Outdoor Research Employee Favorites: Our Favorite Hats

Because Outdoor Research employees use our products on a daily basis, we quickly develop an affinity for products that work perfectly for our favorite activities. When it came to hats, choosing our favorites became a little harder: Our spring collection includes 64 unique headwear styles!

Eventually, a handful of dedicated employees were able to sort through their personal collections and select the styles they absolutely can't live without.

And in no particular order, here they are:

Shop Hats Now:


Name: Kendra Brandenburg

Job Title: Hat Product Manager

Time at OR: Three Years

Favorite Hat: Katie Cap

As a full-time working mom with two babies under two years old, the Katie Cap has become a staple in my daily life. This hat travels everywhere with me, from my daily commute, to weekend adventures with the family, to travelling throughout Asia for work. I love being able to grab a cute hat every morning that I can just throw on and know it works with pretty much everything I wear.


Name: Boe Zinter

Job Title: Web Content Coordinator

Time at OR: Seven Years

Favorite Hat: Seattle Sombrero

The Seattle Sombrero–Quite possibly the greatest hat ever made, it does everything. I use this hat mostly for foul-weather stand up paddling. Since I paddle year round I often have to deal with short days in the winter months. I was on the water late one November afternoon when a storm rolled in, one of those storms that is so dark it seems to make the sun set an hour earlier. The rain turned from a sprinkle to a downpour.  Unlike running or biking, when you’re on the water you can’t just get under a tree or pull over to the nearest coffee shop; On any body of water you are exposed to the elements, whatever they may be. With daylight essentially gone and the rain setting in, I remember thinking on my way back to shore, “At least my head isn’t getting wet!” Wearing the Seattle Sombrero is like having an umbrella for your head. It really does keep you much more protected from the weather.


Name: Sean Leslie

Job Title: Content Marketing Lead

Time at OR: Three Years

Favorite Hat: Radar Visor

My Radar Visor is so small and packable, it comes with me on every adventure. That makes it hard to pick the most memorable place I’ve visited while wearing it. Backpacking up and over the Spider Glacier in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness with my best friend of 25 years ranks high on the list, as does making the pilgrimage—I’m an Edward Abbey fan—to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park after a week of mountain biking in Moab with a pair of my closest buddies. But the best memory I’ve made while wearing my Radar Visor is probably hiking Kauai’s Mahaulepu Coastal Heritage Trail along the cliffs above a dazzlingly blue Pacific Ocean with my then seven-months pregnant wife, Karaka; a beautiful place with a beautiful lady. What more could I ask for?


Name: Jenny Mesdag

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Time at OR: Eight Years

Favorite Hat: Helios Sun Hat

The Helios Sun Hat is awesome. The most memorable place I’ve visited while using this hat was while trekking  the Circuit in Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia. On this 52 mile trek, the sun is hot, the wind never stops and rain comes in fast. This hat dried fast, stayed on my head in the howling wind, and kept me from getting a nasty sunburn while not looking like a dork. This hat helped make the trip fun and successful!


Name: Sarah Amrhein

Job Title: Sales Manager - Direct Sales

Time at OR: Six Years

Favorite Hat: Isla Hat

My best memory while wearing the Isla Hat came from a hike on the southern shore of Kauai, Hawaii. My husband, son and I set out on the Mahaulepu Hertiage Coastal Trail in the afternoon sunshine. We took our time exploring the sand dune cliffs and beautiful coast line views. Just above Shipwreck Beach we plopped down, watched the sun sink into the Pacific, and we took one of my favorite family photos- a ‘selfie’ of us three grinning ear to ear.


Name: Lisa Patrick

JobTitle: Dealer Services Lead

Time at OR: Four Years

Favorite Hat: Advocate Cap

The vintage look and sensibility of the OR Advocate Cap makes it perfect for backpacking trips and road trips alike. After the arduous hike up to Robin Lakes in the Wenatchee National Forest, this hat shielded the bright July sun from my eyes as I took in scenes of Mount Rainier and meandering mountain goats. Later on, glimpses of the North Cascades peeked through the pines, silhouetted by the orange glow of the setting sun. It’s moments like these that remind me how lucky we are to be here, sharing this beauty with our closest friends.


Name: Nanette Girzi

Job Title: Sales Operations Coordinator

Time at OR: Seven Years

Favorite Hat: Radar Pocket Cap

The best memory I have while wearing my Radar Pocket Cap is a kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands with my co-workers. We kayaked and explored around the islands during the day and camped on the beaches at night. We ate amazing food that we cooked in the Dutch Oven, and spent the evenings around the campfire laughing and telling stories. The Radar Cap was the perfect hat to bring on this trip. It kept my head cool and protected during the day, and I could conveniently tuck it away if I needed to take if off and not worry about the brim getting bent out of shape. The Radar Pocket Cap is the best hat to bring on all adventures, big and small! Plus, it looks cool!


Name: Mark Knowles

Job Title: Customer Service Representative

Time at OR: Two Years

Favorite Hat: Echolite Cap

I've been a sales specialist in the OR Retail Store for a year and a half. My most outrageous memory in this hat is probably shooting this photo on the roof of the OR building! I wish I could grow a mustache that epic... This cap fits perfectly under a bike helmet. Once on a bike trip, I left it in a pub on Bainbridge Island. I was almost on the ferry back to Seattle when I realized it was gone. In a panic, I raced back to the pub to get it before the ferry left without me. It was a close call, but I made it just in time! Since then, it's become a necessity on all my adventures.


Name: Kara Bunbury

Job Title: Customer Service Representative

Time at OR: Two Years

Favorite Hat: Ally Cap

This past fall some friends and I took a road trip up to Banff, Alberta, and my Ally Cap was the first thing on my packing list. Knowing I would be doing a little bit of everything—hiking, fishing, shopping, driving and camping– I wanted to make sure my face would have ultimate sun protection without sacrificing style. Whether it’s a trip to northern Canada or a Seattle Mariners game, my Ally Cap goes everywhere with me!