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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTW-2 Tec-Wool Hat > Test Report by Bob Sanders

Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat
Test Series by Bob Sanders

Initial Report: October 23, 2011
Field Report: January 4, 2012
Long Term Report: February 26, 2012

PERSONAL INFORMATION
Name: Bob Sanders BobBackpacking Background: I went on my first backpacking trip as a Boy Scout at the age of 16. Over the years I have hiked the Wonderland Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the Florida Trail, Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail and 740 mi (1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. I continue to backpack and hike year round in the Colorado mountains. I have evolved from a heavyweight backpacker to a lightweight backpacker and sometimes reach ultralight weights. My three day fall/winter solo adventures (using a tent) have me hovering around a 17 lb (7.7 kg) base weight.
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Email: sherpabob(at)mac(dot)com
Location: Longmont, Colorado USA


INITIAL REPORT
October 23, 2011

PRODUCT INFORMATION (From Website)
Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables
Manufactured: 2011 (Made in Canada)
Website: www.tilley.com

Description:Image From Tilly Website
The lightweight Tilley Tec-Wool Hat, styled with a medium size brim, has C_Change™ fabric technology and tuckaway earwarmers. The C_Change™ membrane is bonded to the fabric and reacts to changing body temperatures, ensuring constant comfort.

Features:
  • Guaranteed for life not to wear out
  • Insured against loss
  • Excellent sun protection, rated UPF 50+
  • C-Change™ technology for 'temperature control' comfort
  • Unique tuckaway earwarmers
  • Treated for rain and snow repellency
  • Secret pocket
  • 4-page Owner's Manual
  • Crushable and packable
  • Dry cleanable

Specifications
  • Brim size: Front: 2 5/8 in (6.6 cm) and Back: 2 3/4 in (6.9 cm) Sides: 2 1/8 in (5.4 cm)
  • Weight (listed) 4.8 oz (136 g)
  • Weight (measured) 5 oz (142 g)
  • Size Tested: 7 7/8 (24 5/8 in or 62.5 cm)
  • Available Sizes: 6 7/8 to 8+ (13 sizes)
  • Tested Color: Black Mix (also available in Brown Mix)
  • Materials: 75% Wool, 19% Polyester and 6% Polyurethane with a bonded C_Change™ membrane
  • MSRP: $99.00 US

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The number one reason I am a fan of Tilley hats is because they fit well. I have a big head and most manufacturers don't offer hats in the XL range. I guess I should start shopping at the Big-N-Tall store. When I first placed the hat on my head it fit perfectly. Not too tight and not too loose. I am not too sure how well it would stay on in a stiff breeze but we will see.

Side 

When I first opened the box and looked inside the hat appeared to be crushed and was very wrinkled. It is listed as being crushable and packable. I pulled it out and tried to fluff it up and smooth out the fabric. I even thought that wearing it for a while it would become less wrinkled. Even after several days of ocassional wear and storing the hat hanging on a door knob the hat is still quite wrinkled. In the photo above you can see some of the wrinkles. It is a great style of hat it just looks rumpled.

Ear Flaps
Ear warmers in down position

Inside the hat is a single wrap around ear warmer. It is made of a soft, elastic, stretchy material. With the ear warmers in the down position the hat is slightly larger in fit. But the streachy flap sort of hugs my head a bit. With the extra room I may try to wear a thin micro-fleece helmet liner underneath the hat for extra warmth if needed. Might look a little goofy wearing it around town. Might save that idea for the trail.

When the ear warmers are down the hat can be adjusted using the Size Equalization Device (SED). It is a removable band held in place with Velcro®. The ends of the band can be adjusted to make the inside circumference smaller. I will see if I need any adjusting. Right now the hat feels pretty comfortable even with the ear warmers down.

Also inside the hat is an adjustable sweat band made of Hydrofil to wick moisture away and a secret pocket sealed with a strip of Velcro®. Inside that pocket is the Tilley Owner's Manual. The secret pocket in the top of the crown is an excellent place to store a key, a credit card or even a bit of cash. Stitched on the flap of the pocket is an information sheet which includes a place to write your name and phone number so if you loose your hat there is a better chance you will get it back.

Inside of
        Hat
Inside of Hat

This hat is very well thought out and made. The stitching and workmanship are impeccable. The brim has multiple rows of stitching that make it stiffer, which keeps it from flopping around. Inside the crown of the hat is a piece of closed-cell foam which is suppose to keep additional heat inside the hat keeping your head warmer.

Likes:
  • Extremely well made and quite stylish
  • Lots of sizes to fit my big fat head
  • Incredible warranty
Dislikes:
  • Wool fabric is wrinkled and hat looks rumpled

FIELD REPORT

January 5, 2012

During the past 2 months I have worn the hat pretty much everyday, between walking the dog in the early morning hours, 3 day hikes and one quick overnighter. The temperatures have averaged  50 to 20 F (10 to -7 C) during the day and 20 to -6 F (-7 to -21 C) at night.

All of the day hikes and the overnight backpack trip took place in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area of central Colorado. There was 12 in (30 cm) of compacted snow on the ground with occasional snow flurries. The majority of the time the weather started out in the morning cloudy but usually changed to bright sunshine during the rest of the day.

