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Rain hats???

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Rain hats???

Postby JayTrek » Sat May 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Any of you guys have recommendations on a good rain hat?
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Squire » Sat May 10, 2014 7:13 pm

Jason I tried a few during my pheasant hunting days and the waxed cotton Filson types worked best. I wouldn't depend on anything for more than a temporary reprieve though, especially if the wind is up.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Kyle76 » Sun May 11, 2014 5:15 am

I usually look to English brands like Barbour for stylish, well-made, casual solutions to rain. The British have done this well for a long time because climate required it. Filson is a great American alternative. Seek out retailers specializing in British country wear.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Rufus » Sun May 11, 2014 5:33 am

Recently I bought an LL Bean Gore-Tex Crusher Hat in the dark mushroom colour. It rolls up to fit in your pocket. What I like most about it is that it's Gore-text which really works to keep the wet out and still lets your head breath. Also, Gore-Tex truly stands behind their lifetime guarantee: last year I found that a Gore-Tex rain jacket I'd had for 23 years started to wet-out across the shoulders. I called Gore-Tex to determine if this problem could be repaired or if I should replace the jacket and matching pants; after all the jacket was 23 years old. Gore-Tex had me send the jacket and pants to their Canadian distributor for assessment. Shortly thereafter I received a call fromGore-Tex telling me that the Gore-text membrane was faulty and that I should find a Gore-Tex jacket and pants to my liking and provide them with the details and they would source and ship them to me...no strings attached and no limit on the cost. I could hardly believe it; after all the jacket and pants were 23 years old. I'm now the owner of a sparkling new Gore-Tex rain outfit. The other plus is that LL Bean stands firmly behind what they sell and over the 25 years I've been buying from Bean I've found their customer service to be outstanding and their products to be top-notch and fairly priced. The price of the hat is US $39.95 and shipping is free in the USA and Canada. I can't say enough good things about Gore-Tex and LL Bean; they are the gold standard of service and quality.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Kyle76 » Sun May 11, 2014 10:52 am

Bryan, that's serious customer service!
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby jww » Sun May 11, 2014 1:03 pm

My Tilley T4 is most reliable in the rain. In torrential downpours it can admittedly become water logger, but I have yet to find a hat that performs as well in all conditions. They do so many versions now as well.

The LLBean Gore-text anything is also a great solution if you are after a modern technical fabric as is their Tek2 product. Waxed cotton is fabulous, but doesn't breath too well. It does look fabulous and performs well, just don't expect to use it when you are really active though.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Thalay Sagar » Sun May 11, 2014 7:39 pm

Just on performance, Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby JayTrek » Sun May 11, 2014 8:55 pm

Gentlemen...thanks for the recommendations. You have all given me good products to research.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby brothers » Sun May 11, 2014 9:04 pm

I am intrigued by our differences in attire, dictated by the diverse regions in which we live. Here, rain is so rare these days, we might need an umbrella to get from the car to the office or the house, but as far as I know, back to the limits of my conscious memory, the only rain headgear that comes to mind was when in school, first and second grade or thereabouts, most of us children at school would have had one of those yellow raincoats that came with a hooded affair that matched the raincoat. I think that was a carryover from another place and time. Anyway, nobody here has or wears hats specifically for the purpose of dealing with rain. Squire mentioned hunting, and maybe there are task-specific hunting hats available for those purposes, I just aren't aware of them. I'm not aware of lots of stuff.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun May 11, 2014 10:23 pm

Well, it all depends.

I like my Tilley hats and they work with no applied waterproofing... at least for a time. I can always spray them and get more. I have yet to do so. I absolutely love my wide brim Tilleys.

But around the homestead I wear "booney" hats and I do spray them with waterproofing. They work fine, but the waterproofing requires reapplication after washing.

If I was going to be in serious rainfall I'd want goretex. I have goretex outer clothing and even in a hurricane it'll keep me dry. Seriously! BTDT. It isn't inexpensive, but it's fantastic, and it lasts for years. When serious rain hits I ditch the hats and just use the hood with built in "tunnel" on the goretex rain jacket.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby jww » Mon May 12, 2014 6:32 am

brothers wrote:... the only rain headgear that comes to mind was when in school, first and second grade or thereabouts, most of us children at school would have had one of those yellow raincoats that came with a hooded affair that matched the raincoat. I think that was a carryover from another place and time. ...

Gary -- those old cotton-backed rubber coats with the balaclava-with-the-duck-bill-rim hoods were the de riguer it seems during the 50s, 60s and even into the 70s. None of our children wore them growing up --- the rubber was simply too doggone hot. "Spash-suits" were the rage for our three when they were little, providing little protection from pure downfalls, but were quite good on those misty and light rain days. All pre GoreTex days, of course.

