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Akubra Campdraft

Fed in a Fedora

Practically Family
Messages
732
Location
Dixie, USA
While we are on the subject, has anyone ordered from this place, and what are your experiences? It looks like a good place to get a Campdraft.
https://hatsdirect.com/

They sent me a poorly manufactured hat in the past. It was not properly pounced by Akubra so that an elliptical shadow line was visible all around the hat band. This was sent to me without any examination before being shipped internationally. In fairness, I was offered the option of paying the return postage and they would cancel the order and then start all over again, but just think about the cost involved and time delay.

If I order from them in the future, I will insist that they examine the hat prior to shipping - as Everything Australian did for me all along. I go to them first.

Fed
 

Preacher Man

A-List Customer
Messages
327
Location
South Central Kentucky, USA
Al said it exactly right!
I'll also add a positive review for Hats Direct/The Hattery. Friendly service, very helpful and knowledgeable, they answer e-mails within a reasonable amount of time (taking the time difference into consideration), they packaged my hats so they'd survive the trip from Australia to the west coast of the U.S., and shipped all three of my orders quickly. I have zero complaints, would order from them again, and would recommend them to anyone.

I couldn't agree more. Great people.
 

Desert dog

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,291
Location
California
I ordered a cedar brown Camp draft yesterday, from the hattery. Got an email this morning from them, telling me that while inspecting the hat, before shipment, they noticed a flaw in the felt. They have more in their warehouse and will ship me a better one, on Friday. I was happy that they notified me and and inspected the hat before shipment. I thought it was proffesional and considerate to notify me. I will continue to do business with them.
2489b9ff1b4837c378b7a26288ab8f8d.jpg


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Hat Masterson

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Color shopping for a Campdraft. Guess I'm checking on color versatility. Let me preface this by saying I'm not really too much into fashion, but I am a little curious how a BG Campdraft might fit with my outerwear (mostly informal stuff): I have a saddle barn coat with brown corduroy collar, a dark brown Berne coat, and some blue jackets. Seem like BG would set ok on these garments? I've got many hats, but it's really tough to figure this color out. Thanks in advance to those who have one.
 
Last edited:
Messages
15,015
Location
Central California
I ordered a cedar brown Camp draft yesterday, from the hattery. Got an email this morning from them, telling me that while inspecting the hat, before shipment, they noticed a flaw in the felt. They have more in their warehouse and will ship me a better one, on Friday. I was happy that they notified me and and inspected the hat before shipment. I thought it was proffesional and considerate to notify me. I will continue to do business with them.
2489b9ff1b4837c378b7a26288ab8f8d.jpg


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Always good to hear a retailer providing good customer service.

What are your plans for the Cedar Brown? Your Moonstone with the cattleman’s crease was just about perfect.


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Desert dog

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,291
Location
California
Thanks Brent! It will be a cattleman also, trying to get a range of colors in that style.
Always good to hear a retailer providing good customer service.

What are your plans for the Cedar Brown? Your Moonstone with the cattleman’s crease was just about perfect.


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Messages
11,208
Location
Southern California
Color shopping for a Campdraft. Guess I'm checking on color versatility. Let me preface this by saying I'm not really too much into fashion, but I am a little curious how a BG Campdraft might fit with my outerwear (mostly informal stuff): I have a saddle barn coat with brown corduroy collar, a dark brown Berne coat, and some blue jackets. Seem like BG would set ok on these garments? I've got many hats, but it's really tough to figure this color out. Thanks in advance to those who have one.
I really like Akubra's Bluegrass Green. I'm primarily a "jeans and tee shirts" kind of guy and most of my shirts are black, green, and dark to medium blues, and I think the Bluegrass Green goes well with them. And on those days when it's raining hard enough for me to wear my olive drab M65 field jacket it's definitely my go-to hat. That being said, I can't say I've ever worn mine with any of my brown jackets--that's what my Taupe Fawn Campdraft is for--but I don't see a problem combining those colors.

By the way, don't let the name of the color throw you. It's definitely a green hat, but in some lighting it does have a hint of a blueish hue.
 

