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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTW-2 Tec-Wool Hat > Test Report by Chari Daignault

TILLEY TTW2 TEC WOOL HAT
Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat
TEST SERIES BY CHARI DAIGNAULT

LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - October 20, 2011
FIELD REPORT - January 03, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - February 24, 2012

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Chari Daignault
EMAIL: chari.daignault@gmail.com
AGE: 49
LOCATION: Orlando, Florida U.S.A.
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.70 m)
WEIGHT: 135 lb (61.20 kg)

I've been a light hiker for 36 years. I take the minimum I can with me and prefer a pack close to 15 pounds [6.80 kg]. I've hiked all the Florida State Forest trails in Central Florida, backpacked the Na Pali coast on the island of Kauai and climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan. I have hiked dry & sandy, rough & rocky and wet & boggy trails and as a result, have found what does and doesn't work for me in terms of equipment and clothing.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: Tilley Endurables
MSRP: US$ 99.00
Listed Weight: 4.8 oz (136 g)
Measured Weight: 4.3 oz (122 g)
Tested Size: 7
Available Sizes: 6 7/8 - 8+
Tested Color: Black Mix
Other Colors: Brown Mix
Other details: 75% Wool, 19% Polyester and 6% Polyurethane with a bonded C_Change membrane

(Per the manufacturer: The C_Change membrane is bonded to the wool exterior and reacts to changing body temperatures. The membrane 'closes' when exposed to cold air and 'opens' in response to warmth, allowing air to escape.)

Features (per the manufacturer):

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

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Tilley Tec-Wool hat doesn't feel like what I remember any traditional wool product to feel. It's not prickly; it's actually very smooth and soft. Yet the hat holds its shape well. When it's on my head, even after crushing, it pops right back into shape, with the brim sloping down in the front and back in the typical Tilley shape. There is a nice hat band on it, in which I can insert a feather or two, should I be so inclined (you never know).

Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat
Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat


The inside of the hat is very soft and doesn't cause my head to itch, which is most likely because the interior is made from a sueded polyester. This material not only lines the hat and makes it feel more comfortable on my head, but it also is meant to assist with blocking wind.

The earwarmers drop down out of the crown of the hat (they're attached at the back inside of the anti-sweat band) and feel a bit stretchy. When the hat is on with the earwarmers deployed, the earwarmers fit to the shape of my neck, head and ears nicely wihout being too tight. I like that the earwarmers drop down far enough to also protect the back of my neck from the cold.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The only instructions for care are to wipe the hat off with a damp cloth. If deeper cleaning is necessary, the hat will need to be dry-cleaned. The included hang tag states that the hat is rain and snow repellent, but does not offer any technical data with that claim.

All Tilley hats are guaranteed for life to not wear out. Tilley will replace the hat for free if it does. Tilley hats are insured against loss or damage for two years -- for free (I do have to fill out the registration form included in the hat and send it in though). Tilley hats also come with a nifty "secret" pocket on the inside of the top of the crown of the hat, which holds a packet of information and trivia on Tilley hats.

Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat
Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat


The Tec-Wool hat is certified UPF 50+ for protection from the sun for the face and neck.

TRYING IT OUT

Based on measuring my head as suggested by Tilley's website, I selected a size 7 hat. The hat fits perfectly; not too snug, but tight enough that it won't slip off if I bend over or turn quickly. It sits just above my ears without touching them and comes down far enough on my forehead to block sun, but not completely take over my face. It is very comfortable and feels warm, but not cloyingly so.

Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat
Tilley TTW2 Tec-Wool Hat


The addition of earwarmers onto the back inside of the hat has not so far caused any issues with the hat feeling too snug on my head. The earwarmers themselves fold nicely at the center up in the crown of the hat and don't get in my head's way. This is the first Tilley hat I've worn that didn't have the chin and head straps/strings inside, and I was worried that without this added security, the wind could take the Tec-Wool hat right off my head. But, there is a "Size-Adjustment Device" that's been added to the back of the anti-sweat band inside the brim of the hat which is meant to allow me to loosen or tighten the anti-sweat band as needed. It's made of the same soft material as the anti-sweat band and is connected to the band with three small sections of hook and loop fasteners. I'm still not clear on how to utilize this device yet, but will work on figuring it out for the Field Report.

SUMMARY

So far, this hat is a winner for me. I'm excited about getting out into some cooler weather and seeing how it does with wind and possibly rain or snow.

