Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Comfortable, breathable, good protection, packs down to a good size and reforms quickly, style.
Cons: Bad in wind.
Best Uses: Climbing, hiking, camping, being outside, water sports.
The Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat is a very comfortable hat with pretty good protection and great breathability. Its mesh ventilation is actually protected with UPF rated fabric so that you don't have to sacrifice your protection for breathability, which is unlike any other hat we tested. It also does all this while being a highly stylish hat. A reason why you should get this hat instead of our Editors' Choice hat, the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, is that it looks a lot better…way less dorky. Other than that we suggest getting the Editors' Choice.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This hat has a UPF rating of 50+ and a brim sizing 3 inches in the front, 3 3/4 inches on the back, and sides giving you a good amount of protection throughout the day. It's not the biggest brim but it's also not the smallest. It also has covered mesh ventilation and is the only hat to protect you while letting you breathe. We felt comfortable wearing this hat with a little bit of sunscreen around the base of our neck and on our nose because we were protected on the other parts. However, if you require more protection we suggest getting a hat with a cape such as the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat or the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap.
The Sombriolet has a nice snug fit that makes it very comfortable. It also has a dark under-brim that helps deflect glare on really bright days. We feel like it sits a little bit higher on your head than other hats and would prefer it to sit a little lower since it feels a little less stable. This might have been a sizing issue or just how the hat is meant to be. We also noticed that in high winds this hat's brim is easily bent upward. This is because the brim is very flexible. This decreases the brim's protection by exposing your face when flipped up, but also prevents it from flying off your head completely because it bends so easily.
The most comfortable hats we tested were also extremely lightweight and were made of soft materials. This hat is only slightly heavier than those and is not as soft because of the great mesh ventilation the gives you the comfort of not having a super hot head. However, this takes away the comfort of soft material.
This was the most breathable hat that we tested due to its great ventilation and breathable material. There is mesh ventilation on every side of the hat, and each vent is covered by UPF rated fabric so that it still keeps its great protection. There is also a mesh liner that makes it easier for your head to breathe.
The Sombriolet's durability is about average. It is made with good materials and has a pretty durable brim. In our 30-minute crush test the brim came out unharmed, but after further testing we realized that it can become bent slightly if crushed for over a couple of hours. The brim is able to reform to its original shape over time, or if you form it back yourself that will speed up its recovery time.
If your looking for the most durable hat we tested then try any of the Tilley hats; they were all top performers in durability.
We really liked the style of this hat. It gives you good protection without sacrificing your dignity. It is probably one of the better looking hats with as much protection as it has.
If you want a very stylish hat then we suggest checking out our Coolibar Crushable Ventilated Canvas Hat review.
Outdoor Research Sun Bucket, $32.
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap, $35. The Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap won our Top Pick award for being the most protective, one of the lightest and most comfortable hats we tested.
Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero, $60.
— Devin Chance
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 1, 2012
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