I tip my hat to you


tilley hemp th5Because now I can! I picked up a hat the other day after many years of thinking about getting one; I finally narrowed it down to a Tilley Hemp TH5.

The reason for me getting the hat was to cover my face and neck from the sun and the rain while camping.

I have only used it for a few days now, but still managed to get all range of weather thrown at me and the Tilley. The last two days in London we have had a mini heatwave clocking up 28C + non-stop sunshine. Yes, it was hot wearing it, but no more than a buff or a baseball cap, and best of all there was plenty of shade under the brim which kept me cool.

Today the weather threw a quick thundery shower at me and my Tilley. Plenty of cover there while cycling, none of that cold rain dribbling down your neck, either. Though the brim made a bit a racket when the rain fell on it. :) The Tilley didn’t get soaked through since I was only in the rain for two or so minutes. In that time I did feel a bit of wet coming through the Hemp, but then again my buff and Solarlight cap aren’t waterproof either.

I was wondering how to keep the Tilley on my head while cycling. Playing around with the strap and putting it under the chin, I could feel that it would annoy me when the wind pulled the hat. I’m glad that I didn’t go for the wider brim version (TH4) since that would made the Tilley like a sail while cycling. I then read the manual and found out that, if I tie the cord at the back of my head, like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it stayed on nicely in rather windy conditions cycling around London. The brim feels nice and sturdy right now so lets see how it holds up after a few soakings in the rain and washes.

All Tilley hats have a secret pocket, which is one of Tilley’s selling points, so isn’t really a secret anymore. But still, it is a good little place to have a spare fiver or other important papers. It comes with a little plastic pocket so it will not get soaked by sweat or rain. In that “secret” pocket I also found the floating device that makes the Tilley hat float, I was wondering how it would do that otherwise.

UPDATE: I went into the store where I got the Tilley and noticed that mine has faded a lot. The hemp has changed colour, more a light brown colour than the original colour of dark brown/come grey or as they say over on Tilley, Mocha colour. The seams have also changed colour and have a yellow/green colour to them. I have remembered to wash it often as told, so I’m sure it is the sun that has done the job, in over two months. An email is on its way to Tilley to hear if this is normal.

Tilley replied :

We can confirm that the TH4 & TH5 Mocha do fade; this is due UVA & UVB rays, washing and sweat. How quickly it fades depends on how often you wear it and expose it to the sun. As with all dark colours that are exposed to high levels of sun and washing you will get fading in natural fabrics.

We do mention that the hat fades on our website see below:
Made from 100% hemp fabric that softens and fades over time but remains durable. It is the world’s strongest natural fibre and does not require herbicides or pesticides in crop production. It is truly an environmentally friendly crop.

colour faded tilley hemp th5That is a bit of a doh there, I totally forgot about that when reading their website. I will go and hang my head in the corner now…

You can see the colour different here, left the faded topside, right the normal coloured and none faded underside./UPDATE


I’m pretty sure it will do its job of keeping my head nice and dry and out of the sun, for years to come.
Link : Tilley Hats

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  1. I’ve been a Tilley T4 Cotton Duck owner for years, you can’t beat a Tilley. I had been having an internal debate about continuing to wear my cycling helmet when touring, I find it hot and the more I read the more I believe helmets aren’t that useful in a crash…then this happened to me (http://tinyurl.com/4ylxptj) the other day and now I wear the Tilley when I ride.

  2. I considered a casquette or a buff or a bandana under my helmet to block the sun, but I generate a lot of heat and sweat more than most people. Wearing another layer under my helmet only exacerbates the problem.

    Riding in the Philippines, where I am now, I reckon I need to protect myself from heat stroke more than protecting my head with a device I’m not sure does much good in a full speed accident.

    I’m considering getting one of the Tilley nylon Airflo hat’s with the mesh vent in the crown to increase airflow, but haven’t yet.

    Enjoy your blog.


    • Yup that is why I don’t wear a helmet (unless the law say I have too) cause I sweat a lot too. The buff though does help with keeping the sweat out of my eyes and somewhat cool my head and neck when the sweat runs down the buff to my neck. Other readers of the blog have pointed out that I should try out the sweat ban, read the comment on this post https://woollypigs.com/2011/03/specialized-propero-2010-review/

      Thanks for your comments and happy riding.

  3. Thanks. Your helmet review is the way I originally found your blog, I think you had posted it to a touring group I’m on. I read about the GUTR and I’m interested to try one if I can find one, I’m living in the Philippines at the moment.



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