Now with so many GoreTex-like products are reasonable prices, there are plenty of options for water-proof clothing which are so much lighter and activity-friendly as a result.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Squire » Mon May 12, 2014 1:09 pm

Nothing beats a Barbour jacket but I don't depend on headgear to do anything but keep rain out of my eyes.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby jww » Mon May 12, 2014 2:06 pm

Barbour makes a great coat -- the classic waxed cotton with them big 'ole brass zippers that will rip the skin off your chin if it gets caught. It is iconic.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Rufus » Mon May 12, 2014 4:31 pm

I'm in two minds about Barbour jackets. Both SWMBO and I had their wax jackets, but we found them heavy and cold/hot; they kept the water out but they didn't breathe. Also, both of them wore very quickly around the end of the sleeves and our children didn't like their smell. On the other hand, I have a Liddesdale quilted jacket which I really like. Bottom line, when it comes to waterproof gear I'll stick to Gore-Tex.
Last edited by Rufus on Mon May 12, 2014 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Rufus » Mon May 12, 2014 4:45 pm

As concerns hats, I have an original Tilley hat which I bought nearly 30 years ago. It's a terrific had, but, because it's cotton canvas, when it is very wet it weighs a ton. For this reason I much prefer a Gore-tex hat. To digress, two things bother me about Tilley: First, Alex Tilley is a legend in his own mind. Secondly, whilst the quality of his merchandise is good, it is grossly over priced. As a Canadian (immigrant) I hate to say this, but LL Bean offers merchandise of equal and often better quality at more competitive prices.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby jww » Mon May 12, 2014 6:55 pm

The thing to remember about waxed cotton coats such as Barbour make, that they are targeted to the weather in the UK rather than North America. They are meant to keep you from getting wet from heavy rain, but are not high tech breathable. The UK also has its share of waterproof manufacturers - Regata and Trespass to name a couple. These products lend themselves more to activity out of doors in very wet weather.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon May 12, 2014 11:18 pm

Rufus wrote:As concerns hats, I have an original Tilley hat which I bought nearly 30 years ago. It's a terrific had, but, because it's cotton canvas, when it is very wet it weighs a ton. For this reason I much prefer a Gore-tex hat. To digress, two things bother me about Tilley: First, Alex Tilley is a legend in his own mind. Secondly, whilst the quality of his merchandise is good, it is grossly over priced. As a Canadian (immigrant) I hate to say this, but LL Bean offers merchandise of equal and often better quality at more competitive prices.


Tilley makes more than cotton hats. I use the lightweight wide brim hats. I probably ought to spray it with waterproofing to see just how waterproof it is that way. Except I don't like being out in that weather. But I do know that my cotton booney hats are waterproof when sprayed and allowed to fully dry. I can't see the Tilley as being less waterproof having been sprayed.

As someone who lives within driving distance of LL Bean, they aren't the same company with the same products they once had. At one time we did a lot of business with them; none for the past 15 years and we have no intention of doing business with them again. Their guarantee is good, but they simply aren't the outdoor company they once were. They took out outdoor gear to put in a café and furniture on the 2nd floor. Maybe that isn't there today (I wouldn't know), but the last time we were there it certainly was. That was the end for us. They now cater to "outdoorsman" from downtown Boston and NYC. It's not the LL Bean of 40 years ago. Today we drive a bit further to Cabelas or Kittery Trading Post. Clearly LL Bean didn't contact central and northern Maine (the remaining real Maine) before making the changes. It was a business decision; now they have what they have. Keep the tour busses coming in though! No doubt LL is rolling over in his grave.

OK, yes, I'm an old curmudgeon, but dang it, an "outdoor company" should be an outdoor company. Not NYC north. At one time one could go into Beans and actually feel one was going to run the Allagash. When we quit going there it was because we thought we were in Macys NYC.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Mr. Pinchy » Tue May 13, 2014 4:20 am

Rain hats?

where do you blokes live? Lloro, Colombia?
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby Rufus » Tue May 13, 2014 5:28 am

ShadowsDad wrote:
Rufus wrote:As concerns hats, I have an original Tilley hat which I bought nearly 30 years ago. It's a terrific had, but, because it's cotton canvas, when it is very wet it weighs a ton. For this reason I much prefer a Gore-tex hat. To digress, two things bother me about Tilley: First, Alex Tilley is a legend in his own mind. Secondly, whilst the quality of his merchandise is good, it is grossly over priced. As a Canadian (immigrant) I hate to say this, but LL Bean offers merchandise of equal and often better quality at more competitive prices.


