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Thread: Tilley hat

  1. #1
    Registered User FiftyNine's Avatar
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    Default Tilley hat

    A friend wants to get me a Tilley hat for my hike but I'm not sure how practical they are four the AT. I usually wear a wicking baseball type of hat. Has anybody had any experience wearing one.


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  2. #2

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    I own one because when I went to Big Bend I forgot to pack a baseball cap and my choices were a Tilley hat or a dopey hat that looked like a Gilligan hat but in either pink or blue. However I have never found that style hat to work well with a large backpack. In BB we were doing just day hikes so no problem.
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  3. #3
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    I have used a Tilley hat as my primary outside hat for over 25 years now. They are exceptional.
    - They can be warmer than some hats. But, they shield you from the sun extremely well.
    - They have the best stories hidden inside the top secret compartment. . . they float.
    - They cost a fortune, and are worth every penny if you like them because they pretty much never wear out, and work really well.
    - Read the strap instructions, because, if you follow them, you have a hat that can be held on your head several different ways and holds up to high winds like no other brimmed hat I've ever seen or used.
    - Even though they aren't water proof, I use mine as a rain hat all the time because they still shed most of the water, and I don't mind a damp head, I just don't want rain running down my neck.
    - If your backpack rides really close to the back of your head, then the back brim (the part that protects the back of you neck from the sun), can hit the backpack and be annoying. Instead, you can use a trucker's hat and have the back of your neck fully exposed to the sun. . . hmmm. Which choice?
    - I have spent significant time shopping for Tilley hat alternatives that are cheap or have a different look, or aren't quite as warm in really hot weather. I have consistently failed to find an overall improvement. The brim size is just about perfect for sun protection. The strap system is exceptionally effective at keeping your hat on in all kinds of nasty windy weather. You can beat the crap out of it and it still comes back looking pretty good.

    Accept your Tilley gift. It will keep your head drier in the rain, protect you better from the sun on both days, and look better all at the same time.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I have used a Tilley hat as my primary outside hat for over 25 years now. They are exceptional.
    - They can be warmer than some hats. But, they shield you from the sun extremely well.
    - They have the best stories hidden inside the top secret compartment. . . they float.
    - They cost a fortune, and are worth every penny if you like them because they pretty much never wear out, and work really well.
    - Read the strap instructions, because, if you follow them, you have a hat that can be held on your head several different ways and holds up to high winds like no other brimmed hat I've ever seen or used.
    - Even though they aren't water proof, I use mine as a rain hat all the time because they still shed most of the water, and I don't mind a damp head, I just don't want rain running down my neck.
    - If your backpack rides really close to the back of your head, then the back brim (the part that protects the back of you neck from the sun), can hit the backpack and be annoying. Instead, you can use a trucker's hat and have the back of your neck fully exposed to the sun. . . hmmm. Which choice?
    - I have spent significant time shopping for Tilley hat alternatives that are cheap or have a different look, or aren't quite as warm in really hot weather. I have consistently failed to find an overall improvement. The brim size is just about perfect for sun protection. The strap system is exceptionally effective at keeping your hat on in all kinds of nasty windy weather. You can beat the crap out of it and it still comes back looking pretty good.

    Accept your Tilley gift. It will keep your head drier in the rain, protect you better from the sun on both days, and look better all at the same time.
    All true and more. The Airflo (synthetic fiber) suits me. In winter I wear a Winter Tilley daily. You also get to strike up conversations with other Tilley wearers pretty often.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Registered User Pastor Bryon's Avatar
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    Love my Tilley hat! Great for day hikes, fishing, general outdoors stuff. Not good for hiking, though...bumps up against the pack no matter how you situate it.

  6. #6

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    I have a Tilly Airflo. It is guaranteed for life.
    Last edited by gpburdelljr; 03-02-2017 at 00:30.

  7. #7
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    Accept it with a smile and a grateful Thank You. Someone appreciates you. Tilley hats are often pricey, long wearing, used in the garden harvesting, when guiding a trip, and are always included in my A River Runs Through It fly fishing trips. It is as Nsherry stated.

    As an alternative for the sun that is less hot but much less durable is the open weave straw lifeguard hat. http://www.villagehatshop.com/produc...FUi1wAodplcPLQ You can get knock offs at 1/2 that price. I've worn one on a few sun baked desert hikes and wading/skiff fishing in Florida for bonefish, jacks, pompano, and redfish.

