Outdoor Retailer: Tilley Endurables Hats

When the American Association for Nude Recreation holds its annual convention in Oklahoma in August, you can expect members to go clothes-free —with one notable exception.

For the seventh year in a row, Tilley Endurables is the official hat of the nudist event, providing various models of their sun hats to the bare recreationists. So, even when nudists start shedding clothes, they won’t be parting with their Tilleys.

Why Tilley?

David Kappele of Tilley models an Eco-Airflo hat. Kappele has a knack for accurately guessing hat sizes, like he did for this author's 7 3/8" head.

All Tilley Endurables hats are certified UPF 50+. So, you know at least your head will be well protected from the sun. And each sports a secret pocket, handy if you’re not wearing pants. They tie on in the wind, won’t shrink, are crushable/packable and machine washable.

At MSRP’s of $69 to $95, depending on style, a Tilley hat is an investment. Tilley claims to make “the best, most practical outdoor hats in the world,” and their many fans would agree.

The hats are guaranteed for life not to wear out and come with a two-year, all perils 50-percent deductible insurance policy against loss or theft. As the Tilley Guarantee states, “If there is a problem caused by poor workmanship or faulty material, please send your freshly washed garment to us and we’ll replace the garment free — whatever’s fair.”

Tilley debuted several new styles for spring 2010 at Outdoor Retailer, and has a soft shell hat out for winter.


Soft Shell Winter Hat (TW5SS)

Based on their popular TW2 Winter Hat, the Soft Shell Hat uses Schoeller fabric — a 100% nylon face with a bonded polar fleece backing — to keep you dry from the outside (repelling moisture and stains) and dry from the inside (transporting moisture away so it can evaporate).

Available now
MSRP: $85

Eco-Airflo Hats (T4MO and T5MO)

Modeled after Tilley’s popular Airflo hats, the new line of Eco-Airflo hats are made from natural, organic cotton. The T5MO has a medium down-sloping brim, and the T4MO has a wider down-sloping brim. Both have 3/4" mesh at the crown for breathability and will repel rain.

Available: Spring 2010
MSRP: $77
  Outback Hats (TWC4 and TWC5)
The Outback Hats are made from waxed cotton, can be washed and worn, and do not have a “sticky hand” (unlike the traditional waxed cotton fabrics that could only be spot cleaned and were known to “melt” in the sun). The fabric, with its waxed finish, will take on a leather-like appearance. The TWC5 has a medium brim. The TWC4 has a broad brim.

TWC5 Available: September 2009
TWC4 Available: March 2010
MSRP: $74

Airflo Hat LTM2
Tilley’s broadest brim (it’s very broad), now comes in the lighter weight Airflo design. Based on Tilley’s T2 style, this version is lightweight and breathable and will cover you from the sun and repel rain.

Available: Spring 2010
MSRP: $72



Filed under: Outdoor Retailer, Gear News


1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts
July 21, 2009 at 10:42 p.m. (EDT)

I have admired Tilley hats for some time now, I haven't purchased one yet, but I really like the look of the soft shell winter hat.

As far as price, you get what you pay for most of the time, I have had a tilley in my hands before, they do seem very well made.

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
1,684 reviewer rep
4,217 forum posts
July 22, 2009 at 9:01 a.m. (EDT)

I've admired them too, trout. I think I'm ready to buy one. One of the reasons I waited was to see them again and size them in person. I figured if I'm going to invest in a Tilley hat, it better be the right size and the right hat.

Now that I'm sure of my hat size (courtesy of Tilley's very nice David Kappele) I just have to decide which one I want most. As you probably know, they have quite a selection of fabrics, breathability, and brim sizes. For that reason, I think it's nice to see them in person before buying.

Yesterday, I happened to speak with another happy Tilley owner (a father and daughter). I noticed the daughter's hat, commented on how I liked it and how nice it looked, and they told me it was a Tilley and how great it's been. Sounds like one of their ads, but it really happened. That helped seal the deal for me.

0 reviewer rep
1,156 forum posts
July 28, 2009 at 10:16 a.m. (EDT)

I've had an original Tilly for years and it's great for canoe trips and gardening. I do wish they made a version with more mesh (say 2-3x as much) than the air flow hats. I find the original hat to be too hot for Mexican beaches. All this makes me realize my hat needs to meet the washing machine yet again.

Bill S
4,534 reviewer rep
6,031 forum posts
July 28, 2009 at 11:33 a.m. (EDT)


My Tilley has about as much mesh as you can put on a hat without making the brim mesh, too. Take a look at the photo of Barb and me standing next to the hippo pond in my Africa trip writeup (second photo from the bottom of the article). I forget what the name of the model is. Barb's has less mesh, which is ok with her, but I prefer the whole top to be mesh, especially for places like Africa and summer hikes in the Sierra.

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