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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Gear Forum :: Tilley hats? Worth it...?
 
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AtwaterGA
01/07/2021 08:28AM
 
I think they are well worth the money. I buy the original cotton. Wore one out they replaced it for free. My normal hats are straw or fur felt cowboy hats but when on canoe trips it is my tilley.
 
bwcasolo
03/21/2015 05:25AM
 
I do not mean to offend, but they look dorky.
 
carmike
03/21/2015 11:54PM
 
Thanks for all the replies, everyone.


For those who are in the Tilley camp, how do you choose between models? My current hat is a floppy-brimmed nylon Columbia. I usually run warm, so I'm frequently dipping it in the lake to cool off. I've had canvas hats in the past, and I preferred the nylon to the canvas because they seem to keep me cooler. Does the Airflo sound like the best model for me?


Sorry for the questions, but it's an expensive hat, and I hope to get it right the first time. :)
 
yellowcanoe
03/22/2015 06:35AM
 
quote carmike: "Thanks for all the replies, everyone.



For those who are in the Tilley camp, how do you choose between models? My current hat is a floppy-brimmed nylon Columbia. I usually run warm, so I'm frequently dipping it in the lake to cool off. I've had canvas hats in the past, and I preferred the nylon to the canvas because they seem to keep me cooler. Does the Airflo sound like the best model for me?



Sorry for the questions, but it's an expensive hat, and I hope to get it right the first time. :)"



Nylon holds the heat way more than canvas. You can soak the canvas and get the benefit of evaporative cooling.. It takes time for the canvas to soak up some moisture. Probably you are scooping up water in your nylon hat only because nylon is water repelling. It doesnt soak up water.


I have been down the nylon hat path too.. ick.
 
yellowcanoe
03/22/2015 08:03AM
 
I don't look good! My Tilley is 20 years old and the grommets are green..
The hat is used looking.


Not a promenade specimen.. I did have it blow off my head once canoe in the Gulf of Mexico . It was hard to maneuver to retreive it and I am glad it floated all the time..


I am not glad it was mocking me.
 
redoleary
03/22/2015 08:56AM
 
quote carmike: "
My current hat is a floppy-brimmed nylon Columbia.
"



I have an OR hat that is primarily a sun hat and the the brim was a bit floppy, so I took some heavy gage weed whacker "string" to stiffen it up. Just put a tiny slit in the outer edge and feed it all the way around, worked a treat.
 
unshavenman
03/20/2015 01:27PM
 
I recently picked up a Tilley T3 on eBay for a very good price. It will be replacing my baseball cap while in the canoe as I wanted a bit more protection from the rain and sun. It is very well constructed and I highly recommend it. The baseball cap will go on at the campsite.
 
Arkansas Man
03/20/2015 07:44AM
 
I wear mine every time I go north and trip in the BWCA, Also anytime I get on the water at home! Great Hats!


Bruce



 
Thwarted
03/20/2015 07:47AM
 
I have a Columbia with a wide brim but a few washings has taken the shape out of it and now I do not get the coverage I want. I replaced it with a Tilley and love it for the reasons others have stated? I also love the fact that they are made in Toronto, Canada.
BTW...two trips with the Tilley and numerous outings around home. Worth the $.
 
scramble4a5
03/20/2015 08:15AM
 
quote UphillHarry: "I have the this Tilley Airflo model . I have been very pleased with it. It fits well, always holds its shape, sheds the rain surprisingly well, has a very functional chin strap that I use as needed for wind. You can read the 93 reviews at that link on REI's site to see more specifically what other people think of them.


They are more expensive for sure. Last year I bought the REI Paddler's Hat, because it has a wider brim, and was on sale, and somehow just fell into my cart... what could I do? This hat also gets very good reviews. It's also much less expensive. It has some nice features, but I was a little disappointed with the fit compared to the Tilley. The elastic to snug it to my head was just not as comfortable as the Tilley where I can pick my size. And the chin strap was disappointing for me in the wind compared to the Tilley. Still, it's a pretty nice hat. I use it around the house for yard work, but I find I'm reaching for the Tilley and not the REI hat whenever I go paddling."



