I was happy when I bought my first Tilley hat. It cost a lot but I wanted to get a fitted hat and signed the inside panel, in case I ever lost it. I walked around Quidi Vidi lake with my husband and had photos taken wearing my new hat. It was a khaki color and did not suit all of my hiking outfits, but I didn’t care. Whenever I’d meet someone wearing a Tilley hat, I’d say to my husband “That fellow is wearing a Tilley hat too”. I asked my husband if I could get one for him, and he said he wouldn’t wear it, so I didn’t.
One day while visiting my sister Rose in Bolton, Ontario, I was gifted with a white Tilley hat. A friend of hers gave it to her, and she knew just who would love it. Me, of course! It is a heavy cotton and I wear it down South, as it is a nice clean color. Recently when my youngest son got married in Punta Cana, I brought along my two Tilley hats and lucky for my friend Brenda, for she had forgotten hers! So you might say I have a good liking for my Tilley hats.
One day while on Duckworth Street I saw a brown hemp Tilley, and it is was on a sale rack. Lucky me! For $40 plus tax, I got my third Tilley hat. It has a stain, but that did not faze me. So there you have it- my three Tilley hat collection. But my first hat held a special place in my heart as it was very light and I wore it on my first camino, Camino Frances.
This year in Portugal, camino number two, I lost my khaki hat. I was devastated at first. It was a hot sunny day and my head was wet with sweat so I took it off to cool off. I batted away mosquitoes and I may have thrown it down next to my pack during a bathroom break, but however it happened I lost my hat in the eucalyptus forest. There were woods roads going in all directions. Walking back these roads is very difficult as there is one arrow pointing in the right direction at the beginning but the trail is unmarked along the way. I tried to find the road and the spot, but no luck! So I was upset twofold as my sunglasses, my prescription glasses, were in the pocket inside the hat, and my name was washed off, so my hopes of having the hat returned are slim to none.
I contacted Tilley when I returned but because my hat was over two years old, I could not get another hat, not even for half price. If it had worn out, I could get a new one. If I had lost it within a year(or two??) I could get another one but since it is lost and older than two years they would not help me out.
Yes, I’ve had good experiences with Tilley. They Unholey Socks that I bought for my husband that got holes within the three year period were replaced quickly at The Travel Bug. No problems there. But the underwear that unravelled aften 20 times of wearing(during two caminos, every third day) are not covered. The day I was told this I had just purchased a pair of hiking socks, well over $20, and was not keen on the news I received. But since I like the quality of the Tilley products, I will continue to buy them.
Another plug for my Tilley hat: If you are walking the Camino Portugues in the eucalyptus forest, please keep an eye out for my Tilley hat, size 7 3/8. I will pay a reward for its return.
You can check out my first camino on http://www.smashwords.com. Title: Strong Camino Woman(15% download free)