D00R

One of the Regulars
Messages
264
Location
NY
I recieved my Akubra Campdraft in Bluegrass green today. I ordered a size 57. Its a tad big, it falls to the tops of my ears, but everyone says the sweatband will shrink in time.

The hat is kinda stiff. Like cardboard. I put the brim down and it pops back up on its own. Im used to my Borsalino Alessandria which is super soft, easy to form but the brim was always a tad short on the Alessandria.
The felt on the campdraft at first viewing and feeling seems cheap to me like it will tear in time. The fedora also has rumples in the felt when I put it in a shape. Anyone else see the rumpled texture go away in time?

The hat seems like it can be torn in half like cardboard by the way it feels and appears to look.
Im giving it a chance but Im feeling a bit disheartened by first viewing and texture of the hat.
I will post photos in daylight tomorrow.
 

Woodtroll

One Too Many
Messages
1,004
Location
Mtns. of SW Virginia
Don’t despair; your new hat certainly will not tear like cardboard. The newer hats like the Akubras do not compare to the soft fine felt of the vintage hats, but they are good solid hats.

Are you creasing it dry, without steaming or wetting it? The felt on the Akubras I have are thick and started out far too stiff to dry crease without looking “rumpled”. Steam is best, spritzing with distilled water works to prevent impurities in the water from staining the hat, but honestly I soak mine under the bathtub spigot until it starts to absorb water, let it sit a little while until it softens, then shape it the way I want. Wearing it out in a good rain accomplishes the same thing, and I promise you that it will not harm it at all. A little wet weather will also even out any rumples from the creasing you do.

My wife has thin sheets of craft foam that I pilfer and cut strips out of to take up space behind the sweatband until the hat eventually forms to my head.

I am struggling with an opposite problem; I have a really nice hat of fine felt that struggles to hold its brim shape in our current humid weather.

Good luck,
Regan
 

D00R

One of the Regulars
Messages
264
Location
NY
Don’t despair; your new hat certainly will not tear like cardboard. The newer hats like the Akubras do not compare to the soft fine felt of the vintage hats, but they are good solid hats.

Are you creasing it dry, without steaming or wetting it? The felt on the Akubras I have are thick and started out far too stiff to dry crease without looking “rumpled”. Steam is best, spritzing with distilled water works to prevent impurities in the water from staining the hat, but honestly I soak mine under the bathtub spigot until it starts to absorb water, let it sit a little while until it softens, then shape it the way I want. Wearing it out in a good rain accomplishes the same thing, and I promise you that it will not harm it at all. A little wet weather will also even out any rumples from the creasing you do.

My wife has thin sheets of craft foam that I pilfer and cut strips out of to take up space behind the sweatband until the hat eventually forms to my head.

I am struggling with an opposite problem; I have a really nice hat of fine felt that struggles to hold its brim shape in our current humid weather.

Good luck,
Regan


Thanks Regan for the reasuring words it helps a lot really, I never owned an Akubura before. I just did a light pat down of the crown and a pinch to see the look of the hat and get a feel of the felt.
I will give all you recomendations a shot.
Would you ever use stiffiner on your brim? Ive never done that but I read they sell spray stuff to hold its shape.
 

Woodtroll

One Too Many
Messages
1,004
Location
Mtns. of SW Virginia
I understand how much different the Akubra must feel to you after the Borsalino. I was the in the exact opposite situation - I’ve dealt with wider brims and stiffer felts on western-type hats most of my life, so the first fine felt fedora I handled and put on my head was a “Wow!” moment for me, too. They are completely different animals for sure.

I’m thinking about trying a little steam and putting this one on a simple form I have made; I like my front and rear brim both down, which leaves the sides to do what they want. It is soft and light to the point of being luxurious, so I am very hesitant to add any spray-on stiffener, but have considered it and do appreciate the tip!
 

D00R

One of the Regulars
Messages
264
Location
NY
Yeah I understand about not wanting to spray it with anything. I always want l d a hat to be as is and not have a worry about adjusting it. Yeaah Ive been liking that down back and down front look lately to.

