2004 saw the rise of Adventurebilt Hats and it didn't take long for what is also known as the 'AB' to go straight to the top of the hearts and heads of all Gear Heads who purchased them. Adventurebilt was started by a fan for the fans and remains so to today.
At the time Adventurebilt was conceived there were a decent amount of hat offerings on all walks of the scale from $20 cheap wool fedora's to $800 plus pure beaver bodied fedora's, but for as many as we were afforded there were still small inconsistencies present on all of them. This prompted a detail obsessed Club Obi Wan member, Steve Delk, to take action into his own (pun intended) hands. His mission was to do what he could to produce the most accurate looking custom made Indy fedora to date by using only the best, quality materials available anywhere, and at the lowest price. Meticulous detail was also employed in constructing from scratch what was to become the best block yet seen for a proper Raiders of the Lost Ark fedora. What came out the other end was a completely hand-made custom fedora, constructed by using the traditional techniques of old world hat making which today is sadly, a dying art.
The Adventurebilt / Fortune and Glory fedora is available in pure beaver, nutria blend, or rabbit blend in both a lightweight and medium weight felt. The beaver felt is so rich you can bash and crease it without the aid of steam as with other high quality vintage fedoras. Components include reeded brown roan sweatbands, white satin liners, and a rayon/cotton blend contrasting brown grosgrain ribbon. The hat comes in the standard sizes of 6 5/8” to 7 3/4”, in brown and gray with other colors available upon request. You may specify brim dimensions and crown heights to suit whatever your needs may be and can be. You can also order the hat bashed to any scene from the film at no extra charge, or unbashed if you like. As an added bonus personal initials can even be installed on the sweatband by use of a turn of the century initial puncher.
In 2006, Marc Kitter, another talented fan with an obsession for detail joined Adventurebilt by opening an independent branch of the company out of Germany, known as the AB Deluxe. This hat is made using the same block shape, techniques and quality materials on par with the original AB but is more accessible to those in Europe or the East.
In early 2007, both branches of AB became involved in what would be called by many, a dream, literally come true. Both the Adventurebilt and Adventurebilt deluxe were chosen above many other contenders to craft and supply all the Hero hats for Harrison Ford for the new Indiana Jones film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". What started out as an obsession to create the perfect Indiana Jones fedora ended up taking both Steve and Marc in a direction they never could have dreamed of. Their attention to detail paid off and fantasy had become reality. What started out as a fedora by fans for fans is now a part of cinema history.
Both versions of the AB come bashed to any particular scene in the films or open crowned. Due to the AB's incredible demand and the fact that only two gentleman can make only one hat at a time wait times have increased, but rest assured, anyone who owns one will concur that the wait is well worth it.
Adventure Supply / Lee Keppler (Deceased—Description left here for historical purposes.)
"The Indiana Jones Style Fedora" by Beaver Brand Hats is the trademark of Lee Keppler and is the culmination of years of work and dedication. Lee's love of the Indiana Jones films and attention to detail have paid off and brought us this exceptional and reasonably priced fedora which is a step above any of the other mid-ranged offerings.
This hat is made of 6X fur felt by Beaver Brand Hats to Mr. Keppler's specifications and comes in two colors, "Cairo Brown" and "China Clipper Grey." It has the traditional 2 7/8 by 2 3/4 inch dimensionally cut brim, a 1 1/2 inch black ribbon and an original blue liner.
The Keppler fedora is custom made by Beaver Brand hats and then delivered to Lee so he work his magic can shape them into whatever scene from the film you'd like at no extra charge. Wait times in the past have fluctuated from one week to over a year so please contact Lee Keppler or Adventure Supply to inquire about availability and wait times.
Over the years Lee has continued to produce many satisfied customers with
this hat. It's perfect for those on a lighter budget but still have the
same desire for a quality product. That is exactly what you get in the
This classic fedora, dubbed the "Federation" can be traced to 1930's styling. It is based on the old Akubra Campdraft and acquired it's name as a cause to celebrate Australia's centenary of federation, the year of 2001. Many members of Indy Gear assisted Hatsdirect in providing this accurate copy of the Indy fedora.
The Federation or "Fed" is comprised of mid-brown colored, medium-weight "Imperial Quality" rabbit fur felt, a white satin lining, sheepskin leather sweatband and a brown 39 mm grosgrain ribbon. The hats come with a 5 1/2 to 6 inch, straight-sided open crown and a 2 7/8 inch raw edged, snap brim. Not long after the release of the Federation, the Federation Deluxe made it's appearance which used an upgrade of Heritage Quality felt, the finest made by Akubra. Both versions of the Federation come in unfinished condition, meaning that you will have to do your own shaping and brim cutting if you want a dimensional cut to achieve the desired look. For those who may be apprehensive of doing this, we have a tutorial and a whole message board in place to assist you.
