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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTC2 Tec-Cork Hat > Test Report by Derek Hansen

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Photo courtesy Tilley.com

Tilley — TTC2 'Tec-Cork' Hat

Test Series by Derek Hansen

TESTER INFORMATION

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NameDerek Hansen
Age37
GenderMale
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg)
Email Address pix-obfuscated
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), each of which includes food and water. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer Canada
Year of Manufacture 2013
Manufacturer’s Website tilley.com
MSRP US$105
Listed Features
  • Guaranteed for life not to wear out
  • Insured against loss
  • Excellent sun protection, rated UPF 50+
  • Exterior is lightweight wool
  • Interior corkshell(tm) laminate is lightweight with excellent thermal insulation
  • corkshell(tm) fabric is manufactured by Schoeller(r) Switzerland
  • Unique tuckaway earwarmers
  • Treated for rain and snow repellency
  • Secret pocket
  • 4-page Owner's Manual
  • Crushable and packable
  • Medium Brim
Manufacturer Recommendations
  • Dry clean only
Measurements
Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight 4.8 oz (136 g) 4.6 oz (130 g)
Colors Black/Grey Check
Accessories User manual; secret stash pocket; adjustable/removable wicking brim


INITIAL REPORT

16 Dec 2013

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Tilley TTC2 'Tec-Cork' Hat (just Tilley or hat for short) is designed for winter wear with tucked-away ear warmers, wool-blend fabric designed to repel rain and snow, and infused with a "cork granulate" for insulation. The hat has a fedora style with a medium-width brim. The hat also has a high UPF rating (50+) for excellent sun protection.

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Inside, at the top of the hat is a small pocket with a hook-and-loop closure. There is also a removable "size-adjustment device" or sweat band that uses hook-and-loop and fixes to the back of the hat. This microfiber band allows me to slightly tighten or loosen the hat rim for a better fit by removing it or keeping it in.

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Tilley also includes an amazing guarantee, protecting the hat for life against wear.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

This is the second Tilley hat I've owned and I am very impressed with the construction and materials used. These truly are well-made. The hat is very stylish, garnering unsolicited praise from my wife. I've never been one to "dress-up" for looks or show when backpacking, preferring function over form; however, the Tilley hat has both excellent looks and great features. I'm happy.

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Sizing the hat is straightforward. The Tilley website instructs how to get the perfect fit. I used a flexible measuring tape around my head, keeping the tape on my eyebrows and straight around my head. I don't normally buy fitted hats, so this process (and the results) often worries me.

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Upon receiving the hat, it felt it might be a little tight. When I removed the "size-adjustment device" it fit much better and felt better. The ear warmer wraps around the back of my head and covers just below the nape of my neck. The ear wrap tucks away quickly and folds easily inside the hat and covers the secret pocket (I stored the "size-adjustment device" in the secret pocket for now).

Inside the secret pocket I noticed there is a white foam piece fitted inside. I wasn't sure if I was to leave that in or remove it. I'm leaving it in for now until I can figure that out. This hat is suppose to be "crushable and packable", which would lead me to believe I should remove this foam piece, but I'm not 100% sure.

I am a little wary of the "crushable" part. This is such a nice-looking hat that I'm worried about ruining something. I can feel some type of stiffener on the outer edge of the brim -- is it plastic? Maybe metal? I really don't want to bend or break it, but in the spirit of testing, I will pack the hat in my backpack on occasion, so I'll see how it holds up (although, I honestly do not want to ruin such a nice-looking hat).

INITIAL SUMMARY

I feel very "grown up" wearing this hat. I'm sure it will have a profound affect upon my personality. I'm already feeling I need a revolver and a bull whip strapped to my hip.

PRO—Wonderful style. Warm. Convertible. Very comfortable fabric.

CON—None.


LONG-TERM REPORT

27 May 2014

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I've taken the Tilley hat on multiple additional overnight trips and day hikes, totalling more than 20 miles of backpacking. Here are some highlighted trips:

Dec 26-27: Snow Canyon Red Mountain Trail, Utah. My annual Christmastime trip into Snow Canyon with my family. We backpacked a total of 5 miles (8 km) with an elevation gain of 400 ft (122 m) and an overnight low of 30°F (-1°C).

Jan 11: Devil's Chair, Mount Elden. My son and I attempted to hike to Devil's Chair, a large rock formation on the south face of Mount Elden. We made it four miles (6.5 km) to an elevation of 8,000 ft (2,440 m) before getting stopped by cliffs.

Jan 31-Feb 1: Cinder Hills, Flagstaff, Arizona. This was a quick overnight backpacking trip on the cinder hills surrounding Flagstaff. We've had a record-breaking dry spell with warm temperatures all winter (so far), but it began to snow this weekend so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Low temperature was 23°F (-5°C).

Feb 14-15: Fossil Springs, near Strawberry, Arizona. This was one of our annual backpacking trips with the troop, with an 8 mile (13 km) trail down into the canyon. The elevation was 5,500 ft (1,676 m). During the night, the temperature dropped into the upper-20s°F (-5°C).

Apr 26: Picture Canyon, Flagstaff, Arizona. The elevation was 7,000 ft (2,134 m). We caught a spring snow storm during this two mile (3.2 km) day hike into this secluded canyon.

Apr 28: Wupatki National Monument, Arizona. The elevation was 6,960 ft (2,121 m). This was a half-day exploration of various sites in the monument with short hikes. It was a warm day, in the 70s°F (21°C), but the wind was gusting, which made the ambient temperature feel much cooler.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

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On one of my backpacking trips, I stuffed the Tilley hat into my backpack to test how it would re-form later. I had the hat in overnight and the next day it was pretty wrinkled and mashed. It took several days (and a wetting) before I could get the hat to lay normally again. While the hat can compress and pack well, I didn't like how it affected the look of the hat. Unlike my other wide-brimmed sun hats I take hiking, I don't plan on packing the hat because I really like the formed look better than the mashed look.

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While hiking the Red Mountain Trail, I used the ear warmers, but it doesn't seal as well as I would hope. On this and subsequent trips, I augmented the ear wrap with other head gear to keep my ears warm.

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By April, the rising temperatures made the hat less comfortable -- I was just getting too hot. For me, this hat really performs the best in cooler temperatures.

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My son modelling the Tilley hat at Wupatki National Monument.

FINAL SUMMARY

The hat offers great sun protection and style. I continually get great comments on the hat, even from complete strangers. My scouts often try to snag my hat to wear it.

PRO—Durable, nice-looking, warm, and cozy, especially in cooler temperatures.

CON—The hat takes some time to regain its shape after being stuffed and packed.


I would like to thank Tilley and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.



Read more reviews of Tilley gear
Read more gear reviews by Derek Hansen

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTC2 Tec-Cork Hat > Test Report by Derek Hansen



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