I like how my Borsalino can be beaten up and reformed fast. The askubras felt seems fragile that if I beat it up there will be felt marks all over it. And if I pick it up from the pinch a hole will form fast. Feels like a costume hat to me so far. Will it get softer in time?
Im wanting to love it and I really wanted to get it in Dark brown and a FedIV deluxe in heritage Fawn but im so on the fence now to order more from Akubra.
 

Hat Masterson

Familiar Face
Messages
60
I recieved my Akubra Campdraft in Bluegrass green today. I ordered a size 57. Its a tad big, it falls to the tops of my ears, but everyone says the sweatband will shrink in time.

The hat is kinda stiff. Like cardboard. I put the brim down and it pops back up on its own. Im used to my Borsalino Alessandria which is super soft, easy to form but the brim was always a tad short on the Alessandria.
The felt on the campdraft at first viewing and feeling seems cheap to me like it will tear in time. The fedora also has rumples in the felt when I put it in a shape. Anyone else see the rumpled texture go away in time?

The hat seems like it can be torn in half like cardboard by the way it feels and appears to look.
Im giving it a chance but Im feeling a bit disheartened by first viewing and texture of the hat.
I will post photos in daylight tomorrow.

Man that IS a bummer. I have a BGCD on the way, and gotta say those are words I didn't want to read. All I've read on these boards are positive things about this hat. Maybe you got a bad one. You could always contact the seller.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge on CDs will chime in.
 

D00R

One of the Regulars
Messages
264
Location
NY
Im sorry to make you worry. It just seems like two worlds compared to the other fedoras I've owned. Stetson Royals, Modern Day Borsalinos like the Alessandria.
Yeah I have seen some CD’s with rumpled felt from forming it but from the tips to use water and steam might do the trick for a smoother bash. I want to like this hat it just feels cheap and costumey. I will take a better gander at it tomorrow during the day.

The pluses are its a nice shaped hat, classic open crown. The sweatband is comfortable as well. And the inside liner is very classy with pride.

Cons the grade felt & stiffness. The brim pops back and making a dash out of the box looks sloppy not easy to just bash and go, needs steam to get that smooth formed look. Size is to big. It falls ontop of my ears and I can turn my head and have the hat shift all over. I owned a Modern day Herbert Johnson Fedora in a size 57 and it lay snug across my brow.

I also just realized I didn’t order the Deluxe Version of the Campdraft. BUT apprently I nearly paid the same price of a deluxe which just worsens how Im feeling about this purchase. Im not sure if im allowed to mention the company I ordered it from.
With further looking the Bluegrass doesn’t come in the Deluxe choice.

I emailed the company about the felt and fit and will see what they have to say. In the end Im sure I will just make the best of it.
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,208
Location
Southern California
@D00R - I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed with your Campdraft, but I suggest you give it some time. Akubra's felt can sometimes be rather stiff at first--when I received my Taupe Fawn Campdraft it was stiffer than my other Akubras combined and, like you experienced, the brim snapped right back up the first several times I tried to snap it down. Time, handling and wearing the hat, and "working" the felt by creasing and re-creasing it will make it softer, but it probably won't become as soft as a vintage or custom hat for at least a couple of decades.

With regards to shaping the crown and brim, steam and/or water will definitely help. On all of my Akubras my process was the same--give the crown a rough shape dry, spray it with distilled water until it's good and wet, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the water to soak into the felt, refine the shape and eliminate those "rumples" (at that point mine all shaped almost like clay), then--and here's the hard part--set it aside and let it dry at room temperature, checking it occasionally to make sure it's holding it's new shape. Depending on how well you saturate the felt this last step can take quite a while, but using an artificial heat source to make it dry faster can cause the felt to shrink, resulting in a tapered crown. I also sprayed the entire front half of the brim in order to "convince" it to stay snapped down, and that worked well for me (though it took two or three treatments on my overly stiff Campdraft).

The size should take care of itself as long as you wear, and more specifically sweat in, the hat. The moisture and sodium in our perspiration slightly dehydrates the leather Akubra uses for their sweatbands, which causes them to shrink somewhat. All of my Akubras started out so oversized that I could pull them down until my head filled the crown, but after wearing them every day they all shrunk down in less than a week.

