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We test Outdoor Research's Helios Sun Hat to see how well it can protect the heads of Englishmen who go out in the mid-day sun

outdoor reserach helios sunhat
Overall Score
Retains shape excellently despite super light weight
The price for its light weight is a slightly floppy brim in high wind

With its UPF 50+ rating and wide brim, the Helios is a great choice for anyone - even baldies like our tester - who is heading out in intense sunshine all day long.

We took this hat with us to Spain for a week of outdoor adventure kayaking, climbing, and hiking all day long in the 30 C August Iberian sun and all we needed was a dab of sunscreen on the nose and base of neck for full protection. All the rest - face, ears, and head were more than adequately protected by the Helios' big shadow.

The Helios comes in four colours, all of which have a dark underside of the wide brim - a thoughtful detail which cuts out any tiring and visibility-diminishing reflective glare.

Made from a lightweight, synthetic but breathable double weave ripstop material that is quick drying and crumple resistant, the Helios is easily stuffed into a bag, while still retaining its shape when you need it. There is always a slight waviness to the brim but this never worsens despite continued abuse and even soaking.

Other features include a wicking headband inside the brim, an external drawcord adjuster, and a removable chin cord.


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