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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley T3 Hat > Owner Review by Lawrence A Dalrymple

TILLEY T3 HAT
BY LAWRENCE DALRYMPLE
OWNER REVIEW
March 21, 2007

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Lawrence Dalrymple
EMAIL: canoe21[at ] rogers[dot ] com
AGE: 65
LOCATION: Sutton, Ontario, Canada
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I started camping at around 10 years old in Nova Scotia, after moving to Ontario. I started canoe camping across a lot of Ontario. I enjoy back country canoeing, exploring the waterways, and setting up camp when finding an interesting place. Last year I spent 80 days camping, hiking and canoeing in Northern Ontario. My pack tends to be on the heavy side as we use a three man tent for my wife, myself, and our small dog. The great outdoors is a very enjoyable place to be, to relax and appreciate nature at its fullest.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables
Year of Manufacture: 2006
IMAGE 1
T 3 Frontal View

Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tilley.com
MSRP: 60.00 US$
Listed Weight: 5.4 oz (153 g)
Measured Weight: 5.36 oz (152 g) on postal scale

Other details:

The hat is supposed to fit loosely on the head unlike other caps. How should it fit? For comfort you should be able to insert two fingers between the Hat and your forehead, just so the brim is just above my ears when it is on my head. In the wind the wind cord keeps it on, and not a tight fit like my other caps.

Brim Measurements: Front and Back 2 3/4 in [7 cm], Sides 2 3/8 in [6cm], The Crown: 5 3/4 in [14.6 cm] wide, by 6 1/2 in [16.5 cm] long; 3 3/4 in [9.5 cm] high in front, 3 1/2 in [8.8cm] in back. The Tilley T3 Hat is engineered from 10 oz [283 g] hemp; which the manufacturer claims is the world's strongest natural fiber.

All Tilley hats have a secret pocket with Velcro seal and I've found this to be a great place to put my fishing license and a few dollars to get a snack when out on an outing. My Tilley T3 came with a spare wind cord in an envelope. It also came with an owner's manual and a Tilley hat size tape.

The wide brim gives lots of shade from the sun and the green underside helps cut the glare, especially out on the water. The Tilley is almost waterproof but after a long time in the rain it will get damp. Unlike other hats the brim will not sag when it gets wet, as it gets stiff and does a good job of keeping the rain out of my face and glasses.

All hemp used by Tilley is preshrunk by boiling so the hat will never shrink. The hat can be washed by machine or by hand in cool water and soap. I found it easy to wash and to keep clean for such a light color. According to the manufacturer, one shouldn't use bleach as it will rot the hemp fibers. In my experience, it also turned the hat an off shade of yellow, but this can be corrected and restored with color remover. This happened to my first Tilley; a T5 that was fully restored. After washing I smooth out and reshape the brim. I usually set it outside on the edge of the picnic table to dry in about 3 to 4 hours.

When it's calm, the Wind Cord is hidden in the crown of the hat. And when breezy, I put the part with the sliding knots behind my head. When it's windy I place the other loop under my chin so that the hat is tied on.

This hat will float with the help of a closed cell foam insert in the crown of the hat but the foam must be replaced after washing for it to do so. This is also a plus as it gives a bit of protection when hiking along the trails from overhanging tree branches. A Hydrofil sweat band around the inside edge of the cap works really well to keep my forehead dry and makes it very comfortable to wear.

The Tilley T3 has 4 brass ventilation grommets on the crown of the hat, and also has a brass snap one on either side of the brim so I can snap up the brim on one or two sides depending on how I like to wear it. I like to wear my Tilley with a full brim. These four grommets work just fine to vent the hat and keep it cool but in the black fly season they can and do let the flys in and that can be a pain. Tilley can install screens in these vents for $4.00 [Canadian dollars] per hat but keep in mind that the hat must be returned to Tilley for installation and these screens are permanent and reduce ventilation by about 50%. I got this information in a letter from Tilley Endurables; I have seen these screens at a show a few years ago and wanted to check it out. But to loose 50% in ventilation is a lot and the bugs are not that bad. In the side of the hat at the top is a Velcro tab that is used to hold one arm of the sunglasses when folded and inserted through the brass grommet. I have not used this feature as I find the large brim does a great job of shading my eyes. All Tilley hats have been certified to block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation and deliver an ultraviolet factor [UPF] of 50 +, the maximum rating given. But on the Tilley web they go on to say that they believe sunglasses to be absolutely vital in addition to their hats, because the shaded pupils will dilate and let in even more (reflected) UV rays, which they say can cause cataracts and other problems later in life.

Tilley's guarantees to replace the hat for life should it ever wear out and insures against loss no matter what happens to it for two years at 1/2 the current catalog price.
IMAGE 2
T 3 Side View

FIELD USE

I have used a Tilley hat for over 20 years. My first Tilley, purchased at the Sportsmen Show in Toronto, Ontario, was a T5; a smaller brimmed hat in all natural hemp. I used this hat in all of my camping trips and outside at home to cut the grass and to work in the garden. I lost this hat on a river trip in South Carolina

My wife replaced it with a T3 Tilley that I loved as it was a great hat until last year when the brim started to droop and would not hold the proper shape at all. I contacted Tilley Endurables; they asked me to return the T3 to them with $7.50 to cover shipping which I did and about a week later I had a brand new T3 Hat along with my old hat for a keepsake. I was really pleased with this great service and with such a good guarantee.

I have used the Tilley hats in all conditions from snow and rain to strong winds with the temperatures ranging from around 20 F [6.6 C] to over 100 F [38 C]. It has always been a plus in all conditions until the temperature goes down to around freezing and then I switch to my toque [a Canadian wool cap] for warmth but, then I miss the brim with nothing to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun. In the hot weather, especially when I am out on the water, I often duck my Tilley in the lake or river to get it wet. Then I give it a shake to remove the excess water and put it on my head to cool off by evaporation.
IMAGE 3
Inside View

SUMMARY

The Tilley T3 Hat has given me a lot of comfort over the years; everything from creating a sun shade with its large brim, keeping me dry when I am out in the rain, to holding the bug net off my face when the black flys are heavy or after a summer rain when the mosquitoes are out in droves. I can not think of, nor have I seen a better outdoor hat than the Tilley. I guess this is why Tilley Hats are claimed to be the best in the world.

THINGS I LIKE

I like how well the Tilley Hat fits in so well with all my outdoors activity. No matter what they may be, from exploring the waterways in my canoe, out on the lake to try to catch a fish for supper, to setting up camp. Also while I hike the trails to move to a new camp site or just out exploring the countryside.
I would recommend the Tilley T3 hat to anyone looking for a good all around hat especially an outdoor hat. The Tilley would be hard to beat.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

In all of the years of owning a Tilley T3 Hat I can find no fault at all with this hat.

SIGNATURE

Lawrence Dalrymple
canoe21[at]rogers[dot] com

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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