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Custom79
03-11-2008, 07:36 AM
Are the Open Roads made by Stetson today worth looking at?

I have a fairly big noggin and I'm thinking that I may be waiting a while before a few nice bargains fall into my lap?

How about online sources for Stetsons, like Miller Hats? Are these reputable vendors?

Cheers.

C79

epic610
03-11-2008, 07:38 AM
and the quality couldn't be better! the only thing is that they are a bit stiff, although mine is a little over a year old and i noticed it's becoming more flexible and soft to the touch . . . maybe not unlike french wine which needs a proper amount of aging.

ideaguy
03-11-2008, 07:57 AM
how big of a noggin do you have??:eek:

AlanC
03-11-2008, 08:21 AM
Some on the board have found the Akubra Campdraft to be a better quality option. Akubra once made the Open Road under license from Stetson. When that ended they continued making it under the Campdraft name.

Atticus Finch
03-11-2008, 08:48 AM
I bought my Open Road two years ago and it is still a tad stiff to suit me. In all fairness, though, I haven't worn it enough to give it a chance to "break in". To me, it is more of a dress hat than an everyday wearer, but I know that it shouldn't be. It goes as well with jeans and a sports jacket as it does with a suit. I guess I'm just gonna have to resolve to take it out of its box more often.

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/g-1/smaller/nylon/spanishneedles060.jpg

Atticus

Ande1964
03-11-2008, 08:53 AM
If you want the cattleman crease and if you are a normal oval, I think the modern OR is a fine hat.

If you want a different crease, or if you a long oval, I would recommend the Campdraft. The felt is a little heavier, and it is also rather stiff, but it can be loosened up to fit you better, and it comes open crowned.

Anj

NonEntity
03-11-2008, 09:16 AM
Custom79,

In the realm of current mass-produced headwear, the Stetson Open Road (OR) is in the lower rung of the mid-grade-hat range. The rabbit fur felt is very stiff, and it is not likely to be comfortable right away. Like any felt hat, it will soften, eventually. At $150 to $225 depending on the vendor, it is not a good dollars-for-quality value.

In the big picture that includes vintage ORs, you will find that the new one is an ersatz imitation of its old self. There is no comaparison; the only commonality is the shape. If you get a new one, then later see and handle a vintage OR, I guarantee you will be depressed and probably no longer like yours.

Stetson has no monopoly on the classic OR shape. Milano makes a pretty nice one called the Governor, but it's twice the Stetson's price, which brings us back to value.

You are a newbie, and I know you are raring to jump in and buy some hats. Try to hold your horses and learn more about them before you spend a dime, though. The folks here are highly knowledgable, and do go to retail hat shops to get a direct experience of what quality is and is not. Try on different styles, and varying crown heights and brim widths to see what looks good on.

If your are like the the overwhelming majority here, you'll get a couple Akubras or Beaver Brand or Biltmores--all very good, affordable hats that run less than $150--and then you'll come to be attracted ever more to the really fine stuff, vintage and custom-made hats.

You could not choose a vintage hat harder to find than a Stetson Open Road in a large--7 1/2 and up--size. It's the most recognized model of the most famous brand, and large sizes are rare. You would be extremely lucky to find one in good condition at any price.

I'm not sure exactly what Art Fawcett or Optimo or another top-notch custom hat maker would charge to make you an OR because the kind of felt (100% rabbit fur, a mix of rabbit and beaver, pure beaver) will make a big difference, and the specific lining, sweat, and hatband will make some difference, too, but it would be about $300 at the lower end.

"But I could buy two new ORs for that?!" you might say. Again, it's about value. I've never once heard a person here regret that he'd spent the dough for a custom hat from one of these gentlemen. The most common regret is that they didn't do it sooner.

I say all this so that you can leap-frog over wasting money on "learning" hats right into a custom-made lid you will be proud of and cherish for many years. Just make sure it's a style you'll continue to like long into the future.

AlanC
03-11-2008, 09:49 AM
Art's 'HST' model, which is an OR inspired hat. It's listed at $355, but you also have a wide range of colors to choose from and it will be custom fit to your head. Also take a look at the Open Road thread linked in the 'Important Threads' sticky. You'll see a nice bunch of pictures of Open Roads and their clones.

