Andy Mossack road tests Tilley’s latest AIRFLO hat and finds it the perfect summer buddy.
After singing the praises of Tilley’s Montana Fedora winter warmer, it would be churlish of me not to take a close look at a Tilley summer alternative. Cue the AIRFLO range, designed as a lightweight sun titfer with mesh panelling to ensure your head gets plenty of ventilation, it seemed a natural pick for summer hiking.
But wait a second. In breaking news, Tilley is adding some serious sustainability to its range and this Modern AIRFLO is the first to be made from 100% recycled nylon but with no performance loss.
It’s a super light wide-brim hat that allows rain to bead off via its water-repellent finish while the twin ¾” mesh panels on each side of the crown top on the Modern AIRFLO Recycled let cool air in and hot air out. The hat sat high on my head as it was designed to do, which allowed the ventilation to work effectively. But, if you do get sweaty, there’s a moisture-wicking elastic sweatband around the rim to keep your forehead dry as with all Tilley hats.
I had the perfect scenario for testing this hat. Coastal Scotland. Always windy and thankfully, on this visit, brilliantly sunny. The wind factor was exorcised by an adjustable cord that tucks away when unnecessary and the UPF rating of 50+ ensured protection from the Scottish sun – perhaps rarely seen, but nevertheless just as harmful. You can also use the cord to tie the hat somewhere if you don’t want to fold it up to stow it. This feature is clearly a throwback to Tilley’s early years as a sailor’s best friend, but should you forget all these safety aspects and the hat blows off your head into water, it floats! Now you might just need a long pole, I guess.
Again, as with Tilley’s Montana Fedora, I discovered a secret pocket tucked away under the label which proved a perfect place to stow a couple of Scottish fivers, just in case.
It proved to be a perfect sun hat for me. The wide brim gave my face and neck plenty of protection, and the wind cord handled those tough Scottish gales with ease.
Here’s the thing with a Tilley hat. There’s an easy guide when ordering online, to ensure you get the best fit for your head size, so important to make the best use of your Tilley’s design. And all Tilley hats are guaranteed for life and replaced should they ever wear out.
The Tilley Modern AIRFLO Recycled hat is machine washable and doesn’t shrink. You just need to reshape it, let it air dry and re-stretch over your knee and it’s good to go.
Tilley’s pledge to sustainability is admirable, and for me, I can hike the hills and dales now in summer and winter fully protected and feeling good about helping the environment too.
Tell me more about the Tilley Modern AIRFLO Recycled hat
The Tilley Modern AIRFLO Recycled hat comes in four colours, Khaki, Olive, Midnight Navy and Rockface and retails at £70. Sizes from 7 to 8+, refer to the Tilley fitting guide to pick your correct size.