“ Brand: Whiterock / Type: Sunhat „
White Rock Lady Wide Brimmed Hat
Each year I try to visit places that are far away, and many of these are much warmer than the weather we have in the UK. This is quite hard for me as I am severely heat intolerant due to having the disease ME, which is somewhat of a contradiction as I adore nothing better than hot sunshine. So I have several items in my possession when I travel that assist me in coping with extreme temperatures, and the most important of these is a sun hat. When I visit my son in Arizona he likes to take me on desert walks so this is an essential piece of kit!
This year I discovered a range which I think are outstanding and these are made by a company called White Rock. I purchased mine from a shop on line called Camping World, and I was so impressed by their customer service that I must mention them in passing. I left my order rather late as my holiday was booked at the last minute, and so I emailed them to ask if they could send the hat as soon as possible. They told me that they would contact their supplier White Rock straight away, and the next day my order arrived. I thought this was outstanding, and further orders have yielded the same excellent service. Their website is at Campingworld.co.uk.
The hat I chose was the wide brimmed "Lady" which retails for £22.99 (RRP £29.99) but there were many styles to choose from. This style comes in many colours, but I chose white as I knew it would then go with all my summer outfits that I was packing to take with me. The important aspects with regard to these hats are that they have a sun protection factor of 30+ and also they have a band inside the brim which contains hydro cool crystals. When soaked in water these become a cooling mechanism which lies against the forehead offering soothing and cooling relief from the heat of the overhead sun. As well as these two properties the hats also have a "bug off" feature which means they have been impregnated with anti- bug treatment to ward of nasty insects. They are also lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear, and they fold flat for ease of packing. The hats are also available in several sizes, and there is a measuring chart on the website which allows you to choose your perfect size with accuracy. It is also worth saying that the sun protection claims have been verified by the National Radiological Protection Board and all materials used have been tested according to British Standard 7914:1998.
I packed my hat in my hand luggage and after 11 hours on the plane going to The Maldives I knew that stepping off would be challenging. There is a walk to the terminal outside in the heat, and then more time waiting for the onward connection. The trick I have found is to keep cool as I am more susceptible to heat intolerance if I have had little sleep, as in this case as it was an overnight flight. I went to the facilities prior to leaving the aircraft, and immersed the hat in cool water for about a minute. This causes the band of crystals to expand and to cool, and so when worn it imparts this lovely cooling sensation which lasts several hours afterwards. I was so impressed by this feature and found it to be of immense value, not just on arrival but all through the holiday. The recommended soaking time for the hat is three minutes which I did when I was in my room, but on the aircraft when many were queuing I felt it was only fair to take one minute, but this certainly was successful in cooling the hat for the required 2 hours that I needed to reach my final destination. On the holiday I wore it all day long except when I was swimming or snorkelling. It protected my face from sunburn, and allowed me to enjoy time in the sun which previously would have been a challenge for me.
The other really important attribute for me regarding this hat is that it actually does deter insects as I had far fewer mosquito bites than on previous visits. Although these do not carry malaria as in other tropical climates, they can impart a severe reaction and you can find yourself suffering several sleepless nights as a result of being bitten. The chemical used is extracted from Chrysanthemum plants -Pyrethroid. Although I am wary of using chemicals The Maldives can be very challenging with regard to insects, and I found this hat allowed me to use less Jungle Formula directly on my body. I have tried natural treatments in the past there, but they have not performed as well as the chemicals, and certainly too many bites ruins the holiday.
The hat also has an antibacterial treatment on it which deters odours, and additionally you can wash the hat in the machine though the anti bug treatment will only last for 20 washes if you choose to do this. Hand wash is recommended at 30 degrees.
I really like the colour white I chose as it did indeed go with all my outfits. I would have purchased it in Khaki if it had been available; the other colour options were Lilac, Dark Grey, Stone, Pink, Aqua, and Powder Blue. I love the lightweight cotton material that they use to make the hat as it is so comfortable to wear - so comfortable in fact that it is easy to forget you are wearing it!
This cooling gel property is also available in neck ties and arm bands incidentally, and I can highly recommend these, as I have a neck tie which also cools me down in humid and high extremes of temperature.
If you are going anywhere at all where the sun may be strong I can't recommend these hats enough. There is a wonderful selection to choose from. My husband also bought one- his has all the attributes mine has, but also has a pocket for valuables in the hat as well as a chin strap. He loves his and wore it all the time on holiday.
I have a history of skin cancer in my family so I try to be careful in the sun, and this hat certainly does help in this respect. I am so glad I discovered this as it has been a delight to wear, and the fact that it actually does keep you cool and shaded from the sun is outstanding.
Specialist Optical Ltd.
57, Dukes Wood Drive,
Bucks, SL9 7LJ