Cool Stuff: Tilley- Ultimate Island Daily Wear

The Tilley Hat with hood, Airflo, and Insect Shield is the absolute ultimate Cool Stuff island daily wear. The Tilley will help against rain, glare, insects, and even give you a start in battling skin cancer. A Cool Stuff Hall of Famer guaranteed. [Photo: Barry Markowitz]

Tilley hats are a genuine classic. They are the most practical helpful hats ever bestowed upon us mere mortals. A gift from above? No just a gift from above the US... yes blame Canada. Those pesky Canadians keep improving the lot of us in such a low key humble way. But if you are a Tilley hat owner you will bump into another proud Tillyite and you will salute his superb good judgement... the way we used to honk at other VW.

Shooting the first home Marist 7's back in the 90's I got fried by the sun. Despite years in Savaii, my Palagi skin still could not handle 5 hours of slaving away shooting for the Samoa News without cover. A few years ago I had a little patch of skin cancer removed, thankfully early, that I attribute to that day. So I embrace my Tilley as the first line of defense against skin cancer, po'o's and even Dengue Fever. While at my Adventure Gifts Faleolo Airport Shop, a Canadian Tourist raved about his Tilley. So of course, I offered to buy his used Tilley for full price on his departure or trade him for our cool miti afu Samoa. The Canadian's response, "No, these are like a family heirloom, especially since I've been here and everywhere with it. Get your own, eh?"

My Tilley is the LTM6C Airflo Hat with Neck Protector model for $84 that includes a pull out hood and is impregnated with Insect Shield to scare away those pesky little namu and other bites. My various Tilley's have been with me to the Hong Kong 7's, on my CNN tragic 2009 Tsunami coverage, my Japan Hawaii CNN tsunami coverage, several major college football games, PacWest Conference soccer and cross country, the Triple Crown of Surf, the Eddie Aikau, Troy Polamalu's Tutuila visit, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, the Cooks, Niue, and even to cover a few US Presidents in Hawaii. And if per chance I didn't have the right rain gear on my photo gear... the Tilley comes off my head and onto the Sony, Canon, or Panasonic Lumix. It's like wearing a little umbrella that does so much more.

Really neat is that the Tilley will float, and that it has a velcro pocket underneath the top that can accommodate your passport, tala, ID, and credit cards. That's right, don't carry your wallet... the bad guys will never know the good stuff is hidden in your hat. You can bend, fold, and abuse your Tilley and it still springs back into stylish shape.

Tilley has a very thoughtful insurance policy that if you lose or damage your hat that they will replace/repair it for around half price. Tilley's traditionally have a "brag sheet" located in the hidden pocket on all Tilley's... so check out their latest kind assistance.

My old Tilley's were a cotton canvas that functioned much like the current models, but did not feature the Airflow breathability, and could get a little funky if left wet in a plastic bag. The new models are much cooler and seem to look just as new with age, with its hybrid Nylamtium fabric.

Protect yourself and your family. Available in several nice colors and styles, check out the Tilley line at http://www.tilley.com. The latest styles include a Fedora, Pub, and Plaid model. Tilley's clothing line and travel accessories are absolutely terrific for off island travel and I would endorse them for our non lava lava daily wear. As soon as I test the clothing and accessory line you can expect further raving and complete Cool Stuff endorsement.

Tilley is my personal Cool Stuff Hall of Fame hats across their entire product line, not only because of their commitment to quality and service, but because of their sincere concern for their customers and our unique product application. Accessorize your Tilley with a tapa style band or their Braid offering and it will be Fa'a Samoa to da max. Then you will only have to worry about an uncle saying "malo, malo."

Cool Stuff, discovering legends and embracing your Coolio lifestyle.


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