TILLEY ENDURABLES MASH-UP HAT
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
November 24, 2013
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a light-weight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables
|Photo courtesy of Tilley Endurables|
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tilley.com
MSRP: $84 US
Listed Weight: 3.7 oz (105 g)
Measured Weight: 4.2 oz (119 g)
Removable Hat Band Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)
Color Tested: Grey Mix
Size Tested: Small
Other sizes available: Medium, Large, Extra Large
Made in Canada
The Mash-Up hat is made from 70% recycled hemp and organic cotton yarns and 30% recycled organic cotton with water repellent finish. So, the color is unique to each one but is basically a mixture of grey and white. Mine shows a few flecks of red too. As with all Tilley hats it is made to be worn down low on my head and slightly loose. So the style of this one looks like a cross between an outback hat and a roaring 20's hat. The downsloping brim is 3 in (8 cm) wide on the front and sides and 2-3/4 in (7 cm) on the back.
The crown contains a disk of closed-cell polyethylene foam to allow the hat to float. This feature has come in handy for me with another hat when it blew off into a lake! The crown also has an interior pocket with a hook-and-loop closure. Next to the pocket is a tag for marking my name and contact information in case I lose my hat (and someone wants to return it).
There is an anti-sweat band which is supposed to wick away perspiration. At either side of it is a loop to which is attached the wind cord. The cord at first appears to be two times too long but that is because it is really a double loop. One half of the cord straps around my chin and one stays at the back of my head sort of like the way that state troopers wear their hats. The cord ends make a double knot which allows it to be adjustable to tighten the chin strap.
There is a removable hat band of matching color and fabric which adds an extra flair of style.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT
I've long wanted to try out a Tilley hat but have always thought that they just seem like too much hat for me (in cost, size and weight). I have heard so many wonderful things and have great respect for a company that stands by their product with such gusto, so I was excited to be selected to test my very own Tilley...and a very fashionable one at that.
The Tilley website has a nice guide to selecting the correct size. I used it and was exactly between a size Small and Medium so I just gave them the measurement and let them choose. The Small size that was sent fits just fine. I was a little surprised to see the hat come shipped in a very large box. My husband accused the deliverer of bringing a box of steam. I suppose this is the best way to protect the hat and preserve its shape during shipping though.
My first impression of the hat was that it seems more fashionable than what I would normally wear for backpacking but heck I could surely use more trail fashion. Next I felt like the hat is also heavier than what I would normally wear but it provides more sun protection so maybe that is worth it. I was disappointed that it was heavier than advertised especially since I am testing the smallest size. I was hoping to remove the hat band to reduce weight, but doing so only gets me very close to the advertised weight.
When I tried it on it fit comfortably with it pulled down on my forehead. The chin strap adjustment is simple but effective. I don't see any mesh or ventilation grommets so I'm curious how well it will breathe when I get pumping up mountains.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There is a lot of information that comes with the hat including an Owner's Manual which is generic to their cotton, hemp and nylon hats. It explains how to tell which way is front (although with mine it is obvious with the hat band), but I should be able to read the label upright inside the top of the hat as I'm putting in on. There is an explanation about how to use the wind cord and how to re-tie it if it needs to be adjusted significantly.
The washing instructions say to machine-wash it regularly on a delicate cycle, separately using warm or cool water and soap. They say that I can also wash it by hand and never to use bleach. While the hat is still damp it should be smoothed and reshaped by hand. The directions printed inside the hat however say to hand-wash only using cool water and to wash frequently to prevent discoloration and air dry.
The hat also comes with eight 'brag' tags which are meant to be distributed to folks who inquire about my hat. The tags have contact information for Tilley and also some fun on them including the direction to the receiver to give a warm hug or to buy a drink for the hat owner. We'll see if I get to cash in on that!
The hat is insured against loss (seriously?!) for 50% of the value for two years. So if I lose my hat within two years then they'll replace it at half the current retail price. The most amazing guarantee is their offer to replace the hat if it ever wears out provided that it hasn't been bleached. Wow! That's a company that believes in the quality of their work.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Long-Term test period I wore the hat for a 21-day and a three-day backpacking trip and five day hikes. I also wore it several times for firewood cutting in our National Forest and multiple times for short walks or disc golf.
|High winds at Duck Lake|
John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 21 days; 225 mi (362 km); 4,035 ft to 14,496 ft (1,230 to 4,418 m); 35 to 80 F (2 to 27 C); windy conditions at some lakes and over high passes.
Beyers Lakes, Sierra Nevada, California: 3 days; 22 mi (35 km); 5,360 to 6,920 ft (1,634 to 2,109 m) elevation; 30 to 65 F (-1 to 18 C); windy evening in camp.
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, Contra Costa County, California: 8.5 mi (13.7 km); 1,270 to 2,280 ft (387 to 695 m); 70 F (21 C).
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Calistoga, California: 6.5 mi (10.5 km); 300 to 1,170 ft (91 to 357 m) elevation; 65 F (18 C).
Three hikes in the Auburn Recreation Area, California: 2.0 mi (3.2 km); 2.5 mi (4.0 km) and 3.6 mi (5.8 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 60 to 70 F (15 to 21 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The first trip that I had planned for using the Tilley hat was a 21-day hike of the John Muir Trail. Since I was counting ounces for the trip, I removed the decorative hat band. I also carried my light weight ball cap with me for hotter days. I wore a hat or cap nearly every minute of my waking hours. The Tilley hat was my choice on cool mornings and evenings in camp. I also wore it hiking on cooler mornings until it was too hot at which time I switched to my cap. There were a few cooler very windy days that I wore the Tilley all day. All in all I was happy to have both types of headwear.
|Very strong winds over Muir Pass|
The Tilley provides a lot of shade which I really appreciate. Even with sunblock I try to keep as much sun off of my face and neck as possible and a simple cap is limited in how much shade it can provide. With the full brim the Tilley does a great job at this. Another benefit of the Tilley is the chin strap. It really came in handy on windy days, at windy lakes and over windy passes on the trail.
I wore the hat on some hot stretches just because of the sun protection. This made my head pretty hot and sweaty so I tried to soak it in streams as I crossed them. Surprisingly the water-repellent nature of the hat also kept it from soaking up any water. It did get slightly wet and helped cool my head but it wasn't able to saturate with water. This water-repellent feature was a definite benefit in the rain. The wide brim and water-repellency worked wonderfully in light to medium rain. In heavier rain I pulled the hood of my rain jacket over the hat and it still worked great.
I washed the hat several times by hand on the trail focusing on the sweatband. It still looks like new and is wearing very well.
Overall I am very happy with the performance of this hat except for it being much heavier than my other hats both in terms of weight and in terms of being hot. I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter for snowshoeing.
The Mash-Up hat is a high-quality well-made hat with an unbelievable lifetime guarantee to not wear out.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Heavier than advertised
Hot on warmer days
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Tilley Endurables and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this hat.
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith