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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat

A fully-featured topper, the Tilley TWP1 waterproof hat has enough style to satisfy even the snobbiest hiker.

by: Allison Woods

Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat (Allison Woods)
Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat (Allison Woods)

I’ve never been a big fan of brimmed hats— the Indiana Jones look just doesn’t work for me--but that all changed on an outrageously wet backpacking trip in Glacier Peak Wilderness. My hiking partner found a brimmed rain hat that had been stowed in a stump and long forgotten.

Like most everyone in the Pacific Northwest, he already had one, so he gave it to me. I sullenly put the thing on, and instantly discovered what so many already know about hats with brims: they work. It was still a pretty wretched trip, but I didn’t mind that hat one iota. I loved the functionality, but the ugly factor was too high for me.

I sought out a hat with better looks, and came upon Tilley’s summer hat, the forgettably-named TWP1. In the last year, I’ve hiked with this hat in blazing heat to high lakes in the Cascades, fly fished from a pack raft, braved torrential downpours in downtown Seattle, and last weekend, rafted the Wenatchee River at near-flood stage.

On a particularly hot day, I dunked the hat in a stream, opened the rear ventilation zipper and enjoyed swamp cooler-style chillage as I slogged up through a burn in Washington’s Icicle Canyon. The wide 3” brim keeps rain and sun at bay, while the rainproof nylon exterior sheds moisture like a river otter and wears like iron (if your Tilley wears out, the company will replace it for free).

Style is a personal thing, but in my opinion, this hat has simple good looks that don’t make me feel like a dork. The brim never interfered with the top of my pack. Features are discreet: a reflective strip on the side of the hat so your hiking partners will be able to spot you at dusk and a small pocket in the crown for storing ID and a few dollars. The stowable chin strap slips inside the hat when I don’t need it, but it sure came in handy as we ran the rapids of the Wenatchee. (In case you forget to deploy the chin strap, the hat floats.)

Bottom line
: This fully waterproof hat handles rain, sun and high heat with equal success. It looks good enough to wear everywhere, but it’s perfect on the trail.

The Specs
Price: $78
Weight: 6 oz. (size medium)
Available sizes: unisex S-2XL

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Reader Rating: -


Jul 21, 2011

Agree with the majority about the price. Beside, who wants to keep a hat more than a season anyway?

Jul 14, 2011

I read the article on Tilley and had to get one on my first adventure with it it was 98 degrees and near 100% humidity with my proximity to Abrams falls. I hiked and did some fly fishing and couldn't be more please with how my hat performed it kept cool and the sun off me. When I got really hot I dunked the hat in the cool water and the hat would stay cool for a surprising amount of time. This hat has to many awesome features to list. Bottom of the line this hat is worth the money.

motor city
Jul 08, 2011

$78!!!!!! are you kidding me?

David D
Jul 06, 2011

Tilley's are great!

Jun 29, 2011

A good boonie hat for $12 does all the same things
as the Tilley. I have had my boonie for 4 years and it
has held up and kept my head pretty dry in even in heavy
downpours. In a heavy downpour I have my mind on
other things other than my hair being wet anyway.
Waste of money for a brand name.

Jun 22, 2011

These are great hats--indestructible, attractive and a guarantee that never stops. Yeah, it costs more--but think about it--for less than the cost of 2 crappy hats that fall apart, shrink and only really work for sun or rain, or a great hat that does it all and you only have to buy it once!

Jun 22, 2011

Seventy eight dollars and six ounces for a hat?? I don't think so!!

Jun 22, 2011

Seventy eight dollars and six ounces for a hat?? I don't think so!!

Jun 22, 2011

I've been hiking with a Tilly Air-Flow for years and couldn't be happier with that brand! A nice feature that you didn't mention is that it can be tossed in the washer when it gets dirty.


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