RV travel is about seeing new places, experiencing life from a different perspective, taste testing local cuisine, making new friends, experiencing a random moment, and enjoying my good looking and highly functional Tilley hat.
Even though they are supremely endurable I’m the proud owner of four Tilley hats. One of these days I’ll probably add another Tilley to my arsenal for the sake of color variety or just because!
What makes a Tilley hat so great?
Tilley hats are an excellent example of form follows function in that the shape of the hat is primarily based upon its intended purpose or function.
They have a number of features that indicate someone put a lot of thought into the design.
They look great, are comfortable, and pretty much will last your entire lifetime (guaranteed).
Tilley hats are exceptionally well designed and handcrafted in Canada with a dash of style and flair.
Tilley hats are versatile and lightweight, strong and durable, wrinkle-free and packable, and nearly indestructible, although your family dog could prove otherwise.
Tilley’s are designed and engineered for outdoor adventure and are great for RV travel and camping, so you are ready for an unexpected turn on the road ahead.
The label on the inside of every Tilley says a lot: “The finest in all the world. Insured against loss. Guaranteed for life. Replaced free if it ever wears out. It floats, ties on, repels rain, blocks UV rays, won’t shrink and comes with a four-page owner’s manual. Handcrafted with Canadian persnicketiness.” Tilley has a sense of humor and makes an awesome hat.
The label also includes washing instructions: “Machine-wash or hand-wash (cool water). Wash frequently to ensure sweat will not permanently discolor fabric. Reshape and dry (DO NOT machine dry), then re-stretch over knee.”
My two go-to Tilley hats these days are a broad brim style TH4 Hemp and LTM6 Airflow in khaki.
Industrial hemp is an outstanding fiber, useful in textiles, high strength cordage, and papermaking. As a farm crop it is relatively pest-free, does not deplete the soil, and requires little fertilizer.
Tilley’s hemp fabric has a linen-like appearance and feel. The strongest natural fiber it is resistant to mold and mildew, and to salt water. It has a UPF rating of 50+, the maximum UV protection rating given. The tough-as- nails hemp fabric makes up into a truly high performance hat. This is possible because Tilley make the hats very well, of outstanding material, enabling them to offer their lifetime guarantee of replacement if the hat wears out.
Since hemp is a natural fiber the hat tends to fade after a few years of wear—and becomes “uniquely yours as a result.”
The Tilley Airflo version, made from Nylamtium fabric, a strong water-and-mildew resistant nylon, provides lightweight protection from the sun while blocking UV rays and also repels rain.
The polyester mesh around the crown is a distinctive feature that helps air circulate inside the hats, keeping you cool on warm summer days.
What about my other two Tilley hats, you ask? My original Tilley, a 15+ year-old classic cotton hat is in semi-retirement, and my newest Tilley is somewhere in the bowels of our motorhome, location unknown!
There’s one other hat that I wear from time to time, and that’s my Shiner Bock baseball cap, just to remind me that it’s “five o’clock somewhere!”
Tilley Endurables, the Canadian company long recognized as the maker of high quality outdoor hats, was started in 1980 when Alex Tilley needed a good hat for sailing and couldn’t find one, and decided to make one himself. He spared no effort, sought advice from a milliner, sailmaker, and hat maker, and, as he says “got it right”.
Only afterwards, when he saw that he had an outstanding hat, did he decide to sell it through stores. The sale of the original hat, and expansion into a range of hats and travel ware, has benefited from Alex Tilley’s imagination and insistence on outstanding quality.
Address: 60 Gervais Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 1Z6
Phone: (716) 822-3052 or (800) 363-8737 (toll free)
“Why do you always wear a hat?”
” ‘Cause it fits my head.”
—Robert Redford, in The Horse Whisperer