TILLEY T3 HAT
BY DON TAYLOR
July 12, 2009
drt2769 AT hotmail DOT com
Youngstown, Ohio, USA
5' 7" (1.70 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
For the past 12 years I have been camping/backpacking primarily in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia with the Allegheny National Forest as the most frequented location. My trips are generally long weekends and I try to camp or hike at least once in all 4 seasons with the fall being my favorite. My backpacking trips usually consist of 15 mile days and a group of 2-3 other hikers in forested, moderately hilly areas. I consider myself a lightweight, slow and steady hiker. The winter hikes often involve heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
|Owner With Tilley Hat In The Allegheny National Forest|
Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables
Year of Purchase: 1998
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tilley.com
MSRP: $65 US
Listed Weight: 5.4 oz (153 g)
Measured Weight: 5.5 oz (156 g)
Tilley Endurables describes this hat as the "Best Outdoor Hat In The World". The preshrunk hat is made cotton duck and is resistant to rain and mildew in addition to providing protection against UVA/UVB radiation with its UPF 50+ rating. For those of you like me who did not know what cotton duck was, I looked it up and found that it is a canvas like textile that is used in products such as shoes, sails, bags, clothes and many others.
The hat offers a wide brim which helps shield the eyes from rain and sunlight. According to Tilley.com, the brim measures 2 3/4 in (7 cm) wide on the front and back and 2 3/8 in (6 cm) on the sides. I measured the crown of the hat to be 6 1/2 in (16.5 cm) long by 5 3/4 in (14.6 cm) wide and 3 3/4 in (9.5 cm) high.
Tilley offers the hat in khaki (which is what I have), natural with green underbrim, khaki with green underbrim, olive and navy.
To get the fit just right, Tilley produces their hats in 1/8 hat size increments rather than the more common S,M,L, and XL. The offered sizes range from 6 7/8 (21 5/8 in [55 cm]) to 8+ (26 1/8 in [66.5 cm]). Tilley recommends that for a proper fit, the customer should be able to easily insert two fingers, flat, between the middle of his forehead and the front of the hat. Tilley Endurables offers the hats in standard US hat sizes and thier sizing chart can be found at Tilley's website.
Located in the inside of the hat is a hidden pocket that is closed with a hook-and-loop patch. The included wind cord is adjustable and stores in the hidden pocket or crown of the hat when not needed. The hat is designed to fit loosely for comfort and relies on the wind cord to keep it place during windy conditions.
The hat floats under most conditions but it can be sunk in rough water.
Care instructions that come with that hat are very straightforward and easy to follow. The hat can either be hand or machine washed with non-bleaching soaps. After washing, the hat is reshaped by simply stretching it over the knee. The Tilley Hat is designed to handle regular washings and still hold its shape.
For ventilation the hat is fitted with 4 brass grommets. To combat sweat the hat includes an anti-sweat band that wicks moisture away.
The Tilley Hat was different from most of the hats I looked into primarily because of it's "'heavy duty" look and feel. The materials and construction were impressive, better than comparable hats I have seen.
At the time that I purchased my Tilley T3 Hat, it came with a no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee against loss and wear out, however this has changed somewhat since then. The new guarantee still covers wear but now only covers loss with a 2 year, 50% deductible replacement policy. The current Tilley Endurables warranty states:
"If you ever succeed in wearing out your Tilley Hat (and some have), send us the remains and we will replace it free. If you want to keep your faithful, old, worn-out friend, tell us and we'll return it to you. We understand. Remember: Upon purchase, your Hat is covered by a two-year, all peril, 50% deductible, Hat Insurance Policy to take the pain out of loss or irreparable damage."
|Top Of Tilley (11 Years Old And Right Off The Trail)|
|Bottom Of Tilley|
I have been using and enjoying this hat for the past 11 years on all my camping and backpacking trips. The hat has been worn in all types of weather including blizzards, thunderstorms and heat waves.
The coldest trip I can remember while wearing the hat was 5 years ago in the Kinzua Reservoir section of the Allegheny National Forest. It was January and the temperature dipped to 10 F (-12 C) during the evening portion of the hike. My stocking hat fell onto the trail and was lost at some point during the day so the Tilley Hat was all I had to fight the cold. To my surprise, and elation, my head stayed warm although my ears became dangerously cold which required a makeshift headband made of socks to warm them up.
I have hiked while wearing the hat many times in 80 F (27 C) or better heat in the hills of North Carolina and Pennsylvania. At these higher temperatures it is a trade off between wearing the hat to shield out the sun (and bugs if I had repellent sprayed on) and trying to stay cool. In most cases, the hat has ended up being packed away until we reached camp because it does a great job retaining heat. Great for winter but uncomfortable during hot summer days.
During many thunderstorms and high wind conditions, the hat has proved to be one of my favorite pieces of hiking equipment. It stays in place and does well at keeping the rain water out of my face until the hat becomes completely saturated which I have found takes about .5 hours in a moderate rain shower.
The hat has held up very well over the years. I have confirmed the claims of floating and the pocket has proved very useful for storing id, money, fishing licenses and credit cards just in case.
The hat packs very easily and quickly regains shape after a quick stretch over the knee.
During hot weather hikes the hat did a great job of protecting my head from the sun however it does get very hot underneath the hat. For ventilation the Tilley Hat has the four grommet holes however I have found that the ventilation is minimal. The sweatband is very effective at wicking away moisture even though the hat fits loosely. During summer downpours the hat does a good job of keeping the rain out of my eyes and it keeps my head dry until it becomes saturated. Although not an advertised feature, the hat seems to avoid the "sweaty hat smell" that is common with other caps I have worn on hot summer hikes.
On cold weather trips the hat was very effective at keeping my head warm and dry even during snow showers although the hat is very slow to dry. The wind cord is very effective at keeping the hat in place during windy conditions.
Over the past 11 years the hat has help up very well. It has been machine washed countless times and has not shrunk or faded at all. The hat seems to fit better and better the older it gets. Even the wind cord has stood the test of time.
Over time I have found a few nonstandard uses for the hat that have been very helpful. During bug season, I spray Deet on the top of the hat. It is very effective in controlling the biters and annoyers and the Deet has not degraded the condition of the hat. I also use it to fan fires and support my headlamp by using the hat's side snaps.
Overall I would consider this hat a great combination of comfort, quality and function. For 11 years it has held up very well through frequent washings, packings and back pocket stuffings. I have found the hat essential for all of my camping and hiking trips.
THINGS I LIKE
Quality of Materials
Quality of Construction
Lifetime Warranty Against Loss and Wear
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Needs More Ventilation
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Don Taylor