I have completed the first draft of the guide for this hat. Please feel free to make any suggestions to it.
So this hat is borrowed from Kavu and Joe over at Zpacks. Joe made his own hat like this for his CDT and PCT thru hikes, and I loved the idea. He was even nice enough to warn me of some of the problems he faced using and making his hat. Thanks, Joe. Hopefully I solved some of the problems he faced in my own hat.
This hat is primarily meant to be part of my rain system for my upcoming AT thru hike this summer. I have to wear glasses to see, and so when it rains, I need some sort of head covering to protect my glasses. However, I hate hoods. I know they can add warmth when used in a system, but I can’t stand the restricted feeling I get when I wear them and warm is seldom needed in the summers on the AT.
Another reason for the designs is that I am transitioning to a hammock and underquilt for this thru hike, so I wanted a sit pad now that my sleeping pad is gone.
With this in mind, I made the hat out of a blue foam pad that I purchased at Walmart for about $6 long ago. It should be thick enough to stand up to the wind, which was a problem Joe warned me of. It is formed by two strips of velcro, so when I want to use it as a sit pad, I can just undo the velcro and sit on it comfortably. I also made a silnylon slip cover for it to help keep the rain from slipping through the tiny crack left when forming the hat.
The headband is made from 3D spacer mesh, which turned out to be comfortable enough. And I solved the issue of it sliding around by wrapping in some shockcord that goes behind my head and keeps it snug front to back.
The slip cover still definitely could use some work, but I think it is very usable. Overall, the hat cost me nothing, because I had scraps sitting around the house, but I think it may come up to be about $20. If you use something besides 3D mesh for the headband (like a sweatband maybe), you could drop that in half almost, I bet. The hat is not totally flat around the bill because of how the foam has been rolled for such a long time. It doesn’t bother me too much, but it does make it look even a bit more comical.
In the end, I think I am going to take another page from Joe’s playbook and match this hat with my own MYOG silnylon CloudCape (minus the hood and probably quality) and silnylon rainskirt. I think this system will be airy enough, but also dry enough for prolonged summer rains on the AT.
After using the hat in prolonged rain, I know for a fact that is works amazingly well as a rain hat. I still need to work on the stability of the hat, but I will get that dialed in in the future. Also, the final weight of the hat, including the slip cover, is 4.3 oz, making it a great, lightweight, multiuse piece of gear.