Sitting at Cheaha Brewing in Alabama, my pacer and only crew member for the Pinhoti 100 tells me that he brought me a new hat he wants me to try out. As I look it over, I remind myself that trying something new on race day is typically a bad idea. I’m torn because I’m really digging the looks of it, but my foam trucker hat from a brewery in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is my usual go to.
Blackrocks Brewing makes a good-looking hat and the light foam front panel and brim do a great job keeping sweat out of my face. That hat is now in Boquillas, Mexico, on the other side of the river from Big Bend National Park. I gave it to Raul, a local guide and full-time resident, after purchasing a sombrero from the souvenir shop. After a few visits to the small, tourism-funded town, he told me in broken English that it’s now his son’s favorite hat. I passed it along only after realizing that ever since November, I’ve worn my Ultra Expeditions Trucker Hat for every single run I’ve done, and you’ll often see me wearing it out in public or while I’m at work.
Back to the Pinhoti 100. After a couple of beers and a final gear check that night, I decided the Ultra Expeditions Trucker Hat was going to be in the mix. Fast forward 26 hours, and the hat still looked and felt like it was straight off the shelf. Because it was an abnormally warm day - the hottest on record - I had the idea to start soaking it in a stream every time I had the chance. Part of me thought that I might wear it out or stain it, but I really didn’t care since the 80+ degree weather and 100% humidity was leading to significant amounts of dehydration in the field. I needed to keep cool and drenching the hat in an ice cold mountain stream was just what the doctor ordered.
It retained just enough moisture to keep me cool for half an hour in those conditions, and I really liked how it didn’t feel like it was weighing my head down when it was drenched. It dried out quickly, yet slowly enough to help keep my long mane of hair cool through the heat of the day.
I am rather picky about my hats. Having a long head of hair lends me to prefer a hat with a slightly taller profile so that I can pull it down closer to my ears and keep my hair down. Hats with smaller profiles don’t work well for me because I constantly feel like they could fall off, especially with a strong gust of wind. The brim is firm, but malleable, a feature I enjoy so that I can reshape it depending on the application. The Ultra Expeditions Trucker Hat comes out of the packaging with a straight flat brim, but I was able to curve it and wear it how I wanted. The brim also has hefty stitching on it, giving it the feel of a quality product instead of a cheap trucker hat that I’ve found with many other brands.
Caring for my hat has been easier than ever. As I travel for work and find myself at laundromats on a regular basis, I have washed it a few times. I’ve noticed that the more I wash it, the more the colors and crisp feel of a new hat begin to fade.
The hat is made of durable, wicking materials that prevent it from holding an odor. Ideally, to care for it, you should wash it by hand after each activity. It could be as simple as running it under some cool water in a sink or giving it a light scrub with some soap or detergent. Because of it’s lightweight design, there is no excessive material in the hat that could hold in a funk and washing it by hand does the trick every time.
Overall, this is the best hat I’ve ever run in. The custom embroidered Ultra Expeditions logo is a nice touch and a great opportunity to represent the brand. They’ve really done their research and they’ve chosen a great product to showcase themselves whether you’re out running trails, road, or just hanging out in public. You’d be doing yourself a disservice to not own one. Forward, backward, or even with a headlamp or sunglasses on, this hat really does it all.
To purchase the Ultra Expeditions Trucker Hat, check out the link below: