Hands-on Gear Review

Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Sombrero - Women's Review

Price:  $39 List | $25.48 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Lots of color choices, good sun protection
Cons:  Warped brim, no ventilation, uncomfortable
Bottom line:  This cute women's sun hat fell short in the comfort and breathability categories.
Editors' Rating:   
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UPF rating:  50+
Weight (ounces):  2.82 oz
Size of Brim (inches):  3.25" front/sides, 4.25" back
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research

Our Verdict

We were excited to try out this stylish looking sun hat. We like all the bright colors the Outdoor Research Women's Oasis Sun Sombrero comes in and the general look of this hat. The one we tested had a strangely warped brim, and we were disappointed to find that it has no ventilation compared to the Outdoor Research Sombriolet. It's a decent choice for leisure activities, but we would reach for the Sombriolet, the men's version, over the Oasis Sun Sombrero.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 24, 2017

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A colorful selection of hats available, this cute hat falls short in the breathability and comfort categories.

Performance Comparison


The Outdoor Research Women's Oasis Sun Sombrero scored low in the pack mostly because of its lack of breathability and comfort and its deformed brim.

The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has good coverage and is a decent choice for a day hike with a small pack.
The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has good coverage and is a decent choice for a day hike with a small pack.

Protection


The Oasis Sun Sombrero has a wide brim that measures 3.25" in the front and 4.25" in the back for extra neck coverage. It scores right up there with the unisex version of this hat the Outdoor Research Sombriolet in this category. The North Face Horizon Brimmer has a full 4" all the way around, and we think provides slightly better coverage. The Oasis Sun Sombrero does have a stiffer brim than the Horizon Brimmer and would stand up better to gusty winds.

Comfort


This cap is not that comfortable compared to the Sombriolet or other competitors like the Arc'teryx Sinsola. The rim of the brim feels like it digs into your forehead and may leave a dent there if worn for a long time. We tested a size small which Outdoor Research says is for heads sized 21.5" - 22" circumference. Our tester with a 21.5" sized head found it fit just right and if it were any tighter, it would have given her a headache. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure was also one of the more comfortable hats, and it provided amazing sun protection.

The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has s chin cord and does decently well in the wind  but not as well as the Sombriolet
The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has s chin cord and does decently well in the wind, but not as well as the Sombriolet

Breathability


We were disappointed to discover that the Oasis Sun Sombrero has no added ventilation. This is a major difference between it and the OR Sombriolet, which has added mesh and vents around the entire crown. The Oasis Sun Sombrero's crown is one solid piece of material with no holes or mesh. The nylon/polyester material is probably somewhat breathable inherently, and there is a sweatband around the rim to wick sweat away from your head.

Disappointingly  the OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has no vents for breathability.
Disappointingly, the OR Oasis Sun Sombrero has no vents for breathability.

Durability


We're not sure if the product we received was flawed or if all of the Oasis Sun Sombrero's are like this, but the brim arrived already slightly warped and got worse with each wear. It seems like the materials used inside the brim are too big for the outside material and are puckering inside.

Since the Oasis Sun Sombrero's brim was already warped it appeared the same after spending 30 minutes in this bag.
Since the Oasis Sun Sombrero's brim was already warped it appeared the same after spending 30 minutes in this bag.

The odd brim materials aren't necessarily a durability issue but more of a quality issue. The materials also make the hat look strange. We didn't notice any permanent creases in the model after the ziplock bag test, but it's hard to tell with the warped brim. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure, Outdoor Research Sun Bucket, and the Tilley model are among the most durable in our fleet.

The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero's brim was warped and looked a bit strange.
The OR Oasis Sun Sombrero's brim was warped and looked a bit strange.

Style


We were excited about this hat when ordering it. It seems like one of the more stylish women's sun hats on the market and is slightly more stylish than its male counterpart, the Sombriolet. We like that it comes in so many different colors, but the warped brim diminishes the look of this hat, and the flower pattern on the underside of the brim is much more understated than in the photos on Outdoor Research's website. We think the Sinsola is the most stylish women's hat in this review, while the Tilley LTM6 has more of an Indiana Jones style that we like.

You can see the pattern on the underside of the brim is much more understated than advertised by Outdoor Research.
You can see the pattern on the underside of the brim is much more understated than advertised by Outdoor Research.

Best Applications


This hat could be a good choice for activities where it is windy and sunny, like day hiking in the mountains or out boating where you want to keep your hat. It would also be a good choice for leisurely activities like gardening or taking the dog for a walk. We wouldn't recommend this one for backpacking as the long brim in the back would annoyingly hit your backpack.

Value


Retailing for $39, it is right in the middle of the pack for value. We would choose something like the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat ($39) or the Horizon Brimmer Women's ($35) over the Oasis, as they provide more sun protection and versatility.

The OR Sombriolet and Oasis Sun Sombrero hats.
The OR Sombriolet and Oasis Sun Sombrero hats.

Conclusion


A cute, effective sun hat, we're a bit worried about the quality of the Oasis Sun Sombrero. We like all the colors it comes in, its rigid brim, and the amount of sun protection, but it falls short of its big brother the Sombriolet in ventilation and quality.

Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: October 24, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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