APPLICATION 0 Outdoor Research Rando Cap (amytys)
- Application to test the Outdoor Research Rando Cap
I am applying to test the Outdoor Research Rando Cap.
I have read the BackpackGearTest survival guide, ver. 1202, and agree
to fully comply with the rules outlined within. I have also signed,
sealed, and delivered the tester contract, and have received
verification that my contract has been received.
Personal biographical information:
Date of App 11/01/2005
Name Andrew Mytys
Height 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight 165 lbs (75 kg)
Head Circumference 23 1/8 inches (59 cm)
Email amytys (at) highstream (dot) net
Location S/E Michigan
Test locations would include Michigan's lower peninsula, specifically
The Waterloo and Pinckney State Recreation Areas, North Country
Trail, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness area, and various State and
Uninterrupted time in the field would range anywhere from 2 to 5
days. Temperatures, based on seasonal averages in the areas I will
be visiting, can be expected to range between 0 F (-18 C) and 50 F
(10 C). However, as these are averages, it should be noted that
lower temperatures could suddenly occur.
In addition to overnight trips, the OR Rando Cap would be used for
daily 2-5 mile walks with my dog and long dayhikes in excess of 20
miles (32 km).
Taken as a whole, my proposed testing would expose the Rando Cap to
rain, sleet, snow, wind, and generally cold conditions.
Specific trip plans include:
December 2-4 - GLH Winter Gathering, Waterloo Recreation Area. This
event will include dayhikes of 6-12 miles (10-20 km) each day, in the
Waterloo Recreation Area.
December 27-30th - Michigan Winter outing - Hoist Lakes Recreation
January 13-17 - Michigan Winter outing, High Country Pathway.
February 3-5 - Michigan Winter outing, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
February 17-19 - Michigan Winter outing, Manistee River/North Country
March 11-13 - Michigan Winter outing, location to be determined.
April 8-10 - Michigan Winter outing, location to be determined.
The Rando Cap, with its classic design, looks like it can deliver a
practical level of winter warmth as common with other such designs.
Of course, looks can be deceiving.
There are a number of questions that I will be trying to answer in my
quest to evaluate the worthiness of the Rando Cap for backcountry
winter travel. These include:
- At what temperatures do I find the Rando Cap to be practical for
use (neither too warm, nor too cold)?
- How is this effective range influenced by humidity?
- Can the Rando Cap be extended beyond its cold-weather limit by
wearing it over a lightweight balaclava, or perhaps wearing the hood
of my parka over it?
- What purpose does the Rando Cap's bill serve? Does it keep rain
and snow from spotting my glasses? Does its dark fabric reduce
glare, as advertised?
- Can the Rando Cap by comfortably worn while sleeping? Does the
weight of my head pressed against the external drawcord of the cap
cause any comfort issues?
- Can the cap's earflaps be pulled up and out of the way on the
outside of the hat, for use in warmer conditions?
- Are any of the hooks from the earflap's "hook and loop" closure
exposed and, if so, do they catch on the collar of my shirt or jacket?
- Does the earflap's "hook and loop" closure system stay locked for
extended periods of time, including when the cap is slept in?
- How waterproof is the cap when confronted with hours of wet
snowfall or rain?
- Does the cap's design, particularly the wire-edged brim, cause any
issues with packability - will it easily stuff into the pocket of my
jacket and retain its shape when removed? Can the brim's shape be
molded time and time again with no adverse effects?
- While OR makes no claims that the Rando Cap has any wind-blocking
qualities, I would nevertheless comment on how the cap functioned in
more challenging conditions. Let's not kid ourselves here... a cap
is traditionally a type of winter apparel, and winter includes
periods of high winds. While temperatures can remain at or slightly
below freezing, the winds I typically experience can have an affect
on exposed skin as if it were actually -10F (-23C)! How well does
the Rando Cap insulate in typical winter conditions?
- Lastly, in terms of durability and retention of functionality, how
does the cap fair after numerous washings?
A Note on Deliverables:
Should I be fortunate enough to be selected for this test, I would
require a size Large cap, per the Outdoor Research "Headware" sizing
chart. In terms of color, they all look pretty neat and I remain
undecided. If asked, I will make up my mind and include my
preference along with my shipping information.
Additional Background/Backpacking style:
I live in Michigan and have been hiking seriously for 15 years,
although I've camped since I was 6 years old.
I consider myself a lightweight hiker, meaning that I carry the
lightest gear I can find that meets two simple deliverables -
providing a comfortable wilderness experience and adequately
supporting the goals of my trip. Unless my goals are time/distance
oriented, my pace is always slow. I rarely exceed 1.5 miles/hour. I
rest frequently, hike long days, and enjoy whatever nature throws my
As my testing will be focused in winter environments, my typical
packweight - including food, water, and fuel - can be expected to be
in the range of 50 lbs (23 kg).
A Word on my Current BGT Work Load:
Currently, I am involved in four tests, one that is in the Long Term
Wayah Press; A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike - Currently Field
testing (next test due January 31, 2006)
Five Ten Insight trail shoes - Initial Report, posted
Gossamer Gear Lightrek Poles - Product received, current writing
Tests Yet to Start:
Ibex Fall Line Pants
Valandre Shocking Blue sleeping bag
Previously Completed Test Series:
Black Diamond Lighthouse tent:
Ultimate Direction SpeeDemon Backpack:
Additional Test Series Completed:
. Ibex Wool Glove Liners
. OR Motion Fleece Balaclava
. Highgear Axis watch
. Rocky Gore-Tex socks
. Bear Vault BV-200 black bear resistant food canister
. Insul Mat Max-Thermo
. Magellan SporTrak Topo 2003
. Six Moon Designs Starlite pack
. HSSC Fluid Pack
. Bite X-Trac OS Sandals
. Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pocket Journal
. LEKI UL Ti AE PA AS Trekking Poles
. Psolar.EX Mask
. Granite Gear Vapor Trail Backpack
Previously Written Owner Reviews:
Everest Designs Sherpa Hat
Aloe Gator Waterproof Gel
Additional Owner Reviews:
. Kenyon K+Tape
. Porcupine Mountains Companion
. Clever Toothbrush
. Porcupine Mountains Companion
. REI Folding Bucket
. GSI Outdoors 16oz Lexan Flask
. REI All Mountain Mitts
. Osprey Aether 60 Pack
. GoLite Snow Cap
. REI Half Dome Backpack
Additional BGT Participation:
. active in the Mentor program
. active in the Test Manager program
I thank you for considering my application.