Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Sombrero - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Looks good, good sun protection
Cons: Less color selections, not breathable, need to size up
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Outdoor Research Women's Oasis Sun Sombrero scored lower in the pack over its competitors mostly because of its lack of breathability and comfort.
The Oasis Sun Sombrero has a wide brim that measures 3.25" in the front and 4.5" 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. Similarly, the new Ferrosi Wide Brim hat is very floppy and does not do as well in winds as the Sombrero.
This cap is not as comfortable compared to the Sombriolet or other competitors like the Arc'teryx Sinsola. The fit is a bit snug with this model and could feel like the rim of the brim digs into your forehead and may leave a dent there if worn for a long time. This time around we tested a size medium which Outdoor Research says is for heads sized 22 ¼ - 22 ⅞ inches, and our tester with a 21.5" sized head found it more comfortable than the size small we had previously tested. This leads us to believe that it's worth sizing up in this model. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure was also one of the more comfortable hats, and it provided amazing sun protection.
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. The Ferrosi's crown materials are lighter and more breathable than both models.
We were much more pleased with this version of our Sun Sombrero than the model we tested previously. This one seemed to keep it's brim shape much better this go around. We didn't notice any permanent creases in the model after the ziplock bag test and the brim held its shape well overall. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure, Outdoor Research Sun Bucket, and the Tilley model are among the most durable in our fleet.
There have been a few changes to the newest version of the Sombrero. OR has removed the floral patterned material from the underside of the brim and replaced it with flat grey, which we think looks just as good. They have also limited the color selection to only 4 colors, 3 of which are neutral, leaving only one bright purple. The previously huge color selection of this hat was definitely a leg up in the style department over the competitors and we're sad there are less colors to choose from. Of all the wide brim hats in this review we think the Sombrero is one of the most stylish. 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.
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.
This hat is right in the middle of the pack for value. We would choose something like the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat or the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap over the Oasis, as they provide more sun protection and versatility.
A cute and effective sun hat, we think the Oasis Sun Sombrero's quality has improved this year. We like its rigid brim, stylish look and the amount of sun protection it provides, but it falls short of its big brother the Sombriolet in the ventilation department.
— Jessica Haist