I have the same model and color. I am fair skinned and need the protection. My Tilley hat kept me dry in a downpour last year on our trip. I wear it at home when fishing a sometimes when playing golf. The vent at the top does keep your head a bit cooler. Worth the money if you ask me.
 
schweady
03/20/2015 09:08PM
 
Not sure I could wear one and keep a straight face.

 
jeroldharter
03/20/2015 11:53PM
 
I guess I will be the contrarian. I have the big white cotton one, I think the T3. It is very well made, floats in water, is relatively easy to clean. The broad brim is good for sun. So what is not to like?


I find it heavy. Perhaps I have a weak neck, but it is much heavier than other lightweight hats. It is stiff. That is nice sometimes but it blows off easily despite its weight which means I am always using the chin strap which I would rather minimize. It is not very compressible. So that is fine if you wear it all the time, but I don't like that for other travel and packing in bags.


Also, the stiff brim makes it unusable under the hood of a rain jacket. If it rains, I like to pull up my hood over a hat but still retain the bill of the hat to keep the rain off my face and sunglasses. With the Tilley, I have to put the hat over the hood and anchor down the chin strap. Not very comfortable and then the hat is soaked. Cotton takes awhile to dry.


If I bought a new one, I would get one of the lighter weight synthetic models. Instead, I bought a wide brim bucket hat from Sunday Afternoons and it suits me well.
 
Captn Tony
03/21/2015 06:46AM
 
Tilley I refuse to spend that kind of $$ on a hat.
Of course I've spent 2X that much looking for a cheap hat that is just as good.
Hat specifications:
rain proof
wide brim to keep rain off of glasses, sun out of eyes, sun off of ears, and sun off of the back my neck
stiff bill so it doesn't cover my eyes when paddling into the wind string to keep it from blowing off my head
heavy enough to keep my head warm when it is cool, cool enough to wear in hot weather
This year I think I found the perfect hat, an Eddy Bower on sale at the outlet mall. Of course I say that every time I get a new cheap hat
Bwcasolo I know they look dorky but about my senior year in high school I decided I would much rather look dorky and be comfortable then look cool and be uncomfortable.
 
tomo
01/14/2021 08:57PM
 
I love my Tilley hat but only wear it on canoeing/backpacking trips as I think just about any wide brimmed hat is somewhat ridiculous. In what universe would a Tilley be fashionable?
 
Longpaddler
03/20/2015 08:22AM
 
I have a Tilley T3...had it since the 1980s. It is part of my canoe gear...when I paddle, I wear it (have some issues w/ sun exposure. It protects me from sun, rain. It keeps it's shape (basically...after all, it is 33 yrs old). Would never paddle w/o it.
 
deerfoot
03/20/2015 04:33PM
 
My brother found one in a backwater on a UP river a few years ago. Took it home and washed it. It is now his favorite tripping hat. Good to hear whomever lost could get it replaced on request.

 
OBX2Kayak
03/20/2015 05:50PM
 
If it's "yuppie" we'll never see certain members of this forum in one. But, yes, they are worth the bucks.
 
kanoes
03/20/2015 05:55PM
 
quote OBX2Kayak: "...we'll never see certain members of this forum in one."
true, me being one of them.
 
Wables
03/19/2015 10:40PM
 
I have an all cloth model that I bought in 1998, and I wear it nearly every time I fish. It has been dipped in many lakes in the BW. I'd buy another just like it if I lost it.
 
OldFingers57
03/20/2015 05:51AM
 
I got one and definitly love it. I have the one that is synthetic and has the mesh up around the top of the hat band. It provides plenty of ventilation and fits great. I used to use another large brimmed hat with no ventilation and my head would get really sweaty the Tilley hat has eliminated most of that. I got mine off of ebay for about 1/2 the price of a new one.
 
Alan Gage
03/20/2015 09:25AM
 
I bought a Tilley quite a few years back not knowing what it was. I needed a wide brimmed hat and it was the only one available where I was looking so I paid the price. I had a hard time bringing myself to actually wear it after finding out what yuppy hats they are. But after (mostly) getting over that I find it's a great hat. I treat mine very poorly, leaving it crumpled up on the floor of my car, and when I want to use it I knock of the worst of the dog hair, push it back into shape, and away we go. Both my dog and I have used it as a barf bag in a pinch while driving and just rinsed it off in the next river. No complaints and it's done better than I expected.


