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Which "Indy" should I choose?

MrFusion

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
Location
Columbia, Maryland
rebelgtp said:
See I actually think it depends on how you are going to use the hat in many cases also. The reason I say this is I have an AB along with my Akubra, as I have said my Akubra has taken a TON of abuse I do not baby the hat one little bit. Would I wear my AB in the same situations that I do the Akubra? The answer is simple, NO! While the AB is an awesome hat, it just doesn't have that old friend feel that my Akubra does and if I screw it up I would be waiting for more than a year to get a new one. So if you are planning on abusing the hat at all, using it for any sort of adventuring go for the Akubra, if you are going to just use it more as an around town hat then go for the custom. I would like to someday get a hat from Art as the hats I have seen from him are real beauties.

just my 2 cents.

There have been a few threads out there where AB owners have stated that their ABs have stood up to everything that has been thrown at them. However, I am with you about abusing a $125 Akubra vs a $360 AB; I'd choose the Akubra. In fact, I have a wool felt that I pretty much only wear when I don't want to mess up one of my better hats. But, if I am out and about wearing my hat from Art and it starts to rain/snow/etc., I won't hesitate to wear it.
 

Spellflower

Practically Family
Messages
511
Location
Brooklyn
fletch31 said:
Akubra hats are better than many rabbit hats out there because they use wild hare fur native to Australia rather than the majority of rabbit fur that comes from domesticated rabbit farms in Europe.

Not to nit-pick, but rabbits (or hares, or whatever) are NOT native to Australia. They were introduced to the continent in 1859 by a man named Thomas Austin, who wanted to have something to shoot at. Because there were no natural predators, the rabbits spread like a plague, and are responsible for completely changing the landscape in some parts of Australia. Rabbits are still wreaking havoc on the environment there, so by buying an Akubra, you're helping to fund the eradication of a destructive invasive species and protect truly native Australian wildlife!
 

Spellflower

Practically Family
Messages
511
Location
Brooklyn
Regarding whether or not to abuse an AB, I think it's silly to pay a premium for top quality materials which are intended to withstand abuse and then baby it because you spent so much. I've used the analogy of the Land Rover drivers who swerve to avoid potholes. What's the point? If you want a really nice looking dress hat to only wear formally, why not just go with rabbit, since it's cheaper, and most people can't tell the difference on sight?

On the other hand, it is important to remember that while it's true that cowboys wore pure beaver hats out on the trail, and that they withstood abuse, they still ended up looking abused. The difference is that they didn't wear through, and kept them dry. But after a few months, they probably didn't look as hot as they did in the store, and no doubt there was some taper as well. The cowboys just didn't give a damn. If you do, take better care of your hat. ;)
 

rebelgtp

One of the Regulars
Messages
203
Location
Prairie City, OR
It isn't so much the money spent on the AB that keeps me from abusing it and wearing it the way I do my Akubra. Its the fact that it would take me more than a year to replace it if I did trash it, and also it just doesn't have the "feel" that my Akubra has. [huh]

I have no doubts about the durability of the AB as I have heard the stories of people that have worn them in extreme situations.
 

Fatdutchman

Practically Family
Messages
559
Location
Kentucky
Feraud said:
Is the regular Federation a brownish gray?

My Fed Deluxe is a fine dark chocolatey brown.

Each one is going to be different, naturally, but they do definitely tend towards gray. Some even report a greenish hue.

I tried a Fed Deluxe one time. The one that they sent me was absolutely the same color as a standard I had. Dark Brownish gray. Others report that the Deluxe is more of a real brown. It would seem that your results may vary.

Now that I have my Adventurebilt, I'm not sure exactly just where I would wear it... I don't want to go to work in a $250 hat (I believe the price now is about $450) outside in the lumberyard. It definitely is not a dressy hat....[huh]
 

genphideaux

New in Town
Messages
45
Location
Biloxi, Mississippi
I tried to take it easy on Art's work even though he told me not to, it just did not workout. We have been through rain, snow, sleet, brush hogging, hunting trips, business trips and a steady diet of Red Neck Riviera humidity. We as I like to call it have bonded. In a world that seems to be spinning out of control it is a comfort to sit back with a dram of 12 year old single malt, 1990 vintage Rocky Patel and a work of Art’s.
 

NonEntity

Suspended
Messages
281
Location
Southeastern U.S.
fletch31 said:
The Adventurebilt is a GREAT value for the money. Where else can you get a handmade (or machine made for that matter) 100% beaver hat for that price in that dead on style? The price to value ratio has always been fantastic.

Fletch, I stand firmly by my assertion that the Adventurebilt, now over $400, is not a good value. Yes, it is a superb beaver hat that is better than any Akubra, but of course, the comparison is apples to oranges. Consider that you could purchase three Akubras with change left over versus one Adventurbilt. Factor in the time value of money when you have to front it a year and a half in advance, and the value of an Adventurebilt further diminishes.

