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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley Endurables TTWC Tec-Wool Cap > Test Report by Derek Hansen

Tilley Tec Wool Hat

Photo courtesy tilley.com

Tilley — Tilley - TTWC-Tec Wool Cap

Test Series by Derek Hansen

TESTER INFORMATION

Me
NameDerek Hansen
Age35
GenderMale
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg)
Email Address City
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

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


PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer Tilley Endurables (New York, USA)
Year of Manufacture 2011, made in Canada
Manufacturer’s Website tilley.com
MSRP US$76
Listed Features
  • C-Change technology for 'temperature control' comfort
  • Unique tuckaway ear warmers
  • Treated for rain and snow repellency
  • Secret pocket
  • Dry cleanable
Manufacturer Recommendations Dry clean only
Measurements
Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight 4.2 oz (119 g) 4.35 oz (123.3 g)
Dimensions N/A 3.375 in (8.6 cm) high. Adjustable
Colors Black Mix, Brown Mix
Sizes Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X-Large
Warranty Guaranteed for life not to wear out. Insured against loss.


INITIAL REPORT

4 Oct 2011

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Tilley TTWC Tec-Wool Cap is a warm hat with a baseball-style brim and has tuck-away ear warmers that wrap around the back of head. The hat is hand-made and is very durable. The cap has an overall "military" look with its flat top and squared appearance. Inside the cap is a large manufacturer label written in English and French. Under the label is a hidden pocket secured with a hook-and-loop closure.

The material inside the cap is quilted. The ear flaps fold out and have a nice edging fabric. The ear flaps themselves are somewhat elastic. The brim is stiff and strong.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Flappy sweat band

The Tec-Wool Cap has been well-made and I can feel it in nearly every inch of the cap. It feels very durable. The brim is stiff and stable, yet I am trying to bend it slightly for a better fit and look. The hat itself fits fine great, but I noticed that there are adjustment bands with hook-and-loop fasteners to make the hat fit better if needed. This was an added bonus.

Ear Flaps

The ear flaps are a nice feature. They have great coverage all around my ears and neck.

Secret Pocket

The hidden pocket is also nice. I can easily fit a driver's license, a map, or other small items. I placed my iPod Touch there for a time, but it was bit hard against my head.

Adjstment strap

The only part of the cap that disappointed me was the sweat band was not sewn on the upper side, leaving some flappy fabric around the rim.

Cheesy Grin

INITIAL SUMMARY

PRO—Solid construction. Durable and warm. Tuckaway ear flaps.

CON—The sweat band is floppy in front.

FIELD REPORT

6 Dec 2011

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

The Tilley hat has been my constant companion since I first received it. I've worn it every day to work in the past few months and have taken it on three backpacking trips and a few day hikes.

Oct 7-8: Foothills near Mount Elden, Flagstaff, Arizona. I took my daughter on a short backpacking trip in the national forest in Flagstaff. We found an ideal spot on the north slope of a small cinder mountain, just below 7,000 ft (2,134 m). The weather was cool, around 35°F (2°C) and dry.

Nov 4: Old Caves Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona. A backpacking trip cut short due to an unexpected rain storm with intense lightning and wind. The temperature was just above freezing and I had to abandon my overnight plans. Thankfully I was only a few miles from the trailhead.

Nov 10-12: Upper Pumphouse Wash, near Sedona, Arizona. I took a three-day trip into the Upper Pumphouse Wash in Northern Arizona where temperatures got down to 15°F (-10°C) with scattered snow conditions.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Every once in a while I test gear that attracts attention, but none so much as the Tilly hat. In fact, this hat has been the best conversation starter and I'm finding I'm talking with more strangers than I'm naturally comfortable with. It seems everyone has an opinion about this hat. I've received more compliments and looks than I would have expected, including a few scathing remarks. People either love it or hate it, as far as the comments I've received would tell.

fr-attaching-straps

Hanging hammock straps with my Tilley.

As the temperature in Flagstaff has dropped below freezing (-1°C), I've been taking the bus more frequently. Almost without exception, each bus driver stops me and asks about my hat. One bus driver said, "You don't see that very often — functional and stylish. Where did you get it?" I've enjoyed fielding these questions, but occasionally I've had negative reactions. One of my work colleagues sneers whenever he sees the hat. I've had the hat described to me as "European," "Russian," and even "German" or "militaristic." It certainly has a unique look with its squared sides and top and dark color.

fr-pumphouse

Getting ready to descend into the Pumphouse Wash with my Tilley Hat.

