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Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof
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David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/20/2006 17:00:20 MDT Print View

I love my Tilley LT5 hat and wear it whenever there's a chance of rain. The hat does a great job of keeping water off my face (and especially my glasses) and from running down my back.

However, the hat itself is not water resistant. It seems to absorb water to a point and then, once saturated, it drains off any additional water. Once the sun comes back out, I have a heavy, clammy-feeling hat. It will not dry overnight.

Any way I can add some true water resistance to it? I really like the Tilley overall and don't want to switch to another brand (nor do I want to make the hat less breathable if I can avoid it).

Edited by davidw on 06/20/2006 17:00:59 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/20/2006 17:25:57 MDT Print View

You can spray the hat with something like McNett ReviveX to make it water repellant (i.e. water will just bead up and roll off your hat). This is good for a few minutes of heavy downpour -- or longer in light or misty rain.

You can't really make a fabric truly rain proof if it isn't so to begin with. On the other hand, presumably in a true downpour, you will be wearing a hooded rain jacket -- so a rain repellant Tilley is good enough???

Martijn Landzaat
(mlandzaat) - F
Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/21/2006 01:31:44 MDT Print View

I've heard about people using wax to treat they're hats for wet weather.
When you use two coats of Fjallraven Greenlandwax it should be nearly waterproof but also a bit less breathable.

Edited by mlandzaat on 06/21/2006 01:32:28 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/24/2006 21:15:53 MDT Print View

You can make it more water resistant. In a real downpour you could add a plastic grocery sack to the outside, tuck the rest inside and jam your head in to keep the sack on.

I live in my Tilley-- it's great for commuting. I had a Seattle Sombrero but it was too warm in any kind of sun and the brim was useless in the rain. I sold it.

Someone mentioned wax treatments, which would add to the water repellency of the cotton Tilley and add some weight too. I'm suspect of waxing a nylon one. I'd go for one of the DWR treatments as others advised.

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Thanks: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/25/2006 08:04:49 MDT Print View

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I think I'll try the ReviveX option first (I always thought it only restored an existing DWR treatment; I didn't know it could also add DWR to non-treated fabrics).

One of the reasons I like my Tilley so much is that I don't have to ever wear a hood. I really hate hoods -- they're hot and noisy.

Dale, I like you grocery bag idea too. I had earlier tried a shower cap, but it was too small.

Thanks all!!!

Edited by davidw on 06/25/2006 08:06:10 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/25/2006 08:13:05 MDT Print View

Put a shower cap over the crown.

Edited by jshann on 06/25/2006 08:13:45 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/25/2006 12:40:38 MDT Print View

You can buy rain covers made for cowboy and uniform hats.

Something like a wastepaper basket liner would do as well.

I need to continue my pith helmet idea: a formed waterproof plastic or laminate hat with good ventilation and reflective qualities, waterproof, and of course, light weight.

A hat with a suspension will help with ventilation. The sweat band should have a removeable and washable cover. Vents with screens and small cowls over them will let the air in and keep the rain and bugs out. A chin cord/strap will keep the hat on in a breeze. The back of the hat should curl up like a fedora to drain the rainwater off the front rather than onto the back and pack gear. The hat should be white on the outside and green or neutral gray on the inside, at least in the area above hte eyes. The shell should be made of plastic from recycled milk cartons or soda bottles for sustainablilty. A thin vacuum-formed shell would be adequate and light. Molded plastic designs would need to be thin and possibly have reinforcing webs to keep them light and durable. Snaps or Velcro should be added to the back and sides to add a fabric extension to keep sun off the kneck and ears. A waterproof extension could be offered to go over the shoulders and pack.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: Re: Thanks: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/26/2006 01:53:48 MDT Print View

Dale, I like your thinking.

Here's a couple of ideas to add.

White is likely too bright/reflective for your hiking buddies; think about beige/offwhite (may also need less processing in the recycle phase)

Vents- could these be rotatable, so they vent up in the dry (better ventilation) and rotate 180 so they're covered in the wet?

I'd prefer to drain to the back, since I would probably have a jacket on. Draining to the front means I'm continuously walking into a stream of water, straight down my venting zipper. (How about a tube/hole/port, that I can plug a Camelback hose into? No need to filter)

Maybe an adjustable, slightly elastic head band for better fit/comfort.

Sign me up for one of the first preproduction models!!


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Thanks: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 06/26/2006 17:59:06 MDT Print View

Beige may be more marketable too. Nice idea on the rotating vents. My idea was to get it really light and simple to manufacture. Definitely want an adjustable head band. Dunno about the draining-- may have to have a couple models. A symmetrical brim would be easier to make.

I'll pass on the water collection. Might as well have one of those party hats that hold a couple beers. Frat boys don't go hiking :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 06/26/2006 20:01:35 MDT.

L. T.
(Guinness1759) - F
Re: Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 07/04/2006 16:56:44 MDT Print View

Is there something like the Fjallraven Greenlandwax in the US? A Google only shows one online dealer. Thanks.

Edited by Guinness1759 on 07/04/2006 16:58:11 MDT.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Making a Tilley Hat Waterproof on 07/04/2006 20:49:03 MDT Print View

David, after seeing reference on this site to using a wash-in DWR treatment, I tried that for my Tilley LT6. (The LT6 is the same nylon fabric as your LT5 but with a bit wider brim.) So far, I've been pleased with the DWR. It will cause the hat to shed water for a while and is adequate for a day of drizzle or light rain. It doesn't make the hat waterproof. But it does allow for some breathability.