Hat Frequently Asked Questions
We are pleased to offer a range of quality hats including Akubra fur felt and hemp hats from Australia, Panama hats, Tilley hats and B.C. Hats. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive concerning our hats.
- How do I know if the hat I bought fits correctly?
The correct size hat is essential for comfortable wearing and enjoyment of a hat. Check the fit when your hat first arrives. Detailed instructions are given on our Hat Sizing page.
- My hat doesn’t fit. What can I do?
Hats purchased from us which are in unused condition can be returned for exchange or refund within 90 days of purchase. Please follow the instructions for returning merchandise, indicating the correct size or other needed adjustment.Heads come in all shapes, and sometimes felt pads strategically placed under the sweatband will turn a poor fit into a great fit. We enclose felt pads with our Akubras and Panama hats. The old-timers’ method of placing folded dollar bills under the sweatband will also work if no felt pads are available. This method has the added advantage of equipping the wearer with a source of emergency cash! Occasionally, some hats with low crowns do not fit even with the correct size because the crown hits the top of the head before the sweatband seats properly on the head. If the top of the hat touches the top of your head and the hat feels loose or large, push out the crown of the hat and check the fit. If the hat fits properly with the crown pushed out the crown needs to be raised. This is not difficult for fur felt hats, requiring only that the dimple in the top of the crown be raised a little.
The old cowboy method was to wear the hat in the rain for a day, and pull it down hard on the head, lower than normal, to let it dry. They probably had sore ears and a headache, but when the hat was dry the crown had been raised sufficiently to clear the head. As an alternative, you can return Akubras purchased from us to us for adjustment, or if you have an agreeable hatter locally, have it fixed by them. If you are unsure of what is needed for a better fit, phone us before you send the hat back so we can help. Our phone number is 1-800-324-4934.
If you purchased the hat elsewhere, and you cannot return the hat to the seller, have a custom hatter or renovator fit the hat to your head.
- If I buy a hat from you, can I return it if it doesn’t fit me or suit me?
You may return or exchange hats within the terms of our guarantee — merchandise in unused condition can be returned or exchanged within 90 days of purchase. The hat must be returned to us in the shape it was sent to you with all tags. Do not let it get dirty, and do not shape the crown of an open-crown hat, or reshape the crown or brim of any hat being returned. Try it on, and if you want to return it re-pack it in the box as you received it, sending it either insured parcel post or insured by United Parcel Service. Our handling charge covers handling and standard delivery on your first exchange (if needed.) For further information on our guarantee and returning merchandise please see our Customer Service Information.
- I have a big head. What is the largest hat you carry?
We carry size 65 (8-1/8) and smaller in the Snowy River, and size 64 (8) and smaller in most of our other Akubras. The Panama Hats and Tilley Hats are carried in sizes up to 7-3/4 (62) or 7-7/8 (63), depending on the style.Few people require hats as large as size 8, so do not casually order a size 8 because you have a large head. Many stores carrying hats do not carry sizes over 7-5/8! Measure your head and check the size on our hat size chart. If you need a size above 8-1/8 you may need to go to a custom hatter. A hat renovator may be able to enlarge a smaller hat, but discuss enlargement with the renovator
before you buy the hat.
- How do I take care of my hat?
There is no need to baby a quality hat, but if you treat it with understanding, it will look better and last longer. Detailed information is given on our Hat Care page, and in our video: Hat Care. If your hats must of necessity be dried or stored under warm conditions, regular use of a hat stretcher will be beneficial.
- Are Akubra hats good in the rain?
Akubra fur felt hats are not damaged by water. Though a light shower will not penetrate the felt, during the course of a good long walk in a rainstorm the felt will absorb water. This is not a problem, you will still be kept warm and dry beneath the hat, as the hat will not leak water. Just make sure to dry the hat at room temperature setting it on a hat hook, cardboard box or shelf in such a way that the shape will not be affected.
- Can I wear my Akubra in the heat of summer?
