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What about summer hats - Is Tilley still the best? Which model is the best compromise?

I have used a Tilley LTM6 as my travel hat for years, especially for trips to the beach or somewhere I will be outside during mid-day. While I like the hat, the large brim seems out of place in some situations, and not quite as easy to stuff into a small day-pack. So I decided to get a smaller brimmed hat and the LTM5 seemed like a good choice.

But after getting one (actually two) the brim looks smaller in real life than I expected. I will have to give it a try to see if works for me, but I was curious what others feel about different brim sizes on hats? Does a medium sized brim work well enough for your sun protection? Would a person living a century ago have worn something like a Fedora styled hat (medium sized brim) to shade their neck, ears, face? Or was this medium brim a compromise for "city life" to be less obtrusive when around others compared to a larger brimmed hat they would have worn out on the "farm". I still trying to understand things about hats that would have been second nature to someone living 100-200 years ago.

I was curious how others managed their hats in daily life when away from home, basically any situation that the hat is no longer needed like when entering a building or the sun is getting low. Do you just keep wearing it, after all a head makes a good hat rack. :laugh: Or do you stuff it into a messenger bag or day-pack? Maybe I just need a boonie or bucket hat instead of a LTM5/LTM6.
 
I most interested in the feedback on the rambling opening post. But to add more context while researching hats online I found that Tilley is now making some of their hats in China, particularly the LTM5 and LTM6 without lowering the price. While I don't expect any drop in quality, I might have expected some other benefit since made-in-Canada was part of their brand image. I did find some discontinued models at retail including a couple of LTM5. I may send one of LTM5 back, but since these were Canadian made I will probably keep them both, as it will take me months to sort them out to see if I really like them or not. In my search I also discovered the RedHead brand of hats. For better or worse it seems that RedHead has directly copied the LTM6 and offers it at a much lower price. I got this one which is similiar to a Tilley LTM8 but I like the color and mesh material better than the LTM8.

In the photo left-to-right: TMH55 Sand, LTM5 Natural, LTM5 Mid-Blue, RedHead 2-Toned 10-Point Vented Hat.

3Tilley+RedHat-front_20210418.jpg
3Tilley+RedHat-back_20210418.jpg
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Nice collection. I don’t wear hats on a regular basis but am generally interested in your question about hat management. Hat racks are a thing of the past along with coat checks save museums and some restaurants I suppose.
 
I enjoy surf fishing; when I fish, I fish for 8+ hours at a time. For sun protection, I wear a ball cap with a built-in neck flap/cover. This cap is similar to the cap I wear.
 
I've got an oldie but goodie LTM9, full mesh on crown,, same brim at the T5, LTM5... and an original T3, white Duck with green underneath. Both Made in Canada. The LTM9 is my go to summer and travel hat when I need ventilation. The smaller brim does protect me from the intense Colorado sun. The T3, classic, is now my backcountry, always in my pack, and sailing hat. For the record, I will not buy a Tilley made in China. YMMV. Since Tilley sold the company, I unfortunately don't buy from them.
 
I've had several Tilley's over the past few years as well. I've really enjoyed them. For me, they are stylish enough that I feel I can wear them out to the majority of places I visit. While it is certainly not the formal/proper option, I mostly keep the hat on my head whenever I enter an establishment. If I'm sitting for a meal indoors, I'll usually set it in my lap or on a vacant chair if one is available. I do have a hook in my cubicle I can hang it on when I'm at work.
I've always gotten the large brim. My thought is that if that if I'm wearing a brim for sun protection, I want as much as I can get. But if it's just a daily, walk around town/commute hat, I'd imagine a smaller brim could be fine.
My only issue with Tilley has been staining. I have a theory that my staining was made worse by the "stain removal" spray I was using, but haven't been able to validate that yet. If my current hat ends up similarly stained, I'll have to find a lower cost option and plan to replace them more frequently.
 
The 3 and 5 models were always my favourites from Tilley. Unfortunately the quality isn't quite the same since they stopped production in Toronto. Having the factory right there on site with the flagship store kept the standards high ( I used to work for the company years ago, so got to see things being made fresh everyday). I still have a few old T3's and a T5 (also a hemp one), and they are likely to last many more years.
 
