You know, over the past few years I’ve gotten some ribbing about my Tilley Hat. Truly, I have. The, “Nice Hat” comments with a touch of a snicker. And I just don’t get why……I really don’t.
After moving to Prescott I realized something pretty quickly. It’s sunny here. Seriously, blue skies and bright sun are the norm. Blasting winds are also the norm during the Spring, and sometimes they’re just the norm period. Like today, extra windy. Should have broken out the kite.
On a visit to Manzanita Outdoors I spied a Tilley Hat, and I checked the selection out. I knew I’d found my new home, and that I’d be in Arizona for some time. I also knew that the medications I’ve been on an off of the past few years always warn about limiting sun exposure. And there’s a good deal of sun exposure here in AZ. So, I went through the Tilleys and found one that fit me just right. Bought it then and there.
I own other hats as well. The standard “baseball” style cap for instance. I’ve got a few “Life is Good” Hats in my arsenal of head wear. They’re good little hats too. But you know what? They make me insane when I break out my camera. I’m always whacking the bill of the hat into the camera. Then I’ve got to reposition the hat or take it off to really work with my camera. Definitely a nuisance!
With my Tilley hat I don’t have those issues. The brim is flexible. I don’t have to pop the hat off to shoot. Very convenient, very comfy, and I’d say, stylish. Functional too.
Here and there I’ve forgotten sunblock everywhere on me. I’m glad to say the Tilley’s broad brim keeps my neck from getting sun burned. Once after a very long hike I was extremely concerned as I realized somebody forgot the sunblock. But checking myself in the mirror that evening I found my Tilley did a great job protecting me. The few teases about my “signature” hat from friends that day meant nothing. I had noted two severely sunburned necks heading home, and that’s why I’d worried about my own. 🙂
Finally, for those of you out there who are interested, I love the Tilley story. Each hat comes with an Owner’s Manual. If you take the time to read it you’ll find a great story behind a great hat. A person who was dissatisfied with available products sets out to create a product to meet their own needs. That quest leads to the creation of their own unique product that becomes recognized the world over. Talk about an amazing entrepreneurial story! I love those types of stories, it means there are people with can do attitudes still out there.
Oh, and as they point out in the manual, it floats (the hat that is, not the manual). I found that this summer while on Lake Powell. I didn’t put the chin strap on, so I had to turn around several times to recover my floating hat. Gotta start using the strap in high winds………
Why all the waxing on about my hat that “some” people tease me about? Simple…….I got another one this weekend. Manzanita was having a “Big” sale over the weekend, and I received on of their fliers. Nothing jumped out at me on sale. But I walked by the Tilley display and stopped. I’d noticed they were now carrying synthetic material hats as well as the heavy ones. So I checked a synthetic out, tried it on, and liked it. My regular Tilley gets a little too hot when it’s 100 out. Synthetic would be better……..
After trying it on, checking out the ventilation, etc., I bought my new Tilley. It doesn’t replace the old one, it’s just added to needed gear here at the Airstream. Hot days you’ll find me with my new Tilley. Cooler days you’ll find me with my original Tilley. And you can crack little jokes all you want about my Tilleys…….I won’t be kept up all night with a sunburned neck. 🙂
This time I read the whole Tilley Owner’s Manual. Great story. Great product. I expect to keep both my Tilley’s for a very long time. Thanks to those behind the hat. Oh, and one last thing. Way to go on sizing guys! I couldn’t remember my size, but I went through each hat and tried the fit. Too tight, way too tight, too big, way to big……and just right. When I returned home I compared new and old. Both are 7 & 3/8ths. Way to remain consistent! That was extremely impressive to me Tilley!