Review: Tilley’s TMH6 Mash Up Hat

Made of 70/30 recycled hemp and organic cotton, the Mash Up Hat is about as sustainable as hats get. More importantly, it’ll stand up to just about any conditions you put it through. And if it ever wears out, Tilley will replace it for $7.50.

Functionality ★★★
Some of the basic features of the hat include a tie down chin strap for when it’s windy, a 3/4 inch mesh ventilation ring around the crown and water repellent machine washable fabrics. The hat also has a secret pocket on the bottom side of the lid, as a small piece of closed-cell foam that makes it completely buoyant. I found the secret pocket a convenient little storage for cash or even a key. Perhaps those living in Colorado or Washington could stash other goods in there.

Design and Aesthetics 
Probably the thing I liked most about this hat was the brim. Unlike most bucket hats with floppy cloth brims, this one is reinforced more like a cowboy hat, allowing it to easily channel water away from you. It’s also wide enough to keep the sun out of your eyes from just about any angle. The current hat that I have is actually a size too small so it presses against my forehead. However, the hat is supposed to fit loosely with a two finger test being an informal measure of comfort.

I’d like to see the ventilation ring around the crown be a little bigger than three quarters of an inch. In July, I could still feel heat getting trapped on top of my head when out padding on the river.

When inspected closely, the material is made up of various colored fibers, giving it an interesting rugged vintage look. But don’t let it confuse you into thinking the hat is weak by any means.

Construction ★★
All Tilley hats including this one, come with a lifetime guarantee to “not fall apart.” It’s a pretty bold guarantee for a hat, given that they’re the first line of defense against the beating sun. The 4 page owner’s manual does however give fair warning that unwashed sweat-buildup will rot out the fibers so be prepared to keep it clean.

As mentioned above, the hat is made of 70% recycled hemp and 30% organic cotton with a water repellent finish (it seems to be a DWR coating although the packaging doesn’t say one way or another – it only says it’s been treated.). Either way, a spray-on DWR will keep this water resistant for life.

The seams are all lock-stitched which prevents unraveling in case the hat gets stuck in a snag.

Versus the Competition 
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Tilley is that they insure their hats against loss for two years (meaning if you somehow lose your hat, you can buy the same one for half off). Yet, at $84, even the half price insurance deal is more expensive than bucket/safari hats from brands like Marmot or Patagonia. At this price point, I’d really like to see more information on the water resistance and even, instructions for maintaining water resistance.

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Gearographer Staff

Yoon is a freelance journalist who writes for SNEWS, The Outdoor Retailer Daily, Retailing Today, Gear Junkie, and many more. He writes mostly on the business of the outdoors, but also covers events, does photography and interviews athletes. Yoon is an Insanely Big Mountain.

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