  8. #8

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    I own both a Tiley's Airflo LTM5 and the slightly wider Airflow LTM6 so you can say I voted with my wallet. I use the wider one for desert hiking and the LTm5 for everything else. as the LMT6 is wider, it will more easily hit your backpack if you have a tall pack. The LMT5 being a bit shorter doesn't hit as often. Though I use a pretty small pack that doesn't normally stick above my shoulders unless I use the extension collar to carry a lot of food so I don't have any issues with the hat hitting. Others with larger packs may complain with any wide brim hat. As someone mentioned, the double straps will keep it on your head in the strongest of winds that will have most hats flying off (including baseball caps).

    As for one being needed for the AT, the answer is depends. Are you only hiking after the trees have leafed out? How easy do you burn? Hiking through the green tunnel doesn't really need the extra sun protection, though it can help keep the rain off your face or glasses when you aren't using a rain jacket. Hiking before the trees leaf out or after they have fallen will give you a lot of sun exposure. As will some of the alpine environment in NH and Maine. If you don't burn easy or enjoy using sunscreen, then you don't really need it. I admit to using that ATC's store's AT Logo baseball cap with the vents on it going SOBO until the leaves came off and I noticed I was starting to burn on my face.

    For use on other trails like the PCT and CDT, I'd say definitely yes.


  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Tiley Ouback owner. Happy as a clam.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Currently on the AT and wearing my Tilley every day. Be prepared to cinch it down in the wind though. Almost lost it the other day...

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  11. #11
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I love my Tilley and wear it all the time, tho in the summer I switch to an Outdoor Research ballcap with a removable cape for my neck.
    Ken B
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  12. #12
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    I have had Tilly hats before. They are excellent as stated above. Note that there are several models made with different fabrics and brim sizes. Someone gave me a wide brim canvas hat which I find too wide and heavy (but have used for car camping with success). But the Airflow models mentioned above have a ventilated crown, lightweight synthetic fabric, and narrower brim. These are great for hiking. My problem with the ubiquitous baseball cap style hat is it provides no sun or rain protection for the ears or neck. I know the AT isn't particularly sunny, but I have a very pale complexion and like a single hat that can work for all conditions. I feel a hat with a good brim is pretty much the solution to all weather problems. Too much sun? Wear a hat. Raining? Wear a hat. Too cold? Wear a hat. Also, for warmth, I have a nylon Buff I pull down over my forehead and ears and then put the hat on top of that. It's amazing how that extra layer on your head will warm you up.

  13. #13
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    Highly breathable Legionnaires style hats with removable neck flaps work well in the sun.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...08.4.88.EtqSDA

    http://www.sunprecautions.com/product/48700 I've used this in deserts on hikes.

    Now I prefer a cheap visor which keeps the sun out of eyes, yet is the ultimate in ventilation, and a draped bandana(w/ UV protection) for the neck that tucks in under the visors head strap.

  14. #14
    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    I love my Tilly hat for casual wear. Have never worn it on a hike. When I see a Tilly on the AT my first thought is "dayhiker". Sorry if that offends anyone but I just don't think they are good for a long distance hike.
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

  15. #15
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    'Toiling Tilly' would make for a decent trail name.

  16. #16

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    One vote for the ball cap

  17. #17
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    I love my Tilly and it protects my bald head during the Florida summers and especially when sailing. Unfortunately, the back of the brim hits my backpack so I can't wear it while hiking; otherwise I would.

  18. #18

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    agreed with others. My first was I think a T1 or maybe a T3. i like it ok, but its a canvas one and hot.... and I bought it too small. If you get one make sure it's sized loose!
    My 2nd is one of the airflow models, the LTM6 I think
    agreed brim is too big for this purpose. I love the shade + rain protection though and it's my primary outdoor hat

    they make a hiker model http://www.tilley.com/us_en/men/hats...ikers-hat.html
    but I don't know about it

    I would think one of their smaller brim models might be ideal.... like a T5 maybe?

  19. #19
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    Original T3 Canvas model has been my go to for spring/summer backpacking for a long time. Actually my go to for most anything outdoors in spring/summer. Canvas can get warm in the heat of summer but keeps rain and sun out of my eyes and off my neck and the T3 brim is short enough and floppy enough it has never been an issue with my pack.

  20. #20

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    T5MO Organic Airflo is my daily grab - whether on AT for a week or like today around the back lakes.

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