Ok, so I can’t write to a deadline. I’m also too busy in the hills half the time to get typing, so that’s why this review is being posted just as you’re likely to be thinking more about woolly bobble hats than a summer hat. However, not being ones to follow convention, here’s my opinion on the Amazonas Tarp Hat that’s been under long term review all summer.

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Last year I lost my beloved The North Face hat in Knoydart, and could I find another one with a detachable legionnaire style neck protector? I’m sure you’ve gathered that the answer is a resounding no as this is not a review for a The North Face hat but an Amazonas Tarphat. With the heatwave forecast in July this year, I decided that I had to get something to protect my scalp from the sun and the recent grade 2 chop didn’t help that matter. The nearest foreign legion cap to the one I’d lost wasn’t in stock anywhere, or had such a long lead in time that I was sure the fine weather would be gone before they arrived.

So when I spotted this hat in the related items, I had to give it a go. The spiel with the hat explains that the hats start their lives as tarps on lorries in Brasil, and once they’re no longer fit for that, they’re recycled into these wonderful hats. You can choose from more discreet and plain Original Tarphat, with no patches, to the more extreme and ‘rare’ versions that have writing and patches. So I went for the maximum writing and patches for full effect! I could identify my hat easily from any others I reckon. The one I received has also started curling up at the side rather than staying flat, which was an annoyance at first, but I got used to it and decided that my hat really was unique. Packing it roughly into a weekend backpack probably didn’t help much.

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I think that you’ll either love or hate these hats – though I’ve only received positive comments so far! They look worn, lived in and rough enough to strike fear into any Tilly hat that you may walk pass. It’s also a hat with a story, so you can regale anyone who comments with stories of how the hat started off on the Amazonas and ended up as a recycled hat somewhere on a hill in Wales. You’ll also need to shell out a few more quid for the strap, which is something I did after the hat almost went off on it’s own adventure in the Carneddau – as you’d expect a hat with attitude like this to do.

What impressed me was how effective the brim was at keeping the sun from my eyes, I didn’t need sunglasses once.Or rather, I got away without them all summer as they were broken and this hat provided enough shade so I was comfortable. The fabric is also meant to be waterproof, though only though the fibres swelling when wet. It certainly absorbs water, as I dipped it in a few streams to keep my head cool this summer.

It’s half the price of a Tilly, and with twice the attitude. It also looks so battered when you get it that it immediately feels lived in, you don’t treat it with kid gloves for the first few weeks, but you’re straight into throwing this thing in your pack and using it to scoop water over your head. That’s as it should be as it’s a hat for us who just want to get out there, no messing, with a hat that’s more Indiana Jones* than Man From Del Monte.

Available direct from http://www.tarphat.co.uk/

*Definately referring to just the hat here and not the wearer!

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