Product Review: Outdoor Research Transit Sun Hat

August 12, 2008 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Working in agriculture I spend a lot of time outdoors. It is what I love to do and I feel lucky to make this my career. However, there are some pitfalls with this profession. Spending a great deal of time outdoors, sometimes in excess of 12 hours a day, I am exposed to direct sunlight. This year I decided to move away from wearing the traditional ‘baseball cap’ hat to something that provides sun protection that my skin deserves. A driving force behind my decision to switch to a broad-brimmed hat is Extension’s push to educate citizens about skin cancer.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. More than 1 million unreported cases of basal cell or squamous cell cancers occur annually. Most, but not all, of these forms of skin cancer are highly curable. The most common serious form of skin cancer is melanoma.

Risk factors vary for different types of skin cancer. For melanoma, major risk factors include a personal or family history of melanoma and the presence of atypical moles. Other risk factors for all types of skin cancer include a history of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns.

Prevention is simple, but often overlooked. The following straightforward advice is from the American Cancer Society: when outdoors, wear a hat that shades the face, neck, and ears, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.

In early 2008 I purchased the Outdoor Research Transit Sun Hat for $35 (including shipping). I wanted a hat that did two things. First, and most importantly, I needed sun protection on my face, neck and ears. Second, I needed the hat to provide adequate ventilation. Over the course of wearing this hat during the summer of 2008 I was able to put this hat through its’ paces.


  • adequate sun protection (measured by lack of sunburn on my face, ears or neck)
  • adequate ventilation- I never felt overheated
  • secure fitting adjustable headband- the hat didn’t blow off my head in wind > 20 mph
  • rated UPF 50


  • brim is floppy, and doesn’t hold its’ shape in >15 mph wind
  • chin cord was annoying, and I eventually removed it


I recommend this hat or similar styles that provide comparable sun protection. I feel that this is a good hat for the money, and I plan to continue wearing this hat.

Disclosure: This is not a paid endorsement and I received no compensation for this review. This review is on-going and I reserve the right to amend my review at anytime. Skin cancer facts and figures are excerpted from American Cancer Society Facts & Figures 2008.

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  • 1. Harvey Schakowsky  |  August 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hello Andy:
    I am one of the owners of the SPFstore. We have been in business over 20 years selling sun-protective clothing fabrics. Last January we began selling finished sun-protective clothing and accessories direct to consumers on the Internet. We are the only company that sells 100% cotton T-shirts that are top-UV rated UPF 50, soft, comfortable and breathable and sell for from $11.95 to $17.95. You don’t need to spend $50 to $80 to get great sun protection.
    People who want and need great sun-protection can get 100% cotton, the fabric of choice, in over 35 colors in six styles in sizes from XS to 6 XL, all at great prices. All of the products we sell (including other brand names) are UV tested and certified by the International UV Testing Laboratories ( There are over 1.5 billon t-shirts sold in the US. Most of these shirts do not block the minimum of 93% of UV to even qualify as sun-protective. People just don’t know the facts.
    Help us tell the story. I would love to have you any of our t-shirts. Please let me know how best to proceed.
    Harvey Schakowsky
    CEO, Solar Protective Factory, Inc.

  • 2. andykleinschmidt  |  August 12, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Harvey,

    I have been looking at some SPF shirts to test for 2009. Most of my clientele are farmers and other agribusiness employees that spend a significant amount of time outdoors. If you would like me to review something, just drop me an email at and we can discuss this further.

    Thanks for the comment. I too think sun protection is very important for those of us who make a living working outdoors.



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