REVIEW: The Best RV Camping Hat

Posted In: Blog, Product Review, RV Products

What is the best hat for RV camping and outdoor activities?

In our small travel production company, I wear many hats. No, literally! I wear a lot of different actual hats. Since I often appear on camera in our videos, I don hats to guard against the occasional “bad hair day” (and I have a lot of bad hair days). If you watch some of our older videos you’ll see my hair flying all over the place. I am King of the Cowlick.

My favorite outdoor hats are Tilley hats. For my money, these are the best hats I’ve found for outdoor adventuring and RV camping. They are nice looking hats that are also highly functional and supremely durable. They look good, are comfortable, and pretty much will last your entire lifetime – guaranteed!

Ignore my ugly mug. Focus on the HAT.

Ignore my ugly mug. Focus on the HAT.

What makes a Tilley hat so great? They are exceptionally well designed and well made with “Canadian persnicketyness.” You can even machine wash a Tilley hat. The label on the inside of every Tilley says a lot: “Insured against loss. Guaranteed for life! (Replaced free if it ever wears out.) It floats, ties on, repels rain, blocks UV rays, won’t shrink and comes with a four-page owners’ manual.”

My Tilley hats are made of nylon that stays much cooler in the summer than leather (while providing some warmth and wind blockage in winter). Tilley also makes hats out of canvas and other materials like hemp and cotton. I’m happy with my lightweight nylon, but wouldn’t rule out having a different material.

The view from behind.

The view from behind.

Tilley hats fold flat for easy storage (no minor consideration in an RV) and then can easily be returned to their proper shape.

Tilley hats are solid and well stitched. Inside each hat is a “secret” storage pocket, perfect for business or ID cards and a twenty spot. There’s a strap inside each hat that serves a couple of purposes. Not only does it adjust the fit of the hat, it also serves to secure the hat onto one’s head in windy weather conditions (a wonderful feature on boats).

This was the first time I ever tried on a Tilley hat - it made me feel like dancing.

This was the first time I ever tried on a Tilley hat – it made me feel like dancing (doin’ the Tilley Twirl). I bought this hat and now have worn it in most of North America.

I own two different Tilley hats at the moment, a classic LT6B in stone and an LTM6 Airflo in khaki/olive. The Airflo version contains a polyester mesh around the crown that helps air circulate inside the hats, keeping you cool on warm summer days. For this reason I prefer the Airflo model, although both are of equal quality. One of these days I’ll probably add another Tilley hat to my arsenal for the sake of color variety and to try the different materials. Tilley makes a hat (model TM10) that boasts an all-mesh crown; I’d love to try it someday.

Tilley-Classic-front

Tilley LT6B breathable nylon hat. Although it lacks the “Airflo” vent, this hat is also reasonably cool in summer thanks to the material.

One fun aspect of buying a Tilley hat is that you join the owner’s club. It’s not literally a club, of course. But once you have a Tilley, you will begin to notice other Tilley owners. When you see these owners in public, you will exchange a knowing “nice Tilley” smile and nod. You are both members of the club.

Tilley hats are enormously helpful in the outdoors. I can’t count the times I’ve donned my Tilley and walked out into the rain. Or used it to block sun on a warm summer hike. They aren’t the cheapest hats, but given the quality and functionality I believe they are money well spent.

Rockin' the Tilley AirFlo in Alaska's awesome Denali National Park.

Rockin’ the Tilley AirFlo in Alaska’s awesome Denali National Park.

 

OTHER HATS

By the way, sometimes you may see me wearing a leather hat that’s made in an Australian outback style. While I enjoy the hat – it’s got classic style – the leather gets too hot for my taste on warm summer days. It’s a bit bulky and doesn’t fold. So this leather hat is more of a special occasion hat, best for cooler weather. You wear this hat when conditions are right. Tilley makes its own outback hat in cotton that I may give a try.

There’s one other hat that I carry everywhere in my pickup truck, and that’s my Alabama Crimson Tide baseball cap. While I rarely wear this cap, I often sneak it onto the dashboard of our truck for the benefit of my wife (who sadly is a fan of my team’s arch-rival Auburn Tigers). My cap hasn’t turned her into a ‘Bama fan just yet, but I figure a little subliminal conditioning can’t hurt.

 


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