Please find following my IR for the Hoo-Rag. The HTML can be found at here: http://tinyurl.com/8gqwhd9
I hope you enjoy the report and I look forward to your edits.
Hoo-Rag Seamless Bandana
TEST SERIES BY KERRI LARKIN
INITIAL REPORT - 1 SEPTEMBER 2012
NAME: Kerri Larkin
EMAIL: kerrilarkin AT yahoo DOT com
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 253 lb (113 kg)
I've been a car-camper and bushwalker for thirty years. Mostly I do day hikes as my passion is photography, which means I walk very slowly! I've returned to walking after some years away due to injuries and I'm learning to use Ultralight gear (and my hammock!). I've traveled most of eastern Australia, walking in landscapes as diverse as tropical rainforest, snow fields, beaches and deserts. My fortieth birthday was spent trekking in Nepal which was a truly life changing experience.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.hoorag.com
MSRP: $US 14.95
Weight: Not listed
Measured: 31 g (1 oz)
Length 46 cm (18 in) measured
Width (when laid flat) 25 cm (10 in)
Materials: 100% Polyester Microfibre
Colour choices: 44 design choices shown on web page
Ability to design a custom Hoo-Rag
On Test: Blue Vortex, Brown Cloud Hoo, Lovely Liliac
The Hoo-Rag is very different from the standard triangular piece of cloth that makes a regular bandana. This is a tubular bandana. Yup, not a triangle in sight. Because of that, it offers some unique options for wearing it, as well as being a very flexible accessory for the fashion conscious backpacker.
My three Hoo-Rags arrived in a cellophane wrapping with one of those handy seams across the back which allows one to open the packaging without destroying it. I discovered this seam after cutting the bags open. Ah well, I'm not keeping the packaging, so no loss.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled my Hoo-Rags out of the packaging was that there is no hem on the edges. That struck me as astounding: normally when a piece of material is cut, it will fray quite badly along the edges if not hemmed, but there's no sign of that with the Hoo-Rag.
It was only when I looked closely at a Hoo-Rag that I could see the join between the two pieces of material. It looks almost as if the pieces are woven together rather than stitched. It really is a neat piece of work, and means no irritating seams pressing into my head. I like that a lot. There were no loose threads or imperfections in any of my Hoo-Rags.
There's a lot of give in the material width-wise, with up to about 30% stretch possible, so it will fit over some large heads without too much effort. There is virtually no stretch length-wise.
The patterns, or motifs, printed on the fabric appear to be colour-fast from my early tests - no runny colours on a sweaty head yet. Hoo-Rag have over forty designs to choose from, from skulls to a giant fish, and a lot of more feminine designs too. If that's not enough choice, it's possible to custom design a Hoo-Rag and get it printed as a premium service. Nifty!
The material feels soft to the touch and water spilled on it just beads up and runs off. Maybe this would give some protection from light showers but I'll have to see if that water-resistant property remains after washing the Hoo-Rag.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There were no instructions with the Hoo-Rag, however, I did find a few very hard to read pictures on the back of the cellophane wrapper giving an indication of some of the ways it can be worn. The graphics were under the label and printed backwards but there really isn't much need for instructions as wearing the Hoo-Rag is fairly intuitive, at least in 'traditional' modes.
The Hoo-Rage web site contains a great video showing how to wear most of the styles, and how to manipulate the bandana to make them.
The label on the cellophane gives the washing directions as: "Machine wash your Hoo-Rag in warm water and hang to dry." It couldn't get much simpler than that. A bunch of symbols across the back of the packaging reflect the international symbols for washing instructions and a quick internet search revealed the following interpretation: Warm machine wash at 40 C (104 F), do not bleach, do not iron, do not dry clean, and don't tumble dry.
TRYING IT OUT
So how does it fit? The answer is, it depends on the style worn. My reason for wanting to try the Hoo-Rag is because I have a pointy head. I find it really difficult to get bandanas, headbands, or beanies to stay on - they usually end up creeping up my head to form a little bunch on top. I've tried lots of styles and shapes, but still have difficulty. Another common problem is that I get too darned hot wearing any kind of head wear. Let's face it, I'm a sweater. No health glow for me - I just leak like a sieve, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to try the Hoo-Rag; to see if it will keep the sweat from my eyes and allow me a modicum of dignity.
So far, I've managed to keep the Hoo-Rag on using a number of the recommended styles making for a happy Cone-head! A couple of the styles seem a bit tight and result in the Hoo-Rag creeping up my head, but I'm finding there are enough ways that do work to keep me smiling.
Another potential nightmare for me with this type of headgear is that it makes me look like I'm on chemotherapy. I have been told I have a great face for radio, so I was concerned that people might fall off the trail laughing as I pass by. I'm happy to report that hasn't happened so far, and the Hoo-Rag is flexible enough to find a few styles that are radio-face friendly. The bright colours and sheer amount of material help in that regard.
My big concern was that the polyester material would be too hot to wear, and although I haven't had much chance to test it yet, it does seem reasonably cool when worn as a single layer, and warmer when folded as a double layer. There are certain fold styles which result in a double layer of fabric, and other styles which result in a single layer.
In spite of the large size of the Hoo-Rag, there are a couple of styles I have trouble fitting on my head. The first is the cap; basically the Hoo-Rag is twisted in the middle and the two resulting sections are put over each other to form a double layer beanie. The second is caller the "Pirate Rag" where a knot is tied in the material so it fits the head and leaves excess material hanging down in a tail. It looks cute, but I'm not sure it would stay on my head in anything other than calm conditions. I'll be experimenting more with all the styles in the coming months and will provide an update in my Field Report.
The Hoo-Rag is a breathtakingly simple concept which appears to be well executed. While it's certainly bigger than a traditional bandana, it's also so much more versatile. I'm looking forward to getting to know my Hoo-Rag better.
Please check back in around two months for my Field Report.
This concludes my Initial Report on the Hoo-Rag Tubular Bandana. I'd like to thank both Hoo-Rag and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.
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