LTR - Loki Liner Hat - Andy H.
- Hi Tim,
Here's my LTR for the Loki Liner Hat. The html version can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/lj4fm4 . Thanks for the edits!
Long Term Report
I have worn this hat many times since I received it. I have worn it while on two overnight backpacking trips, five day hikes, a week-long whitewater rafting trip, several times while walking around town, and dozens of times while on my bike commute. The overnight backpacking trips took place in the Sawatch Range of central Colorado. The first trip was in the vicinity of East Cross Creek and I covered approximately 12 mi (19 km) during this weekend. The second outing took me up the Pine Creek drainage to Missouri Basin. From here, I hiked three high peaks and covered approximately 26 mi (42 km) over two days. Elevations on these trips ranged from 9,000 ft (2,700 m) to slightly over 14,000 ft (4,300 m). Temperatures ranged from a low of 40° F (4° C) at night to a high of 80° F (27° C) during the day. On these trips I experienced very strong winds and occasional light rain. The day hikes I went on ranged from 4 mi (6 km) to 15 mi (24 km). Four of these hikes took place in the foothills along the Front Range in Colorado. The elevation of these hikes range from 5,600 ft (1700 m) to 8,000 ft (2,400 m). All of these hikes featured generally mild conditions with an average temperature of 65° F (18° C), light winds, and plenty of sun. The fifth hike was a climb of Pacific and Atlantic Peaks, two high peaks near Copper Mountain, Colorado. The elevation on this hike ranged from 11,000 ft (3,400 m) to nearly 14,000 ft (4,300 m). This hike was quite cold; the average temperature never climbed above 35° F (2° C). I experienced strong wind, light snow, and very little sun on this hike.
In late June, I was fortunate enough to raft the Selway River in Idaho. Elevation on the river averaged about 2,000 ft (610 m). We had excellent weather with almost no precipitation, mild temperatures, and light winds. The rest of my use has been around the cities of Colorado Springs and Golden, Colorado. My daily bike commute was approximately 2 mi (3 km) one-way in Colorado Springs and is now 5 mi (8 km) one-way in Golden.
Wearing the Loki Liner Hat on the summit of Atlantic Peak
The Loki Liner Hat has continued to serve me well throughout the Long Term Report period. As temperatures rose, I found that I rarely used the hat in any form other than the traditional hat. Still, I was glad to know that I could easily convert it to a facemask (which I found to be the second-most-useful form) if necessary. For whatever reason, I feel like the hat didn't provide as much warmth as I would have liked several times during the Long Term Report period. This seemed especially pronounced when it was windy, and I frankly feel as though I didn't experience much wind until this test phase. While I never got dangerously cold, the wind seemed to steal away enough warmth to make me slightly uncomfortable. It was those times that reminded me this is indeed a liner hat and is marketed as such.
Despite occasionally not providing as much warmth as I would have liked, I am very happy with the Loki Liner Hat. It has proven to be very durable, looking like new despite dozens of uses and dozens more times getting stuffed into a pack. All of the seams remain intact and I have not noticed any pulled threads. As I mentioned in my Initial Report, the hat does work with a variety of helmets but not always well. I had to adjust the plastic cordlock to prevent it from digging into my head when worn with my climbing and skiing helmet. My biggest complain lies with the strip of fabric used to cinch the hat closed. It has the tendency to swing in front of my eyes when I'm wearing the hat in the traditional hat position. I will probably cut several inches off of this fabric now that the test is complete. This should reduce, but not eliminate, the annoying excess cord dangling in front of my face without impacting the transition of the hat between modes.
All in all, this is an excellent liner hat. The fabric is relatively thin so it only provides so much warmth. That said, it provides me with a very good amount of warmth when I'm active in cold weather. When I'm inactive in cold weather, I often wish for a warmer hat, especially if it is windy. The various wear modes provide a great deal of versatility and has saved me from carrying a separate balaclava and thin hat. I will continue to use the Loki Liner Hat, especially as a second hat when exploring the backcountry in winter.
Various modes allow great versatility
Easily converts between modes
Provides good amount of warmth when active in cold weather
Can be used with helmets (with some adjustment)
Not enough warmth in cold and windy conditions
Wearing with a helmet requires adjustment
Excess cord tends to dangle in front of my face
Thank you to Loki and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test this hat.