I was given the opportunity to test drive a new product that should hopefully make it to market in the next few months that I was very pleased with the initial performance of. I’ve also seen iwreckalot in pics wearing Shelta Hats as a test pilot. I stopped by Jurgen’s (the creator) house this morning and picked up a shiny new Shelta Hats Osprey this morning and took it right out into the surf to see how it did when the waves had some push. Check out www.sheltahats.com to see what I’m talking about.
I wear hats a lot when I surf because my Scottish skin takes a beating and we have a solid skin cancer history in my family. I rarely wear them when there’s any real size to it as I tend to lose them and that gets old. So when I got ahold of this hat and checked it out, I figured a trial by fire was warranted.
The brim on the Osprey goes all the way around, but is longer in the front and back than the sides. It’s designed for paddlers so the narrow sides protect your ears but don’t get in the way while paddling. The front of the brim is pretty stiff and it didn’t flop down over my eyes at all even when taking a few overhead sets right on the dome. The front was pre-bent and looked a little funky, so I worked on bending it rounder on my own and it made a difference. From what Jurgen told me, this has been one of the big issues that they’re fixing and his manufacturer isn’t using the bending mold that they are supposed to. There’s also going to be accessories to attach to the brim in the future such as headlights and a shade that will be amazing for fishing in. When paddling on my stomach the back brim never hit my back which was good.
The bucket where my dome went in was really comfortable. It’s really lightweight and breathes great. It’s SPF 50. The liner is sewn in so when the hat comes off it doesn’t flop down into your eyes. It’s honestly one of the more comfortable hats I’ve ever worn. When the hat got wet it got a little looser, so I was able to reach up and tighten it with the drawstring in the back.
the lanyard is one of the best features. There’s removable loops on the brim at the ears and a clip where you can hook it onto your wetsuit. Or, since I have a front zip wetsuit, I used the clip and hooked it onto the back of the hat. Then, There’s a slidey thing that you move down and it tuns into a loop. I wore that around my neck and it was comfortable. When the hat got removed by larger waves, there wasn’t any drag on my neck. If you don’t want any lanyard, the whole thing comes off and goes into a pocket in the top of the hat so you don’t lose it.
I grabbed a very light colored hat, and I will say that it looked pretty dirty after one use (I think it’s sand mostly). I haven’t tried to clean it yet. But that’s the only nitpick I can make right now. If this hat holds up over time, I’ll give it five stars. It’s not a cheap hat so hopefully it holds up. Great product thus far, and if does hold up, I’ll be putting the whole family in them