I've had cheaper wide brimmed hats too and the brims never held their shape, especially when wet.


Alan
 
Doughboy12
03/20/2015 10:14AM
 
quote Alan Gage: "...Both my dog and I have used it as a barf bag in a pinch while driving and just rinsed it off in the next river.
Alan"



Now there is a ringing endorsement...lol
 
OBX2Kayak
03/20/2015 07:49PM
 
quote kanoes: "quote OBX2Kayak: "...we'll never see certain members of this forum in one."
true, me being one of them."



Gosh, was I thinking of you? ;-)
 
kanoes
03/20/2015 07:52PM
 
I don't know, were ya? haha
 
mutz
03/20/2015 10:39PM
 
YES
 
Cedarboy
03/20/2015 11:53AM
 
No, army surplus does the same thing, and you can buy 20 army surplus and never run out.
CB
 
Moonpath
03/20/2015 12:27PM
 
Yes, I have 3 and use all of them often. They can be washed and cleaned and hold up very well, provide sun protection, rain protection, and don't blow away in the wind.
 
wetcanoedog
03/20/2015 12:50PM
 
not for the few trips into the BW i would say.if you lived or worked someplace where you needed a good broad brim hat that you would wear almost every day i could see buying one.
hats like that catch the wind,my canoe buddy has one like it and he had to have the cord around his neck most of the time.


this one has a label inside with a story about how the hat was developed for native mail men in India,it made good lunch time reading!
 
mgraber
01/09/2021 01:38PM
 
I tried different hats for years, but finally sprung for a Tilley a few years back and have realized that it is the best and most affordable hat I've ever owned. MUCH cheaper than buying a new hat every few years. Get the Airflow.
 
mgraber
01/09/2021 01:42PM
 
Just noticed that this is an OLD thread!
 
RunningFox
01/09/2021 07:02PM
 
Dorky. Really dorky. Especially so on my round face. But i don’t care enough to stop using it. Very comfortable and keeps the sun at bay. It’s well made and holds its shape amazingly well. Mine is 6 yrs old.
 
Jackfish
01/09/2021 10:33PM
 
Thanks for catching that, Castaway. The post is now deleted.
 
Castaway
01/09/2021 09:15PM
 
Zoefoster, who renewed this 6 year old thread with a post to a website that doesn't sell Tilley hats, is not wearing a Tilley hat or a whole lot of any apparel in her profile picture. Methinks Zoefoster's post is spam and should be deleted by a moderator.
 
Jackfish
03/23/2015 12:13PM
 
quote bwcasolo: "I do not mean to offend, but they look dorky. "
Hey Curt...


Dork...


Dork...


Obviously, the Dork is on the left. :)
 
mastertangler
03/22/2015 07:29AM
 
Tilley hats.......sure I had to get one and it went on exactly 1 trip. Great hat for walking around an art show IMO.


Heavy, hot and doesn't fit under my portage yoke so well. Basically I found it annoying. But you look good right?


I have a sun runner hat which I feel is the ultimate outdoor hat. Thin nylon with mesh side panels it is a baseball hat with a twist..........a light snap on cape which can cover ears and neck for protection from the sun.........but I use the cape on portages when the flies on are the rampage........perfect biting fly solution.


Yes, the sun runner is expensive and will "run" you upwards of $30 clams but I wouldn't think of having a different hat (OR- outdoor research)
 
Frenchy19
03/22/2015 12:19PM
 
I have one that I received as a gift (Airflo) and I really like it. It is green, and If I were to buy one myself, I would get tan instead as the green really heats up on warm days.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
03/22/2015 09:32PM
 

I have A Tilly hemp wide brim (I think they are called TH4). The original color was mocha, but ya can't tell that now. It is faded and sweat stained, but it still holds it's shape. It must be 15 years old. I would buy another if I lost this one. I doubt I will wear it out.


I am not in a fashion show out there. I don't particularly care if I look like a yuppie or a dork (as some of the previous posts say about the hat). I wanted a functional hat with a wide brim and one that would stay on my head. The tie down is excellent and the hat stays on with wind from any direction. My only complaint about the hat was that black flies were getting at my head though the large ventilation holes (grommets). I fixed that by gluing no-see-um screen over the grommets on the inside.
 
