Tilley Organic Cotton
Airflo Hat (T4MO)
Test Report by Jennifer Koles
October 12, 2010
Skip to my Initial
Report- May 18, 2010
Skip to my
Field Report- August 16, 2010
Skip to my Long
Term Report- October 12, 2010
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California,
getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling
and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked
extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania
and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able
to go longer in duration and distance. I have done
so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year
round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent
and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.
The author in the Narrows at Zion
National Park, Utah.
Information and Description
Organic Cotton Airflo
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer Website: www.tilley.com
on Website: 3.45 oz
Actual Weight: 3.45 oz
Sizes Available: to 8+ (26 1/8 in/66.5
Size Tested: 6 7/8 (21 5/8 in/55 cm)
Available Colors: Khaki
with Olive Underbrim; Olive
Color Tested: Olive
MSRP: $77.00 US
and insured against loss
The Tilley Organic Cotton Airflo Hat is
designed with an outback type of styling. The hat has a
wide down-sloping brim and has ventilated mesh in the
crown area. It is made with soft sueded organic cotton.
The main fabric content is 98% organic cotton and 2% spandex.
The mesh area is made of polyester. The front brim of the
hat measures just over 3.25 in (8 cm) and the rear brim
measures 3.25 in (8 cm). The sides measure just over 2.25
in (6 cm).
In order to pick a size for my Tilley
hat I followed the directions on the website to help me.
My head measurement was 54 cm
(21.26 in). At first I was wondering if I should go up
a size. So, I went to a retail store and tried on the two
different sizes in a different style. I decided to go ahead
with the 6 7/8 (21 5/8 in/55
cm) because it did not fit snug and the next size seemed
too large. The hat is designed to fit low and there should
not be any painful pressure. At the time I determined my
sizing there was not any pressure on my forehead. I could
lift the hat up easily and rotate it from side to side.
I received my Tilley hat and I have to say that it fits
perfectly. It is not snug nor loose and it sits low on
my forehead, as it should.
The Organic Cotton Airflo Hat has some
great features. For one it offers an ultraviolet protection
factor of 50+. This rating is the maximum rating given
and the fabric of the hat has been tested according to
the highest testing standards. The hat is certified to
block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB rays.
There is a sweat band circling the inside
of the hat just above the brim. It is a very soft material
that is a light shade of beige. It is reinforced with several
rows of stitching. The grommets of the hat are through
the sweat band area. There are two brass grommets on each
side and they hold the wind cord. These grommets are claimed
to turn a permanent patina when exposed to salt air. I
wonder if in Southern California my grommets will develop
such a patina.
The wind cord is one continuous lace passed
thought the grommets. It is joined by a set of sliding
knots. To me it looks like a fisherman's knot. I did
not untie it yet to check it out, but I will in the future.
The wind cord can be tucked up inside the hat, or worn
under the chin with the knotted section of the lace passed
behind the head.
The wind cord can be shortened or lengthened by easily sliding the knots.
This Tilley hat is designed to float in
calm water. There is a layer of closed-cell polyethylene
foam in the crown of the hat.
The hat should be
washed on a regular basis. It can be washed in a
washing machine in warm or cool water. It also can
be hand washed and scrubbed gently. Bleach should
not be used when laundering the hat as it can turn
it yellow. It should not be placed in the dryer.
Instead it should be air dried and reshaped while
it is still damp. It is suggested to shape it over
a knee. The material is pre-shrunk.
The hat came with two hang tags
listing the features, an owner's manual, and "Brag
Tags" (to hand off to those whom desire a Tilley
hat). The owner's manual is very descriptive. It
lists the features, care, fit, guarantee/insurance
information, and some background information.
The Airflo Hat has a small owner's
tag in the crown. This tag has an area to write my
name and phone number. It is suggested to use indelible
ink. This is to help identify the owner in case of
loss. There is a larger tag in the crown listing
the features, care, and fabric content of the hat.
This larger tag is also a pocket secured with a hook
and loop closure to store some items in the crown.
This hat has insurance against loss.
If it is lost within two years of purchase Tilley will
replace it with a 50% deductible plus shipping and
taxes. If an unbleached Tilley hat wears out it will
be replaced for free, the only charge is a shipping
This hat looks like it is made with great
quality materials and workmanship. I was very impressed with
the size of the owner's manual. The material is softer than
I expected that it would be. I was thinking this hat would
have some stiffness. It doesn't and that is fine with me.
I viewed the hat on the manufacturer's website
prior to receiving it. The website was very detailed with all
the features, care, and sizing information. Having the hat
in my hands I could see the quality of the materials and the
Cleveland National Forest, California: This
was a one night backpacking trip with a first-timer friend
of mine. The low temperatures hovered around 40 F (4 C).
The elevation at camp was 1,600 ft (488 m). I wore the hat
while hiking and at camp.
Near Red Rocks, Nevada: This
was a one night camping trip. It was very warm at night with
the temperatures in the upper 70's F (24 C) and the elevation
was around 4,500 ft (1,400 m). I wore the hat while setting
Southern California: Day/evening
hikes and fitness hikes in Fremont, Limestone, and Orchard
Hills Canyons. These hikes ranged from 3 mi (5 km) to 7 mi
(11 km). The temperatures ranged from the upper 50's F (13 C)
to the mid 80's F (28 C).
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National
Forest, Utah: I wore the Airflow in Mill Creek
Canyon on day-hikes. The temperatures were in the 80's F (28
C). It was sunny and hot!
