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Hands-on Gear Review
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat Review
Cons: Not stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easily
Bottom line: This hat has great coverage and is a good choice for any sunny activity, although it is quite dorky looking.
The Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat is a great all-around sun hat. It's not the most stylish hat, but it makes up for that with its exceptional protection, breathability, and comfort. It also is on the cheaper side compared to most of the other hats we tested. If you are looking for a hat that will keep you comfortably protected from the sun while doing your favorite activities, then this is the hat for you. However, if style is really important to you, you might want to look at the Tilley LTM6 Airflo or The North Face Horizon Brimmer - Women's.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Sun Hats for Hiking
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Adventure Hat felt like our savior on super hot days in the alpine, grinding up sun exposed passes in the Sierra this summer. It is an excellent choice for backpacking, as long as you don't mind losing a little street cred because of its lack of style.
The Adventure Hat's sun protection could not be beaten, but it lost points in the style department.
This hat was the second most protective hat we tested after the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap. Its down-turned, 3.75" brim gives you protection throughout the day as the sun rises and lowers, while the 7.25" cape in the back gives your neck full protection. The only drawback to the cape is that sometimes in the wind, it can expose your neck to the sun. It offers a rating of UPF 50+ throughout the hat although that is probably lower on the sides where there is mesh ventilation. The only other hat with a protective cape is the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure, which is slightly more performance oriented than the Adventure Hat.
The Adventure Hat is quite comfortable. It has a strap in the back for tightening it so that it's nice and snug, as well as a neck cord that you can cinch up when the wind picks up. The piping around the crown did, at times, dig into our head; we discovered this problem with the Outdoor Research Women's Oasis Sun Sombrero as well. Like the other hats we tested, the Adventure Hat has a sweatband, but it's only in the front for your forehead. This sheds weight but also makes it a little less comfortable, because on the sides the seams can be a little scratchy; a sweatband that encircled your entire head would fix this. Overall, this was a comfortable hat, and we enjoyed wearing it all day long. The most comfortable hats we tested were even lighter and were made of softer materials. If you are interested in one of those, we'd recommend the Outdoor Research Sun Bucket or the Arc'teryx Sinsola.
The sides of the Adventure Hat are made of mesh and are surprisingly breathable, giving you the ventilation you need for your activities, whatever they may be. The material is also very breathable and helps to cool down your head on those hot days. We discovered that the underside of the brim is lined with a darker material to help with glare from bright surfaces like snow and water.
The Adventure Hat loses significant points in this category. We were disappointed to read the manufacturer's instructions to only pack this hat flat. When backpacking, it is impossible to do so. Thankfully the hat was usually on our heads and not in our packs, but when we did stuff it into a backpack or during our crush test, the hat suffered permanent folds in the brim that are still there. The Ultra Adventure has fixed this problem by adding in a fold in the middle of the brim for packing. The Tilley model has a stiff brim that is very crushable without permanent damage. The cream color we also tested stains and shows dirt easily. We do think the addition of the patterned webbing along the forehead of this hat is a clever way to disguise pesky sweat stains.
Testing revealed that this model and the Sun Runner are the least stylish models in this review. Our reviewers were a bit sheepish to wear this around the backcountry at first, but once they discovered how amazing the sun protection was, they just decided to own it. You must wear the Adventure Hat with confidence and laugh at the people whose necks are getting sunburnt. The Adventure Hat does come in many different colors to choose from. The Ultra Adventure is slightly less dorky, has slightly less coverage but better performance overall.
These capes style hats like the Adventure Hat, Ultra Adventure, and Sun Runner Cap are great choices for backpacking because the back of the brim does not annoyingly hit your backpack. However, we would take the Adventure Hat on any sunny activity from traveling, hiking, or boating.
The Adventure Hat is a great value retailing for $39, but we would consider dropping $3 more for the more durable, higher performing Ultra Adventure.
You may look dorky on the trail, but you sure won't be getting a sunburned face or neck. We think the Adventure Hat is a great choice for sunny activities of all sorts and is a great value. We wish the brim was more durable, but otherwise, it is comfortable and super protective.
— Jessica Haist
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