Quality fur felt hats such as the Akubras we offer are surprisingly comfortable in hot weather. The shade provided by the hat, with only the sweatband actually touching your head, and the breathability of the fur felt contribute to the comfort. Generations of Australians have worn these hats in the extreme heat of the Outback, and we think you’ll be pleased with your Akubra in heat or cold, sunshine or rain. If you prefer a much lighter weight hat for summer we suggest Akubra’s Hemp Hats, our Panamas or Tilley Hats as alternatives to the fur felt hats.
- How do I attach a chin strap to my hat?
Most of the Akubra hats we sell come with chin strap hooks set inside the crown for easy attachment of a chin strap. The chin strap hooks are located under or a little above the sweatband, under the lining on either side of the hat. Simply slip the chin strap ends through the small openings between the sweatband and crown then onto the chin strap hooks. For more help, please view our video: How to Attach a Chin Strap. Please check our Attaching a Chin Strap page and in our Hat Manual (pdf) for instructions where a hat does not have chin strap hooks.If your hat does not have chin strap hooks, you might prefer our Stampede String.
- How do Akubras® compare with Stetson® and Resistol® Western hats?
Akubra, Stetson and Resistol all make great hats. We feel Akubra hats compare very well for durability and quality of fur felt. At any price range the sweatbands used by Akubra are hard to beat, making an Akubra an excellent choice for a quality hat which will feel great and wear well.The quality of the felt in American hats is often designated by a number of X’s, an arbitrary value differing between manufacturers. Akubra does not use X’s. They produce a number of different felt types, all of high quality. Their standard felt, with a world-wide reputation for durability, is offered in two finishes, the Imperial Quality, used in most of the standard hats we offer, and the Superfine, used in the Slouch hat. The Sydney is made from a lighter weight felt, using a finer fur, with a finish similar to the Imperial Quality. Their premium quality, developed for the Heritage Collection, is very much in the Akubra tradition, a stronger, more dense felt for even greater durability, which also allows a finer pouncing for a superb finish. Pliofelt is the pliable fur felt used in Akubra’s crushable Lifestyle Collection.
An interesting difference between Akubras and American hats is that Akubra does not use hat powders to correct or even out the colors of the felt in their hats. The felt is dyed to produce the color required. The dyeing will leave slight variations in the final color of the felt. These variations are subtle, but in a manner similar to the subtle variations found in good leather, enhancing the character of the felt as a natural material.
On style, the American hats tend to keep up to the minute in the Western hat market, following trends and fashions. Akubra has a diffrent take on fashion, stressing quality and functionality over trends. The Bushman, the first hat made in Australia by Akubra in the early 1900’s, is still in production and still selling well. The dash and flair of the Akubras is uniquely Australian, recognized throughout the world.
- I’m going to Australia. Can I buy an Akubra there?
If you go to Australia you are likely to bring back an Akubra hat. Akubra offers a wide range of styles, colors and bands, and you are sure to find one that catches your eye. More Akubras leave Australia with tourists than any other way! Make sure you have the right size and fit — exchanges after you leave are costly and awkward. If you bring back an Akubra for a friend, make sure you know their metric hat size. Before switching to metric sizes, the Australians measured hats in inches differently from Americans, so if you tell them the U.S. hat size you may well end up with a wrong size. Don’t guess — only the right size works.
- I bought an Akubra in Australia but it doesn’t fit me. Can you help?
From time to time we hear from someone who has been given an Akubra brought back from Australia as a gift, but the hat does not fit. We are unable to make exchanges for goods not originally purchased from us. We suggest three ways of handling this problem:
1. Give the hat to a friend with a head to fit the size, and buy one here to fit you. A gift of an Akubra will be appreciated for years to come.
2. If you know the store that sold the hat in Australia, check with the store to see that they are prepared to make an exchange, and send the hat back to them. Shipping costs are significant, so be sure to enclose sufficient funds for them to return the proper size to you.
3. Have the hat re-sized by a hat renovator or custom hatter. Hatters can generally re-size a quality hat 1 size smaller or larger. If you do not have a hatter locally, please check our list of Hat Renovators.
- I saw an Akubra in Australia that you do not show on your website. Can you get it for me?
Akubra makes a wide range of styles and colors that we do not bring into the U.S., such as the Bronco, Pastoralist, Arena, Sombrero and Coolabah. It is not practical for us to bring Akubras we do not carry in as special orders. It takes four months or more for us to obtain a hat, and if the size, color or shape is wrong for you we would be unable to exchange it. We try to stock a good range of the best shapes and colors, and chances are we do offer a style similar to what you want. For instance, the Campdraft is an open crown hat similar to our Bushman but with a narrower brim.
- Which broad brimmed Akubra hat does Gerald McRaney sometimes wear in the TV series Ram Outdoorsman?
Mr McRaney wears an Akubra Slouch hat.
- Which Akubra hats were provided for the movie Australia?
Akubra supplied close to 450 hats to the producers of the movie Australia. Many of the hats were custom made by Akubra, then custom shaped and trimmed by Rosie Boylan. As Stephen Keir, Akubra’s Managing Director said:
“We sent fresh, new open crowned hats off and they then had to make them look like they’d been worn through anything from war to years in the outback. Our hats are renowned for their durability so I’m sure ageing them was an art in itself.”
Nicole Kidman wears several hats, including the Squatter. The Squatter shape is similar to our Bushman. Hugh Jackman’s hat was custom made with a pencil roll brim. Many Aussie Slouch Hats were worn in the scenes depicting Australian troops. Snowy River hats take their parts among outback shapes appearing in droving scenes. The Sydney Fedora is among other Akubra hats provided for city scenes.
- Do you carry the hat worn by Indiana Jones?
No, but we do carry the Adventurer by Akubra, in the same general shape, style and color as the fedora worn by Indiana Jones in the “Indiana Jones” movies. The hat worn by Indiana Jones was a custom-made hat.
The Akubra Bushman is basically a similar shape.
- Do you carry the hat worn by Crocodile Dundee?
No. Crocodile Dundee wore the Down Under, in Black. We no longer carry the Down Under. The hat band worn in the movie was in crocodile leather, with crocodile teeth. In later television advertisements fabric bands have been used on the Down Under.
- Do you carry the hat worn by The Bush Tucker man?
No. The Bush Tucker Man wears the Sombrero in the Fawn color, which we no longer carry. We suggest The Strand Hatters, as a possible source. Be sure to check shipping costs, duty and return policies before buying. This hat comes with an open crown, ready for you to put in the bash yourself. While putting in the bash is half the fun, this type of bash is not the easiest to put in. If you do not wish to do it yourself we suggest you find a photo of the hat and take the photo to a local hat shop or renovator and ask them to put it in for you. Stay with them while they do it, as the bash comes very close to the head, but should not touch the head.
- Do you have sales on Akubra hats?
As with all our goods, our prices are set to give you good value all the time, and do not permit us to put regular items on sale. Whether you shop online, through our print catalog or in our retail store, our prices are the same. We are occasionally able to offer discontinued Akubra styles or colors at special prices.
If you live in (or are visiting) the greater Seattle area, we do have some reject Akubra hats available in our retail store. Of the thousands of Akubras we sell each year, these rejects are the few hats that slip through Akubra’s excellent quality control, or have been damaged in shipment. Most of the hats only have small flaws or defects, and are offered at very reasonable prices. The reject hats are only available in our retail store and are not sold online or by phone. There are no returns or exchanges of the reject hats allowed.
- Where are Panama hats made?
Genuine Panama hats are, and have always been, handwoven in Ecuador from toquilla fiber. All our Panama hats are handwoven in Ecuador, most are blocked and trimmed in the USA.
- What do I do if I have a problem with my Tilley hat?
If your Tilley hat wears out, send it to them with a check for $8.50 or charge card information to cover shipping costs and they will replace it free. Their US address is:
3176 Abbott Road Bldg A
Orchard Park NY 14127