Patagonia - Duckbill Cap (& Visor)

The cap in action on the South Face of the Pointe Lachenal, Chamonix 

Star Rating: **** (4 Star)

Recommended Retail Price: £22

The Patagonia Duckbill cap (and visor) is an ultralight, ultra-packable, ultra-versatile piece of warm weather headgear designed primarily for trail running but equally well suited to climbing and trekking when the sun is up and the temperature’s high. The cap is made from a combination of Patagonia’s own Baggies™ fabric (a durable and nylon based fabric) covering the flexible foam brim along with an open mesh top and COOLMAX® headband to wick away moisture.

Like most of the Patagonia range, it comes in a variety of colours/designs to satisfy everyone from conservative grey to a flamboyant floral pattern. Speaking of colour, one nice feature is the dark underside brim which is intended to reduce glare – particularly useful for glacial travel. It’s also particularly well suited to wearing under a climbing or cycling helmet due to the low profile mesh top which, unlike conventional baseball caps, has no hard stud to dig into your head.

In use, it wicks away moisture effectively and prevents overheating by letting heat out / air in via the open mesh top. It is also very flexible and easily folded into a jacket pocket or stuffed into a bag, only to spring back to shape ready for use when removed. Another notable design feature is that the brim is noticeably shorter than your average baseball cap trading a little shade for packability and reducing some of the need to crane your neck back to see above you when climbing – although our reviewer would recommend wearing a helmet when climbing featured terrain with the cap on.

For the weight conscious, it comes in at a scant 62g which makes the decision to pack it ‘just in case’ a no brainer. Unfortunately, the price isn’t so appealing but it can often be found on sale for less than £20 which isn’t too bad.

Things we like: Light, fits under a helmet, great range of colours.

Things we don’t like: Price.