The all-weather Tilley Paddlers Hat, with Schoeller C-Change membrane to control temperature, is great for participating in water pursuits, writes Mike Gormley.
I have been a Tilley Hat wearer for many years now and my original one has been on most of my travels over past years, from trekking in Nepal to trips to Scotland and Scandinavia, as well as on most local outings when appropriate.
My faithful Tilley has appeared in many of my reviews over the years. So, it was with interest that I found out about the Paddler’s Hat variant. The rim of my old Tilley does tend to flop a bit in the breeze so a hat that controls this and has a wider all-round brim to keep out glare from the sun and water would have to be an improvement.
The Paddler’s Hat has a few very relevant features and, as ever with Tilley, it is of good quality materials, workmanship and design. As normal, it is made in Canada. This Paddler’s variant has a broader and stiffer brim than the standard hats, so is also good for those heading to sunny places where there is likely to be a stiff breeze. The materials used are all about protecting the wearer from the sun / UV and the heat, as well as from the wet with a DWR water repellent finish.
The under-brim is a dark green non-reflective material and the side brims can be poppered-up if you wish. There is a very effective, elasticated adjustable hi-viz chin cord, which is essential for water-related activity. This can be ‘stowed’ with the handy loop at the back of the hat. If all this fails and you lose it in a squall, the hat will float. Sizing of hats can be critical, but this is helped significantly with a built-in adjuster at the back which will take up fine tuning adjustment. Again, important if breezy but can be eased off if it is warm and still. Also, to aid comfort the crown of the hat has vents to improve air flow.
Just comparing this one with my old and trusted hat I see how the original is now showing signs of age and use, but has many years of travel to go, I am sure. A final word on durability. Tilley Hats come with a lifetime warranty. My son Bruce did in fact have cause to make use of this. His first hat put in more air, trek and paddle miles than mine ever would. The rim eventually gave up the fight against his sweaty brow. Tilley replaced it without question and he was able to retain his trusted companion for old times sake.
[ images © Mike or Jean Gormley]