Wide Brimmed Hat

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by charles, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. charles

    charles Tracker

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    Hello everyone, I am looking for a felt wide brimmed hat and am wondering what companies you all have wide brimmed hats from. I currently wear a filson tin cloth hat but am looking for a hat made of felt. I’ve looked at Stetson but they tend to be a bit pricey. For those of you that own a Stetson, are they worth it?
     
  2. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    DE24FE69-6B78-4DFC-92EF-D5991B60CCEC.jpeg

    I used crusher fedoras for decades but long pined for a Stetson or Akubra, even though I worried I wouldn't find a firm hat comfortable or practical.

    Before I pulled the trigger on one, I found myself in San Francisco for a week when it was (accurately, as it turned out) forecast to rain the whole time. I picked up a Gooran Brothers Silent Sam. Boy, did that thing come through as a rain hat! I often had to lean over and tip water out of the crown -- there was that much rain -- but it kept me dry the whole time and the wide brim did a great job keeping the rain off my face and neck. It's now my most comfortable hat and an inseparable companion... it's proven itself tough enough for long-term adventure wear but still looks sharp enough to wear when I want to go into town and radiate on women.

    And, it has become a key part of my backpacking and bushcrafting gear... protection from sun and rain but also protection from stabbing branches, spiderwebs, and general crap when I'm pushing through brush to get to a water source, my nightstand to keep important little stuff organized and findable under the tarp at night, a place to stick flies when I'm in the middle of a river, a little catch-all and organizer when I'm cooking...

    It's quality level is about that of Stetsons and Akubras, so based on all that, I would say that if there's a Stetson you really like, then yeah, I bet long-term you will find it totally worth it.

    Keep in mind: a wool felt hat will shrink some after repeated wetting and drying (at least all mine have). I bought the Gooran Bros a bit large and used foam padding behind the inner band. After a couple months of steady use and exposure to all manner of weather, it had shrunk some: I took out the foam and it has shaped itself perfectly to my head. So, if you're getting it for adventures, not just style, I would buy at least 1/4 size large.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  3. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Supporter Supporter

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  4. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    i've had and enjoyed a stetson (including the one in my profile pic) cost a fair bit, at TSC i think, but it's lasted a good many years!
    -whoops, just checked, and it's not stetson. can't read the name anymore, but i can tell it's not that. still lasted many years in the sun, rain, and snow! it might be past its prime now, but most of that is from sitting on a shelf and getting beat up there!

    i do have a duluth trading crushable wool felt hat i bought off of someone on here, so, a used hat. great hat, nice and warm, definitely happy with that buy! here's the link for it on their site.
    https://www.duluthtrading.com/mens-crusher-felt-hat-30221.html
     
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  5. charles

    charles Tracker

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    Thanks for the response, I’ll definitely look into that company
     
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  6. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    The Silent Sam isn’t currently in production — they seem to phase their models in and out — but they do have some good looking ones in production now.
     
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  7. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I know nothing about hats. I just bought my first bush hat today by chance. It’s wool felt crushable. It’s just a hair big, not too big but if it shrank a touch it would be fine. It’s a Scala Outback. I looked it up after getting it and it seems to have mixed reviews. Some people love them, hat purists hate them. Seems well made enough to me being a previously only ball cap guy. I guess we will see. After tax it was about $45.

    7DF803AF-A4D2-4E77-B77F-3EED026D72F0.jpeg

    5AB91605-547C-4E4A-8DD2-EB8C64B245E2.jpeg
     
  8. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    I have one of those... good hat for the money.

    Mine shrunk a bit too much though... was planning to put it and one other (somewhat pricier) crusher on the trade blanket this weekend.
     
  9. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Akubra makes really nice hats. Mine has been through a lot of rain and snow and hiking trips. My buddy's was ran over by a truck and turned inside out my his dog. Each time he just pops it back into place and it always looks like nothing happened.

    Capture+_2018-10-11-20-47-08.png IMG_20180313_081413_894.jpg Capture+_2018-10-11-20-51-03.png Capture+_2018-10-11-20-50-29.png
     
  10. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Give Dorfman Pacific a look. Have had one of theirs for 20+ years.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  11. Boomstick

    Boomstick Supporter Supporter

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    I have owned a Barmah buffalo squishy for about 2 years now and I’m a fan. They have something for everyone and the price isn’t too bad.
    Here’s a link.
    https://barmahhats.com/
     
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  12. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have been known to fold a section of paper towel behind the inner hat band to ‘take up the slack’ while wearing in more than one hat.
     
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  13. JeffG

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  14. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    My Stetson:

    [​IMG]

    I have had a Stetson Sturgis for close to a year now. I work out in the weather and while it's a bit more cowboy than I wanted initially, I've come to appreciate the larger brim than the Fedora style hats have in both the pouring rain and the sun. I wore it today with my in the pouring rain for 5 hours, head never got cold or wet, and it kept the rain off of my neck and wind out of my ears.

