Skip to main content

Another Attempt at Being an Outdoors Fashionista

My last attempt at being a fashionista was under-appreciated by the readership. But I will just try harder...

The topic is timely, now that Arizona is boiling hot in early spring! As I've explained a hundred times, 90% of staying comfortable in the western states is about staying cool, that is, defeating Dry Heat. The latest revolution in form and function is a wide-brimmed visor that fits over a bicycle helmet. In order for you to appreciate how good this innovative product is, let's talk a little about how I used to do it. 

Years ago I saw a mountain biker near Flagstaff with a classic cotton bandana underneath his helmet. This was inexpensive, but it offered poor coverage for the nose. It was hot too, unless you could find enough water to wet it down. (And there ain't no water in the Southwest.)

I have used baseball caps. They are great for the nose. If you get the kind that lack a "crown", they will be cool. But they mess up the fit of your helmet. They provide no coverage for the ears or neck.

Then there is the classic French Foreign Legion-style hats, with the cloth flap on the back for covering the ears and neck. These are very warm, especially if they are made out of the world's hottest fabric, supplex nylon. And most of them are.

You simply must keep fabric out from underneath the helmet, and away from the face. That is, you need a free standing visor. I have used an old wide-brimmed sombrero, with the mesh sides. But underneath a bicycle brain bucket, these are still hot. (You must also slit the sides to allow the helmet straps to pass through.)

Very well then, so much for all the alternatives that half-worked. Recently I learned of the helmet visors that slip on and over the bicycle helmet. No hassles, no interference with the helmet straps.

The "Sporty" model of the helmet visor made by

Compared to wearing a regular sombrero under the helmet, the daBrim visor is about 7 F cooler. That might not sound spectacular, but it is noticeable, and easy to appreciate. 

As a fashionista I usually go for a geologically-inspired color motif. It matches the color scheme inside my trailer. Issues like that are very important to guys like me.


Jim and Gayle said…
While riding the trails at McDowell Mtn. over the winter we saw a woman wearing one of those. The first time we passed her I said "There goes kaBloonie's soulmate ;-)
Yes indeed. If I had encountered her it might have been a shocking and embarrassing episode of 'lust in the dust.'
Ed said…
"As a fashionista I usually go for a geologically-inspired color motif. It matches the color scheme inside my trailer." That would be the Pastel Ribbons model I presume.

I saw a picture where someone had taken a hat and cut the crown out of it to make something like that. The daBrim probably fits better and will stay on the helmet.
I have been using mine for two years now. It has worked very well for me.
I don't see how you could cut the crown out of a normal sombrero and make it fit on a helmet that is 3/4" away from your skull, all the way around.

Pastel ribbons, indeed!
Good to know, Barney. Did you get the Sporty or the Classic? The Classic has the wider brim, and might be better for mountain biking than for road cycling.

I do both, so I got the Sporty.
Classic since I do not ride very fast but sometimes the wind does catch it. It still works very well.
Jackpineseed said…
I've been bitchin' for years about the sun in my eyes while riding. Never found a good solution either. These daBrims are nice. They have the Rezzo visor model which might be good for us Eastern woodland riders where low angle glare is more of an issue. I think I'll get the Sporty one for my Western travels this year though. I owe you a 'cold one' for this tip!
Jackpineseed, I tried all the alternatives and found them all oppressively warm. That in turn, tempts me to forgo the helmet and just wear a wide-brimmed, mesh-sided sombrero. That isn't such a great idea for the descents.

It really is nice to have air moving through the slots of the helmet.