Stetson Hats

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Maitiu, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Maitiu

    Maitiu New in Town

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    Location:
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    I'm hoping you experts can give me some advice on a couple hats from Stetson I'm debating on.

    First and foremost, is the 5x or 6x a high quality felt? I know nothing about what a 5x or 6x actually means other than it refers to the quality of felt? Is that right? Is there a big difference between the two?

    As I stated before, I'm leaning towards Stetson. I've looked at the Akubra's and like what I see with some of their hats, but the vent holes on the sides bother me. Besides those 2 companies, is there someone else I should consider for a cowboy hat?

    Out of the 2 I am going to link you guys to, which one would you say would be a better choice of hat? I should also mention, I'm not looking for a wide and or tall hat. Well, nothing obnoxious I guess. I don't want to stand out in a crowd if ya catch my drift.

    Thanks in advance for educating me on getting my first cowboy hat!

    https://www.stetson.com/store/pawnee-1.html

    https://www.stetson.com/store/40-carson-1.html?refSrc=1763&nosto=nosto-page-product3
     
  2. Just A Hat Rack

    Just A Hat Rack Practically Family

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    There are some here who can answer this better than I can, but here's my input. Generally speaking, the more X's implies a better quality of felt used for the hat. Some hats are listed as being as 100X. That being said, a 5X for one brand of hat is not necessarily the same as a 5X for another brand. There is no universal system using X's to determine the quality of felt. It is better to determine how each manufacturer rates the quality of their hats.

    As for the two hats that you mentioned, I don't own them, but I've handled a Pawnee and the felt is stiff. I would be under the impression that the Carson would be of similar quality. Neither of these would be of great quality, but would still make a fine fur hat if that is the direction you would choose to go. Before I bought my first hat, these were two that I was considering. After I handled the Pawnee, I wasn't overly impressed, but wouldn't mind owning one if the price were much lower. I wound up purchasing an Akubra Lightning Ridge from David Morgan for $190. It has a very similar look, no vents, and will stand up to the elements better than a lot of other fur hats that are comparable. The felt is not of the highest quality, but I would rate it better than the mentioned Stetsons. Take some time and read thru the numerous threads dedicated to certain hat brands here, and you will find something that you like. I will also add that spending just a little more money can land you a nice custom beaver hat that will be of better quality than what's been mentioned here. Good luck.
     
  3. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

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    I own a Pawnee and it is a great hat, nothing cheap or poor quality about it. It is a stiff hat, as most modern western hats. I have used mine under torrential rains working on my property and it hasn't budged one bit.

    It is all a matter of taste. The reality is most modern offerings don't stack up to their vintage counterparts.

    I agree 100%, a custom hat would be more rewarding.
     
    Maitiu and Just A Hat Rack like this.
  4. Just A Hat Rack

    Just A Hat Rack Practically Family

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    I probably should have added that the stiffness of the Pawnee wasn't a result of the felt quality, but the amount of stiffener used to keep the hats shape. A lot of western hats use more stiffeners to give them their desired shape as compared to other fedoras.
     
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  5. Just A Hat Rack

    Just A Hat Rack Practically Family

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    Have you considered an Akubra Campdraft? The dimensions aren't too modest, and they come open crown, so you can shape it how you would like. Everything Australian is currently offering them for $105, a much lower price point than what's been mentioned. There is a dedicated thread to the Akubra Campdraft here on the Lounge.
     
    jkingrph and Maitiu like this.

  6. The whole “X” count issue comes up from time to time. First, it’s only useful when comparing hats made by the same company at the same time. A 3X Stetson from The 1950s is much better than a current 6X.

    Modern westerns are stiff, but they have a place in my rotation. They are just about bulletproof and with some work can be shaped however you want them.

    I’m not a big fan of most vent holes in hats either, but Akubra does it better than most of their competition.
     
    Maitiu likes this.
  7. ILB Frank

    ILB Frank New in Town

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    Bumping this thread as this seems the best place to post this link.
    It's an okay video. Nothing earth-shattering but hat lovers might find it interesting.
     
    Just Daniel, G MAN and BobHufford like this.
  8. M Brown

    M Brown One of the Regulars

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    N Tx
    The X factor in modern day hats is all over the fur map. There was a time when it had some relevance to the amount of beaver fur but these days not so much unless you're buying from a boutique maker who publishes the X list for their hats. For example: Rand's 10 X is 100% beaver and their 8X is 80% beaver/20% hare. Both of those are fantastic quality hats.
    O'farrell used to make a "Premium Blend" which was 80/20, also a fantastic fur blend. Jaxonbilt says their 50X is 100% beaver. And Akubra has always used 100% hare fur for their hats, also a great hat built for long wear.

