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We’ve unironically fallen in love with the Legionnaire
There are so many colors to pick from for summer
Buy any two hats and get 50% off your third
SETH: I’ll admit it — I’d never heard of Fractel before this review. According to the brand’s website, the company was started by Matt Niutta, an individual who was diagnosed with an eye condition and was forced to stop driving and instead commute on foot. This change introduced him to a whole new world and ironically “opened his eyes.” As someone who went from never running straight into running ultra-marathons, I really connected with the realization of what I’d been missing. There are too many people who will never realize how great it is to go on a run in the rain or experience the peace that comes with pounding the pavement.
Fractel offers premium outdoor headwear that hangs onto just enough style. If I’m honest, my first thought after unboxing what Fractel sent over was, “Cool, they look like Ciele.” Now, I’ve had the hats join me on most of my training runs, and I’m happy to provide some of my thoughts.
SETH: The Fractel Legionnaire Hat is built to provide full protection from the sun while you’re outdoors. The hat is built with a long fabric tail that hangs over the back of your neck. Specifically, it’s a Polartec Power Dry fabric, which Fractel claims is the most advanced next-to-skin fabric on the market. This hat is also made of 100% recycled yarns and has a rear fastener for adjusting the fit.
I completed my final 50-mile training run this April, preparing to compete in The Keys 100-mile Ultra. Naturally, it felt like the perfect opportunity to test the Legionnaire Hat. As I ran loop after loop around the well-known Lady Bird Lake, the long cape fluttered in the wind like I was the man of steel himself. I passed at least 300 people that day, and I can tell you that I was the only one with Fractel’s L-Series covering my neck. I definitely stood out, and each time I passed a car I couldn’t help but look at myself in the reflection. Before I started my run, I was worried that the hat would get too hot to keep on, but it felt comfortable, and I never overheated.
You’ll notice Fractel’s comfort and quality from the minute you put on the L-Series Legionnaire Hat. I was pleased to find that the cape covered my entire neck and didn’t bunch up during my long run. Considering that I usually come home with a red neck after runs like this, I have to chalk Fractel up as a winner. I was sent two colorways of the Legionnaire — Ranger and Horizon. Ranger has a very clean look to it, and I like this one better. Also, there’s a slight difference between the two. The Ranger has extra breathable holes on the front and top of the hat, while the Horizon does not.
Anyway, to sum this one up, this hat executes its purpose perfectly. I’ll be taking it to The Keys 100, so great job on this one, Fractel.
PRICE: $55Shop Fractel L-Series Legionnaire Hat
SETH: This is a lightweight, breathable, and machine-washable hat that is built for performance. I think the design and color of this hat are my favorites of all three, and it’s a great example of Fractel’s unique style. This hat has a pretty wide bill, leaving a little more space by my temples than I’d probably like. I think I’d prefer something a bit more fitted, but I would totally wear this hat with baggy clothes, sweat pants, or if I’m just chillin’. I wore this hat for a couple of 10-mile runs, and I didn’t even notice it. It’s very comfortable, and for running, you couldn’t go wrong wearing it.
PRICE: $40Shop Fractel M-Series Storm Hat
SETH: This hat is very similar to the Storm edition M-Series hat, but the difference between the two is that the top of the hat is built with FLOWmesh, which is basically a wider mesh for more airflow. If it’s super hot outside, you’ll probably want to grab this version of the hat for maximum breathability — that is unless you’re bald and want to avoid getting a burnt head. I had zero issues with this hat on one of my 10-mile runs, and it was just as comfortable as the Storm edition. I think I would purchase the Storm edition hat over this one simply for the fresh design.
PRICE: $40Shop Fractel M-Series FLOWmesh Hat
Seth Epley is an ultramarathoner and avid outdoorsman. After graduating high school, Seth struggled with drinking and was ultimately unhappy with the way he was living. Running became a remedy, and 3 years later he ran his first 200-mile race and has maintained a 100% sober lifestyle. In addition to running, he enjoys archery, videography, photography, and all things outdoors.More from Seth