Mental HeadCase Multi-Purpose Microfibre Accessory
Initial Report - December 2, 2007
39 years old
5 ft 11 in tall (1.8 m)
175 lb (79 kg)
Southeast Texas, Houston Area
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip
into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and
over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach
to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions).
While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a
mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the
lightest load possible.
December 2, 2007
Manufacturer: Mental Gear
Sizes available: One size fits all
Year Manufactured: 2007
MSRP: $ 14.95 US
Information From Tester:
(all measurements approximate)
Weight : 1.10 oz (31 gm)
Measurements: 16 x 9 in (41 x 23 cm)
Tester's head size: 23 in (58 cm)
Initial tester expectations:
After visiting the Mental website I had a lot of questions in my head. How
do I care for the HeadCase? How large is it? How much does it weigh? There
is a short description of the item there, but beyond that I had to use my
imagination to come up with most of my mental impressions of it before it
Description from the manufacturer:
The HeadCase multi-functional accessory works for all kinds of activities.
It provides maximum comfort and protection against wind, snow, sun, etc.
The HeadCase is manufactured from 100% pllyester micro-fibre, which is
wind-resistant, breathable, and wicks moisture. The HeadCase is constructed
without seams and will not loose its shape. The micro-fibre dries in
minutes, retains it (sic) elasticity and does not fray. The suggested uses
are "Bandana, head band, face mask, balaclava, scrunchee, helmet cover,
beanie, neck warmer, and skull cap."
The Mental HeadCase Multi-Purpose Microfibre Accessory is a tube of
polyester fabric. It is black (inside and out) and has the "Mental" logo on
four locations. The material is stretchy and very soft. I was a bit
surprised that I could see light through the HeadCase fabric even when it is
doubled over. I had expected the fabric to be a bit 'heavier', but what is
a good test without a few surprises?
The HeadCase is an interesting piece of gear from the start. It is designed
to be a multi-use head/neck covering. Not a hat, not a bandana and not a
balaclava, but something in between. I can best describe it as a head/neck
The fabric was much lighter and softer than I had expected after seeing it
on the website. Being able to actually see light and shapes through the
fabric has me a bit worried about its ability to keep me warm during the
colder months, but I have a lot of testing in store for the HeadCase before
I can make a judgement on that issue. The ends of the microfibre tube are
not hemmed in any way so I will also interested in how they hold up to wear
The website was rather sparse on information about the HeadCase, except for
the description above. It did show several ways to wear the HeadCase, but
provided no instructions on how to fold or apply the HeadCase. The hang tag
that came with the HeadCase did solve some of these mysteries for me. The
hang tag shows nine ways to wear the HeadCase and it provides detailed
instructions on how to create a beanie and skull cap out of this item.
Here are some questions that I plan on using as a guide for my testing of
the Mental HeadCase Multi-Purpose Microfibre Accessory:
1. How well does this item fit? This seems like an easy question, but a
seamless tube of microfiber fabric which stretches might be too tight or too
lose upon my pointy head.
2. Are there ways to wear the HeadCase that dont work for me due its
3. How fashionable will I look on the trail?
4. Can I wear a climbing helmet over the HeadCase?
1. How much does it weigh?
2. The website shows 8 different ways to wear it. Can I use all of them? Are
there other ways beyond the "8" that I can use this item?
3. How well does it protect my head from the sun when worn as a cap/head
4. Can I wet the HeadCase and then wear it as a cap in order to keep my head
cool and covered during warmer weather? How long does it stay wet?
5. Is it thick enough to keep my head/neck warm on cool
days/evenings/nights? Will it keep my head warm on cold nights in my
6. Does it provide any type of protection from biting insects? Or can they
bite through the fabric?
7. Will it work as a trail towel? Wash cloth?
1. Does the HeadCase stretch out? How well does it hold its shape/elastic
qualities over time?
2. Does it develop nasty odors? Can the odors wash out or air out without
too much lingering stink?
3. How resistant to snags and pilling is it? The website claims that it does
not fray, is this true?
4. Do stains wash out easily?
5. What are the washing care instructions? Are they easy to follow in the
6. Can I treat the HeadCase with insect repellant?
I am very interested to see how well this item holds up to trail use. The
company website was a bit sparse (in my opinion) on its uses and care
instructions. This isn't a minus to me because it means I really don't have
any preconcieved notions about what I can or can't do with this item. It
simply leaves everything up to me and I am more than willing to experiment
with the idea of a head/neck multi-tool.
Please check back in February 2008 for my Field Test report and further
information on the Mental HeadCase Multi-Purpose Microfibre Accessory.