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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley TM10 Hat > Chari Daignault > Test Report by Chari Daignault

TILLEY TM10 MESH HAT
TEST SERIES BY CHARI DAIGNAULT
April 19, 2007

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT  [February 15, 2007]
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT  [April 19, 2007]

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Chari Daignault
EMAIL: chari.daignault@gmail.com
AGE: 44
LOCATION: Orlando, Florida U.S.A.
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 135 lb (61.20 kg)

I've been an ultra light hiker for 35 years -- I take the bare minimum with me and prefer a pack under or close to five pounds. I've hiked all the Florida State Forest trails in Central Florida and climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan when I was nine. 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. Central Florida affords a lot of sun and rains, with high temperatures and massive humidity. It's a great testing area for clothing, footwear and headgear.


INITIAL REPORT [December 7, 2006]

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website:
www.tilleyendurables.com
MSRP: US$74.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 5.3 oz (150 g)
Available Colors: Khaki with Olive Underbrim
Available Sizes: 6 7/8 - 8+ (US) 6-3/4 - 7-7/8 (UK)
Size Tested: 7 1/8 (US) 7 (UK)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Tilley TM10 arrived in a USPS box and was wrapped in Tilley Endurables packing paper, secured with a Tilley Endurables sticker. There were no other special packing materials or packaging. The hat had retail tags attached and return/exchange instructions along with a return/exchange form enclosed.

As was suggested by the website, I ordered the TM10 one size larger than what I would normally wear. Tilley hats are meant to be worn slightly lower on the head, with the hopeful result of there being more comfort and a better fit. The hat I received fit perfectly and sat above the tops of my ears, just touching them, but not causing them to fold over at all. It was not tight across my temples and sat very lightly on my head.

The TM10 is similar to a wide-brimmed fedora in shape. It's lightweight and the fabric of the brim and top of the crown feel like a soft, cotton canvas material. The brim is stiff around the edges and can be shaped to force the front and back to dip a bit, protecting the eyes and neck from the sun. The top of the crown is formed and stiff, not just a piece of flat material. [Please see the photos for clarification.] The body of the crown is a double-sided, soft mesh. From the outside, the mesh is not see-through. But if you look from inside the hat, you can see through the mesh. The double mesh allows for air flow, but is designed to prevent most rain or outside moisture from entering the hat. Although the mesh feels very soft, the hat's crown holds its shape well. However, the crown can be compacted for packing in a suitcase or backpack. There is an extremely soft headband inside the hat, made from hydrofil which wicks sweat away from the forehead.

IMAGE 1
Top and side of TM10
IMAGE 2
Inside of TM10


There are two wind cords in the TM10. They are similar to regular shoe laces in construction. One cord is meant to go under your chin, while the other around the back of your head, near the base of the skull. The cords tighten by pulling two knots, one on each side of the back wind cord, until the cords fit snuggly.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Inside the TM10 itself, there is a "secret pocket" in the crown. The pocket is secured with a hook-and-loop fastener. Inside the pocket was a small zip-lock baggie that held a 4-page instruction manual on Tilley hats and 8 "brag tags". [The Tilley hats have an interesting history which can be found on the detail page of any of their hats on their website.] Brag tags are small informational pieces of paper which can be removed and given to anyone who expresses an interest in your Tilley hat. [Tilley tradition has it that once a brag tag has been given, the receiver should purchase a drink for the giver.]

Tilley Endurables suggests that you carry your brag tags, ID, hotel key [and anything else that would appropriately fit] in the secret pocket when you travel. There is a large label sewn on to the outside of the secret pocket, on which quite a bit of information is printed with regard to the Tilley TM10 Mesh hat, including washing instructions. There is also a smaller label sewn into the top of the crown, on which the owner can print their name and phone number, in case their hat is lost.

The washing instructions state the hat should be hand or machine washed on the delicate cycle -- frequently. According to Tilley, sweat will permanently discolor the fabric if it is allowed to linger. The hat should be reshaped by hand and allowed to air dry overnight.

