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The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Review

One of our top choices for a full brim hat that is extremely comfortable and breathable and a great value
The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer
Photo: The North Face
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $35 List | $34.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, very breathable, good color, great value
Cons:  Not very stylish, brim could be wider
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Sam Schild ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Protection - 30% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Breathability - 15% 9
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Style - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer is the winner of one of our Best Buy Awards for a full brim hat. This is one of the most comfortable and breathable hats we tested. It kept our heads cool all day in direct sunlight. This isn't the most protective hat we tested, but it kept the sun off our ears and face. And, its low-profile brim means it's less likely to interfere with a backpack. This hat is a good option for backpacking, day hikes, or any other adventures you can dream up. It's also one of the least expensive hats that we tested.

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Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $34.95 at Amazon$41.25 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable, very breathable, good color, great valueLightweight, 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, comfortableProtective, breathable, packable, unique, stylish
Cons Not very stylish, brim could be widerNot super stylishLooks a little funny, can get hot on the back of your neckNot stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easilyOnly one size, cinch cord could work better
Bottom Line One of our top choices for a full brim hat that is extremely comfortable and breathable and a great valueThis 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 stylishA very breathable sun hat with a neck cape, sunlight reflecting material, and unique style
Rating Categories The North Face Hori... day Afternoons Ultr... Outdoor Research Ru... day Afternoons Adve... Alchemi Labs Desert...
Protection (30%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Style (15%)
6.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Specs The North Face Hori... day Afternoons Ultr... Outdoor Research Ru... day Afternoons Adve... Alchemi Labs Desert...
Weight (ounces) 2.9 oz 2.6 oz 2.8 oz 2.6 oz 3.0 oz
UPF rating 40+ 50+ 50+ 50+ 50+
Size of Brim (inches) 2.9" 3.25", with 6" neck cape 2.75 brim, 7.25" neck cape 3.75", 7.25" neck cape 2.5", 8" neck cape
Material Nylon Ripstop, 97% recycled polyester mesh lined 88% nylon, 12% polyester dobby 100% Supplex nylon 100% nylon with 100% polyester mesh insets 80% nylon/20% polyester
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/XL L L M 21" - 23" OS

Our Analysis and Test Results

The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat scored highly in the areas of comfort and breathability. It outshines other bucket hats in the small design details, which help this stand out among its peers. It also comes in at a great price, which is why it earns one of our Best Buy Awards for a full brim hat.

This model provides wonderful protection from the sun, is very comfortable, and is quite breathable. We barely noticed this hat was on when wearing it all day. We loved how the elastic sweatband and the flat elastic cinch cord felt on our heads. We were never worried about losing this hat on windy ridges or open plains. We also loved the amount of mesh built into the hat for breathability. It kept us cool and protected from the sun all day long. This hat is durable, too. We found you can easily stuff it into a pocket and pull it out whenever you need some extra protection.

Performance Comparison


We love how comfortable and breathable the Horizon Breeze Brimmer is.
We love how comfortable and breathable the Horizon Breeze Brimmer is.
Photo: Sam Schild

Protection


This hat doesn't have the largest brim, but at 2.9 inches all around, we found it adequate to keep the sun out of our eyes and off our ears. The Horizon Breeze Brimmer is also constructed from a 50+ UPF material. This hat does not provide as much coverage as hats with neck capes but looks a little less dorky than a hat with a cape does.


The Brimmer includes a neck cord to help prevent the hat from blowing around during bouts of high wind. The brim on this hat is pretty floppy, so it has a tendency to blow around in the wind. But, since the brim is so floppy, it didn't pull the hat off our heads when a big gust hit us in the face. And, we found the neck cord and elastic sweatband kept this hat securely on top of our heads in high winds, so it protects well in all conditions.