Here's a pic of the LTM9, which is the T5 with full mesh and the venerable, classic T3. The T3 is twenty years old and the LTM9 is fifteen or so. They discontinued the LTM9 years ago, maybe folks didn't like the full mesh. I've found it unbelievably well ventilating and have had many compliments over the years. The T3 has saved my butt in many adverse weather conditions. I've worn them a lot, secret is to wash them regularly so the sweat and salt doesn't get into the fabric and stain them. Tilley folks know that washing them only increases longevity. Frankly, I'd like to look for another Canadian made Tilley, maybe on Ebay, in the T5 size, which suits my profile well. The Canadian Tilleys are simply, great hats!

20210420_095456.jpg
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I haven't bought a Tilley, as that's a step too far for me price wise, especially considering they're made in the Far East. I have nothing against buying hats made in China, I have a few of them, but I paid "Made in China" prices, if you know what I mean.

As an example, here's my new summer hat that I got recently, which cost me less than half the price of a Tilley. Probably nearer a third of the price. I haven't checked the tags inside, but the price tag strongly suggested being made over there.

IMG_20210417_233557.jpg

Yes, I know, it doesn't have lifetime warranty, or a secret stash, and probably doesn't float. I'm also not going on safari. I'm sat in my garden, or at a BBQ, or going for an ice cream.

I also have a Brazilian Tarp Hat, which will continue to do a lot of the donkey work of a knockabout summer hat. There's a lot of peace of mind that comes from starting out with a hat that's already wrecked. No moodies from getting that first stain on it.

IMG_20210417_233242.jpg

I might also add a machine washable linen flat cap, or plain cotton bucket hat, for when I want something a little smaller and pocketable.
 
I haven't bought a Tilley, as that's a step too far for me price wise, especially considering they're made in the Far East. I have nothing against buying hats made in China, I have a few of them, but I paid "Made in China" prices, if you know what I mean.

As an example, here's my new summer hat that I got recently, which cost me less than half the price of a Tilley. Probably nearer a third of the price. I haven't checked the tags inside, but the price tag strongly suggested being made over there.

View attachment 1254596

Yes, I know, it doesn't have lifetime warranty, or a secret stash, and probably doesn't float. I'm also not going on safari. I'm sat in my garden, or at a BBQ, or going for an ice cream.

I also have a Brazilian Tarp Hat, which will continue to do a lot of the donkey work of a knockabout summer hat. There's a lot of peace of mind that comes from starting out with a hat that's already wrecked. No moodies from getting that first stain on it.

View attachment 1254600

I might also add a machine washable linen flat cap, or plain cotton bucket hat, for when I want something a little smaller and pocketable.
Love the Tarp hat! The guys in our office who work outside quite a bit swear by Tilley.
 
I still have and wear a Tilley that I bought in 1999. I think the number 6. A wide brim anyway. It gets washed ever once in a while, not counting when it gets soaked in the rain. After 20 + years I no longer worry about keeping it pristine
 

SharpieB

Contributor
I swear by the LTM3 Airflow. Great hat and amazing warranty.

A Tilley is my vacation and summer hat. My first one went all over the world and finally wore out last summer after almost 20 years. I sent a pic to Tilley and they sent me a replacement for free.
 
I enjoy surf fishing; when I fish, I fish for 8+ hours at a time. For sun protection, I wear a ball cap with a built-in neck flap/cover. This cap is similar to the cap I wear.
I have been considering something like that, or a boonie with a similar feature. When out at the water the sun can be fierce and I did get a neck gaiter for that situation. I have only used the gaiter once and I don't know if I like keeping up with it, as it not usually needed and will often get left behind. A roll down flap would always be there, so I should give this style more consideration.

I've got an oldie but goodie LTM9, full mesh on crown,, same brim at the T5, LTM5... and an original T3, white Duck with green underneath. Both Made in Canada. The LTM9 is my go to summer and travel hat when I need ventilation. The smaller brim does protect me from the intense Colorado sun. The T3, classic, is now my backcountry, always in my pack, and sailing hat. For the record, I will not buy a Tilley made in China. YMMV. Since Tilley sold the company, I unfortunately don't buy from them.
Good to hear that the T5 & T3 styles are working well for you. This is what I am also hoping for myself.

When I try to imagine how much protection is being provided is when I though perhaps medium brim would be enough, since the middle ~4 hours of the day when the sun is overhead and most intense the hat should provide near complete shade. But that also depends on the season and latitude.

