Last year I was browsing Patagonia's website and stumbled upon the Patagonia Duckbill Cap. I couldn't justify the price tag at full price and I really didn't need another cap. I convinced myself I needed (or wanted) it shortly after. Problem was I wasn't alone, they sold out. I periodically checked the site and saw they finally came back in stock a few months later. This time I didn't hesitate and jumped on it. The Duckbill Cap is actually a reintroduction of a Patagonia classic, with a few modern twist.
The Duckbill Cap is typical Patagonia attire, well made. I am not sure if it is the psychological aspect or the craftsmanship but I swear you can feel the quality of their products. I went with the Feather Grey color as I figured that this was the most versatile color of the bunch. If I were able to own multiple caps, I would also pick the Ikat Lines: Forge Grey. The bill material is soft yet sturdy. It is made of foam and allows the bill to be folded and then spring back to life. Perfect for stuffing in a pocket. The mesh top is soft to the touch and very airy. I would imagine that this design would not be ideal for individuals with less hair up top. Although the waffle pattern of the sunburn might be entertaining. The closure system of the hat is their typical plastic snap with a slight stretch in the webbing. This allows for a secure grip on the head without causing discomfort.
I primary use this hat as my trail running cap for the hot runs. The hat breaths incredibly well and is lightweight. The Duckbill Cap is superior to my previous hot weather hat the Outdoor Research Sun Runner. Although the Sun Runner still has a place, I find myself reaching for the Duckbill Cap more often. I imagine that during the hot, long hikes in the summer heat the Sun Runner will be more desirable, because of the protection. The Duckbill Cap fits my small head well, but it was still slightly large. I washed the hat to shrink it down slightly, and it now fits better. There is still pressure on my ears when the cap is pulled down tightly. The interior sweat band works ok but I find myself having to wipe sweat away more often then desired. The sweat band could use to be more absorbent, to prevent drip on glasses. I also find this hat making the list for backpacking. I like the ability to smash the hat into a pocket and have it come back to life. The flexible bill allows for me to take photos without having to remove the hat for each one ( a nuisance with hard billed hats).
-The Duckbill Cap is lightweight (2.2oz) and packable thanks to the flexible bill. The cap is designed to fit into the pockets of Patagonia's Strider Pro Shorts.
-The upper is highly breathable making it ideal for hot runs, while still providing some sun protection.
-The flexible bill allows you to take photos without having to push the cap up or out of the way.
-Patagonia's Ironclad Guarantee is always a perk to purchasing their products.
- The Price could be lower, but given the quality of the product you get what you pay for.
-The interior sweat band could use to be more absorbent. Especially since the hat is dubbed for warm weather runs.
-The color options leave something to be desired.
If you are in the market for a warm weather running or backpacking cap this may be the ticket. For extreme heat runs/hikes I would recommend the Outdoor Research Sun Runner as it provides more protection from the sun. The Patagonia Duckbill Cap is an easy to pack hat that feels right in it's element while running, backpacking or dirtbagging. Overall I would recommend this cap, but realize it has limits of use.