FR - Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap - Kathy Waters
Below is the text of my Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap. The HTML can be seen in the test folder at:http://tinyurl.com/63w9cqg
Thank you for your time, edits and comments on this report.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Despite the winter weather as of late, I find I am still grabbing the Eclipse Cap almost every time I venture out onto the trails. Even in sub-freezing temperatures, it is just so dang handy for cooling off my sweaty head when I have been snowshoeing or hiking hard. I'd start out with a wool or Polartec beanie, heat up and swap the now damp hat out for the Eclipse.
So, I'd venture to say, I've worn the Cap on at least 5 all day snowshoe hikes and numerous other shorter hikes around our property, down the road to the mail box (5 miles/8 km round trip) and while sneaking treats to my neighbors' horses!
All of my outdoor activities have been in the mountains of Colorado and Utah, mostly south central Colorado in the Fremont, Cooper and Wet mountain ranges.
It's been very dry and rather warm up until two weeks ago when the temperatures really plunged. High temperatures have actually soared to 68 F (20 C) with average highs still above normal at 50-ish F (10 C). Average lows (daytime) have been around 35 F (2 C). We did have a period of 4 or 5 days where the daytime temps never broke 0 F (-18 C). Truce be told, I wasn't outside much on those days! Brrrr!
We've had lots and lots of glorious sunshine this winter, but I did get to wear the Eclipse in cloudy weather too and even, the one day I was participating in a snowshoe run/hike event at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah, in snow showers.
So, I think the Eclipse has seen all that winter weather can offer here in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As I indicated, I've been either carrying or wearing the Eclipse quite a bit the last couple of months. It is quite handy. I can fold it down to next to nothing and carry it in my pocket, a waist belt pouch or even the smallest pack pocket I've got which is the bottom of the Columbia Mobex Winter back - and that's small! This portability makes it a no-brainer for me when packing up for the trail - why not take it?!
I SAID it was small!
When it's been cold (the last month) I've used the Cap as a replacement to my usual winter headgear when I got hot on the trail. I sweat easily when hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains and rather than not have anything on my head, I would pull out the Eclipse and substitute it for whatever was there before. I would immediately cool down, especially if I initially turned up the vent flaps on the top sides of the Cap. As my noggin cooled down, I would put flaps in the downward position for more warmth. This scheme worked well for me.
I particularly like and need the sun protection the brim of the Eclipse provides. I have compromised vision and must shade my peepers from bright light, be it the sun or simply the glare of the snow and the Eclipse did/does that very adequately. The brim is not too short and yet not too long, but just right for me. (Gee, I sound like Goldilocks!)
And speaking of the brim, it did a very nice job of keeping the Utah snow shower debris off my glasses and the Cap itself didn't wet out for well over an hour of light, on-off flurries.
Sunday Afternoons indicated that the Eclipse Cap is stain-resistant and so far, I have to say, that is surely the case. Despite being crammed into corners of my pack with not-necessarily-clean gear and dropped countless times, the Cap still looks great. In the interest of gear testing though, I decided to wash the Cap to see how it held up to some soap and water.
Following the website instructions to hand wash, I filled a basin with cold tap water and used my favorite liquid tech soap (I use tech soap for all my washable gear). I just kinda swished the Cap around in the water a bit and let it soak for maybe, 20 minutes. I thoroughly rinsed the Cap in running cold water, squished out the excess water and set the Cap on a cotton towel to dry. I could have easily duplicated the procedure in the field had I been so inclined but frankly, laundry in the wild isn't my thing in any case other than blood - lots of blood!
After 3 hours - when I finally remembered to check - I found the Eclipse to be totally dry and looking good!
As of yet, I have not had to re-adjust the head adjustment strap, the Cap remains comfortably fitted to me. There has been no pulled stitch, despite numerous close encounters of the prickly kind - juniper and pine trees. Bright Ole Sole has not caused one iota of fading either. The Eclipse is holding up quite well!
I'm please so far with the stellar performance of the Eclipse. It's cool, versatile, sun-shade efficient, easy to pack and easy to care for.
I know I haven't really stressed it so far during this test, but after my two weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park (right now) and then a couple of weeks in Florida at the mid/end of March, it will be exposed to even more snow and cold and then heat and humidity and of course in both venues, lots of sun.
Please bookmark this report and return in early April 2011 for my Field Report to see how the Eclipse and I have enjoyed the outdoors together.
Kathleen (Kathy) WatersI'
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
My apologies for the delay in editing your Field Report. With my back surgery and then my wife's unexpected emergency surgery, things have been surreal.
Your report looks great. I was unable to find anything worthy of comment. So, please upload at your convenience.
Once again, my apologies on my tardiness.