I went camping recently, to Germany. Germany via France, Luxembourg and Belgium (possibly not exactly in that order; I forget). Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a standard list of items that I MUST NOT FORGET when I go camping. My Camping Hat is one of those things.
So, guess what I forgot? Yep, my Camping Hat. Failosaurus. Luckily, I was camping with those crazy kids from GearWeAre and they had all manner of things and stuff with them, including a veritable plethora of hats.
The Wild Stripes beanie was duly handed over and installed upon my head. Incidentally, it matched the Wild Stripes long johns I also own and DID take camping. So that was nice. I’m now investigating the possibility that, due to the quantum nature of the Universe, wearing more than one matching Wild Stripes item increases the warmth of the wearer exponentially.
It’s made of double-layer 100% polypropylene (that’s a thermoplastic polymer widely used in thermal textiles and unusually resistant to many solvents, bases and acids, fact fans!). It’s lightweight at 38 grams, weighing approximately the same amount as one of those really small Post-It note blocks and has truly marvellous insulation properties. It also keeps the wind out well thanks to the double layer.
This hat is a very small thing indeed; it scrunches up to fit into my tiny girly fist, so if packing light is an issue, this is the hat to take.
So, how did the hat fare? Well, while sitting around our campsites in the chill evening air, it did a creditable job of keeping the wind and the worst of the chill off my tender little bonce. The top of my head lost considerably less heat than it is wont to do under normal, unprotected circumstances.
However, I was a little disappointed in the fact that there wasn’t enough excess beanie to pull down over my ears. Keeping my ears covered is important, and my furry Cossack- style Camping Hat does a grand job of this. So it will never replace my Camping Hat in my affections or my bags.
That said, I’m also a keen runner and one of my least favourite things is getting really cold while out running in winter. I rather suspect that this hat is going to be a fantastic addition to my running gear. It’s lightweight with great wicking properties – so it’ll keep the chill off and stop my hair from turning into a sweaty, unladylike mess. Win!
Summary: A good, serviceable hat, and at £12 it’s very reasonably priced. I wouldn’t wear it for warmth while sitting around camping; it will never achieve the fame of a true Camping Hat. However, for stomping around in the wilds or out for a run on a cold day, this hat does a sterling job and I have no hesitation in recommending it. It’s also teeny tiny, so takes up virtually no space if you need to pack light.
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