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Mark Richards reviews the Tilley Hikers hat

Written by George Fisher

Image for article Mark Richards reviews the Tilley Hikers hat

As a dedicated fell-walker I’m no different from anyone when it comes to fussiness in choosing purposeful kit, nor am I adverse to matching practicality with style. From the moment I popped the Tilley Hiker’s Hat on my head we became firm friends! In fact so inseparable am I from the hat that my wife claims, but for her intervention, I’d wear it in bed! This is a Tilley classic.

It seems to have magical properties too as I find people are more likely to chat with me when I’m wearing this handsome head-topper, it’s an ice-breaker as well as a rain and sun-beater.

Accepted I am already an unabashed Tilley hat wearer - having owned and worn one for the last eight years. Perhaps the fact that my earliest memories of my dad were of him wearing a Trilby, TV cowboy films consolidated the impression of the value of brimmed hats. But only of more recent years have I really taken the wearing of such hats seriously. Quite simply because a Tilley is genuinely practical, is in no way cumbersome and matches the company’s indestructible boast. It is robust, can take clumsy treatment, whether stuffed haphazardly in a pack or trodden underfoot, it copes and bounces back undeterred. I have not tested it through the crunching jaws of a crocodile or elephant’s digestive system, but hey that’s for another day!

Left: Mark with his Tilley Hikers Hat 

This Tilley is comfortable and comforting rain or shine, the extra wide brim can flap in a strong wind, but no more than many another. One quickly learns to react, valuing the protection it provides, notably removing the glare on a fiercely sunny day. It is remarkably light and gives solid Ultra Violet protection. The hat has a cute Hyperkewl insert with evaporative cooling technology which reduces the temperature inside the hat by an average of 20%. Soak with cold water to moderate the temperature at crown of one’s head on ultra-hot trekking days. For extreme heat, soak then freeze for 20-mins.

As autumn advances and ultimately merges into winter’s icy blast It will be interesting to see at which point my new inseparable companion is replaced by my usual woolly hat or head-hugging fleece cap. ‘Switched on walkers’ know when it’s time to switch. But for now (August) my Tilley Hiker’s Hat reigns supreme.

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