Tilley to the Rescue

As Kim and I clamored along the back trail at Ingapirca, heading towards the face carved in the mountain, it became very obvious to me that I had made a dreadful error in judgment. The back trail is optional, and is treacherous and unstable at best. The rambling path and elevated steps at 10,000 feet, were placing me in a very precarious position, especially when the wind picked up. I wore my straw Panama hat and did not want to lose it to a sudden gust. This presented a significant opportunity to injure myself or fall down the steps of the muddy trail. I was traversing this trail in a delicate manner.

 

Face on upper trail at Ingapirca

Face on upper trail at Ingapirca

 

I literally only had one free hand, if I chose not to let the wind abscond with my hat. At that moment I made a decision to investigate additional chapeaus and look into a more suitable headgear for rough terrains. I needed a rugged headpiece with resistance to high winds. In other words, it needed a wind-cord to prevent it from blowing off of my head and it was essential that the hat would provide sufficient protection for the sun, a UPF of 50+. I have experienced skin cancer in my family and do not want heavy sun exposure.

 

T4MO Organic Cotton Airflo

T4MO Organic Cotton Airflo

 

In my opinion, after exhaustive research, I determined there was only one option that fit the bill so to speak. I had to secure a Tilley hat. Tilley Endurables was founded in 1980 by Alex Tilley and began manufacturing adventure clothing in 1984 on a whim. Mr. Tilley was a sailor on lake Ontario and decided he needed a more durable hat to withstand the torrential downpours and high winds that were typical of the lake. He also wanted a very rugged material and desired that if by chance the wind somehow blew it off his head it would float. The result was the Tilley Hat and one that is considered the Rolls Royce of the industry.

 

LTM8 Nylamtium with Mesh

LTM6 Airflo Nylamtium

 

As I was attending the TBEX event in Toronto, I thought this would provide an excellent opportunity to visit one of their block and mortar locations and purchase a hat to wear in extreme and rugged conditions. In addition, TBEX offers a session of Speed Dating, where bloggers sit with potential partners and get to know each other in a brief interlude.  As Tilley was on the list of participants, I extended an invite to meet with them.

 

T4MO Organic Cotton Airflo

T4MO Organic Cotton Airflo

 

Fortunately Tilley accepted and we discussed my niche, brand and Tilley requirements. As I am walking the Camino Frances next spring, I asked advice on which hat was appropriate. Tilley’s Marketing manager suggested the LTM6 Airflo Nylamtium, stating it was a cooler headgear to wear. We agreed on the basics and I have begun a relationship with Tilley that I sincerely value. In addition to the LTM6 I received a T4MO Organic Cotton Airflo hat from Tilley and will be testing both on my upcoming trip to Ecuador in August, to determine which I favor for the Camino walk. Who knows it may be both!

 

LTM8 Nylamtium with Mesh

LTM6 Airflo Nylamtium

 

I received my hats this past week and you know me. I couldn’t wait to get out and test them. I was all over Austin this weekend, hiking and in various environments beginning my testing. I have sincere and positive testimonials from friends and co-horts in the industry in regards to the Tilley durability and the ease that maintenance presents. I can’t wait to get to Ecuador and give the hats a real test with several excursions I have planned. Stay tuned!

 

 

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14 responses to “Tilley to the Rescue”

  1. John says:

    Always nice to “meet” a fellow Tilley “convert”. I have owned an LTM6 AirFlo for several years, and we are inseperable. It has become known as “The Hat”. 8)

    I am looking forward to hearing which material your end up preferring – if either.

    ~ john
    ~ Mountaineer from WV

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      John,
      Thank you mi amigo for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. I have always admired Tilley Hats and I have to stop and pinch myself to see that my partnership with them is real! I am guessing its going to be a seasonal thing, but who knows? I am very “hot” natured and my guess would be the LTM6 Airflo at first blush. I can’t wait to get to Edcuador and put the hats to the test! Saludos!
      Mike

  2. Jess says:

    I like your hats! I’ve been looking for a good one lately – the Alaskan tundra is hard on headgear, and I lost two last year to the 45mph wind gusts.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Jess,
      I apologize, I just noticed your comment. I think that you will find no hardier of a hat than Tilley. They are called the “Rolls Royce” for a reason. They are very tough and can take all kinds of weather. They are also guaranteed for life! Not too many others carry that option. Thanks for stopping by and Safe Travels !!!
      Mike

      • Jess says:

        Oh, I didn’t know about the guarantee. That definitely makes it worth checking out!

        • NOMADICTEXAN says:

          Jess,
          Yep…for life! That’s quite a statement on quality! Now this does not apply to the “Straw” hats” just the other adventure type hats.
          Mike

  3. Freya says:

    Hi Mike I love the hats, great snapshots. I usually hike without a had but I need to chance that it is indeed better to protect your head from the sun. WoW that picture of a face in the rocks on the Ingapirca trail looks awesome, another trail I should hike one day.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Freya,
      You know I am in awe of your adventures and the destinations you have seen. Thank you for the kind words and thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts. The face on the upper trail at Ingapirca will take your breath away! Its awesome! Safe Travels mi amiga! Saludos!
      Mike

  4. Andrea says:

    Looks like a great hat! Especially for a trek

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Andrea,
      They are both great hats and I am very fortunate to have a partnership with Tilley. Looking forward to my escapades in Ecuador and verifying the hats qualities. Thank you for your comment! Safe Travels!!!
      Mike

  5. Will says:

    Hi Mike, great hat! I have never been a hate person but if I had to wear one I would certainly use one of these since they actually allow air flow. Thanks for the info.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Will,
      I am glad you have never been a hate person! These hats are very cool and so far in the Texas heat, not that bad at keeping my head cool! Thanks for your comment!
      Mike

  6. Perfect for someone working or playing in the sun. My husband’s part-time job affords him lot of hot Texas sun. Do you have a manufacturer on these hats? By the way, excellent colors to boot!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Cheryl,
      Make sure he gets the lighter material. They are great and have a lifetime guarantee! Try this website “http://www.tilley.com/”. Thanks for stopping by and I highly recommend the hats!
      Mike

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