Columbia Bug Me Not Cachalot
Provides perfect protection from the sun without being obtrusive. Its folding bill and lightweight material make it easy to stow away. Flap can be tucked away and convert it to a "regular" hat. Love the hat, but "bug me not" may be a bit excessive!
- Folding bill and adjustable size
- Insect resistance
- UPF protection
- Why not just hat and bandanna?
- Although adjustable, one size
Recently received this as a prize from Sierra Trading Post, and I had my choice of several options; this hat was on my list. Typically when hiking I prefer wearing wider brimmed hats instead of lathering my neck, ears and my face with sunscreen. I've used the old tried-and-true hat with a bandanna.
With 30 UPF protection and get material for wicking, this'll be part of my arsenal for a while. It is also supposed to be infused with Permethrin for insect resistance ("bug me not" name! also available in sprays generally lasting only 6 washes or 6 weeks). I cannot attest to its insect blocker material due to the weather in my area.
Over the next few months, I will update this review. According to the tag, the insect blocker lasts for 70 washes, pretty impressive, but it'll be a while before I can tell if this is true.
Insects which Columbia states can be repelled are ticks, ants, mosquitoes, flies, chiggers and midges.
This is one size fits all hat that has a drawcord in the back. I have a 22 1/2" (around size 7 hat) and it fits perfectly without any adjustment. See the picture below.
The bill is constructed of two pieces and bent in the middle so that it can be collapsible. I have easily fit it into my pocket. Other than that, the bill is made from typical plastic material. Below is a picture with the bill folded. The material is thin and lightweight so it can be easily folded. I can put it into my pocket no problem. It still may be a bit too big to put into a hip belt, but it could be possible.
The design of the neck flap is one of the more important factors to me. I've tried several on at the store and some are longer than others or perhaps even have an option to connect each side around the neck. The flap on this is a bit too short to do this, though for those creative folk, options could include buying a button snap and attach to each side. Another possibility is to sew a drawcord and toggle to each side and tighten it to the neck.
I wore this hat over the weekend while cleaning out some garden beds. The hat seemed to wick well and didn't overheat my head. I had a shirt and long sleeve, but eventually took the long sleeve off as it was on the warmer side because of working. No issues with the hat, not tight and is made of durable material while at the same time being light at 3.5oz and thin.
That actual hat and not neck flap has some water resistance, as much as any runners cap. The neck flap has the tendency to absorb water more, but as it isn't directly against your potential sweaty neck, shouldn't cause a problem. At that same time, if it is hotter, putting some water on the flap and having it rest against that back of your neck can be a great solution to overheating.
I also had a thought about this hat and how to make it convertible and it hasn't let me down. The neck flap material is thin enough that I can tuck it under the rest of the hat. It fits fine and isn't even noticeable (either visually or how it feels on my head).
As I mentioned before, if this isn't for you, using a bandanna and tucking it into a hat works just fine. A benefit of this is that you have a hat AND a bandanna. It opens up more options than one hat. The final alternative is to have the homegrown option...a mullet. I think I'll pass.
From my experience so far I give it 5/5, but I cannot speak for its bug-me-not capabilities. As a result, I give it 4.5 overall, though I'll update as soon as I have a chance to try it in a heavier insect area.
Update at 5/12/14.
Well the warm weather has been beating down on N.C. now for about a month and the bugs are in full force. I've been able to use on the trail and even at home gardening and mowing the lawn. My wife has also used when sitting outside to read. Do not have any expectations that this will keep the bugs off you anywhere below your neck line. Also, if the bug is big enough, it'll still be flying around. There were even mosquitoes and other small insects (which this is supposed to repel) which would fly and land near my neckline.
The bugs won't land on my neck or scalp as I'm wearing fabric on these areas...so please protect my face and neck! Don't think it's too much to ask. This has been my experience so far.
I have updated my rating to 3 due to it being marketed heavily as a "Bug Me Not" hat, but failing to live up to its expectations. The sun protection and feel of the hat and neck flap are a 5/5 for me. Bug protection is 1.5 or 2/5, as a result I've given it a 3.
A bottle of Sawyer Permethrin spray should do the trick better than this long-lasting infusion.
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Sierra Trading Post)
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Historic Range: $17.48-$34.95