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I’ve been wearing broad-brimmed hats for many years, preferring them to
sunglasses and sunscreen, or alternately, skin cancer. Mostly I’ve worn
Akubra hats because
they reek of quality and they are easy on the eyes. But Akubra hats are
made of rabbit fur, which is less than politically correct,
plus they don’t travel well, IMHO.
I bought a hat from one of Tilley’s
competitors, and while it is quite useful, everyone agrees it scores high on the
"dorky old man" scale. I still use it for gardening, but it officially
does not go out in public. Out of frustration, I finally went to a Tilley store and
tried on some hats, and decided try the
target="-blank">"Lighterweight LT6 Hat".
It’s made of a very light weight nylon fabric, yet it holds its shape
quite well; though it is a light tan color it seems to resist stains
very well too. The thing is so light weight I often forget I have it on
my head, plus it protects the back of my neck like no baseball cap ever
could. I’ve used it in a light rain and it kept my head dry, which is
important up here in the Pacific North Wet. I can put it in my pack
without really worrying much about it, and when I take it out it looks
pretty much like it did when I put it away. Which brings me to the
aesthetics: while perhaps not as ultimately chic as an Akubra, it is so
much more practical that I am wearing it far more often than I ever wore
the Akubras. In terms of utility, the only hat that might compete with the
target="-blank">Lighterweight LT6 Hat is one of those ball-cap-with-tails affairs,
which, let’s face it, are either a cry for help or a measure of the
wearer’s disdain for society.
At somewhere in the neighborhood of US$70, the Lighterweight LT6 Hat is
an investment for sure. But consider the cost of one visit to the
dermatologist and this hat is cheap, and in my opinion worth every penny.
Buy one – the rabbits will thank you.