I’ve always liked Outdoor Research’s caps and I’ve owned a number of them over the years. The Sun Runner Cap in particular stands out as my favorite. It just works for me and the things I do outdoors better than any other cap I’ve tried.
The Sun Runner Cap is, as the name implies, designed to keep the sun off its wearer. The cap itself has 6 panel construction which is very comfortable to wear. The large panels on either side of the had are made from mesh while the top and front panels are made from the same thin Supplex nylon that OR uses in many of their caps.
The stiffened and preshaped brim is shorter and rounder than a typical ball cap. It also features two snaps that allow the Sun Runner to mount the included cap which is also made out of Supplex nylon.
Observations from Use
One of the biggest reasons I like this cap is the fit. OR offers the Sun Runner in 4 different sizes: S, M, L, and XL. I have a big head and finding caps that fit well can be a challenge. The Sun Runner offers plenty of adjustment. The fit is perfect and even comes down low on my head (below the tops of my ears) which is rare for me.
This hat also breathes and wicks perspiration extremely well. I own the hat in White and Hydro (Blue). The White one in particular feels cooler than my uncovered head! It reflects the sun’s heat and the side panels allow the hat to breath so that you actually get some evaporative cooling action from the hat band. Speaking of the hat band, it does a great job of keeping sweat out of your eyes.
The Sun Runner also does a great job of dealing with the sun – especially for shooters. The underside of the brim is a very dark grey that cuts down on glare which is nice when your eye is buried in an optic and your trying to pick out a distance target. OR purposely uses a dark color under the brim on all the Sun Runner colorways. The included cape drapes down and covers the back of your neck even when you drop into the prone which is a godsend if you are in a precision rifle class and spending a lot time in the prone. If you find that the cape is interfering with your cheek weld, just flip the removeable chin cord back behind your neck and tighten it slightly. This will keep the sides of the cape back and away from your face while still providing full neck coverage.
I should also note that this cap lacks a “button” on the crown like those found on ball caps. It also fits very close to the head which makes it very comfortable to wear with over the ear hearing protection. You can even attach the cap over your ear muffs with a little work but I usually just let my ear muffs hold the cape back or use inside the ear hearing protection.
I also use the cap extensively for hiking. It’s relatively lightweight at around 3 ounces (less if you don’t need the cape). It is very packable thanks to the compact brim and unstructured top. It even fits in most pants pockets though a cargo pocket works best. It’s a great three season cap in my area where we deal with lots of sun and heat in late spring through early fall.
I like the Sun Runner Cap so much that I bought two of them. It deals with sun, heat, and sweat better than any other cap I’ve owned. It’s perfect for a carbine class, hiking, and working outside. If all that isn’t enough, you feel like Lawrence of Arabia when you wear it with the cape attached and that is worth something.
I bought one of my hats locally but I got a much better deal on the second one by purchasing it online at Amazon. OR occasionally discontinues certain colors which usually results in deep discounts so keep an eye out for that. OR Sun Runner Cap on Amazon