Gear – Outdoor Research (OR) rain & sun hats

Many years ago I got turned on to the Outdoor Research (OR) line of rain hats. They were basically big GoreTex boonie hats. What was appealing to me was that they were available in somewhat military colors (forest green), were waterproof, and could be crushed into a small baseball-sized bundle that could be stuffed in a bag or BDU pocket. I bought a few of them and when they made a multicam versionI bought that too. I’ve found them to be excellent for their intended purpose.

I spent a week in Puerto Rico last month. While the rain hat was useful for those days when the rain blew in off the ocean, most of the time was bright sun and clear days. Unfortunately, I had no suitable hat for the occasion. I decided that when I got back to Montana I would order up a suitable hat for those sunny days.

As it turns out, Outdoor Research makes a sun hat that is basically a non-rain version of the rain hat I love so much. ( Helios Sun Hat, Multicam)

The main differences between the sun hat and the rain hat, obviously, are construction. The rain hat uses different materials with an eye towards waterproofing. The sun hat is geared towards being lightweight and providing shade. Could the rain hat be used to shade your head and face? Absolutely, but if its suny and hot enough to need to do that then its also sunny and hot enough that the hat will make you sweat like a hooker in church.


(L.) Sun hat, (R.) Rain hat

I suppose that you could pick up a ten dollar no-name boonie hat somewhere and be set for the sunny outdoors….thats what I did for a number of years. I had some woodland boonie hat that I could drag through a creek and plop on my head to keep me cool during a day of fishing, etc. that Im a bit older…I like nicer things, and a lot of my newer gear is moving in the direction of multicam, soooo…….

The rain hat, though, I highly recommend. I actually recommend both hats but folks are more likely to cheap out on the sun hat and thats fine. But the rain hat…you wanna spend the extra bucks there and get a nice one like this.

3 thoughts on “Gear – Outdoor Research (OR) rain & sun hats

  1. Since moving to the Eastern Washington Desert. I have become a fanatic about wearing a sun-hat from May-October. Luckily, because I work for a Government Contractor which requires outdoor work, sun hats are provided as a form of PPE(no one benefits from heat stroke), and I’ve gotten to try a few designs.

    One of my favorite is this one from Columbia…I like it a lot because it covers all of your neck and ears.'s&start=0

  2. OR makes some very good quality products. It’s up there with Helly Hansen and Arc’teryx in my book. Buy the best and only cry once.

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