Tilley Hat - Cancer Warning

Discussion in 'Hats' started by BaldingBonce, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    Just a word of warning about Tilley hats: the new ones could give you cancer.

    I bought a Tilley LTM6 "Nylamtium" (plastic) hat. The materials for this hat must run to a couple of dollars, the rest is pure profit underpinned with lots of marketing. Gone are the days when their hats were made of heavy, durable cotton duck and English brass grommets; now they're just cheap petrochemicals. The fact that they can sell them for the same price is testimony to the wonders of marketing, as I said.

    Unfortunately, the sun shines brightly through the aeration section in the crown of the hat, bathing my balding head in UV. For me, this hat is a cancer risk. See the problem here:

    tilley-hat-cancer.jpg

    I contacted Tilley about the sun shining through the crown onto my head, and they threw a variety of excuses at me:

    1. "Nobody has complained before" — this is a typical (and usually dishonest) response to a buyer complaint, in my experience
    2. "Our hats are UPF tested by an outside lab. These hats have been given a UPF50+ rating" ... but if you check the tests, you find that the hat FABRIC was tested, NOT the hats themselves. More dishonesty.
    3. "Visible light can penetrate the mesh, but none of the sun's harmful rays" — They must think their customers are idiots. The strong light coming through the crown is FULL of UV rays.

    In short, the hats are, in my opinion, a health disaster for cancer-prone, balding men, and should be either removed from sale, or sold with a UV warning, or have the "Maximum UV SPF50+" advertising barred.

    Astonishingly, Amazon is full of 5-star customers reviews, many by men like me, balding and with a history of cancer, praising the hat for protecting their bald heads. The reviews there are either false or people are more stupid than I ever suspected.

    Since the packaging and paperwork for this purchase was discarded by my wife, I am stuck with it. She has offered to sew a sleeve inside the hat crown to stop the UV penetration, and I may go that route.

    And regarding their "lifetime warranty", when I tried to replace my lost old cotton Tilley using the warranty, they refused, saying "The hat replacement policy only covers hats that are actually worn out, and the hat insurance would replace the hat at half-price within the first 2 years of purchase." Which begs the question: why put "Insured against loss for life" inside the hat when it's a lie?
     
  2. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    Here's the Amazon listing, written by Tilley themselves apparently, with the UV protection claim.

    amazon.jpg

    They are caught between a rock and a hard place. Cotton duck is expensive and wears out (gets moldy), meaning they are constantly replacing hats for free, but plastic although durable and cheap is hot as hell, and needs lots of ventilation. Hence the large vent mesh in the crown.
     
  3. hatsRme

    hatsRme

    Messages:
    10,109
    Location:
    Boston area
    Welcome to the Lounge!

    We're here for you, go ahead and vent!

    Is anything okay?!
     
  4. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    The old hat was okay. Sucks how everything is going downhill quality-wise.
     
  5. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,587
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I am not so sure. My current vehicle is so much better than anything purchased in the '50's into the 90's. My new bikes are much better....probably a bunch more things that I could think of if I thought about it. It is not all doom and gloom.
     
  6. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    You could service the old bikes and cars yourself, the new ones not so much.
     
    V.C. Brunswick likes this.
  7. seres

    seres A-List Customer

    Messages:
    453
    Location:
    Alaska
    I tend to agree with you. The new cars are wonderful... when they work. The old stuff worked OK, and they would never leave you stranded.
     
    carouselvic likes this.
  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,587
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, I quit working on cars after 1970 but my bikes are mountain bikes and the new ones are a breeze to work on. In terms of new automobiles my last two, 200,000 trouble free Km each and only oil changes, tires and brakes.....a joy to own compared to always fiddling with the timing and points/plugs in the bad old days.
     
    Nathaniel Finley likes this.
  9. tommyK

    tommyK One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Berwick, PA
    I have found this not to be true. Like belfastboy, I have found modern cars and especially motorcycles to be preferable to own and to work on. Carburetors and points are fine but fuel injection and modern ignition systems are better IMHO. I always get the service manual for my bikes and do most work myself. I don't find them harder to work on, just different.

    However, I agree that hats are not what they used to be and the vented Tilley is not the best for UV protection
     
    Fed in a Fedora and DOGMAN like this.
  10. Duper

    Duper Practically Family

    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have had a Tilley LTM5 for 15 or more years and I think it has served me well. I am also a bald guy with very fair skin. I do see your point about the venting allowing light through. I still prefer the nylon hats to the cotton duck for feel. I think their organic cotton hats feel nice to the touch and to wear also.

    On the topic of the lost hat. I do recall the two year warranty statement from when I purchased the hat. I figured that was a sales gimmick but it is still better than no insurance.

    I do have one correction to your warranty statement - "Which begs the question: why put "Insured against loss for life" inside the hat when it's a lie?

    Unless the inside of your hats said something different. Mine says ; Insured against loss, guaranteed for life.

    The comma makes the difference in the interpretation. Yes it is insured against loss, but for two years and the guaranteed for life refers to your hat wearing out.

    ,,,Mike in Canada
     
  11. Fed in a Fedora

    Fed in a Fedora Practically Family

    Messages:
    732
    Location:
    Dixie, USA
    I suspect this is a carefully crafted misleading statement. Restated into the language of the common person - Insured against loss for two years. Guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for life...