I've had several Tilley's over the past few years as well. I've really enjoyed them. For me, they are stylish enough that I feel I can wear them out to the majority of places I visit. While it is certainly not the formal/proper option, I mostly keep the hat on my head whenever I enter an establishment. If I'm sitting for a meal indoors, I'll usually set it in my lap or on a vacant chair if one is available. I do have a hook in my cubicle I can hang it on when I'm at work.
I've always gotten the large brim. My thought is that if that if I'm wearing a brim for sun protection, I want as much as I can get. But if it's just a daily, walk around town/commute hat, I'd imagine a smaller brim could be fine.
My only issue with Tilley has been staining. I have a theory that my staining was made worse by the "stain removal" spray I was using, but haven't been able to validate that yet. If my current hat ends up similarly stained, I'll have to find a lower cost option and plan to replace them more frequently.
That had been my feeling also, that if one is going to the trouble of wearing a hat, why not wear one a bit larger. Though having some protection is better than none. I noticed a couple of stains on my LTM6 this past weekend. Ones that I expect will come clean the next time I wash it. One time it got placed on top of an empty spaghetti plate, luckily there was no permanent stain.

The 3 and 5 models were always my favourites from Tilley. Unfortunately the quality isn't quite the same since they stopped production in Toronto. Having the factory right there on site with the flagship store kept the standards high ( I used to work for the company years ago, so got to see things being made fresh everyday). I still have a few old T3's and a T5 (also a hemp one), and they are likely to last many more years.
Have they stopped all production there? Looking at their website, I got the impression that only a few models have been switched. But maybe it is just the beginning of the end and all production will be moved out of Canada. :sad: Besides moving production overseas I do not care for their decision to add exterior labels.

Luckily the ones I just bought were old stock and made in Canada which was a factor in buying all three. I went to REI to check out the LTM5 in person (I think they had the one made from Hemp) and that is where I discovered the Mashup-55 hat on clearance. Later I found the airflow models online as older stock.

Here's a pic of the LTM9, which is the T5 with full mesh and the venerable, classic T3. The T3 is twenty years old and the LTM9 is fifteen or so. They discontinued the LTM9 years ago, maybe folks didn't like the full mesh. I've found it unbelievably well ventilating and have had many compliments over the years. The T3 has saved my butt in many adverse weather conditions. I've worn them a lot, secret is to wash them regularly so the sweat and salt doesn't get into the fabric and stain them. Tilley folks know that washing them only increases longevity. Frankly, I'd like to look for another Canadian made Tilley, maybe on Ebay, in the T5 size, which suits my profile well. The Canadian Tilleys are simply, great hats!

View attachment 1254373
Nice hats, especially since they have lasted this long and still look great.

I haven't bought a Tilley, as that's a step too far for me price wise, especially considering they're made in the Far East. I have nothing against buying hats made in China, I have a few of them, but I paid "Made in China" prices, if you know what I mean.

As an example, here's my new summer hat that I got recently, which cost me less than half the price of a Tilley. Probably nearer a third of the price. I haven't checked the tags inside, but the price tag strongly suggested being made over there.

View attachment 1254596

Yes, I know, it doesn't have lifetime warranty, or a secret stash, and probably doesn't float. I'm also not going on safari. I'm sat in my garden, or at a BBQ, or going for an ice cream.

I also have a Brazilian Tarp Hat, which will continue to do a lot of the donkey work of a knockabout summer hat. There's a lot of peace of mind that comes from starting out with a hat that's already wrecked. No moodies from getting that first stain on it.

View attachment 1254600

I might also add a machine washable linen flat cap, or plain cotton bucket hat, for when I want something a little smaller and pocketable.
I was admiring your Brazilian Tarp Hat before. How it looks rugged and has an almost-don't-care attitude about stains.

I still have and wear a Tilley that I bought in 1999. I think the number 6. A wide brim anyway. It gets washed ever once in a while, not counting when it gets soaked in the rain. After 20 + years I no longer worry about keeping it pristine
Nice, that is the one I have but not nearly that long. Did you ever find the need to Scotchgard or add any water repellent spray to your hat over the years?
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I enjoy surf fishing; when I fish, I fish for 8+ hours at a time. For sun protection, I wear a ball cap with a built-in neck flap/cover. This cap is similar to the cap I wear.
I bought a Tilley like that years ago. Ugly as original sin, but I wear it when I'm on my mower going around in circles. Wonder if they still make it?
 
