The variety of veils and beekeeping suits available is daunting, especially when trying to make a decision as a new beekeeper from a catalogue of equipment you have never seen or put your hands on. There are so many different options and prices, complicating the matter instead of making it easier. More options are not always better.
We've had poor experiences with jackets that were poorly made and overpriced. The beekeeping veil that we disliked the most was the sombrero looking one, with the screen going completely around the head. From all the jackets we bought, the screen is the most fragile part and most likely to develop a hole or tear in it.
3 Reasons We Don't Like the Sombrero, Round Veil
1) The additional screen surrounding the head was excessive, creating more areas to tear. Who needs to see through screen in the back of their head anyway (besides teachers and my moms)
2) Round veils don’t pack easily and it’s tough to store them. Because of the big “sombrero”, the veil can’t fold and collapse; hard to store means easy to tear.
3) Because of how the veil has to rest on the top of your head, with a small head the veil will sit too low on your forehead. Forcing you to wear a hat to prevent the "one-size fits all" veil from covering your eyes. The helmet type veils sit on the top of your head and can do the same thing. You can see in this image how both fit on your head. The veil on the right is being used with a hat to keep it from sinking low.
We really love the accordion type veils. They are also called European and collapsible veils. These are the ones that look like fencing suits. They give you just the right amount of visibility and the jacket folds easily into the veil, making storage super easy.We have ordered some from Amazon that are made by Mann-Lake that we liked. The screen seamed a little thinner then it has in the past, but still adequate.
We have also ordered some other accordian veils made by Natural Apiary, from Amazon as well. These veils were on the same mid-level quality as mann lake's professional jacket. Both are affordable and well made with plenty of pockets including a sleeve pocket as well.