Things I Like
The Style
The Fit
The Earwarmers
The Softness
The Lifetime Guarantee


Things That Make me Frown
Dry-Clean Only

This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in approximately two months for my Field Report. Many thanks to Tilley Endurables and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this fine hat.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Orlando, FL - Several day hikes in the Hal Scott Regional Preserve. There are pine trees, palmettos and lots of no-see-ums. Temperatures ranged from 65 F (18.3 C) to 80 F (26.7 C). The Tilley TTW2 hat has also been worn out and about town while walking our dogs and while running errands. 15 mi (24.1 km)

Memphis, TN - 3 day backpacking trip in the Meeman-Shelby State Forest. Temperatures ranged between 39 F (3.9 C) and 65 F (18.3 C). We had approximately five hours of sun during the entire cold and drizzly time we were there. The terrain was muddy, with lots of leaf debris and roots. 8 - 10 mi (12.8 - 16.1 km)

Oviedo, FL - 2 day backpacking trip in the Little Big Econ State Forest. Temperatures ranged between 55 F (12.8 C) and 65 F (18.3 C). It was sunny and clear the whole trip and the terrain was dry on the trails, with some heavy, loose sand, leaves and large oak roots. Closer to the river, it was muddy with some thick, wet sandy areas. 4 - 6 mi (6.4 - 9.6 km)


PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Tilley TTW2 TEC Wool Hat is amazingly comfortable on my head. Even though it's wool, I have not had any issues with my head becoming over-heated or sweating. This includes hikes in 80 F (26.7C) weather in full sun. I've not had any issues with itching or any scratchy-feeling problems. The hat has stayed on in windy conditions and has kept my head reasonably dry in light rain and mist.

Little Big Econ State Forest
Little Big Econ State Forest


To pack it in my suitcase for a plane trip, I just crushed it into an open space in my tightly-packed bag. When we arrived at our destination, I pulled the hat out and it didn't have one wrinkle in it. It went back into shape perfectly once I put it on my head. I did have one incident where removing the hat from my head (with the earwarmers deployed) caused my eyeglasses to come off. The earwarmers must have hooked onto the ends of my eyeglass stems behind my ears. That's only happened once so far, so I don't really see it as an issue.

Walking in the Park
Walking in the Park


There have been no issues with odor, even though there is polyester in the inside of the hat. There are no stains or dirt that I can see on the hat, so I've not had to wipe it down. Other than hanging it up to remove dampness after being out in a light rain, I've just thrown it on my hat shelf each time I've returned from wearing it.

The brim is short but it does a good job of keeping the sun out of my eyes as I walk and it appears to protect the back of neck quite well. As most Tlle hats do, this hat gets a lot of positive feedback from people with regard to its looks.

SUMMARY

So far, the Tilley TTW2 TEC Wool Hat has been great for cool weather outings. It's protected my head in inclement weather and in full sun. It's durable, keeps its shape and is easy to pack. I'll continue to wear it through spring, until the temperatures heat up ridiculously.

Things I Like
The Style
No Itching
The Softness
The Warmth

Things That Make Me Frown
No Issues So Far



LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Orlando, FL - Five day hikes in the Hal Scott Regional Preserve and one day hike in the Little Big Econ State Forest. Plus, several walks through town with the dogs. Temperatures have ranged from 32 F (0 C) all the way up to 87 F (30.5 C); it's been a whacky winter. No real rain to speak of; it's been very dry.

Seal Beach, CA - Three day trip out to the west coast for my aunt's funeral. Temperatures were supposed to be warm, but it ended up being 46 F (7.8 C) each morning and only getting up to 67 F (19.4 C) during the day. It was sunny and clear except for the last morning, which was cold, drizzly and windy.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The hat once again stood up well to being smashed in my luggage for an airplane trip. This trip was a long one, as I had to go from one coast to the other (U.S.). Even after 8+ hours in my luggage, the hat popped back to shape with no problems except for a slight wrinkle on the crown, for which I can't fault the hat.

With the cooler temperatures out in California, the hat did really well keeping my head warm and protected, especially the last morning when there was a cold, drizzling rain along with some wind off the water. After deploying the ear flap, my head and ears stayed dry and warm, which is more than I can say for the rest of me that day. I did wipe the hat down with a clean, dry, cotton cloth after returning inside, as I had to pack it later that day and didn't want to pack it with the outside of the hat feeling damp.

Walking the dogs through town several times a week, I get a lot of comments on the Tilley TTW2 TEC Wool Hat; all of them positive. It does a good job of keeping the sun out of my eyes and off my neck. With the brim being shorter than other Tilley hats I own, it doesn't do as good a job of keeping the sun off my face, but not having it in my eyes is just fine with me.

On our day hikes, once again the hat does a great job keeping the sun out of my eyes. During cooler hikes, my head stays nice and warm, but not sweaty -- I like that. It looks great with pretty much anything I've worn, whether hiking clothes, or formal pants suits.

SUMMARY

The Tilley TTW2 TEC Wool Hat has been an excellent addition to my collection of Tilley hats. It offers a more formal alternative for wearing a hat out in that I can now wear a hat that will match my wool coat. It does a great job of keeping my head and ears warm and dry and doesn't make my head sweat. It feels soft and doesn't make my head itch and it really has done a great job of staying on, even in wind (which is surprising, given that this model of Tilley hat doesn't have the chin straps).

Things I Like
Style
No Itching
Warm and Dry
Soft to the touch

Things That Make Me Frown
The eventual necessity of getting it dry-cleaned

CONTINUED USE

This hat will continue to be part of my go-to collection of hats for any time I require a head cover; whether for backpacking, walking around town or going out in the cold for a night out with friends.

This concludes my Long Term Report. Many thanks to Tilley Endurables and BackpackGearTest.org for the oppportunity to test this awesome hat.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.


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