Hi Insp. Bumstead, I have heard enough of this to know it's true and real. There was also a post where someone said their Chatham has been in numerous rains with no ill effect. The Chatham and the Downs look like the same design...I wonder if there's a higher quality felt in the Chatham, or if it's just "hit and miss" quality. The jury is still out, but I think it's good for us to get as much info like yours as we can, to figure this out. Did you get a different/better hat after your experience, Insp. Bumstead?