Leveling-up a baseball cap is something I can certainly expect from Patagonia and that’s just what they’ve done with the Airshed Cap. It’s a lightweight, versatile hat for trail running, hiking, alpine touring and whatever other adventures you want to throw at it.
Patagonia Airshed Cap Features:
- 100% recycled polyester plain-weave fabric
- Lightweight performance Velcro® closure
- Lightweight, low-profile sweatband with miDori™ bioSoft
- Breathable fabric (40CFM) and front-panel structure allow excess heat to escape
- Coated with a PFC-free DWR finish
- Brim made of NetPlus® 100% recycled fishing nets
- Soft EVA brim insert for next-to-forehead comfort
- MSRP: $45
Airshed Cap is a winner
For protection and comfort, I wear hats during almost every outdoor activity. I shave my head, so tops on my list is sun protection, but right next to that would be weather protection and moisture management. Aside from around town and other low-adventure activities, my primary use of the Airshed Cap has been for trail running.
Many hats these days have gone flat-brimmed. While the cool kids insist on it, comfort and performance is compromised because of a lack of proper fit around the circumference of your head. Even the POC Transcend Cap, which can flex a bit, does suffer from gaps on either side of your forehead. Patagonia has gone with a more traditional brim style, but have added a little nugget to it that takes it over the top.
Oftentimes, when I’m trail running, the wind kicks up and it’s necessary to tighten down the hat so it doesn’t blow away. When that happens, many hats can begin to push uncomfortably into your forehead. So, the little nicety that Patagonia has added to the Airshed Cap is the soft EVA brim insert that sits between the NetPlus brim and your forehead. No question, I’m a fan as it puts softer material as a buffer that allows natural compression for a comfortable fit — even when snugged down.
I’m also a fan of the Airshed fabric, having given the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover an Editor’s Choice a few years back. This fabric is lightweight and ultra breathable, but is also treated with a lightweight DWR for modest weather protection. Don’t confuse that with this being a rain cap, because it’s definitely not that. But, a little light weather will stay away.
To maintain structure the front of the hat features a honeycomb mesh. It does breathe well, but mostly is built to add structure so the hat doesn’t flop around. Packability does suffer with that insert, as you can’t just roll it up and stuff it anywhere. Still, it’s usually an easy one to stash if you wrap it on top of a jacket or other item in your pack.
Rounding things out, the sweat band’s miDori™ bioSoft material does a great job absorbing sweat and allowing it to evaporate without dripping down your face.
- That EVA foam insert delivers forehead comfort in spades
- Standard brim curve allows proper coverage
- Tons of feel-good materials used
- Easily cleaned when salt crusts on the exterior
- Maintains freshness after several uses
- Dries in a jiffy
- Structured front does limit packability
- Don’t count on the DWR to withstand serious weather
The Bottom Line: Patagonia Airshed Cap
Yes, it’s a cap, but it’s more than just a “cap.” Patagonia has gone the extra mile with the Airshed Cap by using recycled materials throughout in a breathable, comfortable and versatile trail hat. Stash this one away for alpine touring or use it as a trail running cap and that EVA foam insert will ensure comfort — no matter how blustery it gets.
Buy Now: Visit Patagonia.com