Snow Fall

Self portraits are never easy. I really was enjoying myself.


FIELD REPORT:

Wearing this style of hat during the winter is very new to me. I usually wear a knit style stocking cap. During the day hikes and the overnighter I carried one with me because I was not sure my ears would stay warm enough. The ear flaps on the Tilley are not very thick but surprisingly are quite effective at keeping the heat in. Especially while moving. All of my day hikes and the overnight backpack started in the morning when temperatures were cooler. As the day wore on and the temperatures continued to rise  I would just tuck the ear flaps back up into the hat if I was heating up. Then redeploy them as the sun would start to go down and my ears would get chilly. It was a really simple way to regulate my warmth.

For the overnight backpack pack I hiked in about 6 mi (9.6 km) and set up camp before the sun fully set. By the time all my chores were done and dinner was started it was in the freezing range and I was beginning to feel chilled. I really did not take the hat off until I had climbed into the tent to call it a day. On the way back to the car the next day I was sweating a bit and decided I wanted to take the hat off and let my head dry off a bit. The hat is already pretty wrinkled and I did not want to make it worse by just cramming it into the top of my pack. So I secured the hat to my pack with a small carabiner looped through the small leather hat band holder located on the upper side of the hat.

The hat has done really well keeping the sun out of my eyes and off my neck. It also has handled light snow showers and any snow that melted just beaded up and did not appear to soak in. A quick shake of the hat and the drops flew right off.

The hat fits my head pretty well and I don't get a headache if I wear the Tilley all day. I have a big head and finding hats that fit is always a challenge. Most hats I own are just a little too snug, so wearing them for extended periods gives me a headache.

In windy conditions I need to be careful as the hat has blown off my head twice and I had to chase it down. It didn't go very far as there were lots of trees around to stop it. The hat does not have a chin strap that could be used when it is windy.

CLEANING & CARE:
So far the hat does not appear dirty or smell after 2 months of almost constant use.

SUMMARY:

Style wise I think it makes me look quite dashing. Not that any one cares out in the woods, but around town it keeps my head warm and helps me look presentable. I was hoping over time that the hat would relax a bit and some of the wrinkles would disappear. No such luck. At times it looks like I slept in it. After the test I may try a steamer to work out some of the wrinkles

PROS:
  • Excellent fit
  • Soft, water repellent fabric
  • Comfortable over a reasonable temperature range
  • Fabric cuts the wind pretty well

CONS:
  • Still wrinkled

LONG TERM REPORT

February 26, 2012

FIELD REPORT:

The hat still gets almost daily use. I wear it every morning to walk the dog, on the way to work and additionally on all day hikes and one more overnight backpack trip to finish out this test.


I have taken 3 additional day hikes with temperatures ranging between 40 and 20 F (4 and -7 C). My hikes were in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Lefthand Reservoir. Hikes are usually 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km) round trip and I almost always wear my standard winter layering setup consisting of hat, gloves, wool base layer, microfleece pullover followed by an insulating Jacket.

The overnight backpack was a quick trip to Brainerd Lake. I hiked in about 5 miles (8 km) set up camp and returned the next day. A quick trip but just enough to get my sanity fix. I wore the hat on both the hike in and the hike out.

The Tilly has been exceptional at keeping my head warm and it is really quite simple to adjust the temperature regulation. If the wind picks up or my ears get chilled I just lower the ear flaps and keep on going. If my head begins to feel overheated up go the flaps. I can pretty much wear the hat all day long with those simple adjustments. The only time I have removed the hat was after I had made camp and my activity level had slowed, the sun was behind the mountains and I was beginning to feel chilled. I would swap the Tilley for a thicker stocking camp and switch over to a thicker down jacket. Daytime temperatures averaged around 20 F (-7 C) but that night it dropped to 0 F (-18 C) that night.


CLEANING & CARE:
After wearing the Tilley hat nearly every day for four months I still do not feel that it needs to be cleaned. Other than a quick brush off to get the occasional leaves, dust or snow off the hat really appears identical to the day it arrived, wrinkles and all. Eventually the Tilley will need to be dry-cleaned. Not something I am looking forward to as it has been years since I have had anything dry-cleaned.

SUMMARY:
I am very pleased with this hat. For me the comfort range seems to be between 60 and 20 F (15 and -7 C) depending on my activity level and what else I am wearing. The hat is quite versatile and I can wear it on the trail and straight into the local pub afterwards and still look like a man of mystery. I will continue to wear it during the cooler months both on and off the trail.

PROS:
  • Excellent fit
  • Soft, water repellent fabric
  • Comfortable over a reasonable temperature range
  • Fabric cuts the wind pretty well

CONS:
  • I need to figure out a way to get those wrinkles out

______________________________________________________________________

This concludes my Long Term Test and I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Tilley Endurables for the opportunity to test this hat.


Read more reviews of Tilley gear
Read more gear reviews by Bob Sanders

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTW-2 Tec-Wool Hat > Test Report by Bob Sanders



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