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62310LTR - Tilley Audubon Hat - Hollis Easter

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  • Hollis Easter
    Jan 26, 2010
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      Dear Mark,

      Here's my LTR for the Tilley Audubon Hat. Thanks for monitoring this
      great test--I've really enjoyed it!

      HTML at
      or http://tinyurl.com/y993vwc


      Long-Term Report - 26 January 2010:

      During this period, I wore the Tilley Audubon Hat on six hiking days,
      plus a great many yard work and around-town days. It has become my
      favorite hat, and it usually lives in my car (ready for use at a
      moment's notice).
      Field Conditions:
      Winter at last on Lyon Mountain
      Winter at last on Lyon Mountain
      November 29, 2009: Lyon Mountain and Catamount Mtn

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      35 F (2 C) up to 15 mph (24 kph) 3,820 ft (1,164 m) and 3,168 ft (966

      Two friends and I set out for an early-winter warmup on two northern
      peaks in the Adirondacks. We did a loop climb of the new and old trails
      on Lyon Mountain, for a total distance of approximately 9 miles (15 km).
      We then proceeded to Catamount, a smaller peak that blends hiking and
      scrambling. We made it through the rock chimney and over some exposed
      rock, but we were stymied by verglas on the upper summit. We decided
      that discretion was the better part of valor and, tails between our
      legs, retreated. We'll be back. Total distance on Catamount was
      approximately 4 miles (6 km).
      December 6, 2009: Mount Arab and Mount Morris

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      10 F (-12 C) up to 21 mph (34 kph) 2,545 ft (776 m) and ~3,200 ft
      (~975 m)

      We ran up Mount Arab to warm up for the day's exploration of the disused
      ski slopes on the flanks of Mount Morris, one of the higher peaks in the
      northwestern Adirondacks. Standing on the summit, I looked out at
      Santanoni Peak and remembered the life of my friend, Dan Wills, who had
      died in a plane crash on Santanoni a few weeks before. It felt right to
      honor his memory from a mountaintop. Total distance was about 8 miles
      (13 km).
      December 19, 2009: Cascade and Porter Mountains

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      5 F (-15 C) to -19 F (-29 C) up to 22 mph (35 kph) 4,098 ft (1,249 m)
      and 4,059 ft (1,237 m)

      We celebrated the last weekend before official winter climbing season
      with a trip up some of the easier High Peaks. The temperature on the
      summit was amply cold to furnish icicles in my new beard. We saw lots of
      people and had some gorgeous views! Total distance was around 7 miles
      (11 km).
      December 21, 2009: Ice climbing at Azure Mountain

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      0 F (-18 C) up to 15 mph (24 kph) not relevant

      A friend and I went to scope out the early-season ice on the south
      flanks of Azure Mountain, our favorite local ice-climbing venue.
      Conditions were thin but climbable; we had a great time. Total distance
      was about 2 miles (3 km).
      December 31, 2009: Cross-country skiing at Clarkson University

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      32 F (0 C) none not relevant

      My first day of cross-country skiing in 15 years was a blast, if a
      trifle awkward. We did some moonlit skiing. The Tilley Hat did a great
      job of keeping snow out of my jacket, which was good since I didn't want
      to be all bundled up. We skied about 2 miles (3 km).
      January 1, 2010: Cross-country skiing at Clarkson University

      Temperature: Wind: Elevation:
      32 F (0 C) none not relevant

      Every year, our local outdoors club has a New Year's Gathering to ski or
      snowshoe the trails at Clarkson University. Emboldened by the previous
      evening's skiing, we decided to venture off-trail into the hilly woods
      around the campus. Lots of fun, although some of the terrain was a bit
      too advanced for me.

      The Tilley Audubon Hat did a fantastic job of keeping snow out of my
      shirt. Since we were bushwhacking (skishwhacking?), we dislodged a lot
      of snow onto ourselves, and the Tilley Hat protected me really well. The
      brim is sturdy enough to hold up to a pretty substantial snow load.

      I finally got the chance to try the Audubon in snowy conditions! As
      expected, it does a lovely job of preventing snow from falling down the
      collar of my jacket. The stiff brim helps with this. The hat's Nylamtium
      synthetic fabric also seems to resist wetting through when my body heat
      melts snow on the hat.

      I think my hat fits a bit more tightly than Tilley recommends, but this
      has proven to be an advantage. When bushwhacking, the hat stays on my
      head even when maleficent trees attempt to snatch it from my pate.

      Although the chin strap fits perfectly well, I tend to forget about it.
      When the weather is really windy, I end up leaving the hat in my pack
      (as I did on Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge, a hike that I
      therefore left off the field conditions list).

      Despite its somewhat rough lifestyle, the hat still looks almost brand
      new. There is no damage from being stuck by trees, and the fabric shows
      no signs of abrasion. There are some bend marks from where the brim
      curves over my ears, but no signs of damage. I give the Audubon
      excellent marks for durability. Even though I sweat a great deal while
      hiking, the hat has no odor and shows no salt stains.
      Here's looking at you, kid
      Here's looking at you, kid

      I really like the Tilley Audubon Hat. Although I prefer a wider brim,
      this hat has earned a permanent place on my hat rack. Its construction
      is of impressively high quality, and it has proven to be very durable.
      It fits comfortably, can survive being crumpled up in my pack, and even
      looks good!

      In my book, any hat that feels good, looks good, works well, and lasts a
      long time deserves high marks. The Tilley Audubon delivers.

      Likes: Dislikes:

      * Comfortable fit
      * Light weight
      * Attractive styling
      * Amazing warranty
      * Excellent web site
      * Sheds rain very well
      * Sheds snow very well
      * Survives being crushed and folded

      * Brim narrower than I'd like, which leads to sunburn
      * Fit is a bit hard to specify from online size chart
      * Warmer than I'd prefer

      I thank BackpackGearTest.org and Tilley Endurables for allowing me to
      test the Audubon Hat.
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