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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > Tilley TM10 Hat > Russell Curry > Test Report by Russell Curry
Initial Report - December 7, 2006
My hiking experiences began while stationed near the German Alps in the Army in 1966. I have hiked in many countries across the world as well as most states in the US. I hike in all seasons, in temperatures as low as 5 F (-15 C) to as high as 110 F (43 C), in rain, shine and snow and from desert to forest to mountain. My pack weights vary from 25 lbs (11 kg) to 10 lbs (5 kg).
Item: Tilley TM10 Mesh Hat
Weight: Not listed on the website
The Tilley TM10 Mesh Hat is a wide brimmed hat with a mesh crown designed for increased ventilation and protection from the sun. It is water repellent, wind resistant when worn using the wind cords, and floats. There are two adjustable wind cords, one fits under my chin and the other behind my head. The brims are made of 100% cotton duck and are stiff but can be formed to the shape I prefer. The crown is stiff as well, but can be compacted for travel, and even reversed in situations where the inside sweat band has become soaked and needs to dry quickly. The hats have been certified as "having a UPF 50+, the maximum UV protection given". Tilley claims the hat will not shrink. There is a small "secret pocket" built onto the underside of the crown. The headband is a "Hydrofil® Anti-Sweat Band". There is a writable label sewn onto the underside of the crown to record personal information, phone number, etc.
The hat met my expectations for a Tilley hat, well made, comfortable to wear right out of the box and just as described on the Tilley website . The wind cords were expertly tied and easily adjustable. The pocket in the crown held the Owners Manual and the "Brag Tags" in a small plastic bag. The "brag tags" are tear-off cards that contain company information on one side and quotes from happy customers on the other. The plastic zip-lock bag is of the proper size to hold a drivers license, credit card, etc. The Owners Manual contains all of the necessary information required to maintain the hat, how to adjust the wind cords, how the hat should fit, washing and cleaning instructions, notes on how and why the hat floats, the warranty and "insurance". This Tilley hat comes with a "two-year, all perils, 50% deductible insurance policy".
The Tilley TM10 hat right out of the box.
The hat was slightly heavier than what I am used to, but at only 6 oz, (170 g), still plenty light. It felt comfortable on my head for my size of 7˝.
The weight of the hat had me concerned about its flotation abilities. Tilley claims the hat will float, and it does as evidenced above floating in my pond. I submerged the hat to a depth of about 4 feet, (1.2 m), and it did slowly rise back to the top. However, Tilley indicates that "certain types of wave action can sink your hat" and that "waves and rapids may sink it and hold it down for hours". Tilley urges use of the wind cord in situations where the hat could be lost overboard.
The hat does appear to repel water very well. Even after soaking the hat in my pond for a few hours, the water beaded up and ran off as soon as I fished it out. The hat was fairly well soaked after floating in my pond for most of the day. I left it out overnight to air, the next morning it was nice and dry. There were no visible water stains on the hat. Overnight temperature was 30 F (-1 C).
Although not as evident from the outside, the crown appears to be very well ventilated when placed over a light source. I'll have to verify how the ventilation features perform when hiking under a load. The adjustable "wind cords" dangling here are stowed inside the crown when not in use. One cord fits around the back of my head and the other under my chin. They could be removed from the hat in case I need a tourniquet or for other uses. The writable label is visible here and under that is the "secret pocket". The crown on my hat measures 4" (10 cm) in depth, plenty of room for me to carry an extra bandanna, snack, map or other similar item.
I have worn the hat a few times while doing lawn chores and at my local park for my daily hikes. It has done a good job of protecting me from the sun, and so far under these less strenuous conditions has provided me with sufficient ventilation.
I am impressed with the construction of this hat. It has a bit of a flair about it and looks and feels good when on my head. I like the wind cords and the flotation qualities. I like the stiffness of the brim and crown. The little pocket in the crown is handy for my park pass, ID or other similar item. If the hat does get soaked from sweat I can reverse the crown and wear it inside out to allow the sweatband to dry quicker.
Nothing so far
FIELD LOCATIONS & WEATHER
I have worn this hat literally every time I have been outdoors since the Initial Report. This has included doing ordinary chores around the home, as well as 4 hikes. I hiked at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge for two days, three days in the Big Thicket National Preserve, two days on the Wild Azalea Trail in Louisiana, and a three day hike and visit to Galveston, along the Gulf Coast. Weather conditions varied from lows of 50 F to highs of 75 F, (10 C to 24 C). All trails and hikes were on slightly hilly to flat terrain. Elevations were less than 100 ft (30 m). Wind speeds on my hike along Galveston beach reached gusts of 20 mph (32 kmph). My pack weights averaged 12 lbs (5 kg).
