Top positive review
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(Updated 3-13-14) Almost Perfect ......... But
on October 23, 2011
Update March 13, 2014: It's been over two years since my initial review. I'm still loving this hat and use it regularly. But there have been some times when the heat in the unventilated hat has been too much, even in the normally cool northwest area. So I finally added 6 grommets along the top rim - PROBLEM SOLVED! The grommets have made a significant difference and I like the hat even more now. See the picture with the red writing and arrows I added to the customer photo gallery. The grommets are cheap, easy to install and come in solid brass or a silver metal.
I bought the hat a few weeks ago in anticipation of my trip to Puerto Vallarta. That's where I am now and I have really put the hat through its paces for almost two weeks now. I was torn betweens the Helios and the Sombriolet but I think I made the right decision. It's the most comfortable hat I've ever owned. The Large size fits my big head really well thanks to the clever adjuster on the back. The top part of the hat is a very light weight material. The brim is heavier and stiffer which is good in the windy weather. There is only minimal, almost negligible, flapping in winds of 10-15 mph and the brim provides excellent coverage. I've spent hours on the beach and in the water with the hat and have experienced zero sun burn from the neck up using only minimal sunscreen. That's the main reason I'm glad I didn't get the sombriolet with the wider, goofier looking brim. Just don't need the extra shading.
OK, now for the "but". We've had temperatures here in the low to mid 90's with humidity in the 80-90% range. The hat has no venting and the material doesn't breathe very well. I tested this by pressing the hat to my lips and blowing. The air doesn't flow freely in either direction making for a sweaty, sometimes uncomfortable experience. Thankfully, like I said, it's a light material. I think these conditions are in the "extreme" category, so the hat should perform much better in more normal temperature and humidity ranges. I'm sure I will be even happier hiking with the hat back home in the great northwest.
- good looking hat
- very comfortable fit
- it floats
- excellent adjusting mechanism
- effective sunscreen protection
- good value (high quality, reasonably priced}
- no vents and low breathability of fabric (probably only an issue in these very hot/humid conditions}
Bottom line - I like the hat very much. I would have rated a 5 except for the lack of vents. Maybe I'll modify and create my own vents in the future.
Hope this review is helpful.