../ TestDrive: Pakatun Introduces the iPod Beanie
The iPod Shuffle Hat Becomes Reality
When the iPod
Shuffle first bowed, we suggested that someone make an iPod
Shuffle hat to accommodate the small music player. It seemed like a perfectly logical idea and a terrific way to manage the headphone wires when working out,
snowboarding or engaging in any other energetic activity.
Pakatun, a small company from Pasadena, California, has delivered on that concept by
incorporating a small sleeve into a quality knit hat. We were very enthusiastic about receiving their product, not only because of our obvious interest,
but also because we were about to head north for some end-of-the-season riding at Killington,
Vermont. So, we juiced up our Shuffles, grabbed our snowboards, scooped up our Pakatun hat, and hit the slopes.
The Pakatun iPod Shuffle Beanie comes in six colors
I slid my Shuffle into the cloth pouch sewn into the back of the hat and secured the Velcro closure.
Pakatun intelligently integrated a reinforced hole in the bottom of the pouch to allow the headphone cord to attach to the Shuffle without compromising the Velcro seal.
Next, I attached the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro phones (which we are
currently testing for an upcoming review -Ed.) to the headphone jack, wrapped the excess wire around
the ingenious sleeve (see picture below) and put it on. The well-made, tightly woven hat was extremely comfortable. It was snug enough for an athletic fit without binding
or being itchy. Kudos to Pakatun for not skimping on a fit and feel that many manufacturers just can't seem to achieve.
For the next hour, I seamlessly listened to my riding soundtrack without even thinking about the Shuffle.
It worked that well. Even when hanging out with my mates on the lift line, accessing the play/pause button through the fabric was a breeze when I wanted to participate
in the heated debate over toilet paper versus baby wipes. However, when the sky clouded up and I donned my goggles, the hat revealed a fatal flaw. The sleeve's vertical
positioning meant that the elastic goggle strap had to go over the Shuffle which caused it to put an uncomfortable pressure on the back of my head. Thus, it was time to
turn the Pakatun over to another tester who was content with wearing sunglasses.
The Pakatun's clever cord management system
Greg Geller, our Technology Editor, kept turning the Pakatun inside out to inspect the cloth pouch hidden
inside. "Have you guys noticed how the cord wraps around the pouch?" We nodded. "It's brilliant!" It didn't occur to me until that point how ingenious the system was because
it was so transparent. "What else would you do with the cords?" I thought to myself.
However, it didn't come that easy to the Pakatun's inventor Thorsten Hoins. "We knew that the key to
(the Pakatun) was cord management. In other words, if you had to worry about the cords every time you took off or put on the beanie, we wouldnXt have a product. But
after a lot of drawing and cutting out little paper models I stumbled upon the solution when I was contemplating where to put the logo on the beanie. The moment I realized
that the pocket is bigger than the footprint of the logo outside, it all fell into place."
The Pakatun iPod Shuffle Beanie from the side and back
Even though the Pakatun was goggle-challenged, I thought the system was extremely well thought
out and worked great. If you need an excellent winter hat and don't wear goggles when engaging in your outdoor activities, then I definitely recommend scoring an economical
Pakatun. The Pakatun retails for $22.00, and can be purchased by going to pakatun.com.
The Future: We would love to see Pakatun come out with a killer iPod baseball hat. If
the company could hit all the right notes on a simple knit beanie, then we'd love to see what they could do with something that a consumer could wear all year round.
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