Tilley Airflo Hat
I have a big head. I mean that literally. I wear a size 8 hat. As a result, I have a hard time finding headgear. One size fits all doesn’t fit me.
I also don’t really like baseball caps. They’re too ordinary. A big fan of Humphrey Bogart, I’ve always had a preference for fedoras.
I’ve also become concerned — like many — about the dangers of skin cancer. My wife had a bout of it a few years back, and I sure don’t want to go through that. I looked at several of the “sun proof” hats that are on the market, but decided that they all looked goofy.
So when I learned about the Tilley hat, I decided to try one. I ordered it through the website, which has explicit instructions for mesuring the size of your head. It’s one of the few hats I own that actually, really fit. As Tilley says, it’s designed to fit low, and loose, held on by gravity, not pressure on your skull.
The Airflo looks a lot like a wider-brimmed, tan fedora. It has a ventilation mesh in the crown that makes it cool to wear, even in the hottest weather. The mesh looks a little goofy close up, but from a few feet away, it just looks like a darker band at the top.
The brim is wide enough to shade your eyes, but not so wide that it gets in the way. And it definitely keeps me from getting my face sunburned. The hat has a UPF rating of 50+.
To keep it on in high winds there are adjustable, “fore and aft” wind cords. I just tuck these up inside the hat and they never get in the way. This thing never blows off my head, but just in case, it has a foam liner in the crown that keeps it afloat if it falls into a water hazard.
Inside the hat is a anti-sweat band. If the thing gets dirty or sweaty, just throw it in the washer. In the inside top is a small secret pocket with room for cash, a credit card, your driver’s license, etc.
Getting a Tilley is less like buying a hat and more like joining a family. Along with the hat, you get a set of eight “brag tags” — little business cards that tell of the virtues of the hat. They’re good for passing out to people who ask about it. (And people WILL ask about it). There’s also a four page “owner’s manual”, and a two year all-perils insurance policy. Its guaranteed for life against wear, shrinking and mildew. If you lose it, they’ll replace it at half price.
I’ll tell you how good this hat is. A fellow member of my golf club saw me wearing it earlier in the season. I let him inspect it and told him about some of the features. A week later he was wearing one. A month later, I saw him and his usual playing partner also wearing one.
It’s infectious. Like the flu, only lots, lots better.