    The outside of the hat dries out very quickly, inside is waterproof, the hat is crushable, and made in the US. It's not my first or only Stetson, but it's my favorite. My wife killed a copperhead two days ago that is about to become a hatband for it, excited to getting that project going.

    In short, is a Stetson worth the money? Yes. It's a lifetime hat.
     
  15. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Ive worn out a hat or two, but the better grade the hat is the better they hold up. Ive bought the best grade beaver fur hats I could, One was an Amish hat, of slightly lesser grade beaver fur felt, the last couple have been Stetsons. The previous Stetson was mangled by the dog somewhat. It must have smelled good. Or dead. Or something. I decided to just get another one. Ive always been told wool hats werent as tough and long lasting, and didnt hold their shape like beaver fur hats, and others Ive talked with that have had them tended to support that. Ive just bought beaver hats though, so have no direct comparison. The Xs ("10-X, "20-X" or whatever) they claim to be made from arent a consistent grade code, it seems to mean about whatever they want it to, but the percentage of beaver fur is the key. I dont recall the specifics any longer, but google should provide info.

    Ive been in many downpours with water cascading off the top when I bent over, and some that were absolute deluges. the good hats always kept the rain and snow off me. I dont wear them full time now, so the last one Ive had has been around 10 or 12 years, worn only in rain and snow for the most part. You can get plastic covers for hats, they would be a good idea if you were in the rain a lot. I let mine dry on a pillow or edge of the bed or sofa arm, anything that lets the brim curve a little as it dries. They can be reshaped with steam, or how they dry when wet. A stampede string helps, it allow you to toss the hat on your back when not wanting it on your head and not worry what to do with it. I tie the deerskin cord in a release knot to fit snug under my chin when windy enough to warrant it. Silver beads in descending size on the tails of the cords sort of look like rattlesnake rattles. A nice band sets off a hat nicely, I have a couple old, finely hand braided handmade horsehair bands with silver trim, and a band of genuine Navajo silver conchos with turquoise spots, taken off the Navajos hat that made it and given to me. One of my favorite memories of time in Az and spending time visiting Edison.

    Ive always liked the simple style hat John Wayne wore in Hondo and some other films, the pinched front, flatish brim that curves down a bit front and back. I think it was a common shape, and morphed into the short brim fedoras. The common "cowboy" hats with the center trough and side dents can be reformed at the hat shop into about any shape you want, thats what Ive done when buying them. Just find one that fits correctly, then start working on it with their steamer. All the "normal" shape characteristics yield to your ideas in a short while. Same at home, a kettle works. Roy Rogers put them in the shower to form them (youtube that). I havent gotten into the level of custom hats. The makers have a device that makes a perfect impression of the circumference of your head, then the hat is made on an exact form that fits you. I'm OK with an off the shelf grade good grade hat. I dont know what they are now, I think the last Stetson was about $125 or so, about 12 years ago maybe.

    A good beaver fur hat is about as stiff and hard as cardboard. They loosen up a little in time, and when wet, but are pretty hard, firm hats. Its surprising to many at first.

    IMG_1320.JPG

    In the thick woods, hat tossed onto the back, the silver beads on the ends of the strings can be seen at my neck. Yes, its an old picture.

    Grizzly country modified.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  16. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    I used to wear a magnificent brown Bailey hat (that I did a LOT of work on) every day at work in the lumberyard, rain or shine (it does bleed brown dye a little in the rain, otherwise, it dries up none the worse for wear).. then one day a piece of metal cut the crown! Fortunately not all the way through, and I sanded it out, but since then, I refused to wear it to work anymore! Too valuable and too much work in them to risk that kind of damage!

    It's too hot and WAY too humid for me to want to wear a felt hat most of the year here, but during the brief periods of spring and fall, when the weather here is somewhat tolerable, I do sometimes wear this old Stetson. Bought on ebay for probably $45. I reshaped the crown and brim and added the ribbon and edged the brim (not a fun nor quick project).

    camp 001_800x597.jpg
     
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  17. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    as people talk about felt hats being too hot, i'd love to mention that i've come upon a system that works well for me. i wear my felt hat during the winter, and cool spring/fall. i have a canvas oilskin hat that i wear the rest of the year, for the sake of keeping water off my glasses, and the sun out of my eyes. outback oilskin hat, though i can't find their exact one.
     
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  18. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Straw hats are generally preferred in summer. Not the hillbilly straw hat of Hee-Haw, but a decent quality "cowboy" hat that holds a shape well and keeps the sun off of you. Even cheap straw hats work fairly well if you can get one to fit well. They can be wetted like beaver fur hats to shape them.
     
