Tilley T3 Cotton Duck Hat
Don't be like me...get a T3!
Quality and attention to detail throughout. Buy one excellent hat—instead of a cheap disposable one, every year.
- Tough canvas, high quality thread, cord and brass fittings
- Well constructed
- Time-proven design
- Guaranteed, insured, registered
- Multiple size options available
- Style may not suit some
- This may not be the best model, for your specific needs
- Quality is reflected in the initial purchase price
Even as a younger man, I accepted the need for a hat in the mountains or on the trail. Sun protection reduced the risk of burning, or more serious skin ailments. It reduced fatigue and eye strain. A hat kept your head warmer, or cooled you down when you dunked it in a river, waterfall, or stream. I never packed an outdoor bag which didn't contain at least one hat...but I never, ever, spent proper money on a summer sun hat.
Probably too late in the day, I recently bought a Tilley T3 and I really wish I'd done this 20 years ago. It's a fantastic addition, built with the attention to detail of a product famed for its longevity and guaranteed against manufacturer flaws and material failure.
I prefer the heavier build of a canvas hat, rather than the lighter options, of thinner cotton, hemp, or man-made fibres. I do most of my walking in temperate conditions where ultimate cooling isn't necessary, but shade, sturdiness, and sometimes wind protection, are more important. Tilley use 10-ounce canvas, which holds its shape well and the construction/ stitching reinforces that; if I want the peak down, it stays there.
There are brass grommets, to ventilate the sides of the four-inch crown and side snaps, if you prefer the Aussie style—or are carrying a rifle, perhaps? Tilley also provide a long cotton cord, with which to ensure that the hat is not removed by a sudden wind. You can fasten this under your chin, or behind your head, Canadian Mountie-style. I can't carry off the Mountie thing, with my diminished locks, but the hat would easily attach to my collar, were the chin fastening not so effective. There's a piece of foam in the crown, to aid flotation and the pocket this resides in is also useful to store your fishing licence, phone number, or a couple of ten pound notes.
Tilley suggest you buy a size larger than usual. They believe gravity should be sufficient, to hold their products in the desired place and that comfort is enhanced when your hat is not tightly jammed onto your cranium. I have to agree. My hat is an unobtrusive companion, with room enough for air to circulate, or for the addition of a bandana, or thin, extra warm layer—like a Buff—should that be required.
The T3 is not a waterproof hat, but offers protection from light rain, and the three-inch brim easily deflects rain spots from my Specs. I'm sure the canvas could be treated to make it more rainproof...but I'd probably just wear a different hat, when expecting a downpour.
If this hat has flaws, I've yet to find them. After the pain of the initial purchase price, it's been plain sailing since—or rather, happy hiking. The hat washes easily, and should be returned to the desired shape before air drying. It seems to be getting more comfortable the more I wear it. Long may that continue.
I've been wearing this hat, most days, for the last four months. Temperatures have varied between freezing and 85 degrees, mainly on forest and coastal walks, with a few forays up to 3,000 feet.
When I think of all the bargain basement hats I've worn, destroyed, and discarded over the years, I really regret not having bought a Tilley when they were first imported in the 1980s. Penny wise and pound foolish, as they say...
So don't be like me. Find the right hat for your needs and hand over the money. A Tilley should definitely be on your list of "possibles."
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £52
The best hat you will ever own. And they stand 100% behind their products.
All positive. Awesome product and awesome company.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About $70
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Current Retail: $57.20-$99.00
Historic Range: $39.98-$99.00
Reviewers Paid: $70.00
Rated UPF 50+
Made in Canada
100% cotton duck
153 g / 5.4 oz
Front and Back 2 3/4 in / Sides 2 3/8 in
3 3/4 in