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Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero rain hat

I bought this hat almost 20 years ago and it still does its job.


  • Waterproof
  • Large brim
  • Chin strap


  • Brim lacks structure
  • All my jackets have hoods now

I lived in the Seattle area when I bought this hat and it seemed appropriate because South King County where I lived was in a moderate drizzle ten months a year. 

The Gore-Tex material has never in the years I have owned it leaked a drop. This hat was my first introduction to the OR brand and it gave me a very favorable impression of the company.

This hat has been with me through forests and mountains, in mud and under water. I grew up wearing this thing. I met my wife while I was wearing this hat. The only wear it has is one melted spot which came from a hot ember from a campfire that otherwise would have burned me. Just added character.

The hat has an internal adjustable Velcro band which I have had to readjust a total of once ever. The brim of the hat has Velcro tabs that allow the brim to be worn up "Aussie-style" if you like. After having the brim accidentally stick up once too often I removed the Velcro and decided to use the chin strap to hold the brim up if I wanted it that way. This in no way affected the water-proofness of the hat.

The hat has a thin liner but I wouldn't describe it as very warm. 

For about five years after buying this hat I wore it most places I went. Then I discovered that most of my jackets came with hoods which made the hat a little unnecessary. Another issue was that the hat took up a lot of space when I didn't need it, which occurred a lot since I moved to dry Eastern Washington.

For the past ten or so years, rather than hiking with it, I wear it mainly hunting and fishing where pack-ability and weight aren't such an issue. Wearing a hat hunting lets me hear and see more than a hood does. 

I can't see myself getting rid of this hat anytime soon. I don't wear it much anymore, I live in an area with an average of 8" rainfall and I have hooded jackets. Still though the memories of wearing it chasing animals, fishing or just hiking make it sentimental to me. Besides all that, it's still a very good hat. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $34.95

Version reviewed: Multicam

If you want a hat with Goretex rain protection, a full brim, and light insulation then this may be one of the finest hats you could choose.


  • Warm in transition weather (not hot, and not yet very cold)
  • Breathable waterproof with Goretex — top marks here
  • If you like Multicam, then this is darn swell. I dig it.


  • Gore-Tex is what it is. I like it. Unfortunately it's a little too hot for summer months here in the Puget Sound of WA State.


I do have a problem with this hat, and I want to give it less stars. However, I think it's important to review the hat based on what it was designed for, and not in how it failed to meet my needs. I think this hat shines if you want:

  1. Goretex rain protection for multi-hour downpours. I've used it in this way and it worked flawlessly.
  2. A full brim to keep the rain and sun out of your eyes and off (most of) your neck. Top marks here.
  3. Light insulation for weather that's not too hot and not yet very cold.  If you need ear protection from the cold, this would be the wrong hat to wear.

So, how did I want to use it? I want to wear it while hiking. The problem is, the back of the full brim hits my backpack. I just can't wear it while hiking.

I also want it to be cooler / more breathable. I wanted to use it in more situations here in the Pacific NW, but the Gore-Tex creates a little too much insulation. So while it's keeping you dry, your head gets sweaty and hot because there just isn't enough air moving through the thing.

In every other way, I love this hat. If you have a backpack with a top that sits at / below your shoulders, then this should work fine. Unfortunately for me, my packs all sit a little high so this hat gets left at home for hiking.  However, I use it for everything else I can... dang it's comfortable and cool (to me).

Hope that helps.  Happy hiking!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75

Perfect hat for sitting in the rain.


  • Waterproof
  • Packable
  • Lightweight

This is the perfect hat for spending a significant amount of time in the rain. I love that it is waterproof and will keep your head dry. I have used this hat extensively in Alaska and fishing the northern Minnesota and it has never let me down.

It is very packable and will roll-up and fit in a pocket while not is use. It is also lightweight so you feel like you're not even wearing it. It might be a little warm for the middle of the summer, but it does great the rest of the year.

As a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Gore for product testing of Gore-tex products for the purpose of product review and recommendation. I do receive items from Gore for these purposes.

Source: bought it new

The author of this review is affiliated with Gore for product testing and review.

Great hat, but very warm. Too hot for most summers. Would still carry if cold evenings w/rain were suspected. Very packable. If looking for lighter material, look towards the Nimbus, that is without the fleece lining.

Fabric: gore-tex
Fill: none
Price Paid: $35

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