Tilley Hat - To buy or not to buy?

So my old hat, one that I’d gotten many years ago, is getting worn out - several rips in the crown and the fabric on one side of the rim is getting lacerated. It had served me since I began scouting in middle school… time was finally getting the better of it. I tried and failed to find the same brand hat online. It was around this time that I realized that the hat I’d gotten was basically a knock-off Tilley Airflo Ltm6. Well, sort-of: it was actually of pretty good quality, with a nice stiff brim, and lasted surprisingly long, but of course wasn’t the real thing. That’s how I learned about the Tilley hat.

I’ve tried looking for a similar hat, but the hat I ordered just wasn’t the same… the floppy brim in particular irked me. I am very, very tempted to get myself a proper Tilley Ltm6 but at the same time hesitant to spend the money. I’ve also heard that since the company has been sold in 2015 some of the hats have been made in China rather than in Canada as they used to. I know that if I get a Tilley it’ll probably last me a long time, maybe twenty years or more, and that they have a lifetime guarantee. So… what thoughts do y’all have? Have any of you owned a Tilley, and how have they held up in your travels? Any good alternatives for the field?

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I have a Tilley T3. I don’t know how it compares to the Airflo Ltm6, but I found it to be thick and heavy. Got myself a lightweight sun hat and prefer that much better. The brim isn’t completely stiff, but it has enough structure to keep its shape, which works fine for me.

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I prefer a Stetson, but I grew up in Texas. I also like to wear neck buffs or keffiyeh or bandannas for lightweight neck sun protection year round.

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I just now learned from this thread that there may be good hats with air flow that look cute with a brim!?!
can you all post links to your favs?
I usually don’t wear a hat because I have so much hair it pushes the hat off my head, so compatible with a ponytail would be nice…the only way they stay on when I look down is putting my ponytail through it somehow.
Purple or teal in color icing on the cake and would be willing to pay for…

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I tend to get Outdoor Research (OR) hats. I also prefer a hat with a chin strap so it can hang down my back when I don’t want to wear it and won’t blow off in a gust of wind.

I like how Tilly hats look, but I’d be afraid of losing it. The lifetime guarantee used to depend on keeping the receipt forever .

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My current hat is by Swiss Tech:


The brim holds its shape, it has the chin strap that @teellbee mentioned, and those curved side panels provide breathability, which my head requires. As one of the reviews said, the label says L/XL, but it’s more like a men’s M.

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I love my Tilley hat. As for durability, I have had that hat 36+ years.

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I am envious of your hair! Here is a teal hat, but I could not say how it would work with a ponytail.
Brimmed teal hat

Here is a lilac hat.

Swiss Tech is a USA brand?

I don’t know. I did purchase it in the USA though.

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Yeah I really dislike the floppy brims on almost all outdoor brand sunhats. I’m a big fan of about any rigid straw hat, though they don’t last super long if doing regular field work (benefit: usually less than $25), and they don’t travel well.

The more durable Columbia “Packable Hat” has a 4" brim all the way around and is not nearly as floppy as most similar outdoor sunhats, even after in a travel bag/flying.

The brim width on that Tilley hat looks too narrow for good sun protection particularly on the sides, so something to consider unless sun isn’t a huge issue or you’re protecting your face and neck in some other way(s).


inexpensive, very rigid, straw sunhat from I think Marshalls?


inexpensive, only very slightly floppy, pretty durable Columbia Packable Hat

Would love to hear other people’s solutions for highly sun-protective hats that accommodate hair!


prob too floppy, inexpensive hat from Target that accommodates hair, doesn’t protect top of head or neck


DIY bun accommodation, cheap straw hat - you could easily dye it too!

or this might be an option lol

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I wear my hair in one flat braid at my nape, hanging down my back. It’s never caused a problem with hat fit.

but we like to put our hair up - then the hat fights back

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I gave up the fight so I can wear my hat!

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Love my Tilley Airflo Ltm6. The brim will flop in a stiff breeze, but is otherwise fine. I love that it has a strap under the chin and for the back of the head. Keeps the wind from blowing it off of my head. Have not had to take advantage of the lifetime warranty.

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36 years? Now that’s crazy!

How did you take care of it? Has it been through a lot? I tend to beat up my hats a bit… not intentionally though ;-)

I have hair a bit past my shoulders but hate having it on my neck at all in the heat. I used to just wear a baseball cap or visor to shade my eyes and still allow me to have my hair in a pony tail or bun. That didn’t protect me from the sun much though and I often had burnt ears, neck, etc. My wider straw hat shaded better but made the tops of my ears sore and forced me to wear my hair down. I went searching for something else and found they do make some fishing style hats that have a pony tail hole.

Fair warning though the ones I found are the cheap ones from China on Amazon where there are a bunch of different “brands” with made up names, but they are basically all the same thing. Not a real high quality feel and won’t last decades I imagine, but they seemed to meet my needs for now. Light fabric with vents, wider brim all the way round, pony tail hole, elastic band to tighten it up so it isn’t resting on my ears, and a cord to keep it on in wind or hanging on my back.

I got a pack of 3 for $20… yup cheap polyester and not the best looking hat, but functional. I have a spare at home and can keep the other spare in the car. Been wearing my first one about two years now.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09ZVDHZVY

A sun cape might work. The front fits over the bill on your cap, but I’m not sure how the back holds itself up.
https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/accessories-sale-ca/removable-sun-cape-267318

They also make a cap with a built-in cape (which appears to be removable via snaps).
https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/womens/sun-runner-cap-243433

Found this: a sun hat review. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-sun-hat

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But nothing for women with long hair up. It’s Women’s Day in South Africa. Where is our Woman with Long Hair Up hat? Nobody makes one? Market gap …