What we're attempting to do here is offer mourazav advice on what Indy-style fedora to get, but the more apt comparison with the Adventurebilt is a custom-made Indy because it's in the same pecuniary and quality range. While it may not make sense to most to get, say, Art Fawcett to make such an "ordinary" fedora, I would much rather have him make me one than an Adventurebilt, as no one alive today makes a better hat than he.
 

Fatdutchman

Practically Family
Messages
559
Location
Kentucky
At the new $400+ price, I also would say that the Adventurebilt is not a "good value". I'm not real sure that at $250 it was a "good value", but I got it anyway. :) What you get is an INDY HAT. Very specifically. It is not really a dress fedora (though he could make it that way for you, I suppose). For a more practical general wear hat of basic Indy styling, I would go for something else.

Heck, my every day hat is a "5x beaver" Bailey Western hat I reshaped to 40's fedora style, and is the best damn hat I have ever had on my head. 39 bucks on Ebay...
 

fletch31

Familiar Face
Messages
73
Location
Rexburg, ID
Where are you guys getting over $400 for an american AB? They are listed as $350 on his website plus $10 for shipping and old time COW members get a discount. This will be the case until May 22nd when the new film comes out. After that the COW discount goes away and it will only then apply to previous customers. That is why I suggested earlier ordering before the new movie comes out. Last word from Steve when he left here was that he was still offering the COW discount to Fedora Lounge members as well. The man has the best block for the Raiders look and he and Marc's samples were good enough to get them the contract for the 4th movie. That fact is one of the best testimonials out there when speaking about Indiana Jones hats. He's got the IJ hat locked down tight and has and only will be raising his prices to slow his orders down as he makes them by hand. The hat is totally worth it considering what you are getting.
Fletch
 

warbird

One Too Many
Messages
1,171
Location
Northern Virginia
Spellflower said:
Not to nit-pick, but rabbits (or hares, or whatever) are NOT native to Australia. They were introduced to the continent in 1859 by a man named Thomas Austin, who wanted to have something to shoot at. Because there were no natural predators, the rabbits spread like a plague, and are responsible for completely changing the landscape in some parts of Australia. Rabbits are still wreaking havoc on the environment there, so by buying an Akubra, you're helping to fund the eradication of a destructive invasive species and protect truly native Australian wildlife!


Well it is nitpicking and really I have to say, so what. Many wild animals in this country were not native to this land, but once brought here and bred wild for a number of years, they are wild and become a native to the land. So, I would say the wild hare is definitely different and native to Australia. And yes, they are a problem Australia has been trying to eradicate so buying an Akubra is certainly helpful to their environment.

As to the difference to beaver and rabbit I ask, have you ever worn out either? I have several beaver and hare hats and have put them through much more abuse over the last 20+ years than 95% of people ever will. You can wear out either, but I have yet to truly wear either out. Most people simply will not abuse either one enough to kill it for many years if ever. Is beaver better in certain climates, probably. Especially in very humid or rainy climates, beaver is a natural water animal after all. But I haven't noticed any difference in either when sweated in. Enough sweat will stain ether and the leather will wear out before the fur ever will.

I think the durability issue in this instance between Akubra and AB is a bit over superfluous. Most people do not put their hats through a ton of abuse, some precip and sweat is about it for most folks. Few wear them in deserts, in jungles, on horseback, climbing mountains, etc. Heck most people don't even wear them hiking. I have no use personally for a hat which cannot withstand elements. I have several and they rarely get worn.

As to the dressiness of a fed or AB, I say either makes a fine dress hat. I wear my fed often with a suit and have many compliments. I never wore my classic Akubra hats with a suit. A fedora as long as it isn't filthy makes a fine dresser. My opinion.
 

Fatdutchman

Practically Family
Messages
559
Location
Kentucky
Terribly sorry. I thought the price had already been raised. The $400 was coming from my memory. I hadn't kept up with these things in a while (why bother...I already had mine coming!). I had thought I remembered that the new price was going to be $439 or something like that. As they say, mental notes aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Even so, at $350 that's already past any price I could pay for a hat.

If you want a true INDY HAT, this is what to get. No doubt. If you just want a decent hat that is of general Indy form, this expense is definitely not necessary.

Hey, I got mine, and I like it. ;)

I think I'm going to tweak mine a little bit to make it "more dressy". I'm going to try to get the brim to shape a little more smartly.

