Trying to find a good all-around hat can be a tough task. Baseball caps might keep the sun out of your eyes, but they leave your neck exposed to the sun. Many brimmed hats are floppy or unattractive and you just don’t want to wear them. I found the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero to be a good fit for many summer activities this year.
I have a small head and sometimes have to wear a child’s size to get a good fit. This makes finding a good all-around hat a particular challenge for me. The small Adult size of the Seattle Sombrero fit me well. There is also an adjustable band on the inside if you need to tighten or loosen the size, which adds some nice customization. Better yet, because the adjustment is on the inside, you don’t have a string hanging off the back of the hat. Also, the soft band doesn’t affect the comfort of the hat against your head and isn’t too hot.
I wore the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero on many outings this summer, from camping in the sun to kayaking to hiking. In each case it did a great job blocking the sun, and I never felt hot or sweaty even after a couple of hours. On the flip side of the weather, we got wet from paddle splashes while kayaking and encountered rain at the beach. The Seattle Sombrero is fully waterproof with Gore-Tex and has taped seams, so my head stayed dry in each case. I did find that wind can cause problems with the hat blowing off. There is a chin strap, but the toggle doesn’t lock into position and came loose several times when the wind blew. I think a button toggle could fix this, and you could purchase and thread one on yourself.
One of the features that I appreciated most was the stiffened brim. It is not clunky, but stays flat. The brim also floats, which is helpful when you are using it on the water. I mostly used the hat while kayaking, and I felt secure that if it did fly off in the wind, I would be able to rescue it. If you want to cut down the wind-catching potential you can flip-up the sides of the brim and attach them to the hat via a Velcro patch, but I didn’t use this feature much. I preferred the full-shade coverage the hat provided with the brim flat.
The final element that put the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero over the top was its looks. On several occasions I had strangers comment on how nice it was. One person even said he’d had a similar Seattle Sombrero for years and loved it. I had to admit that I did too. I highly recommend this hat for outdoor activities in any non-winter season.
The Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero
- Nice, big brim protects from sun and rain
- Adjustable sizing within sizes for good personalization
- Looks great
- Floats in water if it pops off while boating
- Struggles with the wind and flies off easier than expected
- Velcro on the side seems unnecessary, since it doesn't seem likely to get used