    With Stetson, it's a 'secret sauce' kind of story. I have a 6X from the 60's that's comparable to an 80/20 blend in today's world. But, unless you get into the double, triple or higher X amounts on a modern Stetson, you're looking at mostly European hare fur mixed with a small amount of beaver. However, those 5 and 6X Stetsons are very good quality hats, as are most hare fur hats.
    As for stiffness:
    I have a 45 yr old Miller Bros western that still seems to have near the original factory stiffness and it's seen countless hard downpours...it's been my 'rain hat' for the past 35 years...and I'm talking rain so hard you'd think the truck would float away. The soakings it's taken have never affected it's ability to retain it's shape. It looks like it's seen a cattle drive after all the years but has another two lifetimes left in it.
    On the other hand, I have a Rand that started out very stiff, then after a couple of rain storms and a few all day work wearings it has softened up to a buttery softness with no feel of stiffness anywhere in the felt, crown or brim. Yet, no matter how much sweat or rain it soaks up, it always dries back to it's original shape...much like my 60's Stetson. The modern day Stetson's in my collection all have just the right amount of stiffness. Some more than others, depending on the model.

    As to the OP's query though: I've always liked the Carson. That style suits me and the X factor is of decent quality. The 6x in that series is noticeably softer than a 4x for example. And it's a hat worthy of daily wear. It's probably mostly hare fur but it's a good hat for the money.

    To the vent holes: It's just a personal preference...I don't notice that they actually provide any ventilation on the hats I have with vent holes. Of the Akubras I have with vent holes I really never notice any air coming thru them...maybe they just let warm air out...cant' tell. But the holes don't factor into my liking of the hat or style one way or another. My Akubra Territory has vents and I wear it daily while working the property at this time of year. It's a thick felt with vents and a liner. That hat takes a hard work beating and just keeps asking for more. But I never notice any cool air coming in thru the vents.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  9. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Here are pics of my Stetson Special Homburg won out a small Canadian online auction house. Threw in a bid because I don't have a blue homburg, won it for $30 and then had to negotiate them down to the same for shipping (down from $48). It is a nice hat, very dark blue, in great shape, listed as a 7 3/8" but in reality a 7 1/2" but it fits OK. Not sure if there is anything really Special about it. Felt has a nice hand but I am thinking if I tore the hat down and washed/reblocked it would turn out to be amazing BUT as its a homburg I am loathe to mess with it. CIMG0267.JPG CIMG0268.JPG CIMG0269.JPG
     
  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I just went through the dating Stetson by size tag. I am thinking this one is early to mid 1950's? Thoughts?
     
  11. carouselvic

    carouselvic I'll Lock Up

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    [QUOTE. With Stetson, it's a 'secret sauce' kind of story. I have a 6X from the 60's that's comparable to an 80/20 blend in today's world. But, unless you get into the double, triple or higher X amounts on a modern Stetson, you're looking at mostly European hare fur mixed with a small amount of beaver.[/QUOTE]


    6X Stetson from the 60’s…HUMMMMM can you show a photo please.
     
    hatsRme likes this.
  12. Jokerwolf

    Jokerwolf New in Town

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    Hey! Before I started a new thread I have a related question. As for modern, New Stetsons, can anyone speak to the quality of the Stratoliner? It's not that different of a price than the 6x open road(about 30 bucks) but doesn't have the 6x. In full disclosure, I only have access to their online store.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  13. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Location:
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    Modern Strats currently come in "Pure," which is 100% beaver and "Premier." These Pure Open Roads and Strats have gotten good reviews from Lounge Members, but I haven't handeld one. The "firm felt" description in the catalogue turns me off, though.

    The Premiers, however, are soft felts sold open crown. Not sure about now, but the Premiers used to be of Royal Deluxe quality. I have several hats of RD quality from the 150th Anniversary collection (2015) and I like them pretty well. The felt is a little thick, but OK.

    The only modern Strat I own is of Excellent quality, and is very nice. Soft, malleable felt and a good look. Build quality, as always with Stetson, is a bit dicey, however. You can't get around that, though.

    Oh, and the thread to discuss modern Strats is here: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/the-stratoliner-appreciation-club-modern.58325/
     
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  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I have a an Excellent quality and a couple of the 150th Anniversary Premiers and I second the comments of Fruno.
     
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  15. Jokerwolf

    Jokerwolf New in Town

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    I think the one they have on the site is only royal quality which I know is less. Do you know how different the quality might be from the open road 6x?
     
  16. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Location:
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    I've not handled a 6X, but I suspect it might be better than the Royal. I wouldn't buy a Royal.

    But you might also be comparing apples to oranges. I think the 6X is going to be a stiffer, heavier felt. More "western," than "dress."
     
    Jokerwolf likes this.
  17. Jokerwolf

    Jokerwolf New in Town

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    Location:
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    True. I'm just trying to find the best quality for basically the same price. I'll probably go more towards a whippet to be honest. Just trying to learn, as I'm new to "nice hats". Thanks.
     
  18. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

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    You know, all this time I forgot I do actually have a modern Stetson 6x felt. It was blocked/finished by Knudsen hats, so it's possible that it is significantly different from what comes direct from Stetson. That having been said, my 6x is relatively thick and very firm.

    I've not been super impressed with the Royal Quality hats. The Royal Deluxe is pretty good. The beaver felts sure look nice, but I've not handled them personally.
     
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  19. Jokerwolf

    Jokerwolf New in Town

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    What brands do you prefer?
     
  20. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    If you want a dress hat, I would pick Stetson. If you want a resilient, bad weather hat, I would pick Akubra. If you wanted the best hat for your money, I would advise researching custom hatters.
     

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