It’s currently touching 30C in my garden and I’ve been out servicing motorbikes in the sun for the last couple of hours. I’m hot and definitely bothered. I have pink arms and my clothes are sticking to me. But my forehead is actually quite pleasantly cool.
Y’see, Trekmates sent me this sun hat – which they call a Swamp Hat – that has a band of cooling crystals running across the forehead. On the instructions it says to soak the hat in cold water for 4 minutes and then pop it on to stay cool for days. So I did… which felt rather silly at the time, but it was wonderfully refreshing to cover my baking bonce in a damp hat.
I noticed that after soaking the crystals all puffed up into a foam-like material which makes the hat snug, but at the same time forces your forehead against the cool surface. Oddly pleasant.
Some 5 hours later I’m still wearing the hat and whilst the band of crystals has warmed up, it’s still noticeably cooler than the rest of the hat.
Like a very lightweight baseball cap, the Swamp Hat is made in a snug skull-cap way using breathable materials and fabric mesh. It has a thin but firm peak to protect your nose and eyes from the sun. You can get other versions with neck and ear covers, brims and scarves. Adjustment on the Swamp Hat is via a sliding buckle at the rear, which works easily.
It should noted, for our thin-on-top readers that although Trekmates state that the hat is UV protective, it has two stripes (the grey ones) of mesh, which you’d burn through.
I must say that, although I don’t normally like wearing peaked hats, I am loving wearing the Swamp Hat today. It’s saved my brow from baking and sweat running in my eyes. I’d readily invest in one of the brimmed hats to protect my ears and neck based on using this for the day.
Oh, and if you’re into trail-running or ultralight gear, this hat weighs about as much as a bag of Walkers Quavers (65g when wet).
SUMMARY: I don’t generally like wearing hats when it’s hot out, but this is uber-thin, uber-light and absolute bliss with its cooling brow. I like a lot. Oh, and for only a tenner it’s a bargain.
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