Andy Mossack reviews the Tilley Montana Fedora, perhaps the most stylish winter warmer titfer out there.
Perhaps it was serendipity, but the day I received my Tilley Montana Fedora the weather in London had turned nasty. An unusually spring-like February had reverted to type; cold and rainy. So, a perfect opportunity to put Tilley’s reputation to the test.
Founded in Canada in 1980 by avid sailor Alex Tilley, the emphasis was on high quality and durability, values that Alex found lacking in most sailing headwear back then. That mantra has been central to the business ever since, so no wonder the Tilley grommet hardware and the “guaranteed for life” pledge have become almost legendary.
The Tilley range now encompasses all kinds of outdoor wear and the Montana Fedora is the flagship product of the winter hat range. Made from 100% wool felt, it’s a hat designed to repel rain and snow and, together with discreet tuck-away ear warmers, should keep your head warm and toasty. And let’s face it, anything designed to combat harsh Canadian weather should have no trouble coping with European winter seasons.
Back to my London day, it was the type of rain that admittedly wasn’t a biblical downpour, but instead, an endless stream of fine water that somehow always manages to creep into every crevice and layer of clothing you have on. The Montana Fedora repelled it all with ease, slumbering silently atop my head. It was like it was saying to me “come on Andy, is that the best you’ve got?” Back home, I left the hat to dry out naturally and within a few hours, it was bone dry with no visible watermarks.
The ear warmers are an added bonus, a felt band stitched into the lining so it can tuck away flush when not needed and there’s a Hydrofil® moisture-wicking strip at the base of the lining to keep any water away and hasten drying. I also discovered a small Velcro pocket in the centre of the lining for storing small items, or perhaps a map. There’s no strap on the hat, so I wouldn’t store anything valuable in there in case you lose the hat on a windy day.
Speaking of losing the hat, getting the right size for your head is a serious business. Too tight and it will become uncomfortable, too loose and it will either fly off or your flat ears will look very uncool. The Montana Fedora is designed to sit gently on your head, so Tilley has a measurement guide to help you pick the right size. Wrap a piece of string or a piece of fabric around your head and then measure it with a ruler and simply convert the length on Tilley’s sizing grid.
Tilley recommends dry cleaning rather than washing this hat, although wiping it down with a damp cloth would normally get rid of day-to-day marks. However, for travelling, It’s not crushable so to maintain its shape Tilley has an online guide on how to pack the hat effectively in your suitcase.
The Tilley Montana Fedora possesses all the hallmarks of a quality winter hat for the great outdoors and more than lives up to Tilley’s reputation. It looks stylish, it has best in class performance, and, with Tilley’s lifetime guarantee, you’ll have a valuable long-term addition to your winter outdoor armoury.
Clearly, it is as Canadian as maple syrup.
Tell me more about the Tilley Montana Fedora
The Tilley Montana Fedora comes in four colours, black, brown, grey and taupe (mix of grey and brown). A Tilley lifetime guarantee and free shipping throughout the UK on orders over £50.