Reviews You Can Rely On

Outdoor Research Sombriolet Review

Good protection from the sun and excellent wind performance make this a great choice for days spent out on the water or in bright sun
Outdoor Research Sombriolet
Photo: Outdoor Research
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $42 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good protection, comfortable, good in wind, breathable
Cons:  Big brim can be annoying with a big backpack
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Sam Schild & Jessica Haist  ⋅  May 17, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 17
  • Protection - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 6
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 7

Our Verdict

We took the Outdoor Research Sombriolet out on the water in different types of watercraft and discovered it was a great choice for those activities. We also took it into the desert and appreciated its protection from a very bright sun. It has great sun protection and holds fast in strong winds with its stiff brim and drawcords. The Sombriolet is a comfortable hat and has a simple, understated style that our testers preferred. While not as great for backpacking because the larger brim can interfere with the pack, it's a great choice to take out on the water, or for any leisure activity you can think of.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
70
83
78
77
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good protection, comfortable, good in wind, breathableLightweight, durable, great sun protectionExcellent protection, removable cape, good in the wind, good valueGreat protection all around, especially on the back; brim is angled for longer protection, good ventilation, comfortableComfortable, very breathable, good color, great value
Cons Big brim can be annoying with a big backpackNot super stylishLooks a little funny, can get hot on the back of your neckNot stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easilyNot very stylish, brim could be wider
Bottom Line Good protection from the sun and excellent wind performance make this a great choice for days spent out on the water or in bright sunThis hat wins our Editors' Choice for Technical Use for being the highest performing and most versatile of the bunchThis super protective hat is lightweight, versatile, and an excellent value, winning our Best Buy AwardThis hat has great coverage and is a good choice for any sunny activity, although it is not the most stylishOne of our top choices for a full brim hat that is extremely comfortable and breathable and a great value
Rating Categories Outdoor Research So... Ultra Adventure Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat Horizon Breeze Brimmer
Protection (30%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Breathability (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Style (15%)
7.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Specs Outdoor Research So... Ultra Adventure Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat Horizon Breeze Brimmer
Weight (ounces) 3.1 oz 2.6 oz 2.8 oz 2.6 oz 2.9 oz
UPF rating 50+ 50+ 50+ 50+ 40+
Size of Brim (inches) 4" front/back, 3.25" sides 3.25", with 6" neck cape 2.75 brim, 7.25" neck cape 3.75", 7.25" neck cape 2.9"
Material 86% nylon, 14% polyester double weave ripstop 88% nylon, 12% polyester dobby 100% Supplex nylon 100% nylon with 100% polyester mesh insets Nylon Ripstop, 97% recycled polyester mesh lined
Cinch Cord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Packable/compressible Yes Yes Yes No - do not fold or compress the brim. Packs Flat Yes
Size tested L L L M 21" - 23" L/XL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Outdoor Research Sombriolet stands up to the competition and scores high in protection, comfort, breathability, and style. It provides excellent sun coverage, an anti-glare brim, and is stiff enough to withstand high winds, making it an ideal choice for boating or water activities.

Performance Comparison


Getting some some, but none on our faces.
Getting some some, but none on our faces.
Photo: Sam Schild

Protection


With 50+ UPF protection, the Sombriolet has some of the best coverage of the full-brim hats in our fleet. Its brim measures 4 inches in front and back and 3.25 inches on the sides. The hats with neck capes do have more protection on the back of the neck but look somewhat less stylish. The Sombriolet's brim is among the stiffest in the bunch and stands up to winds well. It has a drawcord you can tighten around your head to keep it on snugly. And, for extra protection from losing it, there is a removable chin cord you can deploy in the gustiest situations. The underside of the Sombriolet's brim is a darker grey color. This provides anti-glare protection for your eyes and face. This keeps reflections from water and snow surfaces from bouncing back on you.

This extra big bill provides great sun protection, but can sometimes...
This extra big bill provides great sun protection, but can sometimes catch the wind and flip up.
Photo: Sam Schild

Comfort


The Sombriolet is a very comfortable hat. However, the fit is important with this hat. Because if this hat is too tight, it will not be very comfortable. So err on the side of too big with this hat, or the brim will dig into your head. We don't think sizing up on this had makes it look too big, either. The most comfortable hats we tested were also extraordinarily lightweight and made of soft materials. The Sombriolet is on the lighter side, and you barely notice it on your head. It is not as soft as the lightest of hats because of the mesh ventilation inside the hat. But, this gives you the comfort of not having a hot head.

Relaxing over afternoon tea with shade on our faces.
Relaxing over afternoon tea with shade on our faces.
Photo: Sam Schild

Breathability


The Sombriolet has a mesh-lined crown and vents along the sides, front, and back for ventilation. However, those vents could be bigger. We didn't find this hat to be very breathable compared to some others. In hot, exposed areas, we found ourselves reaching for another more breathable option.

Durability


The Sombriolet is quite durable for how stiff the brim is. We put stuffed it in a small ziplock bag for 30 minutes, and it bounced back okay. The Sombriolet is stuffable, but the brim will come out bent out of shape if you aren't careful how you pack it. It comes in a variety of muted colors which will hide dirt and stains well.

Each hat was crammed in a bag for 30 minutes and evaluated on how...
Each hat was crammed in a bag for 30 minutes and evaluated on how they fared.
Photo: Sam Schild

Style


We think the Sombriolet has an understated, low-key style. We like the shape of its brim, which is not too wide to stand out while still giving ample coverage. We also like that you can remove the chin cord to reduce the dork factor that sometimes happens with wide brim hats. We do think that some hats are just unavoidably dorky, and you may lose street cred if you are wearing them.

The OR Sombriolet has a big brim and good style
The OR Sombriolet has a big brim and good style
Photo: Sam Schild

Value


We think the Sombriolet is a good value. It has more coverage than most of the full brim hats we tested. But, while some of our testers loved this hat, others didn't like it as much as others that were similarly priced.

Conclusion


The OR Sombriolet provides great sun protection with its wide brim. We took this hat out on the water a lot, from sea kayaking on the ocean to sailing on freshwater lakes. We also took it on trips out to the desert, where the unrelenting sun and reflective glare can be a burden. It offers exceptional coverage, has an anti-glare brim that is a darker color underneath to minimize glare, and has a stiff brim that will resist winds and stay on your head, though it might expose your face to the sun by flipping up in a big gust. It will stay on your head with its sturdy drawcord and cinch-able chin strap, too.

The OR Sombriolet's wide brim provides excellent coverage with...
The OR Sombriolet's wide brim provides excellent coverage with midday sun.
Photo: Sam Schild

Sam Schild & Jessica Haist