    Sneaky devils.

    On the other hand, my wife loves her Tilleys. She bought one and inherited one that she had bought for her mother. Both are over 10 years old and still doing well. She has worn them from the Grand Canyon to New Zealand and Palau.

    But she has hair protecting her actual head from the sun. I buzz cut my remaining hair, so this does not protect me.

    I prefer my SunBody which was shaped like the Sam Neill hat from Jurassic Park for sunny and warm days.

    I also like my old cotton duck Discovery Channel Aussie slouch at times when a hat might be lost or damaged. Not great for ventilation, but it keeps me from sun exposure; has a strap and is comfortable. But it is no longer my favorite. I am moving more to my Akubra felt hats because they cover me completely. Too many friends getting skin carved off of them at doctors' offices these days for my comfort. I just have to rig a strap on one of my CampDrafts to keep from losing it over the side of a cliff.

    Fed
     
  12. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    Thank you. Men like us have to avoid hats that allow our heads to be bathed in sunshine.

    The Tilley drone (a robot?) that answered my emails admitted one man was fried by the hat, but that's because he fell asleep in the sun. IOW, if you spend too long in the sun wearing this hat, look out!
     
  13. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    I love my akubras, but the one I use for working around the farm is a mess. You cannot wash them. Mine is has a thick band of sweat/oil soaked around the headband. Looks disgusting. I thought about buying yet another (I have one I keep in my car for going out), but at their current prices, and with a limited lifespan due to unwashability, I decided on the Tilley, which was clearly a mistake.
     
  14. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,000
    Location:
    Cloud-cuckoo-land
    I'm no Tilley fan so I hope I can offer an objective view. Firstly, Tilley still make plenty of cotton & hemp hats.... you chose to buy one of their plastic models, so it's hardly Tilley's fault. Secondly, if you want 100% UV protection, it stands to reason to avoid the mesh models, no? again not Tilley's fault.
    Of course the UPF rating is for the fabric & not for the hat per say, if someone tilts their face to the sun all day wearing a hat, it won't offer any protection. The manufacturers do their best in their product description but they can't compensate for the stupidity of some wearers. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    Rmccamey and hatsRme like this.
  15. Duper

    Duper Practically Family

    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    BaldingBonce, On your behalf, I would be willing to place a call to Tilley's head office (no pun intended) and see if they would be willing to make some sort of amends. Perhaps a gentle nudge from a fellow Caanuck to encourage them to be good corporate citizens and the like. It is the least I could do for a fellow Commonwealth member and someone from a nation who has provided me with so very many fine Akubra hats.

    I suspect I will need a few details on when and where and the approximate cost of the LTM6 you purchased as the Tilley staff must have to fill out some sort of replacement paperwork.

    ,,,Mike in Canada
     
  16. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

    Messages:
    16,743
    Location:
    Funkytown, USA
    All fur felt hats can be cleaned (bathed in naphtha). If you don't want to tackle it yourself, there are places to send it. Of course, considering the affordability of Akubras, purchasing new may make just as much sense.
     
  17. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    It was the one with the widest brim, which I needed for sun protection.
    I took their SPF protection statement at face value. NOWHERE do they make it clear, in their Amazon listing, that this hat allows LOTS of sun through.

    That's not what Tilley says, they actually say the SPF rating is for the HAT in their email to me and in their advertising. The Canadian advertising standards authority should take action.
     
  18. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    Not at a reasonable price.

    Thanks, Duper, I'd be interested in the outcome. I've already offered to remove the review of the hat from Amazon if they send me a hat that does not allow sun penetration. Crickets.

    They know all about me ... bought it from them via Amazon
     
  19. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,710
    Location:
    Alberta
    Shame to hear about your experience with Tilley hats. When they first introduced that hat I asked about the sun proofing of the venting and they told me it had none. But the rational being if you are moving around the sun would not be on that part of your head for long periods of time. That didn't seem good enough for me and I never looked at them again.

    Furthermore if you go by the Canadian and Australian cancer society's they recommend a flat brim of 83mm or wider. So most Tilley hats don't meet the minimum requirements. Tilley said the hat sits lower on the head than most so it still meets the Canadian Cancer Society's requirements, being Tilley gets a seal of approval I am guessing most models get approved.

    Just to add my two cents on skin cancer protection. I contacted several companies (years ago) about the UV rating on their products. At that time the only two companies that responded to me were Akubra and Sunbody. Both encouraged me to look at hats with flat or turned down brims that were 3" or wider. Akubra pointed out the Snowy River met the width but with the turned up brim disqualified it for full sun protection. They also pointed out any sun protection was better than none, so if I was more inclined to wear one style over another it's better to buy something I would wear.

    That's the end of my rant. Hope you enjoyed. ;P
    Johnny
     
  20. BaldingBonce

    BaldingBonce New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Australia
    Johnny thanks for that; I'm glad I'm not the only one to take this issue very, very seriously.

    The Akubra with the widest brim now is the Territory, a lovely hat:

    [​IMG]

    I sincerely think the people at Tilley do not understand how UV exposure works. It is CUMULATIVE. It is instantly damaging. For instance:

    Tilley simply don't know what they are doing. Sad, as the orange Jesus might say.

    I really should look at some of the Sunbody hats ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017

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