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Tilley Hat-Mesh or Not?
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Richard Lottes
(longs91peak) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Tilley Hat-Mesh or Not? on 09/10/2006 19:13:11 MDT Print View

I see Tilley hats recommended here at BPL. Unfortunately, local retailers have a very limited selection and I'll need to order one sight unseen.

I've seen LT series referenced in general and LT5 specifically. I also see a LTM Airflo series on Tilley's website with a small mesh ventilation band just below top of the crown. While the Airflo version looks cooler, it may create a problem in rain.

What model should I buy sight unseen?


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tilley Hat-Mesh or Not? on 09/10/2006 20:01:43 MDT Print View

Can man survive with but one Tilley? Oh, the horror....

The LT5 is a good all-round hat. The Airflo would be good if you are in the southern US or tropics.

Do be careful wearing it in female company-- the effects of a man in a dashing hat are not for the faint of heart!

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Tilley Hat-Mesh or Not? on 09/11/2006 10:08:49 MDT Print View

Richard... don't buy any Tilley sight unseen. You are bound to get an improper fit. They are made by hand and as such the sizing can be unpredicible. I've tried on two Tilleys at a store that claimed to be the same size and they fit quite differently. If you must buy online, but a size bigger. A little big is MUCH better than too small.

Personally... I tried Tilley's and didn't care for them. I have an LTM5 sitting at home that I paid a small forture for and almost never used. I use a Henchel Breezer and I LOVE it. It's a third the price of a Tilley, much cooler (i.e. breezy... it's almost all mesh) and about the same weight. I LOVE it. I bought mine locally at a Lee Valley Tools store. It works fine in the rain... although I've never had it in a downpour. The mesh is pretty fine and breaks up the drops... and I just throw my O2 Rainshield hood on over it anyway.

Here's a high res shot of me wearing my Breezer

And another shot

Edited by davidlewis on 09/11/2006 10:19:11 MDT.

Ralph Netta
(ralphnetta) - F

Locale: Central New Jersey
Tilley Hats on 09/11/2006 13:52:19 MDT Print View

I've owned my tilley for many years and have used it for hiking, canoeing and just around town. It's great, made well, stylish and wears like iron. Oh, did I mention it's great in the rain? Yes they cost more - but their well worth it and available in many styles to satisfy all...even my wife.

Eric Lavering
(lave) - F

Locale: Western Montana
Re: Tilley Hat-Mesh or Not? on 09/11/2006 15:15:35 MDT Print View

Hi Richard,
I've never worn a standard LT Tilley, but I'm really happy with my mesh version (LTM6). I went with the airflo because I work up a fearsome sweat in no time flat, and while the mesh doesn't keep me "cool", it does let in some nice breezes. As far as rain is concerned, I rarely use my jacket's hood anymore unless it's really pouring. The mesh does let in some water, but just enough to keep me cool while walking.

Two things to consider, though:

1) Don't go nuts and cut off the hood of your rain jacket just yet. The Airflo hat is great in most all conditions while moving, but when standing in the rain around camp you're still going to want more serious protection from the elements.

2) I agree with the previous poster that you probably shouldn't buy one without trying it on. I had to try three different hats before I found mine.

Richard Lottes
(longs91peak) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Wow on 09/11/2006 18:41:35 MDT Print View

Dale, I had no idea how deprived I am without at least one Tilley and how my social life can improve with one-my BPL membership pays dividends again!

It would not have occurred to me not to trust the sizing chart because of variability in manufacturing.

It's good to know that the LTM works well in all but a downpour.

David, I'm in Northern Colorado and have not heard of a Lee Valley Tool Store, but will look for a Henchel to compare with Tilleys.

Guess I need to make a trip to Denver to look for a bigger selection!

Thanks to all for your comments.

L. T.
(Guinness1759) - F
Bought a Henschel Breezer on 09/12/2006 15:06:40 MDT Print View

I bought a Henschel Breezer based on Dave Lewis's report. I really like it. I wore it in the rain everyday in the San Juan's of CO. I used a showercap over the mesh part in the really heavy rain. My hat is a little different from the one worn in the pics. It has a mesh crown and cotton twill brim. A pleasant surprise was how fast it dried. I did waterproof the heck out of the hat before using..Long story short, I am happy with my Breezer.

Edited-I forgot to mention that I picked up my Breezer from for 19.97 plus shipping.

Edited by Guinness1759 on 09/14/2006 06:32:33 MDT.

Dylan Skola
(phageghost) - F

Locale: Southern California
Breezers on 09/12/2006 23:22:15 MDT Print View

I too bought a Breezer based on David's report, and I have to say it's _much_ cooler than my Tilley LTM6 on my sweaty head. It doesn't fit quite as low on the head as the Tilley, so is not quite as stable, and I haven't had it in the rain, but so far I am quite pleased with it for hot (or just warm) weather hiking.

My only nitpick is that when cinching the chinstrap, the crown indent easily "pops" out the the other way, which is creasing the crown up pretty good. I just have to be careful to cinch it down gently.

David posted a link on a previous thread to the Lee Valley Tools website, which is where I got mine (for 1/3 the price of my Tilley, natch).

Here's that link again:,42407,33245

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Breezers on 09/13/2006 07:33:59 MDT Print View

Regarding the breezer, for guys that are losing their hair on top I am not sure even that small mesh is really safe for their scalp skin. Thoughts?

Edited by jshann on 09/13/2006 07:34:36 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Breezers on 09/13/2006 10:12:05 MDT Print View

John... the top of the had is solid. The sides (and on mine, the brim) are mesh. Also, in the first shot of me wearing the hat (posted above) you can see the kind of shadow the brim is casting on my face. Not that it's not something to think about... but personally... I think it's ok.

Edited by davidlewis on 09/13/2006 10:14:49 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Wow on 09/13/2006 10:17:24 MDT Print View

Richard: Lee Valley Tools is a Canadian store that sells TONS of cool stuff you can't find anywhere else. I imagine you can find Breezers around though. Henschel is an American company afterall...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Breezers on 09/13/2006 10:54:54 MDT Print View

Yep, I gotta think about those things being follicularly (and melanocytically) challenged and all. I forgot to mention, I burned through the mesh of an LTM3....not bad, but it happened. I do like that hat though : ).

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Re: Tilley Hats on 09/13/2006 21:58:49 MDT Print View

I have the LT5 and the TH4. The LT5 is lighter, more water resistant naturally, but it has a much smaller brim. I like the TH4 much better because of the wider brim and its headband is more absorbent. Following their sizing method of using a tape measure has provided 2 well fitting hats for me. Tilley also guarantees their product, size, color, workmanship, and even loss. They wash well (remember to take out the plastic crown insert) and air dry fairly quickly. I have purchased other hats, but my TH4 is the one most worn.

Edited by mikes on 09/13/2006 22:00:22 MDT.