The style is growing on me, but what I really like is the functionality. I've only felt overheated once while wearing the hat, so for the majority of the time the hat does a good job regulating my heat. The ear flaps are a welcome addition and I use them often. While backpacking, I often pull down the flaps and then pull a neck buff around the back and I feel toasty warm, even when temperatures were 9°F (-13°C).

fr-oldcaves

Backpacking in the winter with my Tilley hat.

I typically wear a wide-brimmed hat when I hike and backpack, so I'm accustomed to a sun-blocking brim, but the baseball-style of the TTWC-Tec Wool Cap has a much different feel. The brim provides a nice protective shelf from glaring sunlight but also a different view port with the slanting edges.

I took my kids sledding on a nearby cinder cone mountain. We walked the distance from our front door to the hillside, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), and spent the time climbing and sledding. A snow storm blew in and I had a good opportunity to see the hat perform in blowing snow. The hat sheds moisture well and cuts the wind.

FIELD USE SUMMARY

I am happy to report that this hat is excellent in keeping me warm and regulating heat. The ear flaps, when tucked inside the hat, add a slight pressure to my head, but overall comfort is fine. With the flaps down, I can fit a light head wrap under the hat easily.

The hat has improved my social life. Well, it has certainly made itself an object of discussion. Once the topic of the hat is finished, people usually lose interest in me.

Please check back in approximately two months for my long-term report.


LONG TERM REPORT

7 Feb 2012

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I've taken the Tilley on two more backpacking trips and several day hikes. I've used the cap daily at work since the field report was posted.

Dec 5: Old Caves Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona. I took advantage of a birthday to go for a long snowshoe hike at night. Temperatures were below freezing (32°F/0°C) with wind gusts.

Dec 16-17: Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, Arizona. I took my Boy Scout troop snowshoeing out in the forest to catch the last remnants of snow. Overnight it dropped below 15°F (-9°C). I was able to convince one other person to join me hammock camping.

Jan 27-28: Fossil Creek, near Strawberry, Arizona. With a poor winter season, my scout troop decided to tackle Fossil Creek, where numerous underground springs gush thousands of gallons of water at a balmy 70°+F (21+°C) year-round. We backpacked 8.5 mi (14 km) and swam in the river pools. Overnight it was in the 30s°F (-1°C) and during the day it was in the upper 50s°F (10°C). The elevation change was 3,000 ft (914 m) (i.e., 1,500 ft/457 m down and back up).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Tilley Tec-Wool Cap has been great. Using it every day as I have, I can't imagine not going to work without it. I'm outside quite a bit during the day at my job, and although we haven't seen much snow, it's still been pretty cold and windy. The cap has been stellar at keeping me warm and comfortable.

While backpacking, my experience has mirrored my daily usage, although on my trip to Fossil Creek, I overheated on the hike out and had to stow the hat in my pack. The trail to the springs is just over four miles long, all down hill (1,500 ft/457 m). The all-uphill climb was enough to keep me toasty warm without the hat.

FIT

The cap fits as well now as when I first tried it on. With the ear flaps deployed, the cap is slightly roomier, but not enough to change the fit.

CONDITION and APPEARANCE

ltr-snow

Snowshoeing with the scouts.

I have not washed the cap during the entire testing period. The cap does not retain any odor, the dark color masks any stains (if any) that may have collected. Overall, the cap looks sharp and clean. There is one thread on the back of the cap that has become loose, but otherwise nothing shows signs of wear.

ltr-fossil-springs

Hiking down to Fossil Springs.

I've been called out once by someone at work that the cap reminded him of Hitler Youth caps. I took the comment in stride. This was probably the worse comment I received. Wearing the hat backwards, I was told I looked like Johnny Appleseed. I would say that 95% of the time I get compliments on the cap.

FINAL SUMMARY

I still haven't found a good use for the secret pocket, but it hasn't bothered me. The hat looks sharp, fits well, and feels great.

The baseball-style brim has grown on me, but after experiencing the high-quality of this cap, I'm looking at purchasing a Tilley-made fedora. This cap is high-style.


I would like to thank Tilley Endurables 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 TTWC Tec-Wool Cap > Test Report by Derek Hansen



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