OldFingers57
03/22/2015 08:46AM
 
quote carmike: "Thanks for all the replies, everyone.



For those who are in the Tilley camp, how do you choose between models? My current hat is a floppy-brimmed nylon Columbia. I usually run warm, so I'm frequently dipping it in the lake to cool off. I've had canvas hats in the past, and I preferred the nylon to the canvas because they seem to keep me cooler. Does the Airflo sound like the best model for me?



Sorry for the questions, but it's an expensive hat, and I hope to get it right the first time. :)"



Yes I think the Airflo model is the best as it has the most ventilation to it. Most of the other models have some large grommets in the top of the hat for ventilation. I don't care for the hats with the large grommets to them as I had a hat (not a Tilley) that had them and bugs would fly in the grommet holes and get trapped in my hat.
 
onepaddlejunkie
03/19/2015 11:06PM
 
I have three of them. Love their hats
 
Beemer01
03/20/2015 07:21AM
 
Hats need to do several things for me - keep rain and mist off my glasses, keep sun off my neck and be wearable on portages - the Tilly model with the ventilation on the crown does all of this for me very elegantly.


And I've tried about everything else.
 
bwcadan
03/20/2015 07:41AM
 
One trip? not so much as bandana will work too to keep sun off. If regular outdoor tripping, I say get one . My wife even liked hers in a sun situation.
 
Savage Voyageur
03/20/2015 07:39AM
 
I have the Tilly airflo hat and like it. It has a nice strap system that locks it on your head, important on windy days on the water. No more burnt neck and ears for me. Airflo
 
AndySG
03/20/2015 08:54AM
 
quote Longpaddler: "I have a Tilley T3...had it since the 1980s. It is part of my canoe gear...when I paddle, I wear it (have some issues w/ sun exposure. It protects me from sun, rain. It keeps it's shape (basically...after all, it is 33 yrs old). Would never paddle w/o it."
Another fan of the Tilley T3. Great all around tripping hat. The best PLUS is you can order your exact hat size for a perfect fit.


 
Savage Voyageur
03/20/2015 10:16AM
 
quote Doughboy12: "quote Alan Gage: "...Both my dog and I have used it as a barf bag in a pinch while driving and just rinsed it off in the next river.
Alan"




Now there is a ringing endorsement...lol"



I like the endorsement that comes with the hat where an elephant eats the hat and the guy gets it back, washes it and good to go.
 
carmike
03/19/2015 10:08PM
 
I'm thinking about getting a Tilley hat, but they *are* a bit expensive. Are they worth it? What is the benefit of a Tilley compared to the other, much cheaper full-brim hats from, for example, Columbia?

And if you do like Tilley, which model and material is your favorite?
 
thebotanyguy
03/19/2015 11:05PM
 
I don't own one, but I understand that you will not need to purchase another for the rest of your life.


Guaranteed and Insured


It will be replaced if it wears out; insured for 2 years against loss.

 
sweetfancymoses
03/20/2015 05:17AM
 
I have owned one made from hemp for some years. They are very good quality and will be replaced for free if you manage to wear them out. The wide brim hemp is a little floppy in the wind. As always, you get what you pay for.
 
Merlin
03/20/2015 05:23AM
 
I would definitely buy another if I lost mine.
 
UphillHarry
03/20/2015 06:18AM
 
I have the this Tilley Airflo model . I have been very pleased with it. It fits well, always holds its shape, sheds the rain surprisingly well, has a very functional chin strap that I use as needed for wind. You can read the 93 reviews at that link on REI's site to see more specifically what other people think of them.

They are more expensive for sure. Last year I bought the REI Paddler's Hat, because it has a wider brim, and was on sale, and somehow just fell into my cart... what could I do? This hat also gets very good reviews. It's also much less expensive. It has some nice features, but I was a little disappointed with the fit compared to the Tilley. The elastic to snug it to my head was just not as comfortable as the Tilley where I can pick my size. And the chin strap was disappointing for me in the wind compared to the Tilley. Still, it's a pretty nice hat. I use it around the house for yard work, but I find I'm reaching for the Tilley and not the REI hat whenever I go paddling.
 
ktoivola
03/21/2015 09:06AM
 
Get the one with the bug deflector and the screen house...my fav. They truly look ridiculous- but good humor break when you see them on a portage!