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Fed IV Hat Size: Would you rather shrink? Or stretch?


Familiar Face
My Campdraft Deluxe is now nearly 3 years old and it has been on my head almost every day having its fair share of abuse, sweat and rain. The hat has not shrinked at all and I must use just as much badding in it as when it was new. My CD has very thick sweat band, much thicker than my new Fed IV Deluxe. It will be interesting to see, if the thinner sweat band of my Fed IV will shrink more. Both sweat bands are extremely high quality, just different in thickness.
Southern California
Did u order up a size Zombie? That I believe is the original question. Gotta order up if u wanna shrink... If so, didnt your Feds shrink "perfect" and the Camp Drafts shrank TOO MUCH? Regardless. Doesnt that still mean to order up and shrink...? If they are running small and shrink down as claimed by Hats Direct and as you said, both shrank down... doesn't it mean to order up and stretch only if they shrink too much and stretch only if you have to? Ordering you proper size and then with the resultant shrinking even tighter, will result in possibly way too much stretching. Guess you can/should do BOTH. Order up then shrink... and stretch if necessary.
No Sir, my head measures 60cm so that's the size I ordered for all four hats.

I have no real evidence to support this theory, but I believe Akubra knows how much the sweatbands on their hats will shrink and manufactures their hats accordingly, hence the "shrink to fit" phenomenon familiar to Akubra wearers. As I wrote above, the Fed IVs were quite loose when I received them--I'd guess they were actually size 61 and shrank to size 60 after wearing them only three or four times. The Campdrafts I received were only slightly loose when I received them, probably size 60.5, and after shrinking were probably somewhere in between sizes 59 and 60 which is why they were more snug than the Fed IVs. They weren't completely uncomfortable, just a little tighter than I prefer. A hat jack solved that issue nicely since I only had to stretch them approximately half a centimeter, and now all four hats fit the same.

So, based on my experience, if I ordered a size larger than I normally wear a Fed IV would shrink down to a size 61 and be a full size too big for me, and a Campdraft would shrink down to a size 60.5 and be a half size too big for me. But, again, I'm basing this on a sample size of only four hats. So either I'm right about Akubra taking the shrinkage of their sweatbands into consideration when sizing their hats, or I've just been lucky so far. ;)

That being said, I should note that all four of my hats are the regular/Imperial Quality felt. And, as I understand it, they use a different material for the sweatbands on their deluxe/Heritage Quality felts which doesn't shrink as much (based on posts I've read here on The Lounge), so that must be taken into consideration as well.
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