TRYING IT OUT

The day my TM10 arrived, I was planning to do some yard work. I wore the TM10 while I mowed, edged and weed-whacked my yard. It was a slightly windy day, but I did not use the wind cords. Although I did sweat, the sweatband in the hat kept sweat from dripping into my eyes.

While rinsing out some planting pots with the water hose, the hose slipped and showered me with water. Afterward, I checked the TM10 and found that the water had beaded across the entire hat. The inside of the hat was dry. I was able to shake the water off the hat, and there appeared to be no water that penetrated the material. Once the water was removed from the outside, the hat did not feel wet.

SUMMARY

On its initial use, the hat did a very good job of keeping the sun off my face and neck. It kept sweat out of my eyes and the fit was very comfortable. It did not interfere with my eyeglasses and was not heavy or in the way while on my head.

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.

Many thanks to Tilley Endurables and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the TM10.


FIELD REPORT [February 15, 2007]

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Locations:
Various locations throughout the Orlando Metro area and a five-night camping trip at Madeira Beach near St. Petersburg, Florida. I've been using the hat to do my weekly yard work, daily gardening chores, around town for various errands and excursions and on several day hikes that ranged from 3 to 5 miles [4.83 km - 8.05 km].

Conditions:
The five-night, six-day camping trip at Madeira Beach was unseasonably cold and wet with high temperatures from 56 to 67 degrees F [13.33 C - 19.44 C] and lows from 39 to 49 degrees F [3.89 C - 9.44 C]. On day one, we had almost a half inch [1.27 cm] of rain. The terrain was sandy and flat, at sea level and on the Gulf of Mexico.

In the Orlando area, temperatures have been averaging around 67 degrees F [13.33 C] with a few glorious days hovering right around 80 degrees F [26.67 C].

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I love this hat. Although it is heavier than other Tilley hats I own, I rarely feel it on my head. It does catch the wind very easily, so the wind cords came in very handy when I was out on a canoe in the intercoastal waters off Madeira Beach. The brim doesn't flip up when wind catches it, but the hat wants to take flight. I did a float test while out on the water by plopping the hat in topside down and found that the TM10 does float very well and was easy to retrieve [yes, I let go of it]. I wore it wet [the inside wasn't too bad] and it dried in a few hours as I sat by the fire at camp.

Upon returning home from the camping trip, I washed the TM10 by hand [it had a slight Madeira Beach-y smell to it] in the sink. I used a little bit of my regular liquid washing detergent, which is dye and perfume-free. After rinsing, I wrung the hat out and hung it from a drying rack by clipping a clothes pin on the front brim and letting it hang to air dry in my laundry room. Before hanging it, I stretched and reshaped the brim to my liking. It was dry within two hours.

The brim is easily shaped to curve down in the front and back, giving the back of my neck complete protection from the sun. The back of the brim is longer than the front, so that also contributes to the sun protection. When wearing my day pack, the back brim of the hat does not interfere at all. My day pack comes to just above the base of my neck, so further testing with a larger, taller pack will be necessary.

When gardening or doing yard work, the hat is very comfortable and allows excellent ventilation on warmer days. The only problem I had was when working in or around trees with low-hanging branches. I found the hat blocked my view of these branches as I moved around and more often than not, the branches would snag the hat and almost remove it from my head. I took this into consideration when hiking in denser underbrush during my day hikes.

While out day hiking, we were caught in a major downpour. Although the hat is not by any means waterproof, it is water resistant. I found that the wonderful air flow allowed by the mesh crown also allows water to enter inside the hat. It takes almost direct, horizontal rain for water to enter, but I did find the sides of my head were damp after the rain storm. To test this, I placed the hat in my kitchen sink and slowly ran water directly onto the outside mesh portion of the crown, keeping an eye on the inside of the hat. Water entered almost immediately. However, this is not indicative of how rain falls [rain does not usually hit at a horizontal angle], and was done only so I could observe how quickly water would enter the crown.

