One of the best parts of the build up to a new adventure is planning what you’re going to do, packing your kit and sorting out any new gear or clothing you may need. Every time I go through this process, I can feel the excitement growing and I become desperate to set off on our travels.
For our recent trip to Vietnam, we already had most of the kit we would need. One thing we didn’t have, however, was some decent hats – yeah we had baseball caps and hats you would wear for a day down the beach; we didn’t however have anything decent enough to cope with the harsh sun, humidity and general conditions that hiking and travelling in Vietnam could throw at us. Due to this, we decided to do some research and eventually ended up settling on two hats by arguably the greatest and most famous maker of travel hats – Tilley.
Below is a review of one of their Tilley LTM6 Airflo Ladies Hat from Vicky’s point of view and the Men’s Tilley T3 Wanderer hat from mine, with a full report about how they stood up to a couple weeks of travelling in Vietnam:
Tilley Ladies LTM6 Airflo Travel Hat Review
I was absolutely desperate for a hat to take with me on our Vietnam trip. I wanted something of good quality, that would look really stylish wherever I went. I eventually came across the Tilley Ladies LTM6 Airflo Travel Hat. It is Tilley’s best selling hat and I can definitely see why.
I wore this hat nearly every single day for 2 weeks. It was so comfortable to wear and always felt secure around the head. It got pretty hot during our holiday so I was very thankful this hat has Tilley’s Airflo ventilation. This is created by the mesh around the crown and it worked brilliantly, keeping my head nice and cool, especially around the forehead due to the built in sweatband which helps to wick any moisture away.
The Tilley Airflo is super stylish with its large brim. This was perfect for keeping the sun of the face and also the rain. Luckily, the hat is also waterproof, so was the perfect way to keep the hair dry in bad weather. I wore it when we went kayaking and even when it got splashed in the sea, I rinsed off the salt water and it was as good as new.
Although I didn’t need them, the hat does have wind cords (which can be tucked away) in case of more breezy days. They help to keep the hat even more secure on the head. I was never too worried about it blowing off my head, however, as the hat is actually buoyant so it would have stayed afloat regardless. Another feature which can be found inside is a secret pocket for any small valuables you wish to hide away.
Tilley really are an awesome and very popular brand of quality hats. Whilst on our travels, we did see lots of people wearing the different styles of hats they create. I love this hat a lot, the colour (brown- which matches everything), the shape and the fit. Tilley have really made such an awesome travel garment that I will be taking with me on every adventure.
Tilley Men’s T3 Wanderer Travel Hat Review
After lots of research, I opted for the Tilley Men’s T3 Wanderer Travel Hat. There were lots of reasons for choosing this particular one and not any of the other great variety of hats which Tilley make; the main one was the pre-worn look. I’m normally quite self conscious of wearing brand new clothing and much prefer when garments have had a few scuffs and have been worn in. I think this is especially true with items like shoes and hats.
This is what makes the Tilley T3 Wanderer Hat so great; it has been given an “enzyme wash”. This gives it a perfect pre-worn look. It doesn’t look overdone, like a pair of those fashionable jeans, which have pre-ruined knees, just the look that the hat has already been on a few long treks without having any holes or frays.
Another major selling point of the hat for me was the snap up brim, which can be snapped up on both sides up, one side or alternatively not at all. I think this is a great feature as I prefer the look and feel of wearing a hat with both sides snapped up.
However, when it is really sunny in the middle of the day and early afternoon, the extra protection on your face and neck from having the brim down is essential in a hot place like Vietnam. Further more, the fabric is certified UPF 50+ which is the maximum sun protection level which can be given.
A great feature of the T3 Wanderer Hat is the two grommets on either side for added ventilation. To be honest, I’ve always been a bit sceptical about how a hat could keep you feeling cool in hot weather but it definitely did. The combination of the hat keeping the hot sun off your head and skin and the ventilation provided by the Wanderer’s grommets, really kept the top of your head cool.
The great design of the Tilley hat doesn’t end there. On the inside of the hat there are a few more great ideas from the hat makers at Tilley. The inside of the hat has what they call a “Hydrofil” sweatband which wicks any moisture away and keeps your brow dry. Not only this but in the top of the hat there is a sneaky little secret pocket which gives you some extra storage and a place to keep valuables safe.
I didn’t just use the hat while we were trekking in Sapa, I also used it all the time when we were travelling around Bai Tu Long Bay on ship, kayak or foot. It was perfect for use on or near the water as it has a cord system which can be used at the front or back to secure the Tilley; you wont be worrying about it blowing into the sea. Even if it did, it wouldn’t be a problem as the T3 is bouyant and stays afloat in water.
We have both loved using these hats whilst travelling and we’ll be sure to be taking them on our future travels. They’re fantastic in hot weather as they keep the sun of your head and shoulders but they are also great in the less pleasant weather as they are water repellent and keep the rain off your head and face.
After wearing these hats, it’s obvious how Tilley have got their reputation as makers of the best travel hats – all of their hats are made with the best quality materials, carefully and with precision, in Canada. The company are so confident of the materials and craftsmanship, that all Tilley hats come with a guarantee for life. To me, that is a sure sign that these are the hats to have!