I think the "durability" difference is basically in the amount of shrinkage/taper that the felt will undergo. Rabbit fur felt naturally shrinks more than beaver fur felt, but the extent of shrinkage varies with the quality of the rabbit fur, and perhaps it comes down to the individual hat. The rabbit fur hat may need to be reblocked, but as I understand it, after a certain point, even rabbit felt just stops shrinking. It has done all it's going to do.
 

fletch31

Familiar Face
Messages
73
Location
Rexburg, ID
It did get raised from 250 to 350 and it will go up again after the new movie comes out. For those who qualify, he graciously offers a discount for the fans until May 22.
I just wanted to point out that the window is closing to get a great hat at a great price in my opinion. I also respect others right to disagree.
 

Fatdutchman

Practically Family
Messages
559
Location
Kentucky
I think Mourazav will be happy with his Federation. He should get it in about a week, and it will be a good, long wearing hat. And, he can have the joy of learning how to crease it himself! And, of course, a hundred and twenty bucks or so is a whole lot better than shelling out another one or two hundred! :D

If, later on, he decides he REALLY wants a "real" Indy hat, then by all means, he should go for the Adventurebilt. ;)
 

Spellflower

Practically Family
Messages
511
Location
Brooklyn
:eek:fftopic:
warbird said:
Well it is nitpicking and really I have to say, so what.
You're right. It is nitpicking- so what? :p

warbird said:
Many wild animals in this country were not native to this land, but once brought here and bred wild for a number of years, they are wild and become a native to the land. So, I would say the wild hare is definitely different and native to Australia.
If the rabbits in Australia don't qualify as non-native, than what would? Martian weasels? At what point did they stop being an invasive species and become native? After they'd eradicated dozens of other species and permanently changed the ecosystem? Or did they gain their native status after making it there for 100 years? Yes, there are a lot of species in the States that were brought here and bred and are now wild, but they are still non-native; that is, they don't occur here naturally, only through human intervention.
END:eek:fftopic:



warbird said:
As to the difference to beaver and rabbit I ask, have you ever worn out either?
No, I haven't, but if I had to pick only one hat to serve me for the rest of my life, I wouldn't think twice about picking a beaver felt over a rabbit.

warbird said:
Most people simply will not abuse either one enough to kill it for many years if ever.
Exactly. That's why I recommend going with rabbit if you're not going to give it extreme use; why spend the extra dough?

However, if you are going to give your hat extreme use, you might be better served by beaver, not because a rabbit hat is going to fall apart, but because it will resist taper and repel moisture better. I don't have an AB, but I'd be willing to bet that it wouldn't be as tapered as my Federation is after a year and a half of heavy use.

The fact is that a lot of people are willing to pay a premium for an AB for the same reason they want to drive a 4 wheel drive SUV: because, though they rarely go off-road or ride a wild horse through a driving rain, they like to feel like they could if they wanted to. At least AB's get decent gas mileage. ;)
 

warbird

One Too Many
Messages
1,171
Location
Northern Virginia
I understand your point about native, however, my point is that the hare there is different from the standard hare elsewhere. It has its own characteristics and isn't really comparable to hare raised for fur elsewhere. It is a native hare in terms of our uses regardless of how it got there.

I can only speak to my own experiences and I haven't had an Akubra taper yet. And mine have all been put trough the ringer. I must say though that I am not obsessive about incredible straight crowns and probably wouldnt care about a slight bit of taper. I think often it comes from a hat getting soft and sinking in a bit more than real taper itself. I'm sure that isn't so of many brands though.

I wouldn't mind heading down under for a hunting trip, maybe I will do that. Kill enough to have Akubra make me a hat of my own furs collected. I have boots made from rattlesnakes (sorry Diamondback, but I shoot rattlers) and copperheads that I killed on our property over a couple of years. Actually a couple of them I didn't kill, a black racer did. I allowed him to hang around for the very reason that he was so proficient in killing poisonous snakes. Also had to get rid of some very mean cottonmouths, but I have no use keeping anything cottonmouth related around. Ugly snake and I think they're still mean enough to kill even when dead. OK, not really, but I still didn't even want to go near them.
 

Spellflower

Practically Family
Messages
511
Location
Brooklyn
warbird, as with many arguments, it seems this one is semantic. I definitely agree that there's a difference between the rabbits in an Akubra and a modern Stetson, I'd just say that the difference lies in the fact that the Aussie hares are WILD, rather than NATIVE. However they got there, they produce a better felt than any animal that spent its life in a cage.

I wonder if the color variations in Akubras is the result of fluctuations in fur color during different seasons? Just a thought.

I will try to post some pics of my Federation, and let you be the judge of its degree of taper.
 

warbird

One Too Many
Messages
1,171
Location
Northern Virginia
I would be curious to know if they get these hares during certain times of the year or all year. Maybe part of the reason they only do production runs during certain periods is due to harvesting season. It is not a question for which I have an answer. I would certainly think wild animals of any sort would have more color variation in general than raised animals.
 

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