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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper Cap > Test Report by Katie Rampala

Sunday Afternoons - Sun Tripper Hat

Test Series by Katie Rompala

Initial Report
Field Report
Long-term Report
Big Picture
Image courtesy of campmor.com

TESTER INFORMATION


Name: Katie Rompala
Age: 29
Gender: F
Height: 5'11" (1.8 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Head circumference: 23" (58 cm)
Email: krstull [AT] gmail.com
City, State, Country: Portland, OR, USA

BACKGROUND

I've been hiking since I was young. I enjoy car-camping and medium to long hikes in the Utah red rock, as well as hiking and snowshoe trips throughout the West. My current base for weekend trips is Portland, Oregon, whereas vacation time is usually dedicated to ~10 day trips to national parks and other wilderness spots. I hope to plan more backcountry trips in the future. For now, I don't worry much about lightweight packing, since I'm more involved in day hikes than overnights and therefore carry less. I enjoy cycling and running.

INITIAL REPORT

Aug 29, 2010

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Sunday Afternoons
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sundayafternoons.com/
MSRP: $24 US
Listed Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g)
Measured Weight: 2.55 oz (72 g)
Size: L (22-23.5", 56-60 cm)
Color: Juniper/Gray
Material: 100% Polyester

The Sun Tripper cap is like a glorified baseball cap. Fortunately its additional features may make it a better option when hiking. It is lightweight, folds well for easy storage, and has a mesh interior and vents to wick sweat away and allow for breathability:

Mesh Front Vent

As shown in the image, in addition to the mesh lining, there are also four layers of stitching lining the brim, making this cap seem sturdier than a normal baseball cap.

The cap's ability to fold up for easy storage is appealing, and its structural components reflect this. The line down the middle of the front brim allow the wearer to fold along this line without disturbing the cap's integrity. Contrary to a normal baseball cap, the Sun Tripper cap will fold and then unfold without noticeable creasing along the brim.

  Fold  Front Crease

Finally, next to the back vents, there is a drawstring on the back to allow the wearer to tighten or loosen the cap, depending on head size and comfort.


Drawstring and Back Vent

Although my head circumference fits into the manufacterer's "large" size specification, this size is really too big for me. I have not tried on the medium (21.5-22.5", 55-57 cm), so I don't know if it would fit better. However, tightening the drawstring on the large is a reasonable solution to this problem. The string still sticks (unstylishly) out the back, but the cap now fits snug on my head and feels comfortable.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

Pros: Lightweight, stylish, adjustable, ventilated, foldable
Cons: Sizing specifications do not seem to correspond to actual fit

This concludes my initial report. Thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test!

FIELD REPORT

November 9, 2010

I have worn the Sun Tripper Cap on several short hikes near Dillon, Montana, which totaled ~ 20 mi (32 km) spread over 7 days. I usually experience glaring sun with warm temperatures (75 F, 24 C) and some wind at an elevation of 5500 ft (1675 m).

I've also used the hat on hour-long walks and runs in Portland, Oregon over  ~15 days. Portland's weather has been quite varied: some days have had sun and warm temperatures (70 F, 21 C), but most days were cloudy and cool (55 F, 13 C), and some were quite rainy. Portland's altitude is close to sea level.


FIELD NOTES

I was very satisfied with this hat. The brim is just deep enough to shade my face in glaring sun without obscuring my line of sight too much. This was especially helpful in Montana, where the intense sun and high elevation can have a serious impact on my fair skin. The drawstring setup is done nicely as well. On windy days, I pull the drawstring a bit tighter than usual, which keeps the hat on my head. Even so, the fabric lining the string is thick enough to keep the hat from feeling too constrictive on my head. This makes the cap quite comfortable, even when pulled tight.

The ventilation worked quite well, which was especially apparent on my runs -- I barely noticed sweat buildup on the brim even after an hour running up and down hills. It didn't feel too insulating on warm days, so I felt like I could wear it to shade my face from the sun without causing discomfort. It has also shown durability since it shows no sign of sweat residue.

On rainy days, the hat has gotten quite wet, but somehow stayed comfortable until I got home and out of the rain. The hat dried out quickly too (just a few hours), and there were no noticeable water marks. Similarly, after washing the hat, I hung it dry inside overnight, and in the morning it was completely dry with no water marks or warping.

Finally, the folding feature is especially nice. I've occasionally ridden my bike to walking and running spots, and the hat folds up into such a small volume that it takes up barely any room in my small cycling backpack. Additionally, I've had no problems with brim deformations following the folding - once I take it from my bag, it unfolds and always looks perfect!

I have not found the inner pocket at the top of the cap to be of any use. But the cap does wash well, with no apparent wearing to the fabric.

Overall, I am very pleased with this cap and have no complaints, despite my initial disappointment with the sizing chart.

This concludes my Field Report. Thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test this cap! Look for my long-term report in January 2011.

LONG TERM REPORT

January 11, 2011

The remainder of my test time, I wore this hat at least three times per week on walks and runs of at least an hour near home in Portland, Oregon. This has added about 100 mi (160 km) of use, bringing me up to about 200 mi (320 km) of total hat use. Temperatures have varied from mild (50s F, 10-15 C) to cold (32 F, 0 C), with many more cloudy, drizzly days than sunny ones, and there has been occasional gusts of wind.

Field Testing

FINAL NOTES

This hat continues to be essential for both sunny and rainy conditions. The brim gives such nice sun protection without obscuring my view, and it has kept my head dry in drizzle. In the cold, it keeps my head warm, although my ears got cold without ear protection. My favorite features of the hat, however, are its lightness and foldability. When I run, it's so light I barely notice its presence on my head, so it is not cumbersome or annoying. Still, it holds tight on my head during windy conditions. I can fold it up and put it in my pocket and barely remember I'm carrying it around when I'm on walks and want a completely unhindered view, such as when bird-watching. This easy portability is one of its best features.

It also keeps a clean look between washings, showing no salty deposits after weeks of running. I have washed it only twice, but spending time outside in the Pacific northwest in winter is kind of like getting a shower since it rains so much, so the limited number of times I've had to wash the hat may not be representative of use in other climates.

All in all, I am very happy with this hat. I will definitely continue to use this hat when I go running or when walking around town. And I can't wait to wear it on hikes this summer!

PROS
nice brim length with good shading
comfortable drawstring setup
good ventilation
durable with no evidence of wear
dries very quickly without water or sweat marks
folds up small with no deformations upon unfolding
stylish

CONS
none!

This concludes my test series. Thanks to Sunday Afternoons and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test this cap! 


Read more reviews of Sunday Afternoons gear
Read more gear reviews by Katie Rampala

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Sunday Afternoons Sun Tripper Cap > Test Report by Katie Rampala



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