http://www.vintagesilhouettes.com/images/Hats/lim_ed_hats/HST_3.jpg

Rick Blaine
03-11-2008, 10:09 AM
IMO, the Akubra Campdraft is a dead ringer for the OR... of 30-40 yrs. ago, that is. The felt is immeasurably better on a contemporary Akubra than a modern Stetson. But really unless you suffer from hydocephaly (not that there is anything wrong with that!) there are a plethora of Vintage ORs & OR clones... some made from the lighter dress felts and w/ shorter brims actually resemble Strats more than ORs. In the past eighteen months I (7 3/8) have picked up a JC Penny Marathon, two or three nifty Resistols, a couple of Borsos and two Stetsons, all thin ribbon western OR clones.
Of the two (poorly listed) Stetsons one was an OR & one, an otherwise indistinguishable OR type but for a 2 5/8" brim and only a 3x designation on the sweat, both together couldn't have set me back fifty, inc. shipping. The point being they are out there, no matter which way you go. You might want to be willing to learn to stretch up a size and or how to give a hat a "white gas" dunking (note to self: do not smoke while doing this) or both, but to me that is at least 1/2 the fun, eh?
I just wouldn't buy a modern OR. Maybe deep discount at the outlet, but otherwise... nope.

Justdog
03-11-2008, 10:47 AM
I bought my Open Road two years ago and it is still a tad stiff to suit me. In all fairness, though, I haven't worn it enough to give it a chance to "break in". To me, it is more of a dress hat than an everyday wearer, but I know that it shouldn't be. It goes as well with jeans and a sports jacket as it does with a suit. I guess I'm just gonna have to resolve to take it out of its box more often.


Atticus

Great photo!

Atticus Finch
03-11-2008, 11:09 AM
Great photo!

Thanks! Every time my girlfriend (who is from Wisconsin) sees this photo, she starts her, "Nowwww, whut we have heeeeeeeer....." routine.

Atticus

Damon Falzone
03-11-2008, 12:44 PM
Custom79, Orvis is currently having a sale on Stetson ORs (click Tent Sale). Only 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 are available at $62.40. Not a bad price.

Bruce Wayne
03-11-2008, 02:43 PM
if you can afford it, Optimo Hats in Chicago has a cream colour this year that is a dead ringer for an OR...
Charlie

bolthead
03-11-2008, 03:13 PM
if you can afford it, Optimo Hats in Chicago has a cream colour this year that is a dead ringer for an OR...
Charlie
Why don't they post thier prices? [huh]

Ande1964
03-11-2008, 03:20 PM
If you have to ask... ;)

I think they go for about $500.

Anj

Bruce Wayne
03-11-2008, 03:21 PM
Why don't they post thier prices? [huh]


If you have to ask... ;)

I think they go for about $500.

Anj

dunno, but Ande is jsut about right. $495 +15 for shipping...

Justdog
03-11-2008, 03:32 PM
Custom79, Orvis is currently having a sale on Stetson ORs (click Tent Sale). Only 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 are available at $62.40. Not a bad price.

Do you have a link for that hat?

RBH
03-11-2008, 04:28 PM
Akubra Campdraft......

Damon Falzone
03-11-2008, 05:40 PM
The link is: orvis.com

Custom79
03-11-2008, 05:58 PM
Hello Ideaguy.

Depending on how often I run the clippers over my head, I am between 23 3/4 inches and 24 inches.

I usually keep my hair cut right down to the wood.

Cheers.

C79


how big of a noggin do you have??:eek:

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:00 PM
RBH.

Hello and thanks. I'll have a look at that one.

Cheers.

C79


Akubra Campdraft......

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:03 PM
AlanC.

Thanks for the insight. RBH also recommended that model. I appreciate you making the historical link.

Regards.

C79


Some on the board have found the Akubra Campdraft to be a better quality option. Akubra once made the Open Road under license from Stetson. When that ended they continued making it under the Campdraft name.

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:05 PM
epic610.

Hello and thanks.

C79


and the quality couldn't be better! the only thing is that they are a bit stiff, although mine is a little over a year old and i noticed it's becoming more flexible and soft to the touch . . . maybe not unlike french wine which needs a proper amount of aging.

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:09 PM
Hello Atticus.

Thanks for the pic. I think your OR is right smart look for you. I notice you are shown carrying your portable anti-theft system!

I think it behooves you to have that fine lid out for some fresh air a little more often.

Cheers.

C79


I bought my Open Road two years ago and it is still a tad stiff to suit me. In all fairness, though, I haven't worn it enough to give it a chance to "break in". To me, it is more of a dress hat than an everyday wearer, but I know that it shouldn't be. It goes as well with jeans and a sports jacket as it does with a suit. I guess I'm just gonna have to resolve to take it out of its box more often.

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/g-1/smaller/nylon/spanishneedles060.jpg

Atticus

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:28 PM
NonEntity.

Wow. Thanks for the wealth of information. I can promise you that I will take my time.

As I'm sure we all have done, I have made my share of rash decisons and have developed a great deal of patience when it comes to looking for exactly what I want. Price is a consideration and serves as motivation to tread carefully.

I think I'm very much in that place where like a lot of what I see here in the FL, but I'm not quick to jump.

I will be sure to read up on everything you've said.

I did originally find the lounge while looking for an Indy hat. I still think that something like the 1938 Fieldmaster might be my first hat, but finding this forum is like opening the proverbial can of worms.

Regards.

C79


Custom79,

In the realm of current mass-produced headwear, the Stetson Open Road (OR) is in the lower rung of the mid-grade-hat range. The rabbit fur felt is very stiff, and it is not likely to be comfortable right away. Like any felt hat, it will soften, eventually. At $150 to $225 depending on the vendor, it is not a good dollars-for-quality value.

In the big picture that includes vintage ORs, you will find that the new one is an ersatz imitation of its old self. There is no comaparison; the only commonality is the shape. If you get a new one, then later see and handle a vintage OR, I guarantee you will be depressed and probably no longer like yours.

Stetson has no monopoly on the classic OR shape. Milano makes a pretty nice one called the Governor, but it's twice the Stetson's price, which brings us back to value.

You are a newbie, and I know you are raring to jump in and buy some hats. Try to hold your horses and learn more about them before you spend a dime, though. The folks here are highly knowledgable, and do go to retail hat shops to get a direct experience of what quality is and is not. Try on different styles, and varying crown heights and brim widths to see what looks good on.

If your are like the the overwhelming majority here, you'll get a couple Akubras or Beaver Brand or Biltmores--all very good, affordable hats that run less than $150--and then you'll come to be attracted ever more to the really fine stuff, vintage and custom-made hats.

You could not choose a vintage hat harder to find than a Stetson Open Road in a large--7 1/2 and up--size. It's the most recognized model of the most famous brand, and large sizes are rare. You would be extremely lucky to find one in good condition at any price.

I'm not sure exactly what Art Fawcett or Optimo or another top-notch custom hat maker would charge to make you an OR because the kind of felt (100% rabbit fur, a mix of rabbit and beaver, pure beaver) will make a big difference, and the specific lining, sweat, and hatband will make some difference, too, but it would be about $300 at the lower end.

"But I could buy two new ORs for that?!" you might say. Again, it's about value. I've never once heard a person here regret that he'd spent the dough for a custom hat from one of these gentlemen. The most common regret is that they didn't do it sooner.

I say all this so that you can leap-frog over wasting money on "learning" hats right into a custom-made lid you will be proud of and cherish for many years. Just make sure it's a style you'll continue to like long into the future.

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:32 PM
Rick Blaine.

Thanks for your input. It seems that everyone is offering a lot of sensible advice.
I'll be piecing it all together to think about.

Regards.

C79


IMO, the Akubra Campdraft is a dead ringer for the OR... of 30-40 yrs. ago, that is. The felt is immeasurably better on a contemporary Akubra than a modern Stetson. But really unless you suffer from hydocephaly (not that there is anything wrong with that!) there are a plethora of Vintage ORs & OR clones... some made from the lighter dress felts and w/ shorter brims actually resemble Strats more than ORs. In the past eighteen months I (7 3/8) have picked up a JC Penny Marathon, two or three nifty Resistols, a couple of Borsos and two Stetsons, all thin ribbon western OR clones.
Of the two (poorly listed) Stetsons one was an OR & one, an otherwise indistinguishable OR type but for a 2 5/8" brim and only a 3x designation on the sweat, both together couldn't have set me back fifty, inc. shipping. The point being they are out there, no matter which way you go. You might want to be willing to learn to stretch up a size and or how to give a hat a "white gas" dunking (note to self: do not smoke while doing this) or both, but to me that is at least 1/2 the fun, eh?
I just wouldn't buy a modern OR. Maybe deep discount at the outlet, but otherwise... nope.

Custom79
03-11-2008, 06:34 PM
Damone Falzone.

I couldn't resist following your lead for the possibility of a bargain. Unfortunately, my size was not to be found.

Thanks anyway.

C79


Custom79, Orvis is currently having a sale on Stetson ORs (click Tent Sale). Only 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 are available at $62.40. Not a bad price.

Justdog
03-11-2008, 07:45 PM
Custom79, Orvis is currently having a sale on Stetson ORs (click Tent Sale). Only 7 1/8 and 7 1/4 are available at $62.40. Not a bad price.

These are not lined, good price but I do not know about the quality of the fur? Is this a good deal?

J.T.Marcus
03-11-2008, 07:55 PM
It's a good price. At the Stetson Outlet, they are usually $64.00. Last week, you could get them for $60.00 each, but only if you bought two or more. Mail order prices are usually $150 to $180. :)

KY Gentleman
03-12-2008, 05:32 PM
You can get one from "Quality Hats" on-line for $149.95 and that includes free shipping, too.