View Full Version : Blockade Runner Slouch Hats
01-11-2011, 02:05 PM
I just wanted to know anyone's oppinion on the enlisted slouch hat from Blockade Runner. Is the design authentic?
01-11-2011, 03:53 PM
I have yet to hear anyone sing praises about the finished product. To be fair, I've not heard anyone dump on it either. However, if it looks the same in pictures as the better venders but it costs way less, it's bound to have flaws. You may not be able to tell the difference until after it has suffered through its first, drenching, Baptist rain while out on campaign. The cheap hats go soft and need viagra. The quality ones don't.
Spend the bucks for a quality hat, and you won't regret it later.
01-12-2011, 05:05 PM
I've been to the store in Bell Buckle and seen the hats close up. They run the gamut from floppy felt blanks that you can deck out to a few that are getting close to the better hat vendors on the market. I've never purchased a hat from them. My hat businees has gone to Kiev Thomason, Nick Sekela, Tim Bender, and Tim Allen.
The folks at the Blockade Runner store could probably answer any question that you have more in depth. The employees there have been nice as can be everytime I stop for random items. Do a search online for their website.
Hope this helps too.
01-12-2011, 06:47 PM
I have one of the Fall Creek Dirty Billy beehives without the lining and I'm really happy with it, for what its worth.
The Rambling Irishman
01-13-2011, 02:17 PM
"My hat businees has gone to Kiev Thomason, Nick Sekela, Tim Bender, and Tim Allen."
Stick with these above vendors and you will be much better off, promise.
01-13-2011, 04:30 PM
IMHO, your hat can and will, make or break your impression. I would advise to spend the couple extra bucks and get a good one. It will last a you a long time and probably become your signature look. I can only speak from personal experience to some of the makers mentioned. I had one of Dirty Billy's Economical hats from Fall Creek but I returned it immediately. However, Dirty Billy's best quality hats are top shelf. Hard to find a better hat than a Tim Bender and NJ Sekela produces some great hats as well. Additionally, I have had excellent luck with Clearwater Hats. Although B.R. has excellent items at decent prices, some items are, well, economical. I wont say anything bad about B.R. since I have not personally had one of their hats. I have (and still do) had other products from B.R. and they do have very good customer service in my experience.
However, again I reinterate, your hat is so very noticable. A good one is, well, the best first impression. A less than correct bean cover is well, just that. General public may not be aware but trust me, your pards will be. Just my couple of pennies in the pile.....
01-13-2011, 05:42 PM
Most any hat that didn't start out as a "Cowboy Hat" will have a leg up on those that did. I get pretty tired of seeing beat up cowboy hats being passed off as slouch hats. I see 'em at every event. Even some that still have the wire or plastic cord sewn in around the edge of the brim. You can pick them out because the brims look like a potato chip.
Trouble with any hat is that it starts out by being brand new. Showing up on the field with a perfectly new and shiny hat sticks out. They remind me of the way Larson drew the cowboys in his famous cartoons. Get it wet, dust it up, reshape it, sweat in it. Pretty soon it will pass as a durn nice hat.
Harley Davis, I too bought a Fall Creek Dirty Billie hat, but I didn't return it. I did to it what I mentioned above and it's really beginning to be my favorite hat for sunny days.
The Rambling Irishman
01-14-2011, 05:04 PM
just spend the $110 or so with Tim Bender and you will not have a better experience with customer service, time, and product. It will last. Period.
01-14-2011, 05:28 PM
I have long advocated that you need to have a good hat, that reenactors have such a shoe fetish yet ignore some of the worst travesties to be on prominent display on their heads has always amazed me. Yet that said, look at the photos and you will see that cheap hats were worn, some horrible hillbilly ones at that, also at some point every hat was new and with proper care could look new for some time especially if it was a good quality hat to start with, applied dirt looks fake. Let your hat age with use and take care of it as it does and it will look better than one that costs double the amount with mud smeared on in an "artful" manner.
01-14-2011, 06:25 PM
.......with mud smeared on in an "artful" manner.
Now that, right there, pretty much sums up every stupid thing ever done in this hobby.
01-14-2011, 06:49 PM
I'll say right I have absolutely no problem at all with Fall Creek. I have owned a pair of brogans from them for seven years now and they're still like brand new. They're comfortable and have held up to dirt, dust, cement sidewalks, asphalt paving and flooding. But shoes aren't what’s being debated here hats are and I would say don't expect anything great from their hat department. Their hats can be floppy felt hillbilly looking hats that look dumb to something that looks like the original but still isn't as good as something from a high quality vendor. I know a lot of people are turning to Tim Bender hats. I've never bought from him but people have always seemed to have good things to say about his stuff. My favorite is still Dirty Billy’s. I used him for both my Civil War hat and Revolutionary war era civilian tri-corn hat and both are great. Either way I would say save the money and get a hat from a top quality vendor.
01-15-2011, 04:30 PM
The other thing I'd say about buying a higher quality slouch hat is that they are made of fur felt and won't shrink up like a sweater in the washer the first time it rains. Can't afford to buy a new hat every year when it shrinks too much after getting rained on? Spend the $100 and buy a good quality one that will last. Or look for one used here or on the AC forum, and it will be a much better use of your money in the long run...
01-16-2011, 01:16 PM
I have to go with the others that say go with a quality hat. You'll be much better off. When I forst started15 years ago, I got a cheap hat from a standard vender. It fit well, and shaped right up the way I wanted it to. I put a more accurate sweat band, a liner in it and bound the edge. Then I wore it to an event. the first day I sweated like a buffalo and the crown sank. Then the next day it rained and the brim drooped and no matter what I did after that, I could not get it to look desceant again. So I dropped the cash an a Tim Allen Flat Top (black) I have worn that hat for 14 years now. I don't reenact all that much, but wear it for my Navy River impression and doing yard work. It has had gallons of sweat passed through it and un told days of rain. It is stained, but still has the great shape it had the first time I wore it. I also got a Bender Army Dress Hat (Hardee). It has been sweated in, rained on and crushed (I rolled over on it while sleeping in the rain and crushed it flat) and it has always popped right back into shape. It has a "character" now as an 11 year old field hat should have, but still looks and fits as it should. Spent the extra and get a good hat right up front. you'll be glad you did.
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