Stretching out after a long climb. The Horizon Brimmer hat (far...
Stretching out after a long climb. The Horizon Brimmer hat (far left) provides great sun protection in an affordable package.
Photo: Sam Schild

Comfort


The Breeze Brimmer is one of the most comfortable hats we tested. The lightweight construction made us feel like we weren't wearing this hat at all sometimes. We loved how comfortable the elastic sweatband was on this hat. The elastic gently squeezing our heads made this hat feel like it wasn't going anywhere. But it wasn't so tight that it made our heads hurt, either. If you are caught in high winds without that chin strap tightened, the strap even has a piece of rubber as a toggle so it won't hurt badly if it hits you in the face. And the rubber toggle felt cozy when the strap was tightened against our chins.


This hat gets a lot of the small details right when it comes to comfort. Not only does this hat have a cinch cord around the crown to dial in the fit, but the North Face also used a flat piece of elastic cord for this. This small detail makes the hat that much more comfortable. And, unlike some other wide-brimmed hats, we can't feel the brim digging into our heads when wearing this one.

We love the flat elastic shock cord used to adjust the fit of the...
We love the flat elastic shock cord used to adjust the fit of the Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat.
Photo: Sam Schild

Breathability


The Horizon Breeze Brimmer breathes better than most hats we tested. We wore this hat while hiking all day in direct sunlight. When we would take this hat off, it actually felt hotter than when it was on our heads.


The Brimmer includes a mesh panel that goes all the way around its crown. And, this mesh panel is covered by the hat's very light main body material. However, unlike most other hats we tested, the main hat material is not sewn down along the base of the crown. This allows even more air to flow through the mesh of this hat than most other hats.

The outer material, which isn't sewn down over the mesh, hers is...
The outer material, which isn't sewn down over the mesh, hers is folded back to display large mesh sections for ventilation.
Photo: Sam Schild

Durability


The Horizon Breeze Brimmer was sufficiently durable to be shoved into the pockets of our packs and then taken out again all day. When we placed it inside a small ziplock bag for a half-hour, it showed some fairly substantial creases. However, these creases disappeared quickly enough. The hat is quite floppy in general, too, so a few creases don't really make it look any different than it did when it was brand new.


After a week-long backpacking trip, the material showed no dirt stains, either. The ripstop material doesn't absorb dirt and oils very easily. And if the hat does get dirty, we found it dries quickly after dunking it in water.

This hat fits easily into any accessible pockets and can handle...
This hat fits easily into any accessible pockets and can handle being crushed repeatedly.
Photo: Sam Schild

Style


The Horizon Breeze Brimmer really has that old disheveled fisherman's hat vibe going on. So, if that's not your vibe, hopefully, you aren't planning to wear this out to the bar. In short, no bucket hat of this kind is very stylish. But that's not to say this hat is ugly, by any means. We do love the modern color of this hat, so it makes up some points there. Compared with other full brim hats that typically come in more neutral earth tones, the Brimmer stands out with its vibrant yet subdued color.


While it does lack in the style department, the Horizon Breeze Brimmer leans into the classic bucket hat design. And we think it does a great job at doing exactly what a bucket hat is designed to do. Another feature worth noting is that the neck strap is removable. So, when you aren't worried about the wind blowing your hat away, you can gain back a few style points.

While providing good sun protection, The North Face Horizon Breeze...
While providing good sun protection, The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat got pretty floppy, with the brim affecting our vision at times.
Photo: Sam Schild


Value


The Horizon Breeze Brimmer is one of the least expensive hats in this review. With all the features built into this hat, we think it's a great value. This option is great to pack along for trips to the beach, day hikes, or on week-long backpacking trips. It's also great for leisure activities without high output, such as lounging on a rock with a view, gardening, or walking the dog. You'll forget you're wearing it, and it'll protect you from the sun. And all at a very reasonable price.

Conclusion


We think this hat is awesome. It's comfortable, breathable, and inexpensive. It performs equally well on long, strenuous hikes as it does on slower-paced leisure activities. While we wouldn't necessarily go on technical trail runs with this hat, the elastic sweatband and cinch cord make it possible to perform most fast-moving activities. While not the fanciest design, we appreciate how it blends the classic bucket style hat with modern materials and colors, all at a great price. This is why we gave it our Best Buy Award for a full brim hat.

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

Sam Schild