Tilley Airflo Review

Apparel Pro Reviews

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Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

I spend a lot of time outdoors, mountain biking, working in the yard, outdoor concerts, backyard parties, etc. To keep the sun damage to a minimum, and just plain keep the hot sun from frying my noggin, I like to wear hats. I especially like having a hat, while sitting around after a bike ride, when it is really nice to get a break from the sun. Baseball caps are cheap, have decent fashion sense and are usually handy, but they don’t quite give enough coverage. I have a cap that has a drop down neck protector, but it still makes you bake a bit more than a full brim hat. Enter the Tilley Endurables Airflo hat.

Tilley Airflo
I have an old cotton duck Tilley’s hat, that is around 20 years old, and it is still going strong. I prefer a bit lighter, and more comfortable material myself, and the Tilley Airflo really fits the bill. The Airflo is made from Nylamtium®, a strong water-and-mildew resistant form of nylon, which has been impregnated with Insect Shield® Repellent. It has a small band of mesh material up by the crown, and a soft and comfortable sweatband. It incorporates a tuck away neck protector, fore and aft neck cords, and a secret pocket in the crown. Some other benefits are, that the hat floats, it repels rain (not a full on rain hat), is UPF 50+ plus certified, and is insured for loss and comes with a life time guarantee.

Impressions
Recently, I had a very small Actinic Keratoses skin lesion removed on my neck, and the biopsy results diagnosed it as Squamous Cell Carcinoma skin cancer. While squamous cell carcinomas and other skin cancers are almost always curable when detected and treated early, it is best to prevent them in the first place. Good sun safety habits are paramount, and include not getting a burn, using sunscreen, wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses, covering up with clothing and having regular professional skin exams.

I found the Tilley Airflo incredibly comfortable. The sweatband is quite soft, and the entire hat is very conformable. That flexibility allows the hat to fit your head, without any pinching spots, and feels like it sort of floats wrapped around your forehead. The hat sits a bit lower on your temple than most hats, which aids in comfort, keeps it on, and adds additional sun protection. The outside of the brim has a flexible wire to keep the brim’s shape. The sweatband can get wet after heavy perspiration, but it did not seem to squeeze out and drip into your eyes or sunglasses, so it does wick away to your temple area to evaporate. During hot weather the mesh air vents, which follow the entire circumference below the crown of the hat, allow a decent amount of air flow, and dissipate built up heat. Whenever the hat gets dirty or the sweatband gets a bit nasty, just toss it in the washer and then hang dry, and it’s as good as new.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Duderino says:

    Did that really just happen?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Yep, made it through 53 years of being an outdoor guy (lots of sun), which according to my dermatologist I have done pretty good? Wear a hat, sunglasses, cover up and wear sunscreen!

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