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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper Cap > Owner Review by Bob Dorenfeld



Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper Cap

Owner Review By Bob Dorenfeld
November 16, 2013

Tester Bio
Name: Bob Dorenfeld

I'm an active hiker, snowshoer, skier, backpacker, amateur geographer and naturalist. Home base is the Southern Colorado Rockies, where I usually journey from 7000 ft (2100 m) to above treeline, with occasional desert trips to lower altitudes. Six to 12 miles (10 to 20 km) hiking in a day is my norm, including elevation change of as much as 4000 ft (1200 m) in a day. Most of my backpack trips are two or three nights, sometimes longer. Often I hike off-trail on challenging talus, snowfields, or willow brakes, with occasional bouldering.

Email: geartest(at)sageandspruce(dot)net
Age: 55
Location: Salida, Colorado, USA
Gender: M
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Weight: 135 lb (61 kg)


Product Overview

Manufacturer:    Sunday Afternoons
Website:    www.sundayafternoons.com
Year of Manufacture:    2012
MSRP:    US$26
Material:    Nylon and polyester
Size:    Men's Medium
(Also available in Men's Large, and Women's Medium and Large)

 Alt Text
Photo:  Sunday Afternoons
A good hat is hard to come by...and I'm always looking for one to wear while hiking.  I've gone through a lot of hats over the years!  Some get lost, others worn out, and a few just don't work for me.  For most of my warmer-weather trail adventures I prefer the versatile ball-cap style, which is what this Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper Cap is.  Its nylon outer body with inside polyester mesh is, according to Sunday Afternoons, UPF 50+ certified against the sun and is water repellent and stain resistant.  Other features include slipstream mesh venting panels, internal wicking sweatband, interior crown pocket, folding brim, and cord lock and bungee for adjusting size.  The body of the hat is sewn in two pieces to allow a more generous fit over the head, and for attachment to the inner mesh fabric.  My cap is the "cream/gray" color as seen in the photos; other colors are available.

As for sizing, if you're trying them on in the store, you'll discover right away whether Medium or Large is right for you.  If purchasing via mail-order, I see that Sunday Afternoons has a nice head-sizing chart on their website.  I purchased mine in the store, so haven't used the sizing chart yet.

Field Performance    

I have owned this hat since 2012, but started wearing it regularly in the spring of 2013.  Since then I've doffed it for approximately 300 trail miles in temperatures from 40-90 F (4-32 C),  in geography ranging from alpine mountains to high desert.  I estimated winds of as high as 50 mph (80 kph) at one exposed site while in this cap.

This is a really comfortable hat - it fits well on my head and the bottom of the rim comes down to just between my ears and my head, where it sits snugly.  I'm sure that the two-piece body has a lot to do with that fit.  The brim is neither too long nor too short and so keeps the sun out but allows good range of sight.  I can tip the hat up or down slightly as needed, and it stays in place thanks to the adjustable cord lock and elastic cord. 

Well-worn hatAs shown in this photo, taken recently after the summer and fall 2013 hiking season, there are some sweat stains on the brow, but the rest of the hat is surprisingly clean.  I wouldn't expect any hat to be completely stain-free, but this one does well after a hand-wash in dish soap and warm water every four weeks or so.

This is my first cap with an interior mesh, and I was very nicely surprised when I dipped it into the river to help cool off on a warm sunny day, and found that it stayed wet for over an hour!  Almost all other hats I've owned dry out much more quickly than that in the dry air typical of the Rocky Mountain region I hike in.  Those warm hiking days were in the 80s F (high 20s C), relative humidity about 50%, with tree cover varying from none to park-like, to closed in spruce forest.  So, although I didn't do a controlled experiment (just having a good time hiking!) I'd say the Sun Cap stayed wet or moist through all these changing conditions.  Very impressive.

Of course, after the hat dries out I don't want it to be too hot, and the mesh also provides enough air flow to stay cooler than a solid-material hat would enable.

Although I don't use it very much, the folding brim is convenient for stuffing the hat into a jacket pocket or other small space.  There is also a small wallet-sized pocket (with hook-and-loop closure) located under the top of the hat; not a feature useful to me, but a nice addition for keeping small items that adds to the versatility of the Sun Tripper Cap.

I already mentioned high winds, and I really like hats that stay on!  In that gale on a mountaintop I pulled the rear elastic very tight, settled the hat low on my head, and even with the wind blowing directly into my face and brim I was confident it wouldn't blow off and away (well, almost confident - I did have to hold on to it for a couple of gusts).


Final Thoughts    

An excellent hat...it fits me well, the cord lock is easily adjustable at the rear, it sheds some rain, and keeps its moisture a long time on the trail after being soaked in cold water.  I like the way it fits snugly around my ears and stays on in high winds.  The wicking sweatband does its job, and although I see some permanent sweat stains, they are expected in any hat; regular hand washing in mild soap cleans up most trail dirt.  A sturdy and lightweight hat, I expect my Sun Tripper Cap to last me for many more seasons of hiking and backpacking.  I tried to find a downside, but really couldn't.  The price at US$26 initially seemed high to me for a hat of this type, but if I can hold on to it for a couple more hiking seasons I'll definitely be getting my money's worth.

Reviewed By
Bob Dorenfeld
Central Colorado Mountains





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