Overall, this is a highly recommended fedora which is ideal as a primary
or secondary fedora for your collection. The Federation is the perfect
fedora for those who don't want a cheap, wool imitation or want to spend
the money on a pure beaver felt. It's simply the best bargain on the market
today, in terms of the product vs. price.
Baron's Hats have specialized in costuming and theatrical hats in Hollywood for over fifty years. They made fedora's for the Temple of Doom production but it's not clear if any of them were used in the film. Still, they offer the "Cliffhanger" fedora, a nice Temple of Doom styled fedora offered in two felts, a 100% beaver and a hand-brushed fur felt. The Cliffhanger comes with a 5 inch crown, a 2 3/4 inch brim and a 1 1/2 inch grosgrain ribbon. Both are hand-made-to-order to the specifications requested by Lucasfilm for the original hat. The color of both felts is matched to the original as well.
The Dorfman Pacific is the officially licensed Indiana Jones fedora available at one time through the Lucasfilm fan club and now through the Star Wars fan club, various hat vendors through the web, and Disney theme parks around the globe. This hat came in two versions. One is made of 100% wool-felt and the other, an upgraded, crushable, Scotch Guarded, fur-felt version. Both versions come with an 'Indiana Jones' pin on the ribbon. This hat is by far the least expensive of all the Indy fedora's available today.
The Dorfman comes with a 1 7/16 inch grosgrain ribbon and a 2 1/2 inch brim with a very short crown height of about 4 inches. The crown on the Dorfman is tapered and can come with either the teardrop crown shape or the correct center dent/crease. The fur felt version can be reblocked and reshaped, but that will increase the price accordingly.
Being the most inexpensive of the Indiana Jones fedoras available, the
Dorfman Pacific is a great fedora for party gags, young children, or beginners.
Longtime hatter to the stars, The Custom Hatter, Gary White, makes his own reproduction of the Indiana Jones fedora which he labeled "The Indy".
The Indy is claimed to be an exact reproduction of the fedora in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Although the standard color is a bit light there are several colors available to choose from. This fedora is completely hand crafted starting with a nice, pure beaver/mink fur felt with a suede finish and features a 5 5/8 inch crown, a 2 7/8 inch brim.
All in all the Gary White fedora has a reputation for being a very well
put together hat. The price tag is a fairly high one compared to other
similar offerings but many have given Gary a chance and liked the outcome.
You may too.
Herbert Johnson / Magnoli Clothiers / Todd's
The Holy Grail (no pun intended) of Indiana Jones fedora's is an original Herbert Johnson, circa 1980. Being that those are tough to come by you can still order a current Herbert Johnson today from various sources. Herbert Johnson Hatters of London still produces the Indy fedora today but the felt used to create the Raiders of the Lost Ark fedora is no longer available so the hat you will receive will be much closer that what you see in Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. It should also be noted that the felt used for the Raiders fedora was a slightly lighter weight felt that what they began using in the mid-eighties until today. Also, the original block used to create the Raiders fedora has also not been found to date so what you will get is again, something more of the look from the sequels.
Two other options for purchasing a Herbert Johnson fedora come from two distinguished members of our community, Todd's Costumes and Magnoli Clothiers.
Both Todd's and Magnoli receive the raw materials from Herbert Johnson
then block and construct the fedora's in their own way, making them much
more accurate and more sought after than the fedoras that Herbert Johnson’s
puts out today with a higher degree of construction, less taper in the
One of the earlier and more accessible hats was the "Indiana Miller". A definite step up above the Dorfman or Stetson, the Miller can at just the right time to pacify those who were sick of wearing cheap, wool imitations by the late 1990's.
The Miller is an off-the-shelf fedora made of President Ultra Finished fur felt in one color, "coffee". It comes with a 2 inch brown ribbon and an unbashed crown height of 5 5/8 inches with a raw edged, 2 2/3, 2 5/8, 2 1/2 inch brim. Many have given the Miller a dimensional cut after receiving it for a more screen accurate brim. You can order the #256 Miller Raider which comes bashed in a nice Last Crusade style, or the #257 Miller Raider which comes unbashed for you to work to your liking or any particular scene from the films. The felt shapes easily with little use of steam.
The Indiana Miller was introduced at a time when fans were eager for greater alternatives and they were satisfied with the Miller for quite some time. It's not a hat for the Indiana Jones purist and is a bit pricey, but it was a good option in a time when hat options were slim.
