kept being blown off course so it was a constant battle not to trip. I had my Quest chin strap secured but the brim was whipping around so hard that it kept hitting my face and neck. And the wind was ferocious on my face, ears and eyes (even with sunglasses on). I wore a bandana over my face to help. I found myself wishing for some snaps that would hold the brim of the hat to the side of the chin strap. That would hold the brim down over my ears keeping it from hitting me while providing some additional protection.
Over the test period the hat ended up with several areas of dirt smudges but still looked remarkably clean. I attribute that to the tan color but the fabric didn't attract dirt at all. I washed the hat by hand and had to do a little extra scrubbing to get all of the dirt off but it cleaned up nicely. The durability has been very good with only one small snag on the crown. I can't recall what caused it but it may have been a fish hook.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
The Sunday Afternoons Quest hat has turned out to be the best summer hat I've found for backpacking. It provides excellent sun protection while not making me too hot to wear it.
|brim doesn't hit small packs|
Likes so far:
Great sun protection
None, but I may add a couple of snaps to hold the brim to the chin strap
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith