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Tilley T3 vs. Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Flipped Lid, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/or-gear/headwear/rain/seattle-sombrero.html


    I'm getting ready to purchase a hat which I intend to use as a combination rain hat, fishing hat, backpacking hat, etc. I have pretty much narrowed it down to the Tilley T3 and the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero. I've read a lot of reviews on both hats and both have what I consider strong points and weak points. I trust the knowledge and experience of the members here far more than anywhere else on the internet. By doing a search, I discovered several earlier posts that extolled the virtues of the Tilley, but I wasn't able to find anything on the Seattle Sombrero. Does anyone here own the Outdoor Research hat or have any prior experience with it? I can purchase either for about the same price so that really isn't an issue. I know my Fed IV would probably work, but I hesitate to use one of the two fur felt fedoras that I currently own for such rough use even though I suspect it would hold up pretty well for the most part.
  2. Duper

    Duper Practically Family

    Without going into a long explanation, I would go with Tilley just due to personal preference and experience. I have an LTM5 Airflo and it still sees lots of use on warm summer days. Packable, washable and most important, wearable! My wife and son both have the original Tilley T1 hats for the beach or pool side use.
  3. ottawa_adam

    ottawa_adam One of the Regulars

    I own four Tilley hats. They are my go-to hats for outdoor activities. They are not only tough as nails, but they also carry a lifetime unconditional warranty. Heck, they even have a loss insurance plan. If you lose your Tilley within two years of owning it, they will replace it for half price. They're also made in Canada, which is more than I can say for the other brand. Highly recommended. As with fedoras, Tilley owners also care a common bond, which usually results in that all-knowing nod when you pass by another Tilley wearer.
  4. My vote is for Tilley all the way. Last summer I returned one of my 10 year old Tilleys with a rip on the side ( washing Mach ) to the local sporting good. They replaced with no questions ask. When they say " lifetime" , they mean it.
  5. I have fifteen Tilley hats and wear one to work at Home Depot everyday. It's the best choice considering their warranty and replacement policy. They are a great company to deal with.'
  6. Gromulus

    Gromulus Practically Family

    My wife and I own several Tilley Hats and a few Outdoor Research Sombreros. These are our outdoor activity hats and we wear them all, depending on the occasion and conditions. While I do not own the T3 cotton Tilley, I do have the LTM3 Airflow Nylamtium model.

    I am not a fisheman, but I understand the Tilley works well as a fishing hat (lure, hook attachment, etc)

    Being a "hothead" (in more ways then one as I am told), I often find them both too hot to wear during most summer conditions. The Airflow Tilley has better ventilation than the T3 model. and would be my choice between the two. The Seattle Sombrero, even with the GORE-TEX fabric, is better suited for spring, fall, and winter weather. The Seattle Sombrero has a 2 3/4" brim all around while my Tilley is "dimensional" (2 3/4", 2 3/8"). I have worn both in downpours and the Seattle Sombrero is by far the better rain hat. Heck, that's it's claim to fame!

    I actually have a few other OR sombreros that I wear more often than the Seattle. My favorite winter cross-country skiing/snowshoeing hat is the OR Snowqualmie Somberero. This is basically the Seattle Sombrero (in black color only) with fold-down ear flaps. I think it is discontinued but I was able to buy this $65 MSRP hat for $19 at Campmor a couple of years ago. I still sometimes see it offered by other vendors.

    OR makes some other lighter fabric sombereros that I prefer (even to the Tilley) during hot summer weather. Their Sombriolet Sun Hat is a favorite of both my wife and I as a summer hat, especially when kayaking and working out in the yard.

    The Tilley is a nice all-around hat as well and one I tend to grab when backpacking or camping, but the OR sombereros usually work better for me specifically as sun and rain hats. Both models can be worn "Aussie style" with the side brims snapped up. And while neither of them are all that stylish, function often dictates over style.

    The OR hats are often on-sale on-line but I have never seen the Tilley's discounted more than a few dollars.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  7. If I was going to go with the snap up T3 I would go with the new Tilley TH3 hemp. I find my old TH5 hemp to be the coolest of all of them and I wear it a lot more than the others in the summer. They wash real well too.

    The best prices I've seen on the Tilleys is at www.outlandusa.com
  8. Thanks to all for the very helpful responses. I really appreciate it.
  9. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Of the two you mention, I would pick the Tilley on style alone. I've kayaked with a number of people who wear the Seattle Sombrero, and I have to say I don't like the shape or the material.

    So, I've answered your question, but would suggest that you consider a couple of other options. I didn't want to give up wearing a fedora just because I like to hike and kayak, so have both of these:

    The Joe Fedora, a poly straw, center-dent fedora that holds up to rain and sweat, etc. very well. I've been wearing one for 4 years hiking and kayaking and it's still in good shape:
    (currently on sale) http://www.noggintops.com/page.cfm?p=247

    Also, the Akubra Capricorn, another poly straw fedora, a little heftier and has a composite sweat band rather than the wicking sweat band in the Joe. I have the gray, but the tan or green would be nice in the outdoors.

    Both are tough and impervious to the effects of water. I have thoroughly beat the crap out of both and they are doing fine.
  10. ottawa_adam

    ottawa_adam One of the Regulars

    Tilley is also releasing a fedora this year, so I've been told.
  11. Gromulus

    Gromulus Practically Family

    They have offered (black) fedoras for a couple of years now. They came out with the TF1 Felt Fedora a couple of years back. Rumor has it this was outsourced (manufactured in the US) for Tilley. It never sold well and was pulled shortly after. You can still find it for sale on-line.

    Tilley introduced the TF2 Felt Fedora earlier this year. Also in black only with an MSRP of $145. I have not seen one in person but the pics I have seen make it look a bit "rough".

    They also have the TWF2 "wool felt" Town Fedora: MSRP $105

    I own two Akubra polypropylene Capricorns and really like them. I would never think to use them for kayaking however. They would not stay on during a "roll" and my paddling partners would laugh me off the lake! Probably OK for basic recreational paddling though.

    The OR sombreros (and Tilley) will stay on during rolls and rough weather and the larger brims do a much better job of sun protection on the open water. The OR hats hold up better to the spray and in the rain (although that signals it is time to get off the water). In my experience the OR sombreros are one of the most commonly used (and practical) hats used by paddlers.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011

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