TEST STRATEGY

With the best use for the TM10 being warm, sunny weather, I am looking forward to being able to test it in this manner. The weather here will begin to warm up considerably after the end of February, so I will have plenty of time to stomp around on the trails and out on the town in 80+ degree muggy weather with the sun beating down on me. I do want to further test the ventilation of the crown and see how the brim protects my face and neck during planting time in my garden, in which I'll be hunched over, poking and prodding in the dirt for hours at a time in full sun.

SUMMARY

So far, the Tilley TM10 has performed very well under cold, wet and dry conditions. It has given great protection from the winter sun, kept my head from becoming a sweaty mat of hair and makes me look quite dapper [in my humble opinion].

I haven't found any real problems with the hat and will continue to test its limits.

This concludes the Field Report. The Long Term Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report . Please check back then for further information.


LONG-TERM REPORT [April 19, 2007]

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have worn my Tilley TM10 hat almost daily since receiving it.

Areas I've continued testing the Tilley TM10 are in Orlando, Florida, where we've had very strange and inconsistent weather this Spring. Temperatures have ranged from 42 F [5.6 C] some mornings to 89 F [31.7 C] in the afternoons. We've experienced days with high winds, steady drizzles, and full sun without the hint of a cloud. I've tested the hat in all of these conditions.

I took the hat along on another 5-day, 6-night camping trip to the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa Bay. The weather at that time was chilly, wet and windy. We were on the intercoastal and experienced a lot of rain, salt spray and wind.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I've continued use of the Tilley TM10 on an almost daily basis during day hikes, gardening and yard work around my home. This included a few days with high wind and a steady drizzle. After three mile hikes in those conditions, the hat stayed dry inside and water beaded on the outside. Upon returning home, I just banged the hat against my leg and most of the water came off. I then hung it up in the laundry room to completely dry out. Although I did get some drops on my glasses, for the most part, the hat shielded my face from the rain. It also kept the rain from dripping down the back of my neck into my clothing.

With the strange windy days we've been having, I've had to wear the wind cords quite a bit. Although I can't say I look wonderful with them deployed; I can say they work perfectly. I've found the best way to put the hat on when utilizing the wind cords is to lengthen the front cord, slip it down under my chin, and set the hat back onto my head. I then pull the back wind cord down under the back of my head and then adjust/tighten the cords by pulling the two knots outward on the back wind cord. It's not as difficult as it sounds and the hat really stays on. The method for using the wind cords is mentioned on the Tilley Endurables website and also in the instruction manual included with the TM10.

IMAGE 4
Rather Unflattering Self Portrait


The hat is excellent in the sun. It shields my eyes and most of my face [depending on the angle of the sun] from glare. Although the TM10 has an ultraviolet factor (UPF) of 50+, it is still my recommendation that you wear sunblock as well. I've found that reflected sun from white sand on the trails was able to cause almost as much sunburn as full on sun from above. I now do not forget to wear at least SPF 15 on my neck and face [also under my chin], even when wearing the hat.

The sweatband inside the TM10 works very well with keeping sweat from dripping down into my eyes while hiking and working out in the yard. My head sweats quite a bit during heavy activity in the heat, and the sweat usually pours down my head and into my eyes. The TM10 prevented this, much to my surprise and appreciation.

Gardening with this hat is a pleasure. I can see what I'm doing without the glare of sunlight that would normally spill in along my peripheral vision. It also protects the back of my neck, which would normally be completely exposed while I'm hunched over in the dirt.

I took another week-long camping trip to the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa. We took several hikes up and down the intercoastal during very cold, wet weather. The temps during the day never got up above 66 F [18.9 C]. The hat, although meant for warm weather, actually kept the heat in around the crown and kept my head warm. It also shielded my face from the rain and spray from the wind-whipped bay.

I've washed the hat at least three times in the past two months, and it looks just as great as it did the day it arrived. There is no wear or tear evident, and the color has not faded.

SUMMARY

In summary, I have been very happy with the Tilley TM10. It has performed as promised, and then exceeded expectations. I will continue to use this hat as my main hiking, gardening and yard work hat. It has replaced at least three other hats that now sit on a shelf in my closet.

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

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