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Outdoor Research Papyrus Bucket Hat : Escape the Heat

The Outdoor Research Papyrus Bucket Hat is the precocious offspring of a large brimmed straw hat and an outdoorsy sun hat.

The Papyrus Bucket gets the best of both worlds. Unlike a casual straw hat, it has an inner micro fiber headband that keeps it secure on my head while warding off sweat on my brow. It also has a solidly attached adjustable chin strap that I can remove if I choose. Unlike a typical brimmed sun hat, it looks both refined and youthful.

Hats are truly personal when it comes to fit. I’ve tried out lots of hats over the years for outdoors activities, and have a very hard time finding one I like. I can only sometimes bring myself to wear baseball hats or visors, but they are just not that flattering on me, not particularly feminine, and don’t protect my neck at all from the sun. (OR also makes a men's version, called the Papyrus Brim Hat , pictured here.)

The Papyrus Bucket was the first sun hat I’ve found in a while that looked good on me and was effective enough to take on the trail or out climbing. It slopes down low on all sides, which I found gave my eyes extra relief from the sun. (I noticed with this hat that I need to tie my hair in a low ponytail to keep my hair out of my way). The hat is made out of paper, some sort of special strong weave that is apparently similar to straw but hand-washable. On my last calf-burning ascent of the “M” trail outside of Bozeman, I found the hat pleasantly light, and great at allowing heat to escape from my head. A hat that breathes well is essential for me on hot days.

The OR Papyrus Bucket Hat is available for women in Khaki, in sizes S-L. I have a medium to large head for a woman, and the Medium fit me true to size; it's sized for a 57 cm head.

Bottom Line: The OR Papyrus Bucket Hat is a great companion on days when you need a break from the sun but still want to play outside.--L.B. (June ’11)

BUY ONLINE: $26,click to shop.

Manufacturer's Site: www.outdoorresearch.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.