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Umbrella Hat - Dorky or Useful? (but still dorky)

As a very pale ginger, I burn like tinder soaked in kerosene when the sun is out.  Sunblock, hats, long sleeve shirt, all reduce but don't eliminate the harmful effects of the sun's UV radiation.  Perhaps an UV blocking umbrella hat is the answer? 

The author wearing an UV shielding umbrella hat by the side of a slow moving river.

You've probably seen these in TikTok or YouTube Shorts videos and promotions.  I've always thought they were gimmicky and not worth the money.    But with summer beating the heck out of me I figured, for $15 it would be worth the cost to try one out.  Now, I did pick the cheapest version, ( and yes, if you click on that link, Amazon will put a few pennies in my account as I'm an Amazon Affiliate), so we need to make some allowances for the old, "you get what you pay for" rule. 


I'll post a full review on Amputee Outdoors on YouTube soon, but for those that prefer written reviews, here are the Pros and Cons. 

A UV shield umbrella hat with a man's hand in front of it with his thumb pointing up.

the Pros

  • Lightweight - At 11 ounces this just about qualifies as an ultra-light option to a rain jacket or poncho 

  • Small Size - Closed up it measures a hair over 13 inches and 2 1/2 inches wide so it fits into a pack or side pocket very easily. 

  • Heat Reflection - his actually reduces the heat in my backyard experiment by 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  

  • Rainjacket Substitute - I wore this in the rain on my hike to Loowit Falls at Mt. St Helens and it did a great job of keeping me dry.  

UV shielding umbrella hat with a mans hand pointing his thumb down

the Cons

  • Wind - If the wind gets under this thing it becomes a kite on your head.  I found that if I tilt my head into the wind this wasn't a problem.  Of course, sudden gusts from a different direction caught me by surprise. 

  • Little Metal Tabs - The supports in the structure that goes on your head can poke into your scalp a little.  It's not bad and wrapping a little velcro, (fluffy side out) fixed the problem. 

  • Dorky - Yes, this hat will completely prevent you from being mistaken for cool when on the trail.  There's no getting around it.  However, I did meet a couple of guys on the trail when it was raining that said they wished they had one. 

  • Not Complete Rain Coverage - The back part of my backpack was dripped on from the umbrella which is annoying. 

So will this work for me?  I'm going with a yes, but with conditions.  During the summer wearing a hat to keep my face, ears and neck from burning results in a sweaty brow and my head becoming hot.  This solves the UV burning problem, reduces the heat and allows air to circulate over my head.  All good things.  I will have to watch for the wind picking up and in some conditions, this hat isn't going to be an option.  

In the rainy season, essentially October through May here in the western side of the Cascades, this hat will do a great job of keeping me dry as I walk through the drizzly, rainy forests.  The only thing is that it won't completely cover my backpack. 

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