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  19. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    I will post photos in the a.m. In the mean time, listen to "Men Without Hats," or as they say in Old Mexico, "Hombres Sin Sombreros." Safety Dance. Boonie hats for me, but I did score a dark brown, Stetson, 3 1/2' brim 4X on Evil Bay for $60.00. Perfect fit. To be honest, I had several misses on EBay before I found a good one. I am always looking for the perfect slouch hat. Aren't we all?
     
  20. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

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    I wear a Stetson stratoliner during the winter, spring, and fall when it's not too cold. I use a tin cloth filson duck hunter in cold weather, and I bought a waxed canvas one off of here from Kerri for rainy weather. The rest of the year I wear my treated canvas ball cap. I love Stetson weather the best!
     
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  21. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    You can't go wrong with Stetson or Akubra.
     
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  22. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Good advice here. If you decide on a Stetson make sure you get one you like because they last a long time. I prefer getting a slightly larger size so it will "shrink to fit" with heat and sun. Another post mentioned a Stratolioner and that has been my choice as well for a few years.. No complaints for most of the year but in really cold weather an old wool felt slouch hat is a bit warmer. In that case I have a 15 yo Pendleton that serves. There are other makers in the same price range and sales come and go but Stetson is a reasonable choice. A good hat is an investment that can serve well for a long time with minimal care and gain character along the way. Enjoy.

    Malamute gave a good run down except don't put a hat on a bed. Just don't.
     
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  23. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    "BRAND" is not nearly as important as MATERIAL & FIT

    any respectable hatter or western store can take a blank and within a few minutes - an hour± will be able to create the LOOK you want

    wool & wool blends(blended w/ who knows what) are the lower rungs on any hat ladder

    the addition of fur raises the hat onto the higher rungs

    100% fur puts you on the top rungs

    the upper rungs will be proportionally more expen$ive ;-)

    CHARLES you haven't seen fit to let us in on WHERE YOU'RE AT so it is hard to make specific recommendations other than pick a pic on a page and try ordering something
     
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  24. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    I apologize for not reading through all the replies so this may have already been suggested but one of the best fedora type hats I ever got was from the Salvation Army store on Main Street in Cortland, NY. It cost me a whopping 99 cents and lasted for years. Eventually it got lost somewhere but it was a true find. I would suggest you check out a store like that to see what they have in stock. You'll probably pay more than I did, but I'm sure it will still be a lot less than something purchased through a retail store. Just a suggestion. Take it for what it's worth.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper
     
  25. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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  26. Pablo

    Pablo Guide

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    I have an Akubra Banjo Paterson. It's expensive... in the $300 range (what the heck was I thinking?), but is absolutely waterproof in any and all rain. It looks great and is very well-crafted and durable. Having said that though... the cons: #1: I absolutely hate the "reeded" sweatband. It's sweatproof, so on humid days, it's like having a plastic bag wrapped around my forehead. #2: it's not crushable, so I have to live in fear of it being stepped on or rolled on at night in a tent. #3: Did I mention it's expensive?

    I've had hit/miss success with crushables, but like them overall, and they're cheap. I have my Akubra and my old crushables, so I wear what I think I'll want for the day and live with its limitations.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  27. vdeal

    vdeal Guide

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    I have an Outback Trading Kodiak oilskin hat that I wear once the temps cool in the fall through early spring except when it's really cold. Rest of the year is an OR Seattle Sombrero or Sombriolet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  28. charles

    charles Tracker

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    I am in Northern Virginia, the closest hat store I know of is a place called the hat barn but t recently went out of business
     
  29. Spinymouse

    Spinymouse Tracker

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    About ten years ago, I was in downtown Albuquerque for a convention and stumbled upon The Man's Hat Shop. I've always had a weakness for hats, so i couldn't resist going inside. I walked out a while later with my wallet somewhat lighter and my head sporting a beaver fur cowboy hat. I'd never owned a cowboy hat before and never thought I'd want one, but they convinced me that I needed one. (LOL!) I still have the hat, it fits great, and I do like the way it looks. I just can't get over how stiff it is. I'm always afraid of damaging it or getting pine sap in it. Or I bump it against tree branches and it startles me. It's a great hat, but I'm just more comfortable in one of my much less expensive crushable wool brimmed hats.
     
  30. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    WEAR IT!!!

    it will provide you with many years of good service

    and then it can be cleaned n brought back to new condition

    as one who has SEVERAL hats i usually wear the better/more expensive

    several of them have been renovated and a couple more than once

    2 of them are over 30 years od

    2 of them have gone thru not only renovation butt reconfiguring to coincide w/ fashion changes/needs

    A GOOD HAT IS AN INVESTMENT
     
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  31. Sacramento Johnson

    Sacramento Johnson Supporter Supporter

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    Greetings!