KZjYKM6.jpg


You can use spacer material behind the sweatband to make the hat more comfortable while this happens, but I just wore mine loose until they all shrunk down to a nice fit and conformed to the shape of my head.
 

chicken1616

New in Town
Messages
40
@D00R - I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed with your Campdraft, but I suggest you give it some time. Akubra's felt can sometimes be rather stiff at first--when I received my Taupe Fawn Campdraft it was stiffer than my other Akubras combined and, like you experienced, the brim snapped right back up the first several times I tried to snap it down. Time, handling and wearing the hat, and "working" the felt by creasing and re-creasing it will make it softer, but it probably won't become as soft as a vintage or custom hat for at least a couple of decades.

With regards to shaping the crown and brim, steam and/or water will definitely help. On all of my Akubras my process was the same--give the crown a rough shape dry, spray it with distilled water until it's good and wet, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the water to soak into the felt, refine the shape and eliminate those "rumples" (at that point mine all shaped almost like clay), then--and here's the hard part--set it aside and let it dry at room temperature, checking it occasionally to make sure it's holding it's new shape. Depending on how well you saturate the felt this last step can take quite a while, but using an artificial heat source to make it dry faster can cause the felt to shrink, resulting in a tapered crown. I also sprayed the entire front half of the brim in order to "convince" it to stay snapped down, and that worked well for me (though it took two or three treatments on my overly stiff Campdraft).

The size should take care of itself as long as you wear, and more specifically sweat in, the hat. The moisture and sodium in our perspiration slightly dehydrates the leather Akubra uses for their sweatbands, which causes them to shrink somewhat. All of my Akubras started out so oversized that I could pull them down until my head filled the crown, but after wearing them every day they all shrunk down in less than a week.

KZjYKM6.jpg


You can use spacer material behind the sweatband to make the hat more comfortable while this happens, but I just wore mine loose until they all shrunk down to a nice fit and conformed to the shape of my head.
How do you know that your head just didn't get bigger?;)
 
Messages
15,015
Location
Central California
I recieved my Akubra Campdraft in Bluegrass green today. I ordered a size 57. Its a tad big, it falls to the tops of my ears, but everyone says the sweatband will shrink in time.

The hat is kinda stiff. Like cardboard. I put the brim down and it pops back up on its own. Im used to my Borsalino Alessandria which is super soft, easy to form but the brim was always a tad short on the Alessandria.
The felt on the campdraft at first viewing and feeling seems cheap to me like it will tear in time. The fedora also has rumples in the felt when I put it in a shape. Anyone else see the rumpled texture go away in time?

The hat seems like it can be torn in half like cardboard by the way it feels and appears to look.
Im giving it a chance but Im feeling a bit disheartened by first viewing and texture of the hat.
I will post photos in daylight tomorrow.

For me, it’s all about managing my expectations. I’d never expect a $100 Akubra to compare to a Borsalino. I’m a fan of economy custom hats, but I also understand that they won’t compare to VS, Gannon, etc.

Akubras are hell for stout so you don’t have to worry about damaging them with reasonable handling. I have three Campdrafts and two of them were just as you describe. They had hard felt that required water, steam, and muscle to shape. I’d give it some time and work and rework the shape and the felt should soften a bit. I doubt it will ever be a soft hat, but they are very serviceable. My Silverbelly came very soft and malleable, but all my others are close to what you described.

I know the disappointment of getting a hat and realizing it was not what you had hoped. I’d say keep it and use it hard, make it your rain hat, and enjoy a hat you don’t have to baby.

I was thinking about ordering another Campdraft (Moonstone) but in the end I spent just a bit more and ordered a custom Agnoulita and specified a soft crown and a stiffer brim. At this point I personally can’t see ordering another felt Akubra, but I’m glad I have mine...wore one today as a matter of fact.


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Messages
11,208
Location
Southern California
How do you know that your head just didn't get bigger?;)
Actually, I don't. But if that were the case, I think I'd have to eventually order a larger size. :D

The funny thing is, I've been having my hair cut shorter over the last year or so, so now I'm between sizes and all of my hats fit a little looser than they used to. I think they're actually more comfortable that way, but now I'll have to be extra careful that they don't blow off of my head on windy days. :confused:
 
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