Dear Mystery Monitor -
Here is the plain text of my IR. HTML version is in the Tests folder at http://tinyurl.com/o8fzypl
As noted earlier, I'm OOP through July 7, so I won't be able to reply to your edits until after that date.
Happy Independence Day, Richard
TILLEY ENDURABLES LT3C SNAP-UP CAMOUFLAGE HAT
Test Report by Richard Lyon
Initial Report June 28, 2013
Long Term Report due late October/early November 2013
PERSONAL DETAILS AND BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
Male, 66 years old
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Email address: montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Bozeman, Montana USA
I'm in my fifth decade of backpacking, most of it now in the Northern Rockies. I do a weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips. I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 13000 ft (1500-4000 m). I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp, but I do my share of forced marches too. Recently I've actively sought ways to reduce my pack load, but often still choose a bit more weight over foregoing camp conveniences I've come to expect. Summer trips often focus on fly-fishing, winter trips on skiing opportunities.
INITIAL REPORT - June 28, 2013
Tilley 2Tilley Endurables now offers a camo hat - the new LT3C Snap-Up Camouflage Hat. It looks quite a bit like many Tilley hats, employing what I'd call an Aussie bush hat look, something reinforced by the ability to snap up one or both sides. This, as the Hat's name implies, can be easily accomplished by attaching a brass female snap on the brim to a corresponding male piece just above the band around the crown. Other features common to its Tilley siblings are a hidden pocket in the top of the crown (see photo), sewn bands on the brim for strength, brass grommets for ventilation on the main piece of the crown, and a stout but soft double chin strap (on this hat, appropriately colored olive drab) that the wearer may adjust by pulling one side or the other. What's new about this hat is its camouflage color, which Tilley calls a "Multi-Camouflage Print" and "traditional camouflage." I'd call it basic forest camo.
Manufacturer: Tilley Endurables. Though based in Canada and justly proud of its Canadian manufacture, on its U.S. website Tilley lists a customer service center just across the border in Orchard Park, New York.
Brim size: listed, Front and Back: 2 3/4" [7 cm] Sides: 2 3/8" [6 cm]; verified accurate
Weight: listed 4.8 ounces [136 g], measured 3.75 oz [106 g]
Crown height, measured: 3.5 in [9 cm]
Includes a four-page Owner's Manual, mine is in English only
Warranty: Lifetime warranty on wearing out plus Tilley's two-year "insured against loss" program
Size: 7 5/8. Available in US hat sizes in quarter-inch [6 mm] increments from 6 7/8 through 8; also, for heads even fatter than mine, "8+"
Fabric: Cordura nylon with water-repellant finish. Said to block 98% of ultraviolet light rays from the sun.
MSRP: $78 USD
Let me confess that I have long liked Tilley hats, having owned several over the years. (One is the subject of an Owner Review on this site.) So my finding that the Camo Hat looks like other Tilleys is intended as a hearty compliment. The brim is right-sized for me - not too large to be floppy, not too narrow as to allow the sun on my nose. Like my other Tilleys, I think it looks sharp too, smart enough to wear on the street as well as in the mountains.
From experience I had no trouble adjusting the chin cords one-handed, tightening for windy conditions or loosening to allow me to push it back partly for ventilation or entirely when not needed. Like its Tilley mates it's said to float (most of the time) thanks to a foam band just inside the band around the bottom of the crown.
One really great feature of the Camo and most other Tilley hats is the manufacturer's use of standard hat sizing rather than a more amorphous Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large. This allows a slightly loose but still firm fit, for maximum ventilation. This relegates, quite properly in my opinion, the chin strap adjustment to fine tuning. (A suggestion to readers whose head size falls between Tilley sizes: buy the larger size and tighten the hat slightly for the desired fit.) As expected, the Camo Hat fit me just right. A fabric band around the inside, just above the brim, and the interior foam band, add to the comfortable fit.
As noted, Tilley makes this hat of Cordura, a fabric found more often on backpacks than clothing in my gear closet. In my experience Cordura is tough stuff. But to my touch the hand of Tilley's Cordura is considerably softer and more flexible that what I consider normal, not the least bit abrasive or stiff. Certainly it's easy to make minor tweaks to the brim to accommodate the angle of the sun. Though only testing (i.e., wearing and storing the Camo Hat in the real world) will prove or disprove this, so far the fabric hasn't exhibited any signs of "memory," steadfastly holding the posture in which I stuffed it into a pack. After an hour's walk in the bright Montana sun at about 85 F (30 C) my head wasn't any warmer than the rest of me, which speaks well of the ventilation system or the fabric's breathability. Tilley rates this fabric only water-resistant, not waterproof, and recommends wearing it under a hood in steady rain.
Tilley 3I'm unduly attentive to sun protection. Fair skin and thinning hair long ago bought me doctor's orders always to wear a hat when outdoors. I've followed those orders faithfully, to the point where headgear is almost second nature. I like the fact that the Camo Hat's fabric is UV-proof (a hangtag says up to 50+ SPF). For the same reasons I applaud the caveat on the same hangtag (and on Tilley's website) that a hat alone, even a Tilley, is never adequate sun protection all by itself. Tilley suggests high-octane sunscreen and sunglasses for "Safe Sun" - best skin and eye protection. I intend to abide those precautions while I'm testing the Camo Hat.
Care instructions mirror those for my other Tilley hats - frequent washing in warm or cool water, either by hand or with a machine's Delicate cycle, using gentle soap (shampoo is suggested) with perhaps a brush on dirty spots, followed by air drying.
My Camo Hat arrived just as I am packing up for a weeklong backpacking trip, so it will begin its paces very shortly. Please check back for results on this and other trips in my Long Term Report, due in four months' time. I look forward to wearing the Camo Hat this summer and thank Tilley Endurables and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.