    I have been wearing hats for 30 plus years; (first quality hat I bought was an Akubra Snowy River in rabbit fur; a fine hat and still made today; look up "David Morgan Hats"; they sell them in the US.) Have many, many hats, most are large brimmed; 4inch plus preferred (you'd call them 'cowboy') and most have custom shapings to my liking! Low crown and dark colors for late fall and winter, light colors and high crowns for late spring and summer. Beaver or rabbit fur (got away from 100% wool decades ago, when I could afford better quality and wanted something to keep its shape when wet.) Learned along time ago, that a high quality fur felt hat in the right crown height and color and wide brimmed is COOLER in the low humidity extreme heat here in Vegas, than a low crown lacquered straw hat!

    The 'reed' is a plastic wire at the bottom of the sweat band, put there to hold the size. You can easily remove it. Where the sweatband meets in the back of the hat, there will be a little seam. Take a tiny swiss army knife scissors and open it up a bit. The reed ends will probably be connected with a little pice of metal; cut the plastic reed as it enters the metal, then use a pliers to pull it out. No more reed! Depending on the maker, you may not see any size change or the sweat band made be a little more comfortable if it was tight before. Make sure the sweat band in 100% leather; no plastic or leather like material! If it isn't, a hat maker can easier change it out to a high end 100% leather one. Also, wider the better; distributes the hat weight better.

    The stiffness of the fur felts is due to lacquer applied at the factory. Wearing the hat in rain and shine (I have never used a plastic cover! A quality hat needs none; it should be colorfast and not shrink when wet!) will wear off the lacquer and soften the hat considerably. It won't be crushable soft, but you'll be surprised at how flexible a fine quality fur hat can be!

    Went looking for a 'safari' type hat awhile back, till I decided to re-crease a hat I already had and found this maker:

    http://www.blacksheephatworks.com/Rugged.html

    May still give him a try; that Serengeti looks mighty nice!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  32. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    Evan, that’s the same one I posted a bit earlier! I took the feather off though. First grouse will be feather for the band
     
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  33. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Mine didn’t come with a feather. There was a similar one that did but IDK, feathers aren’t my thing.
     
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  34. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    Too be honest, after I asked here about the model, I called Dorfman and they said it was the Scala
     
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  35. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Scala is a sub brand made by Dorfman. Then Scala as a brand has several models. This one is the “outback” they had a few cowboyish ones. And one just like this pretty much but with a feather. I didn’t see what model that one was.
     
  36. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    1E8F450E-98A3-44F2-A2BE-ACC53B5AFDA5.jpeg A75B7FD0-D369-4B99-A8A8-69B15DDDA7BC.jpeg

     
  37. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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  38. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    E6E4C917-5190-4E94-88A8-559D9678DD9B.jpeg I would love to have Bush Tucker Man’s hat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  39. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    Location:
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    My hat is going on 30+years old now, bought it a local leather tannery ( Now closed) here in Santa Cruz. Hat brand is " Headed home hats" don't remember its name now, out of Australia. I think I spent around $130? For it back then. Great hat, short brim, uses include wash basin, bucket, bailer, bowl, fan, bug swatter, and dinner plate cover. I'll add a photo later (None available right now)
     
  40. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    Ebay is chock full of old hats. And lots of really good ones, actually. Old fedoras are expensive. Old western hats, not so much. Even really nice western hats can be had fairly inexpensively, and if you learn how, you can reshape and rework the hat to suit you.
     
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  41. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    Actually, I kinda take that back! I've been browsing ebay.... It wasn't that long ago that one could find scores of old western hats for 30 or 40 bucks.... I ain't seein' them today!!!
     
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  42. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    i use a wide brim boonie in woodland cam
     
  43. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    Ok, so I wanted a new inexpensive hat... stumbled onto this one on ebay! NOS from the 90's, a "Schuman and Sullivan Connecticut Crusher", which I understand was sold in higher end department stores at the time. Made in USA to boot! 31 bucks delivered, so I'm happy. I didn't want an "Aussie" or "Outback" style hat (which MOST ALL of the wool crusher type felt hats are), and this one is exactly what I wanted. It is rather more loden green (my favorite color!) than it appears in the pic. I cut a wool cloth strip to put inside the sweatband to snug it up (it will, no doubt, draw up some eventually). The felt is rather nice for wool, and has some stiffness and body, so it seems pretty decent.

    DSCF1370_800x597.JPG

    Haven't had a chance for an "action shot" yet! :D
     
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  44. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    9EED7EC1-50A2-402D-A87F-69A823B358C8.jpeg A few new Tilley’s came in today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018 at 1:19 PM
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