Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap

Review: Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap 

Review: Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap 

You know when you get that one item that you love, you wear it out then buy the same thing again and again? I was like that with hats… until I couldn’t replace my trusty friend of three years. It was time to go shopping and at the top of the list this year was the Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap. After three months of use, I feel the OR Vantage Air Cap will be a great lightweight, packable, and good-looking addition to any hiking or trail running kit.

Taking the OR Vantage Air Cap on a little summer vacay


  • Material: 91% polyester, 9% spandex crown and brim, 100% polyester mesh
  • Size : OSFA
  • Color: Samba
  • Weight: 61 grams
  • Country of Origin: China

What is the OR Vantage Air Cap?

The OR Vantage Air Cap is a trekking, trail running, lightweight stowable hat. It has a flexible brim, open mesh top, and great adjustability. Oh, and it’s Orange. I like Orange things. Except for maybe Oranges? Don’t ask… If you don’t like Orange it’s also available in Pebble (grey) and Atol (blue). 

How does it fit?

I have a humungous head. Ask my dad, he has stories of my head at birth and LOVES to tell them. If a hat says, “one size fits all,” it normally does not fit. I am not “all.” This hat fits with room to spare. No pressure points. Stoked!

You can tighten or loosen the fit with the Shock cord adjuster on the back. I adjusted it once, and have not touched it since. Three months and it hasn’t slipped the tiniest bit. There’s plenty of room left to make the hat bigger but also, making it smaller will be a cinch. There’s a bead on the shock chord so you cannot accidentally pull the slide off. 

The Slide Lock for adjusting the sizing of the OR Vantage Air Cap

The Parts of the OR Vantage Air Cap

The Brim

The brim on the OR Vantage Air Cap is slightly stiff. It has held its shape well, surviving being jammed into my pack and pocket on many occasions.  The brim is both bright orange, or Samba, on the top and bottom. I’m never going to complain about bright orange, in fact, I seek it out. That said, there are times when some may not like the orange on the bottom. On bright sunny days, especially when wearing the hat while traveling on reflective surfaces (limestone, snow) the underside of the brim can be quite bright. 

Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap
All that Orange with a lot of places to go

The Front Panel 

The front panel has an SPF rating of 50. In combination with the brim, it does a great job of shielding the wearer from the sun. So far, there has been no fading of color. Let’s see what another year of wear will do. Oh, the OR logo is reflective.

The Sweatband 

The sweatband of the OR Vantage Air Cap is soft and comfortable. It is, white. I’ve been wearing it for three months with only slight sweat marks even though I’ve definitely worn it while dripping with sweat. I’m pleasantly surprised with how resistant to marking it is.

The sweatband also contains ActiveIce technology. According to OR, ActiveIce fabric, “actively lowers skin temperature an average of four degrees as you sweat via active cooling technology by using xylitol, which releases the same endothermic cooling reaction you get from chewing gum.” I neither taste-tested the sweatband nor smell tested to confirm the presence of Xylitol. It was cool enough that I wore this hat literally every day for three months solid and never felt it was too hot. That’s good enough for me.

The ActiveIce sweatband of the OR Vantage Air Cap

The Back and Side Panels 

The back and side panels of the Vantage Air Cap are made of open mesh. This is one of the keys to keeping this hat cool. I am not so sure how well it keeps the sun off of a bald head but I have long hair and stayed cool enough day long and never too hot.

Inside the mesh panels and brim 


I’ve worn the Vantage Air Cap for the last three weeks and it’s done exactly what it is meant to do, keep the sun and rain out of my eyes. It’s washable, dries quickly, and allows airflow on the top of your head. What more could you ask for out of a hat?

I appreciate that OR makes a hat that truly fits all sizes. 

Pros: Lightweight, keeps the sun out of your eyes. It’s a hat after all. Goes relatively unnoticed on your head. That Orange Though!

Cons: I’d love black (or any darker) fabric on the underside of the brim

If you are interested in checking out the Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap head on over to Outdoor Research and check it out!

Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free Outdoor Research Vantage Air Cap to test. This in no way affected our opinion and review of the hat.