Tilley makes more than cotton hats. I use the lightweight wide brim hats. I probably ought to spray it with waterproofing to see just how waterproof it is that way. Except I don't like being out in that weather. But I do know that my cotton booney hats are waterproof when sprayed and allowed to fully dry. I can't see the Tilley as being less waterproof having been sprayed.

As someone who lives within driving distance of LL Bean, they aren't the same company with the same products they once had. At one time we did a lot of business with them; none for the past 15 years and we have no intention of doing business with them again. Their guarantee is good, but they simply aren't the outdoor company they once were. They took out outdoor gear to put in a café and furniture on the 2nd floor. Maybe that isn't there today (I wouldn't know), but the last time we were there it certainly was. That was the end for us. They now cater to "outdoorsman" from downtown Boston and NYC. It's not the LL Bean of 40 years ago. Today we drive a bit further to Cabelas or Kittery Trading Post. Clearly LL Bean didn't contact central and northern Maine (the remaining real Maine) before making the changes. It was a business decision; now they have what they have. Keep the tour busses coming in though! No doubt LL is rolling over in his grave.

OK, yes, I'm an old curmudgeon, but dang it, an "outdoor company" should be an outdoor company. Not NYC north. At one time one could go into Beans and actually feel one was going to run the Allagash. When we quit going there it was because we thought we were in Macys NYC.


Yes, Tilley does make more than cotton hats and it's the prices they have on their other stuff that I think are out of line with the quality; mind you their hats aren't inexpensive either. I can purchase better quality clothing at the same or usually lower prices than Tilley. To me their approach is akin to Montblanc and Rolex: put a premium price on your products and advertise the heck out of it as a highly desirable high-end product. I'm not saying that Montblanc or Rolex don't make quality products (in the case of Rolex they do make quality watches, but in the case of Montblanc I'm not sure about their pens), but it's all about the marketing hype and product positioning, which the consumer pays for in spades.

As concerns Bean, in the 25 years I've been shopping with them I've never visited their store(s); I'm strictly a catalogue shopper. I don't buy real outdoor clothing or gear at Bean. I buy their oxford cloth shirts, chinos, jeans and nylon hiking pants. I also bought my heavy down coat and a few lighter jackets and sweaters from them. I'm very happy with the quality of the goods I buy at Bean, their prices, their guarantee and their service. They meet my needs completely, but I understand that others don't see it my way.
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Re: Rain hats???

Postby jww » Tue May 13, 2014 6:28 am

It's the guarantee that keeps me coming back to Tilley and LLBean. I have replaced one Tilley hat that literally fell apart after 15 years of very hard use. The brim came away from the hat itself, and all I had to do was show up at a local vendor, fill out a few fields on a paper form, pick my replacement hat from off the rack and walk out. You can't get any easier than that. They even asked me if I wanted to keep the wrecked hat for "sentimental reasons" - which apparently is a Tilley policy.

Insofar as LLBean are concerned --- while I agree with Bryan that the pure outdoors feeling has changed over the years, the Freeport campus does have a dedicated hunting as well as cycling/water/wintersports stores that are very well stocked with name brand equipment. Between Cabela's and Kittery Trading Post, my preference is the former --- I like the way it's laid out, I like the vast amount of gear they stock their boating yard in the summer is truly a sight to behold -- more canoes and kayaks than Saco Bound who do river tours all around Conway NH/Fryeburg Me -- the first time I saw it, my jaw dropped and my eyes started to water ..... :wink: Cabela's just never has done it for me. As with Brian's comments about their clothing -- nothing beats a pair of Bean chinos -- they are just that good. They did recently change their pinpoint oxford material and it's not near as robust as it used to be --- sadly. Mr McCormick is the first non-family member to hold the position of CEO --- L.L. Bean's grandson who took over back in the 80s had an interesting roller coaster ride as the top honcho for sure. Lots of up and down revenue years as they tried to figure out where they needed to be in the market place. One thing I know for sure -- my LL Bean Boots are the best winter boots (Gore-Tex & Thinsulate lined model) thatI have ever owned -- most of our family own a pair of them since I got mine at an unbelievable price at the Freeport outlet a few years ago.

If I am looking for pure outdoor activity items (not that I do that often), I either go to our local Mountain Equipment Coop or Sail stores. Both stock a great selection of outstanding product at excellent prices. And the MEC guarantee is the same as LLBean -- return it any time if you are not satisfied with the product.
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