Rating: 9.1 / 10
Value for Money 2.3
Over the past few years I had tried various hats to find th best option for my hiking adventures including the traditional broad brimmed hat I found that they just didn’t work well with fully loaded packs or windy conditions. So for the last two years I have been trying to decide between two peaked caps, the Sunday Afternoons Sun Guide Cap and the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap . From my personal perspective while both these hats were very good, they weren’t quite right.I just couldn’t quite get a landing on my ‘perfect ‘ hat.
Enter the Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat. I originally saw this hat about 15 moths ago on the the Larapinta Trail and dismissed it immediately because of the appearance. This is without a doubt one of the dorkiest hats on the market. After much procrastinating I though that at least I should try it out as there must be some reason that this hat sells.
I’ve already mentioned the appearance but put simply this hat is designed with function in mind and looks be damned. If you can get past the looks however then this is without a doubt one of the best hats on the market and now has pride of place in my kit as my ‘go to hat’ having surpassed all expectations on a recent mid summer trip. More on that in a minute.
The main, and only real negative as negative as already mentioned is the looks. What I mean by this is that as its common practice these days to wear caps or hats just about anywhere but in the case of this hat the sun cape on the back is permanently attached and cannot be removed and the brim is just weird so if you wear this off the trail you tend to get strange looks even though many people get away with wearing peaked caps in the same situation.
Now for the positives; and there are plenty. As a bit of background if you haven’t already noticed I have no hair and for those of you in the same situation you will know that a sunburned scalp is not pleasant. My ideal hat has a broad brim and the brim on this hat which is only present on the front half of the hat (stoping at about ear level) is wide, angled downwards and the under the brim is dark in colour. What this means is that even if you forget your sunglasses you won’t be getting sore eyes from the glare. On a recent five day trip I found that I wasn’t wearing my sunglasses as often as I normally do because the brim provides excellent eye protection.
Still on the brim there is a ‘split’ in the underneath of the brim (not present in copy versions). This split means that instead of this hat reacting like any other broad brim hat and flying of my head in windy conditions I found that when the winds came from one side that side of the hat would flatten (due to the split) but the other side would stay in place. Even when I had heavy front on winds the angle of the peak meant that the cap was being held on rather than blown off. While the hat does have a chin lock strap I found that at no stage was I being choked.
The cap component of this hat feels like a peaked cap and is very comfortable on. There are two strips, one on each side, of breathable material that allows the hat to breathe. The front of the cap has a ‘sunglass lock’. What this means is that you slide the sunglasses arms into the small slot above the brim and the sunglasses stay in place. For many years I have worn a neck strap on my sunglasses having given up on breaking my sunglasses after they fall on the ground. I will still continue this practice but for those of you who place your glasses on the top of your hat this is a great feature.
Now to the rear of the hat. At the point where the broad brim stops there is a generous cape, permanently fixed that covers the neck well. However it high wind conditions the cape tends to blow about so may not be all that effective if it is still intensely hot and sunny. Still on the back of the hat there is also a small adjustment strap that allows you to get the perfect fit.
Last but not least the inside of the hat has a strip of absorbent material that runs around the hat and goes high onto the forehead which stops any sweat pouring down your face on hot day.
You aren’t likely to win any fashion contests, and you will get stage looks with this hat but it preforms exceptionally well in in the function department. So if you want protection from the elements given this hat a go.
Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat front view
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Check out the price comparison with Amazon as it may be cheaper at the time of purchase
Sunday afternoons produce a range of hats. if your prefer a peaked cap then look at the Sunday Afternoons Sun Guide Cap
Front view of the Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat. Note the chin strap that works very well in high winds
Side view of the Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat. This image shows where the broad brim stops and the rear cape starts
Rear view of the Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat. There is an adjustment band at the rear of the hat that allows a range of adjustment within your correct size range. The long rear cape will provide adequate protection on your next unless its really windy
Inside view of the Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat. The brim is dark and reduces glare and there is a wicking material around your head that forms the headband as well as two strips in the crown of the hat that allows air moment. In the centre of the brim there is a join that allow the brim to move in high winds which means that the hat is less likely to be pulled of your head
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer