I’m just going to state from the top, I’m not the kind of guy that typically spends $90 on a hat. That being said, I am very happy I spent $90 on my Tilly Mashup Airflo.
I had decided a few years back I needed to start wearing a wide brim hat when I’m outside for extended periods. The older I get the more stories I hear about friends dealing with skin cancer issues. My hair is not getting any thicker either. I should have started wearing one earlier.
I had purchased some cheaper hats before my Tilly. They were fine, did the job. But I never got one that I really liked the look of or seemed like it was made very well.
I had heard about the Tilley hat for years. Tilley is a Canadian company and at our summer cottage I would see ads for this hat in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that at the time cost $50. It just seemed ridiculous!
But I knew friends who had them…for years and years. So when I finally got serious I checked out the Tilley at some outdoor stores. Ultimately, a friend had a Tilley Mashup, which he loved. I liked it on him. I liked it on me. I ordered one for both Betsy and I and we have been very happy with our hats ever since. This is the same hat I talked about in my blog Our Best Travel Gear for 2018.
Pros and Cons of the Tilly Mashup Airflo
First it has a nice wide brim. The whole reason I began looking at this style of hat was for protection. The brim of the Tilley Mashup is 3 ¼” on the front and back and 2 ¼” on the sides. It does a great job protecting my face, neck, and ears from direct sunlight.
The material is also rated with a 50+ UPF certification making all that coverage even better.
The “Airflo” mesh band around the top of the hat helps with circulation and keeping you cool when you wear it.
The dual adjustable straps help keep the Tilley Mashup on your head. The cords go under your chin and behind your head to keep the hat secure no matter which way the wind is blowing. They comfortably push up inside the hat when not in use. I don’t use this feature often because mine has a nice tight fit to begin with. But the few times I’ve had to use them they work great.
It is water repellent and I find it quite effective when it rains while we are hiking. Even in a pretty heavy rain it keeps my head relatively dry, and more importantly, it keeps the rain off my face and out of my eyes. I prefer it to the hood of my rain jacket.
A unique feature of the Tilley Mashup is that it is made from a recycled material that uses leftover yarns from other hats in the factory. I like that kind of resourcefulness from this Canadian company.
It crushes down flat for packing purposes and pops back up into shape time after time. I usually pack it as the base layer in my small suitcase when traveling. A great way to pack like a pro!
There is a “secret pocket” inside the top of the hat where you can store some cash or cards if you don’t want to carry a wallet when you are hiking.
It’s a good looking hat and we look good wearing them!
It comes with a lifetime warranty but you are not likely to need it!
Besides a high price tag, the only thing I don’t like about the Tilly Mashup is I wish it were lighter weight. The recycled material that I like conceptually is just a little heavy. The fabric is made of 29% hemp, 28% cotton, 36% polyester, and 7% rayon. The original Airflo is made of 100% nylon and weighs almost ¾ oz. less. If you are looking for a lighter feel, go with the original.
Listen, I know $90 is a lot to spend on a hat. All I can tell you is I’ve had my Tilley Mashup Airflo with me continually for three years. I’ve worn it in the sun, rain, snow, heat, and cold and packed it into my suitcase countless times. There is not a single stitch that has come out or an edge frayed. This is an investment piece and in my opinion it’s worth the price.
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Greg Ball – Greg is co-founder and partner of Euro Travel Coach (ETC), which crafts custom European vacations for independent travelers and leads small group tours to Europe. In his previous life he taught Woodwinds and Jazz at the university level for 30 years. As a professor he took his bands to England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, and England. Since “retiring” he and his wife/ETC co-founder Betsy travel Europe nine months out of the year. Together they have visited over 40 countries and counting! He loves cooking, hiking, listening and playing music, and wine and holds a Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
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