Tinlid Hat Company: More Hype than Hat?
This is a different kind of review, but hey, we all wear hats. I am a hat guy, who am I kidding, I am a hat whore. I own baseball caps, cowboy hats, helmets; modern to pith. I even have a leather aviator helmet because, hell, I think they are cool. When I heard there was a company that plants 15 trees when you buy one of their hats I was thinking, “cool, I like trees”. I have a couple of them around my house, and I like hats… they fit on my head, so… BOOM, I could get behind this company and concept.
Tinlid Hat Company began in 2014, created by a couple of college kids, 60 miles from where I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan. Their goal was to make a better and more sustainable planet by planting trees. Trees that I could use for things like looking at, or hunting in, even maybe one day cutting them down for firewood. I am pretty sure that is not part of their master plan though I have been called a renaissance man when it comes to ideas for our future. When I read more into this, I found it is not just firewood trees they plant but also fruit trees. I was like wow, I love watermelon.
To learn more about their work and where these trees are planted, I went to the Tinlid Hat Company’s website and read about the history of the company, their goals, and their dreams, all of which I was like, “Wow, for some reason I am craving watermelon”. Their website lists a partnership company that helps to plant the trees in Africa, called Trees for the Future at Trees.org. This company has planted over 115 million trees, cool right? I double checked them and found they have a 4-star rating at CharityNavigator.org. Over 75% of the money raised goes back into the charity.
I noticed there was a section at trees.org showing trees planted by sponsors. Tinlid’s claim of 25K trees planted should show them in the 10K tree level club. Nope, well heck the website might be a little outdated or the Tinlid site might be lacking, maybe they are in the 100K club by now… nope. I could not find Tinlid anywhere on the site.
In an article posted by the Traverse City Record Eagle (Side Note: I used to deliver it as a kid, still want my two dollars.) in April of 2015, they were planting trees through the National Forest Foundation, who usually plants trees via donation on a 1:1 ratio of dollar to tree. Meaning that Tinlid would have given 25,000 dollars in donations to the NFF, which is pretty fantastic since they started only a year before in 2014. When the article was written, they had only sold roughly 160 hats.
So let me be the first to say congrats guys on a huge year from when you started. I mean I am no mathologist, but Daaaamn you must have sold at least 40K hats to make that many trees, unless you guys are just buying seeds and throwing them on the ground.
I spoke via email with someone at Tinlid and they informed me they started with NFF, and then moved to Trees for the future, when I prompted them for any substantiation on the claim of 25K in trees planted they did not respond.
Although this is article about a hat, and not an indictment of a companies PR, let’s get on with it. I am a Michigan Boy, and this crew is also Michiganders. Hell, it is like we’re related (except this is not Ohio so we aren’t). You would think I would be all over this product, but… to be honest, the hat is just not my style.
I received the Midnight Cap, one that as they say is made to match every outfit. However my wife was not a fan when I dropped it on her head as we were heading out to a fancy adult party and she was wearing some fancy dress thing. I mean come-on if your hair took 2 hours to do, then a hat that I put on your head for 5 seconds should not wreck it. Whatever, I felt like Tinlid ruined the night for me, but I moved on.
My dilemma with the Midnight Cap stems from 2 factors, one, I can not bend the damn brim. I am a brim bender, always have been, in fact when I was a kid I used to wrap the brim of my baseball cap with rubber bands around an empty soda can and throw them in the dishwasher to get that perfect bend. I understand as a man of 40+1, I may not be hip to the cool styles of how the kids are wearing their hats these days, or the latest breakdancing moves, but damn it I want my brim to bend.
The second issue for me, is the shape. I felt like I was wearing either a train conductor hat (which surprisingly enough I do not own) or a billboard. It is so huge in the front I was pretty sure I was going to need to duck when going under a bridge.
The good, heck this hat is amazing if you think about it. No matter how hard or as many times as I bent the brim it still straightened out. I mean is this made from Adamantium. They don’t lie about it being made from soft acrylic, it is a soft hat, and I am 90% sure it is made from acrylic.
I let my kids play with it, and it was amazingly still a hat when they returned it, so it held up nicely (brim unbent).
It has a lot of things going for it. Now please understand, you may like this style of hat. Hell, this hat may be the next coming of Christ for your head, but for me, I can not spell hate without hat and I just wasn’t a fan. Also, my wife threw it at my face.