The hat has performed exceptionally well on all of my outdoor excursions. The way that Tilley sizes the hat for a loose fit makes it comfortable to wear. I have not developed any sore spots from wearing this hat, nor does it pinch my head. I have not felt it necessary to remove the hat at my rest stops due to any discomfort whatever. I had to use the wind cords on my Galveston hike along the beach, and they performed exactly as described on the Tilley website. The cords held the hat firm to my head, and not once did a gust of wind cause the hat to shift or even to require re-adjustment. I did find it necessary to use both cords in windy conditions in order to keep the hat secured to my head. The brim of the hat held firm in the windy conditions along the beach. I found it easy to adjust the cords, and the cords themselves did not cause me any discomfort under my chin or around the back of my head. The wind cords adjust enough to allow me to wear the hat across my back if desired, held there by the wind cords around my neck. So far during my field trials, the wicking properties of the headband has performed admirably. I can feel the extra ventilation that the mesh crown provides but still have to wipe my brow occasionally when hiking. I do feel that the ventilating qualities of the hat perform better than my other Tilley hats that are not of the mesh variety. The hat has held its shape after being packed in my backpack on my trips. I flattened the crown and tucked the hat in my pack against my pack liner for transport, and have been careful to stow it in a way that minimizes creases. A quick pull on the crown over my knee and a slap against a tree or rock and the hat is back to its original shape. I especially like the firm, wide brim, it certainly saved my eyes and face on my beach hike against the bright sun and sand whipped up by the wind. The brim of the hat has not "deformed" and is still holding its original shape, even after being soaked in my pond, splashed with salt water, and laundered. I have not had the opportunity to test how the hat performs on rainy days.
As for laundering the hat, I followed the washing directions on the tag that came with the hat and washed it in my machine using cold water and a non-bleach detergent. I left it to air overnight and the next day the hat was completely dry. After pulling it over my knee as suggested on the Tilley website to reform the crown, the hat was back to its original shape. The hat cleaned up very well, I have not noticed any sweat stains or stains from the salt spray on my hike along the beach.
This Tilley hat has performed admirably during all of my trials to this point. It is very comfortable to wear and even adds a bit of good looks when I am on the trail hiking or just in town or in my neighborhood. I have had a few comments from strangers asking me where I bought the hat. The hat has so far passed the test for ventilation, wind resistance, comfort and durability.
My plan is to continue to test this hat on longer, more strenuous hikes, in warmer conditions, under heavier pack loads. I have hikes coming in the desert Southwest that should prove or disprove the qualities of this hat. So far, I have no reason to suspect that the hat will not perform as advertised on the Tilley website.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
LONG TERM REPORT
FIELD LOCATIONS & WEATHER
I spent 9 days at Big Bend National Park, hiking on various trails. Terrain consisted of desert conditions, sandy with rocky trails and outcroppings. Temperatures varied from lows of 42 F (6 C) to highs of 94 F (34 C). We had a few windy days with wind gusts up to about 30 mph (48 kmph). Pack weights varied from lows of 8 lbs (3.6 kg) to highs of 28 lbs (13 kg). Elevations varied from 2000 to 7832 ft, (610 to 2387 m). I also continue to wear the hat nearly every day at home when doing chores outside, and on shorter day hikes at my local park or at the beach. Temperatures at home varied from lows of 45 F (7 C) to highs of 90 F (32 C).
LONG TERM PERFORMANCE
I can't say enough about the qualities of this
hat. I had
some hot days in Big Bend on many hikes and the hat came through all of
my hikes with
colors. I experienced virtually no sunburn on my brow or head from my
many of which were in the hottest part of the day when the sun was at
highest. The wide brim protected most of the back of my neck as
well. I was
impressed with the ability of the sweatband to keep my eyes dry during
most parts of the hikes. I always carry a bandana and did find that I
had to use it on occasion to wipe excess perspiration from my brow on
the most strenuous parts of my hikes. On my
hike and climb up Emory Peak, the highest peak in Big Bend, I
experienced some very gusty winds at the top. I had put on both of the
cords when I began to feel the wind as I hiked up the trail. The wind
cords are easy and quick to put on and do not bother me or feel
uncomfortable. It's easy to forget they are there after just a few
gusts as we approached the peak that blew off several unsecured hats of
my fellow hikers, but the
Tilley stayed secure
requiring no adjustments. The others in my group who had unsecured hats
forced to put them in their packs for the scramble up the last part of
the trail to the peak, due to needing both hands to safely scale the
peak. I was able to use the wind cords around my neck to secure
the hat for my scramble and later for my rest and lunch break at the
peak due to the wind being so strong. On the hike up and down
Emory Peak, and on the rest of my hikes, the
stiff brim held firm in the wind, my eyes were sheltered from the
bright sun and
the ventilation qualities of the hat kept me as cool as I could expect
hiking in these desert conditions. On the opposite end of the
spectrum, I experienced a few very cool mornings in Big Bend,
and found the hat did an excellent job of keeping my head warm until
temperatures improved. I did not have the opportunity to test the
hat during a rainstorm to
check its water shedding abilities.
I have laundered the hat twice in my machine following
the directions given on the manual . So far it has cleaned up very
well, there are no stains evident from my field use, and the fit,
finish and color of the hat is the same as when new. I have not
noticed much if any softening of the brim from the washings. Even dirt
the brim that appeared "ground in" from me handling the hat with dirty
hands while gardening washed away. It is easy to pack the hat into my
duffel, luggage or pack. I fold it first and tuck it in against the
sides of the conveyance. A quick knee into the crown and a slap across
my leg is sufficient to restore the hat to its original shape.
I love this hat. It fits well, and is comfortable to
wear on the
trail or around my home when outdoors. I like the stiff brim, the wind
enable me to wear this hat in windy conditions without fear of it
off, the ease with which I can stuff it in my luggage or pack, the
qualities and the protection it gives me in sunny conditions. It
compliments my other two Tilley hats and will definitely be on my short
items to take on any hike or outing in spring, summer or fall.
Special thanks to Tilley Hats and Backpackgeartest for this opportunity.
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