The Charter Hat from Sunday Afternoons is a sophisticated blend of function, features, and fashion. This wide brim sun fedora is like no other. If you spend any time outdoors, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun, so why not look good doing it?
The DermaSafe technology in this hat allows for a permanent UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+. This is a quality that is integrated into the durable 100% nylon fabric, and will not wash or wear out. In fact, the technology is independently tested and proven to prevent long-term skin damage. In addition to the DermaSafe properties, the under-brim of the hat is a darker shade in order to reduce glare. In my field testing, I found this small addition to be a great asset when I was hiking on very light color sand and rock. It cut down on my eye fatigue.
The designers we thoughtful about what someone would want from a hat when they set out to design the Charter. They realized that sometimes it’s not enough to protect the head, shoulders, and eyes with a hat, but that sunglasses may need to be worn too. With this in mind, they added a sunglass lock: slits in the base of the hat to slide sunglass arms into. The slits are wide enough to secure sunglasses while the hat is on, but snug enough to stop your sunglasses from getting lost or scratched because they fall when you look up or down. I did find that the type of sunglass arms make a difference in the fit once the arms are in the slits. If the arms are wide, tight, and/or stiff on your head when you wear your glasses normally, they will make the crown of the head fit a little tighter. Sadly, this is not something that could be adjusted.
There are three colors offered in the Charter Hat: sand, cream, or tan. I opted to review the lightest color, cream, in order to test out Sunday Afternoons’ ShieldTek claims to resist dirt and water. Through some vigorous trials of dust and dirt, wind and water, I learned a few things. The light color is very easy to keep clean. Other light color hats I have tried tend to collect dirty fingerprints and attract dirt like a magnet to the sweat rim on the outside, often making a hat look like an inside out Oreo. It took a few shakes for the light dust to fall away, and I never noticed any fingerprints, nor did I see any sweat stains.
I attribute a lot of the lack of stains to the ShieldTek, but also to the mesh vents which work with the internal wicking sweat band. My head never felt overheated despite the blazing 80+ degree weather in full sun.
While pumping water from a stream, the wind blew my hat into the water. Not wanting to hike in soggy boots, I stood on the bank expecting to watch it fill with water and sink. To my surprise, it floats. After I got home I read that the rim of the hat has FloatCore technology: flexible, lightweight closed-cell foam, that is designed so the hat will float. This benefit makes this hat an instant favorite for any water related adventures such as fishing or kayaking.
A few bonus features of the Charter Hat include a storage pocket in the underside of of the hat. It is the perfect size for credit cards, an ID, a gel pack/snack, or even a small disposable rain poncho. Also, the hat has the ability to travel flat and pop open like new every time. Finally, the hat only comes in a few sizes because Sunday Afternoons has added an anchor lock sizing system into each hat to give a customized fit. I found this feature very useful. As I got warmer or went up in altitude my head would swell. The ability to loosen the crown kept me from getting headaches I have gotten with other hats.
I would highly recommend the Sunday Afternoons Charter Hat to anyone, male or female, in search of a fashionable way to protect themselves from the sun while enjoying the great outdoors. sundayafternoons.com
A special thanks to Sunday Afternoons for providing their Charter Hat for this review. Like most people, we have a limit to the funds we can spend on our gear. So to be able to review them, then share that review with our readers, allows us to pay it forward in a way that we hope will benefit everyone.