WHITE ROCK GEAR OUTBACK CLASSIC HAT
TEST SERIES BY ANDREW PRIEST
April 06, 2008
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
5' 11" (1.80 m)
213 lb (96.80 kg)
I've been bushwalking in Western Australia for approximately six years. For the past five years I have been regularly walking and leading on and off-track pack carries with the Perth Bushwalkers Club. I have also got into geocaching and now off-road mountain bike touring (2008). I consider myself as moving towards being a lightweight tent-carrying bushwalker with my pack base weight in the 8 to 12 kg (18 to 26 lb) range.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Specialist Optical Ltd aka White Rock
|White Rock Gear Outback Classic Hat|
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: White Rock
MSRP: Not Available
Listed Weight: Not Available
Measured Weight: 5 oz (140 g)
Other details: Size XL
The White Rock Gear Outback Classic hat is a wide brimmed summer hat. My size XL inner headband is approximately 20 cm (8") in diameter and the outer brim is approximately 35 cm (14 ") across. My initial impressions are that this will be a good size for me in terms of sun protection. Of course testing will provide further information on this aspect.
Turning to the features of the hat. According to the tag with the hat and the White Rock website, the Outback Classic has the following features:
- 30+ UV Protection factor. This has been tested according to British Standard 7914:1998 by the Radiological Protection Board. Sounds good to me :)
- The Classic has insect repellent impregnated in the material. White Rock claims the repellent is of a nonirritating type and it is biodegradable but it will eventually wash out after 20+ washes. The White Rock website indicates this feature is not available on hats sold in the US. It is not clear as to whether the hat I have received has this feature or not;
- The inner headband of the Classic is "anti-bacterially" treated. This is meant to reduce odour;
- The coolest feature of the hat is that it has "Hydra Cool" crystals. These are crystals which are stitched into the front of the inner headband of the Classic. To activate the crystals, one soaks the headband in water for about three minutes. The cooling effect will last for "days" according to White Rock;
- The Classic's material is Teflon coated to provide a level of stain and water resistance;
- Elasticated chin strap which is a good length for me;
- The outer brim can has two metal press studs (one on each side) to allow for the brim to be connected to the crown, thus giving the hat a narrow profile if so desired;
- There is a small pocket, referred to as a passport or security pocket, in the crown of the hat;
- Last but not least, there are four brass stud type ventilation holes in the crown. These holes have mesh over them, which I assume is there to reduce the chance of insects getting through.
In summary the Classic is pretty much as I expected. My only frustration with the website was the lack of sizing information and hence I had to take a punt on getting the right size hat. It would have be helpful in my view if White Rock provided more informative sizing information that extends beyond the neutral size labels of S - 2X.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There are two sets of instructions for the Classic. The first is in respect to the activation of the Hydro Cool feature and the other is the washing instructions.
The washing instructions are simple and easy to follow, i.e., "hand wash". In respect to the Hydro Cool feature, again the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The instruction to activate the feature, is to "soak this front section of the inner headband in water for about 3 minutes." Pretty clear and easy to follow.
Other than that, it is a hat and its use is pretty much straight forward.
As I am coming into our winter season, it may seem funny to be testing a summer hat, but I wear a hat all year round as I find them good to wear in both sunny or hotter weather as well as in cool and wet weather. This means that I intend to test the Classic in all the weather conditions I encounter on my walks.
This should allow me to get a feel for the:
- Sun protection functionality of the Outback Classic;
- its stain and water resistance (I am not the cleanest bushwalker for sure);
- possibly the hydro cool feature if we get some warmer days during the testing period;
- the Outback Classic's overall functionality and durability;
- effectiveness of the chin strap;
- odour resistance of the hat;
- general comfort and functionality of the Outback Classic;
- and possibly its bug repellent features. This really depends on whether I encounter bugs during the test period (unlikely) and of course if the Classic impregnated with repellent (an unknown).
In summary I am impressed with the Classic as received. I like its wide brim, its solid chin strap, its rated level of sun protection and it feels comfortable on. I am looking forward to seeing how it goes as my bushwalking hat.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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