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The North Face Horizon Brimmer - Women's Review

Cute and stylish, this contender excels in all activities that aren't technical.
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Price:  $35 List | $29.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Stylish, decent level of protection, ideal for sunny lounging or gardening
Cons:  Not our first choice for technical adventures
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 24, 2017
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

This cute women's hat caught our eye from the get-go and has become our go-to piece for sunny lounging. It is stylish and has a colossal brim to protect you from the sun. We tried taking it kayaking but found it, unfortunately, does not do well in high winds or at any technical activity for that matter. If you're into reading magazines while sitting on a lounge chair on the beach, or perhaps spending time puttering in the garden, this hat is for you.

Color Updates

The North Face offers this hat in some new colors this season, like the grey with mint blue accents pictured above. The features of the hat remain the same.

January 2019


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stylish, decent level of protection, ideal for sunny lounging or gardeningLightweight, durable, good sun protectionGood protection, comfortable, good in wind, breathableTotal protection, removable cape, good in the wind, good valueGreat protection all around, especially on the back; brim is angled for longer protection, good ventilation, comfortable
Cons Not our first choice for technical adventuresNot super stylishLess durable than Tilley, not great for backpackingLooks a little funny, can get hot on the back of your neckNot stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easily
Bottom Line Cute and stylish, this contender excels in all activities that aren't technical.The Ultra Adventure wins our Editors' Choice for Technical Use for being the highest performing, most versatile hat of the bunch.Good protection from the sun and excellent wind performance makes this a great choice for days spent out on the water.This super protective hat is versatile and an excellent value, winning our Best Buy Award. It lacks in the style department.This hat has great coverage and is a good choice for any sunny activity, although it is quite dorky looking.
Rating Categories Horizon Brimmer Ultra Adventure Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat
Protection (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Breathability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Durability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Style (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
4
Specs Horizon Brimmer Ultra Adventure Outdoor Research... Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat
Weight (ounces) 2.82 oz 2.6 oz 3.1 oz 2.8 oz 2.64 oz
Size of Brim (inches) 3.75" 3.25", with 6" neck cape 4" front/back, 3.25" sides 2.75 brim, 7.25" neck cape 3.75", with 7.25" neck cape
Material 70D 100% nylon ripstop 88% nylon, 12% polyester dobby 86% nylon, 14% polyester double weave ripstop 100% Supplex nylon 100% nylon with 100% polyester mesh insets
UPF rating 50 50+ 50+ 50+ 50+
Cinch Cord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Packable/compressible Yes Yes Yes Yes No - do not fold or compress the brim. Packs Flat
Size tested S/M (21-22.5) L L L M 21" - 23"

Our Analysis and Test Results

This full brimmed hat has exceptional sun protection and looks super cute. We enjoyed leisure activities like lounging, gardening, or walking the dog in this number.

Performance Comparison


The North Face Horizon Brimmer Hat scored high points for sun protection with its large brim, as well as style.

The North Face Horizon Brimmer Hat is a great choice for lounging around and looking cute.
The North Face Horizon Brimmer Hat is a great choice for lounging around and looking cute.

Protection


This large brimmed hat offers lots of protection with its brim measuring 3.75" all the way around. This is among the broadest of the full brim hats, along with the Outdoor Research Sombriolet. The Horizon Brimmer's material is a protective 50+ UPF as well. If you're looking for a more versatile hat that offers a ton of sun protection, check out our Editors' Choice for Technical Use, the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure model; its long neck cape offers more coverage than the Brimmer.

The Horizon Brimmer  an offering from The North Face  does not do well in the wind and will blow up to expose your face - and make you look like a total dork.
The Horizon Brimmer, an offering from The North Face, does not do well in the wind and will blow up to expose your face - and make you look like a total dork.

The Horizon Brimmer also has a convenient neck cord to prevent the hat from blowing off in high winds. However, we experienced the front of the brim blowing up in strong winds, completely exposing our faces to the sun. This is not desirable, which is why we would not recommend this hat for times when windy conditions are expected.

The North Face Horizon Brimmer has great coverage. See the seal?
The North Face Horizon Brimmer has great coverage. See the seal?

Comfort


The Horizon Brimmer falls in the middle of the pack regarding comfort. As with other wide-brimmed hats like the Outdoor Research Oasis Sun Sombrero, we can feel the brim digging into our head slightly. Because its materials are lightweight, this is less of a concern than with others.

The North Face Horizon Brimmer Hat is comfortable and has breathable mesh back panels.
The North Face Horizon Brimmer Hat is comfortable and has breathable mesh back panels.

Breathability


The Horizon Brimmer has a mesh panel that wraps around the back of the head allowing for some ventilation. However, the crown is also lined with mesh, and we're not sure why, because it seems like it would be cooler and more breathable without the extra material in it. While above average in breathability, it was bested by models like the Sunday Afternoons Adventure and Ultra Adventure, as well as the OR Sombriolet.

Durability


The Horizon Brimmer is not the most or least durable in the pack. When packed into a small ziplock bag for 30 minutes, it showed some significant creases, however, they dissipated in time. The material does show some dirt and stains but can be washed off. The Tilley LTM6 Airflo is extremely durable and stylish, and is also crushable and cool looking. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure model is also very durable and packable - but not quite so stylish.

The  Horizon Brimmer Hat bounced back eventually from our crush test in this bag for 30 minutes.
The Horizon Brimmer Hat bounced back eventually from our crush test in this bag for 30 minutes.

Style


The Horizon Brimmer is one of the few hats we didn't feel like a total dork wearing around. What it lacks in technical abilities it makes up for in looks. We would wear this hat on sunny vacations where style matters, in places like resorts and on beaches. We like the deep garnet red color it comes in and are disappointed that it doesn't come in more colors like the Oasis Sun Sombrero does. The Sun Runner Cap comes in a multitude of color choices.

We like the look of this large brimmed hat  and the deep garnet color.
We like the look of this large brimmed hat, and the deep garnet color.

Best Applications


As we've mentioned, the Horizon Brimmer is best for leisure activities without high output, such as lounging on the beach, gardening, walking the dog, and hanging around in sunny locations like the cottage or sporting events (spectating). We would not recommend the Horizon Brimmer for backpacking, boating, or any other activity when you need to move around a lot or it will be windy. For a high-performance hat, check out the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure or the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap.

You could take this hat out sea kayaking - but only in super calm winds.
You could take this hat out sea kayaking - but only in super calm winds.

Value


At $35, the Horizon Brimmer is one of the cheapest hats in this review and a great value. This is a great piece to throw in your suitcase and take on vacation with you. At that price, why not?

Conclusion


We like this cute, stylish hat for all our lounging and vacation needs. It has a large, full brim that will protect you from the sun. It's also one of the most stylish in our fleet for the ladies out there but is also one of the least functional contenders we tested. It did not perform well in windy conditions, flipping up and exposing our face to the sun. It is relatively comfortable and a great value at $35.


Jessica Haist