Optimo is an upscale custom hat company which focuses primarily on dress hats, but in 2001 when they were approached to make a fedora in the Indiana Jones / Raiders of the Lost Ark style they said, "No problem".
The felt offered by Optimo was by far the best available at that time and came in a heavy, medium, and for the first time, a lightweight felt which most believed was the weight of the original film fedora. The richness of the felt allows you to bash and crease this hat without steam as is the case in many high quality, vintage fedoras of the 20's, 30's and 40's.
Optimo custom makes all of their hats to size and specifications provided by you by using turn of the century techniques, tools and in some cases, material, including a large stock of vintage ribbon. They rotate their colors and add new colors yearly but the first Indy hats were made in "Pecan" and "Chocolate Brown" with a felt mix of 95% beaver, 5% rabbit. Another bonus of the Optimo was the block they used to create the Indy fedora which was by far the closest block shape to date to the one used in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, the most sought after look.
In 2003, Optimo created a new color to cater to the Indy crowd which they called "Tobacco", but quickly became known as the "Indybrown". The felt mix also changed to a percentage of 47.5% beaver, 47.5% nutria and 5% wild hare, which will gives the felt an extra notch of durability and smoothness. Although the colors aren't a perfect match they are rich and vibrant and without a doubt, make a beautiful Indiana Jones styled fedora.
All of this comes with a high price tag which many are more than willing to pay for a high quality fedora. They turned a lot of people on to high quality fedoras and hardened the resolve of others to create a product of equal excellence or beyond.
In the late 1990's a few deep rooted Indy fans helped create the much needed replacement of the Herbert Johnson, Miller and sad Stetson line, the Peters Brothers Custom Indy fedora.
Peters Brothers is a custom Western hat shop which deals mainly in a much thicker and tougher grade of felt made for hard, outdoors use. Since they are a custom shop, when approached to make the Indy fedora they had no problem producing one that became very popular among Gear Heads and remains so today.
The Peters Brothers custom fedora or "PB", is a medium-heavyweight 5x pure beaver custom fedora, made to your specs and requirements. Also available in 2002 was the Peters Brothers Borsalino "Michaelson", or "PBBM", named after one of the founding fathers of this site. The PBBM is an off the shelf Borsalino which is an extremely soft, pliable and much richer colored felt compared to the standard PB custom fedora and comes in a lighter-weight. This hat is immediately available and they will dimensionally cut and shape it to your personal specifications.
Both the custom and Borsalino make great, long lasting fedora's and have received many great reviews over the years. The colors aren't perfect to the film hats nor is the block shape and the felt is considerably thicker, but for a custom made, heavy duty fedora, they're a great Indy hat for the money.
Stetson / Temple
Not long before the release of Temple of Doom in 1984, the Stetson Hat company purchased the Indy license from Lucasfilm Ltd. and began selling Indiana Jones licensed fedoras. They labeled them as "The Indiana Jones Hat" in their opening marketing campaign. They offered both an inexpensive wool-felt version and a higher end fur-felt. Both versions came with an 'Indiana Jones' pin on the ribbon. After the license expired they began selling the fur-felt fedora version under a slightly different name, the Stetson "Temple."
The Temple is a fur-felt fedora with a 5 1/4 inch open crown, a 2 5/8 inch by 2 3/8 inch dimensionally cut brim and a 1 5/8 inch wide black ribbon.
Demand was so big back in 1984 for this hat that Stetson could not keep up the supply. For some time the Stetson Temple was the top Indy hat on the market but with so many buying them it didn't take very long to figure out that there were major problems with this popular hat of the time. Many complained that when made wet the dye in the hat would run and the hat would become very badly tapered. Still, it remained the only official Indy hat for many years to come and a very sought after item for collectors to this day.
Flightsuits - The Expedition, built like a tank
Magnoli's Clothiers – A reproduction of the Raiders jacket
Todd's Costumes - Excellent Raiders jacket reproductions
U.S. Wings - Makers of the Temple of Doom jacket!
Wested Leather - Makers of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark jacket!
Bernardo del Carpio
The Australian Stock Saddle Co.
Adventure Supply (Deceased) - Sold resin replicas
Smith-Wesson.com - Now selling the venerable S&W 1917 again in .45 ACP, with the correct Raiders-style medallion grips and lanyard swivel
Western Stage Props - Sells resin replicas
The Original Content of IndyGear.com/Club Obi Wan (including research and written material) is the property of IndyGear.com ©2008. It is not to be copied or used without permission. All non-studio photos are property of IndyGear and/or the photographer who took them. The Photographer will be credited when possible. Indiana Jones® and all related information is the sole property of Lucasfilm, Ltd. and its affiliates.