Over the past three months the Tilley Organic
Airflo was worn in California, Nevada, and Utah on day hikes,
backpacking trips, and while camping. I must say that I really
like this hat. I have never owned a Tilley Hat and now wonder
what took me so long.
This hat is great! First of all it is stylish.
I like the outback look of this hat. The color coordinates
well with my hiking wardrobe. I have gotten so many compliments
on this hat while out on the trails.
The Organic Airflo fits me like a glove. Well
it is not a glove. It is just a hat that fits me perfectly.
It does not slide down into my eyes and it is not too snug.
Initially I was concerned that I may have selected a size that
was too small. I was between measurements and the next size
up seemed like it would be too large according to my measuring
tape. The hat fits me well when I have my hair pulled back
and even when I am wearing my sunglasses. I noticed that the
brim does not bang into my sunglasses.
The brim provides plenty of shade on my face
and my ears. My ears have yet to get sunburned while I am wearing
the Organic Airflo. The top of my head has not sunburned either.
I was slightly concerned that it may with the mesh in the top
of the hat.
When there was no breeze I tucked the wind
cord inside the hat. On windy days I wore the wind cord and
I tightened it based on the amount of wind. The hat has yet
to blow off my head while wearing the chin cord. Now if I forget
to use the wind cord that is another story; the hat has in
fact blown off my head. However, that can be expected, since
a wind cord should be used in wind.
The hat offers enough ventilation with the
mesh fabric that I do not become over heated when wearing it
in warm temperatures. The hat also prevents the top of my head
and my eyes from becoming wet when hiking in fog or the misty
rain conditions we have near the Southern California coast.
I love the sweat band. It has been warm and
I sweat when I hike. There has been no need for me to wipe
my forehead while wearing this hat. Plus no sweat was rolling
down into my eyes. Usually I have to keep a small cloth with
me to wipe my face and forehead; mostly because I do not like
sweat rolling into my eyes.
I noticed that when I am wearing my largest
backpack that the top of the pack rubs against the back brim
of the hat. When I am wearing my large pack I have to use the
wind cord on the hat or it migrates off my head while I am
hiking. With my other packs I do not have this problem.
The hat washes well. I have washed it four
times since I received it. I just tossed it in my front loading
washer with my hiking clothing and regular detergent and dried
it on my drying rack. I reshaped it when it was damp. The hat
still looks like new and the material is still soft. The manufacturer
recommends to wash it
regularly. I just wash it when the sweat
band starts to have an odor. Usually I wash the Airflo every
third time I wear it.
On the rim of Bryce
National Park in Utah
Mt. San Jacinto State Park,
California: I took two one night backpacking trips
here. Went for a day hike to the summit on both trips.
We camped at an elevation around 9,000 ft (2,750 m). The
low temperature was in the mid 40's F (5 C).
Southern California: Day/evening
hikes in Limestone Canyon and Orchard Hills; and a day at
Back Bay. There was no precipitation on these hikes/outings
and the temperatures ranged from the mid 80's F (29 C) to
the mid 50's F (12 C).
Bryce and Zion National Parks,
Utah: The Airflo hat was worn here on day and
evening hikes for a total of 3 days of the trip. The temperatures
ranged from the 50's F (11 C) to the mid 30's F (2 C).
The weather was not ideal for hiking as it was windy, raining,
hailing, and there was even some snow.
Over the past two months the Tilley Organic
Airflo was worn in California and Utah on day/evening hikes
and on a backpacking trip. I love my Tilley Organic Airflo
Hat! It still fits me well, has good ventilation, has a nice
style, and offers plenty of shade to my face and eyes.
While I was in Utah at Bryce and
Zion National Parks the weather was not the greatest.
It rained for days. Not only did it rain, but it was
very windy. There was also hail and some light snow at
times. That did not keep me from venturing out on some
The Tilley Organic Airflow got wet, as
seen in the picture on the right. The hat repelled the
water and never wetted out. I will
admit that I did not wear the hat in a down pour. However,
it was worn in a light to medium rain with hail and some
snowflakes. During this trip I was surprised that no water
entered through the mesh vent of the hat. Even with all
the rain the brim shielded my face and eyes enough that
I was not being pelted with water.
It was also very windy at Bryce Canyon
especially on the rim. It was easy for me to adjust the
wind cord to get the perfect fit. There was no need for
me to worry about having my Tilley hat blow off my head
and end up in the canyon below me.
For my trip to Utah I had to cram my Tilley
Hat in my overnight bag. It took me a few minutes to straighten
out the brim when I removed it from the bag.
I was able to confirm that the Tilley Organic
Airflo hat does indeed float. I dropped it purposefully into
Back Bay here in Southern California and it did not sink.
I really like the sweat band in the hat. It
absorbs the sweat on my forehead so it does not roll down my
face or into my eyes. When the sweat band becomes a little
stinky I know it is time to wash the Airflo.
Even though I have worn the hat near salt
water and exposed the hat briefly to salt water the grommets
have yet to develop a patina as they are claimed to. I only
wore the hat one day at Back Bay and maybe there is not enough
salt air or water at that location to form a patina on the grommets.
The Airflow was washed a few more times during
the past two months. I still dry
it on my drying rack and it still needs a little bit of reshaping.
After five months of use it still looks like new.
- Initial fit is good
- Nice styling
- Inside crown pocket
- Sweat band works well
- Good ventilation
- I have to use the wind cord when
using my large backpack
concludes my reporting on the Organic Cotton
Airflo Hat. Thank you Tilley Endurables and backpackgeartest.org for
providing me with the opportunity to test this product.
Orchard Hills, California