I swear by the LTM3 Airflow. Great hat and amazing warranty.

A Tilley is my vacation and summer hat. My first one went all over the world and finally wore out last summer after almost 20 years. I sent a pic to Tilley and they sent me a replacement for free.
That is a great guarantee and service. I think (I have not tried to confirm yet) that the guarantee is now prorated??? or maybe it is the loss guarantee which was being reduced.

My original Tilley hat included instructions for registering and mentioning that it had a lifetime guarantee and would be replaced if ever lost. I imagine some people were abusing such a liberal policy. The hats I just bought did not come with the instruction booklet like before. One had the older style label indicating that it was Insured Against Loss and was Guaranteed For Life (replaced free if it ever wears out). The other two had newer labels with only Guaranteed For Life. Which implies that it is no longer for free???
Tilley-LTM5-Natural-interior-label_20210418.jpg Tilley-LTM5-Mid-Blue-interior-label_20210418.jpg
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I've got an oldie but goodie LTM9, full mesh on crown,, same brim at the T5, LTM5... and an original T3, white Duck with green underneath. Both Made in Canada. The LTM9 is my go to summer and travel hat when I need ventilation. The smaller brim does protect me from the intense Colorado sun. The T3, classic, is now my backcountry, always in my pack, and sailing hat. For the record, I will not buy a Tilley made in China. YMMV. Since Tilley sold the company, I unfortunately don't buy from them.
This thread was the first I'd heard of Tilley making hats in China. Very sad. I have several Tilley's, actually lost count. Even bought a used winter hat with the fold down ear and forehead warmers.

That winter hat helped me split lots of wood over the years...

I guess it'll be off to the 'Bay to search for more old "made in Canadia" Tilley products! I even had pants and a Sports Coat from Tilley! That coat I "grew" out of, but I have NEVER had a finer article of clothing in my life. The pants were superb as well. Unfortunately, I no longer have a 30" waist!
 

SharpieB

Contributor
That is a great guarantee and service. I think (I have not tried to confirm yet) that the guarantee is now prorated??? or maybe it is the loss guarantee which was being reduced.

My original Tilley hat included instructions for registering and mentioning that it had a lifetime guarantee and would be replaced if ever lost. I imagine some people were abusing such a liberal policy. The hats I just bought did not come with the instruction booklet like before. One had the older style label indicating that it was Insured Against Loss and was Guaranteed For Life (replaced free if it ever wears out). The other two had newer labels with only Guaranteed For Life. Which implies that it is no longer for free???
View attachment 1254671 View attachment 1254672
No idea, but my hat was the same as yours on the left. The loss warranty is something I know nothing about either. If it wears out like mine, they will replace it, but why would they trust people who “list” a hat? That is a weird one.
 
I have a Henschel hat with a solid brim and mesh top that I wear when visiting desert places. Most of their models fold flat for packing. Lots of models to choose from, made in the USA. "Aussie Breezer" is the model I have, shown below.

Henschel Hat Company | Catalog | Summer | USA - https://henschelhats.com/catalogs/


 
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FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
That is a great guarantee and service. I think (I have not tried to confirm yet) that the guarantee is now prorated??? or maybe it is the loss guarantee which was being reduced.

My original Tilley hat included instructions for registering and mentioning that it had a lifetime guarantee and would be replaced if ever lost. I imagine some people were abusing such a liberal policy. The hats I just bought did not come with the instruction booklet like before. One had the older style label indicating that it was Insured Against Loss and was Guaranteed For Life (replaced free if it ever wears out). The other two had newer labels with only Guaranteed For Life. Which implies that it is no longer for free???
View attachment 1254671 View attachment 1254672
The War Department has been after me to clean out my sock drawer. Last week I found a couple of the garauntee paperwerk, lol. Ain't that where they told you to store it in the directions?

Tilley hats were the first hat besides a ball cap that I didn't feel self-conscious about. Just a phenomenally flattering hat; always draw compliments!

My favorite "brag tag" was the one from the man that had an elephant snatch his hat, eat it, pass it through it's digestive tract, TWICE I believe, and he still wore it!

That is why I never joined the circus, though my family did try to sell me to Gypsies once! True story doggone!
 
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