Panamas: What are the benefits of quality?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Sardou, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. I've read the material on Panama Bob's excellent site, as well as the stuff on Brent Black's. So I think I get some idea as to WHAT constitutes quality in the world of Panamas.

    But as among Montecristis, WHY should one want to go for a better quality hat over a lesser one? Will it last longer? Is it less likely to crack if sat on? Will it hold its shape better? Is it lighter on your head (to a degree you'd ever notice)?

    Don't get me wrong. If anything, I tend to be the first guy to shell out more money than anyone really should on things that are beautifully made out of beautiful materials. I can readily imagine gazing adoringly on the fine and all-but-perfect weave of a 1,000+ WPSI Panama. But will it perform any better as a hat?

    Sardou
     
  2. Prairie Shade

    Prairie Shade A-List Customer

    Messages:
    394
    WOW!

    GOOD question. Some folks just have to have the best. Others, just want something that looks OK and works OK.. Put me in the latter. I have a couple of PB's hats and am very happy. They are one of the lower quality types that he lists. However, I am VERY happy with them. If your not really into having the very best, you can have a great Montecristi from PB without spending a fortune. IF your your happy, what does it matter? I dont want to spend money on a hat to sweat in when there are many other better places to put it!!!!!!
     
  3. Michael Mallory

    Michael Mallory One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Glendale, California
    High grade Panamas are their own reward, though once they hit a certain price level -- generally in the four figures -- I'd be afraid to wear one outside. If I had a $1,500 hat (or higher) and the wind blew it off, I'd probably have a heart attack. In answer to your question, however, I believe the tighter the weave, the more cloth-like the texture, which means the less chance of cracking. Cheap Panamas or toyos have a high blow-out factor.
     
  4. Kaleponi Craig

    Kaleponi Craig A-List Customer

    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    Just North of San Francisco
    I don't think there is any difference in the performance of the hat, whether it is a Montecristi with 1000+ wpsi or a Cuenca with 100 wpsi. The cheaper hat will shade your nose and ears just as well and probably fit just as well. A finer weave may hold up better, though, so that is something to consider. But it doesn't really have anything to do with performance as it does with just having a high quality product, a work of art, in fact. Once you've held that Montecristi in your hands, it's hard not to fall in love. Luckily, Panama Bob has some amazing hats for very, very good prices and we don't have to shell out four figures for a fine Panama...KC
     
  5. Panamabob

    Panamabob Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Let's not forget that when it comes to Montecristis or Cuencas you are getting the same plant handwoven into a hat. They are only finer if the weaver splits the paja and takes the extra time and effort to make the finer hat.

    I'd happily put one of our $1000 hats against anyone's $3500.00 plus hat (all the way up to $30000) and see if there is $2500 to $29000 in difference. When they all come from the same place and you buy from the same people you really have the same product. The blocker we work with in the states is Top Notch in my book. We've tried others during his move hiatus and were impressed with one at times, but lacked the consistency, friendliness, and honesty. I'd put his blocking up there in the top 3 Montecristi blockers, but Sharpetoys is probably the only one who has hats from 5-6 different USA Montecristi blockers, so his word is expert here.

    We're planning a trip for July to do some more educational mission work and will bring some more photos back with us.
     
  6. Dave McCone

    Dave McCone New in Town

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I have a very nice fino fino (1000 wpi) that I purchased a few years ago from Panama Bob, and a few other panamas, including one from Casey.

    The fino fino is definitely a work of art - very beautiful. *But" since it is a thinner hat, tends to be floppier in anything more than a light breeze and is a bit more unforgiving if you are less than delicate when taking the hat on or off - I find myself working on resetting the snap on the brim after a few wearings. or if the hat gets bumped in storage. It's a very nice hat for a more formal setting - but fussy.

    It's definitely *not* a hat for more mundane tasks such as working in the yard or taking to the beach - for those less formal and more work-oriented situations you are better off with a thicker hat/lower wpi that can take some abuse without needing constant care.

    Dave McCone
    Seattle WA
     
  7. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Metropolitan New Orleans
    Good thread. I'm looking into some things.
    300 wpsi ok? I tend to go for form and funtion over high end, partly because I'm a bit a simple man, and partly because I can't afford much.

    I'd like something a bit tighter, but can't pay nearly that much. A Panama Bob Havana at 300 wpsi is right near the top of my spending threshhold. I'd love some reassurance from y'all.
     
  8. Kaleponi Craig

    Kaleponi Craig A-List Customer

    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    Just North of San Francisco
    I have a Panama from Bob and am very pleased with it. You can't go wrong...KC
     
  9. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,425
    Location:
    Titusville, Florida
    I have one and love it.

    300 wpsi will be a great hat not to floppy and will be cooler than one with more wpsi.

    Here is one of mine close to what you are buying. This was blocked by Art Fawcett...

    http://www.panamas.biz/images/hat1.jpg Roger's Montecristi

    Hat from Panamabob...

    http://www.panamas.biz/
     
  10. Ben Lee

    Ben Lee New in Town

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    I'm in the same boat as RedPop4. We live in the same area and I would like one that will be cool during our hot, humid summers and be more abuse resistant. Not saying that I would would, but stuff happens when you wear it doing daily stuff....like fishing.
     
  11. artisan support

    One thing is when you buy top quality, hand made items, you are supporting the artisans that do this type of work and help keep alive traditions of quality that are not normally experienced in this world. It is a matter of having the scratch but there is more to it than just what the end user gets.
     
  12. Washington

    Washington New in Town

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    That's a nice hat, and nicely blocked. I've been looking for my first panama and wondered what I would be getting in a 300 wpsi hat.

    Washington
     
  13. mthatter

    mthatter One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Wild wild west
    erased by mt
     
  14. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Metropolitan New Orleans
    Nice.

    Another subjective question....I should be able to wear this with dress clothes on Sunday, as well as everyday wear? It's going to have to function that way for a while.
     
  15. Sure. That works. I use mine for both when the weather allows it. They are great hats.
    [​IMG]
    This is a little higher weave count than 300 but it holds up very well.

    Regards,

    J
     
  16. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Metropolitan New Orleans
    Damn, that's a great hat.....I wanted to say FINE, but it could confound.
     
  17. gekisai29

    gekisai29 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    paramus nj
    awesome hat band... is it vintage?
     
  18. Oh yes. They don't make ribbon like that anymore. At least I haven't seen it. :fedora:

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  19. TommySalieri

    TommySalieri A-List Customer

    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Excellent service, Panama Bob. I will most certainly purchase my first Panama from your business.

    In this day of greed and poor quality run amock, your honest methods of salesmanship are highly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  20. Washington

    Washington New in Town

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I took the plunge..

    and purchased my first panama from Bob just the other day, then it will be off to Art for a new block and ribbon. Several weeks yet to wait...sigh.

    Bob was very helpful and I can't wait to see the finished product.



    Washington
     

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