Clothing

Tilley Winter Hats

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Enduring head warmers

I’m bald, and my father was a hat hobbyist, so I come by my hat interest biologically. Furthermore, I grew up in the northern midwest —I know about cold ears.

These wool-plus hats from Tilley are the best winter headgear I know for wear-around use.

The “Winter Hat” is a tweed marvel, with a short sloping brim all around, fold-down ear flaps, and a fold-down forehead warmer (a great comfort against a chill headwind, but invisible to others, being hidden behind the brim). The ear flaps are slightly cupped around the ear for further wind protection. The wool is teflon-treated, so rain and snow pretty much bounce off. The hat can be folded into a jacket pocket, yet retains its shape perfectly. In two varieties of tweed, plus black, it’s a surprisingly handsome hat — “friendly,” Brian Eno called it. People call out: “Nice hat!”

-- Stewart Brand 10/27/20

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2003 — editors)