a conversation with the earth guidebooks + guided hiking
sun guide cap

Thermonuclear Protection: The Ideal UPF Cap for Hikers

The Sun Guide Cap, by Sunday Afternoons

I’ve found it: the ideal baseball-style cap for sun protection while hiking. It’s made by Sunday Afternoons (www.sundayafternoons.com). They call it the “sun guide cap.” Having tried many others, I believe this one is far superior. Outdoor Research, for example, makes what they call the “sun runner cap.” But the material is flimsy. Mine soon ripped apart. The brim is too short. And the sizing is too small. Patagonia makes the “vented spoonbill.” It’s a quality piece and fits well, but the cape doesn’t offer adequate protection, covering your ears and neck but not your cheeks and chin. The Sunday Afternoons version is extremely light (only 3.3 ounces, including the cape), but rugged. And it’s thoughtfully designed. I find the fit is all-day comfortable, and I think it looks great—with or without the cape. Most important, the cape offers full-face protection without restricting visibility. Plus, it’s a pony-tail friendly cap. I still slather on sun cream before a day on the trail, but the sun guide cap’s 50+ UPF factor and excellent coverage give me confidence I wouldn’t be risking skin cancer even without the sun cream. Don’t be put off by the Sunday Afternoons website. It has a “Leave it to Beaver” look that suggests their products aren’t made for the rigors of real life. The grinning, squeaky-clean, stiffly posed models are a hoot. But the sun guide cap is superior to any baseball-style cap made by any of the serious outdoor-gear manufacturers. And Sunday Afternoons staff understands the meaning of “service.” Check it out at http://www.sundayafternoons.com/sun-guide-cap.html Walk on!