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Over the years the number of people buying Tilley Hats as a form of sun protection has been increasing. The media has certainly raised awareness of the depleting ozone layer and the harmful effects of UVA (Ultraviolet Aging) rays. During the summer months, most weather reports often include a daily UV index reminding us to Practice Safe Sun®.

For the last five years the Mayo Clinic has sold and recommended Tilley Hats as a form of sun protection, this in itself is a great testimonial.

In the latter part of 2000, Tilley decided to get its Hats re-tested to determine how much sun protection they actually provided. They asked the AMC Cancer Research Center to conduct the test. The Center is an independent, not-for-profit research institution that is a national leader in the fight against cancer, especially the clinical and behavioral prevention of skin cancer.

All styles of Tilley Hats were tested for their ability to block the sun's harmful rays in accordance to standards endorsed by the AMC Cancer Research Center. Following the tests, the AMC Photoprotection Certification Review Committee certified that all Tilley Hats block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation, and deliver an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+. This is the maximum rating given.

Previously AMC, as well as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), classified sun protective hats as those having a 3" brim all the way around, or having a 3" brim in the front and a Legionnaires-style flap in the back. The Photoprotection Certification Review Committee determined that due to the particular nature of the fit of the Tilley Hat - namely that it is designed to sit low on the head of the wearer thus providing more protection from the sun and foul weather - that Tilleys did in fact qualify for their highest level of UV protection ('Excellent' or 'UPF 50+').

Some frequently asked questions regarding the Tilley Hat and sun protection.

  1. What Tilley Hat styles have been approved as an excellent form of sun protection?

    All of them.
  2. What is UPF? Is it similar to SPF?

    UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. A UPF rating is granted to apparel or gear at has been tested and proven to block a certain amount of ultraviolet radiation. UPF is similar to SPF, except that UPF means the UV testing was conducted with equipment rather than on people's skin. SPF rating only applies to lotions applied directly to the skin, not fabrics.
  3. How were the Hats tested?

    The Hats were tested on a machine called an UV 1000F Ultraviolet Transmittance Analyzer. This machine accurately measures the spectral transmittance of a fabric sample automatically converting data to an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) for determining the fabric's protective ability.

    The AMC Cancer Research Center has certified that Tilley Hats block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation and deliver an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+, the maximum rating given.
  4. Does this mean if you wear a Tilley Hat that you no longer need to wear sunscreen?

    NO, it does not! The UV percentage refers to the ability of the fabric to block the sun, not necessarily how much protection the person under it receives. This is all relative to where the sun is positioned in the sky (the time of day), as well as how much sun is being reflected from the surface of water, sand, snow, pavement and so forth.

In addition to wearing a Tilley Hat, we strongly recommend the application of sunscreen with a minimum SPF rating of 15, as well as wearing UV-filtering sunglasses.

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The Savvy Traveller
Chicago, Illinois
Telephone: 773/525-9300