“You look like you should be an Orvis guide”, the tourist said to the middle aged bearded man in a Tilley hat several years ago now in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. “As a matter of fact I am”, was his only response. The man was Captain John Hand of Redfish Landing fishing charters out of South Florida (http://www.redfishlanding.com/ ). One of a select few certified master fly fisherman, a man who’s sought ought and caught a multitude of interesting species around the world, and my personal mentor of all things fishing. From Capt. Hand was where I first heard of Tilley hats, he almost always wore one on the water, he spoke very highly of them, and when he gave tips on gear I didn’t take them lightly. I’ve wanted to add a Tilley to my collection since then but it took me a while to get around to it. I suppose I didn’t think I spent enough time fishing to justify the purchase of a relatively expensive hat. I was also young, ignorant, and thought I was tough enough to take a little sunburn. That all changed when I saw the LTM6 Airflo in MultiCam at an outdoor trade show. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one. The reps for Tilley were kind and professional. When they saw my interest they decided to send me one for review.
Upon receiving my hat I immediately realized that Tilley’s attention to detail is unparalled. The hat itself is hand stitched and comes with a nice little owner’s manual booklet tucked into the Velcro secret stash pocket inside the crown of the hat. I personally have never seen a hat as durable or well-made as this one. It’s now my go-to hat for anything I do outdoors when the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The stiff brim is small enough to comfortably navigate crowds with the hat on your head unlike larger straw hats worn for sun protection. It’s also large enough to keep rain out of the eyes, even in torrential downpours. It blocks 98% of the suns harmful UV rays and comes with a UPF 50+ rating. The system of straps integral to the design of the hat can be worn under the chin and behind the head simultaneously to ensure the hat stays in place even in high winds. I took mine out for a spin on my Hayabusa street bike and it remained in place well into triple digit speeds. The overall fit is very comfortable and the hat band is moisture wicking with elastic properties. It will even float if you lose it at sea! Tilley guarantees it for life against damage, and surprisingly ensures it against loss for 2 years. The ventilated crown allows for maximum breathability as is hinted at by the airflow name. This hat is great for warm, humid, temperate, tropical, and desert environments. In MultiCam it is the Ultimate woods and water hat for just about anything outdoors in these areas. It is not well suited to cold environments.
High quality, sturdy, durable, stays in place in high winds, available in multi-cam.
Use restricted to warm-weather areas, high price point.
9 out of 10 bones.