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Keith Franchois
(Naqab) - F
Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/27/2006 23:59:27 MDT Print View

I'm looking at my headwear situation right now and trying to figure out what would be a good choice of headwear for the 30-50 degree weather range for hiking. I have the possum down hat but that's way too warm so I'm wondering about a headsweats cap, OR Airfoil beanie, Cloudveil 4 Shadows, or a merino cap. What do other peole wear in these situations? The OR Airfoil Beanie seems like it might be overkill but I like the added wind and water resistance that it and the Cloudveil beanie might provide. Thanks for your insights :)

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/28/2006 07:26:40 MDT Print View

For that temperature range (30-50 degrees F), I'm only looking to take a slight chill off my ears and maybe avoid some heat loss through my scalp.

For that I prefer the multi-purpose Buff headwear http://www.buffusa.com/index.html

Its extremely lightweight and can be worn in many different ways. I use the original version, but they make other types with wind resistance or fleece for added warmth.

Keith Franchois
(Naqab) - F
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/28/2006 07:44:37 MDT Print View

I agree that it's mainly cold ears in the upper range of the figure but if it's windy and overcast my head does get a bit chilled. I have a windstopper headband but it's not terrifically breathable so I've also played around with the idea of either going with a powerstretch or windpro headband rather than full cap/beanie.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/28/2006 19:10:20 MDT Print View

Hood of your hooded windshirt.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/29/2006 07:48:18 MST Print View

I use a simple Serius Thermax skull cap. It's small and light enough that it stays in a pants pocket in cool weather and comes on and off as needed. It functions as a base layer for my head and combines well with other headwear.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Smartwool beanie on 10/29/2006 17:14:34 MST Print View

I like my Smartwool 100% merino wool beanie. It is very lightweight, thin material. Would need additional insulation for nearer freezing.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Possum Fur Beanie on 10/29/2006 17:23:54 MST Print View

Possum Fur Beanie is the best way to go, however, on a recent trip I used a Smartwool Hoody which worked well in conjunction with a windshirt.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
old school winter headgear... on 10/29/2006 17:57:04 MST Print View

Army surplus wool watch cap. Makes you look kinda mean or like youre in training or something, but extremely warm and inexpensive. If it gets wet, still keeps your head warm. Wont rip or tear, super rugged. Doesnt retain odor even if you sweat like a pig. I never have to wash mine (well maybe once every four years in some Woolite).

Combine it with the hood of a good parka , and you aint gonna get cold.

Gets the job done...

Vlad

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/29/2006 18:45:22 MST Print View

I use a Mountain hardwear Transition Featherweight Dome. It weighs 1 oz and is constructed with a Windstopper membrane and microfleece lining for the headband. It breathes plenty well enough for my high output pushes up Cascade slopes on training hikes and is my standard outer layer when things get cold in camp and for sleeping, usually with a MH Polarstretch balaclava and/or Possum Down beanie.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/29/2006 20:57:13 MST Print View

A Tilley suits me fine for that temp range. I've been trying out an OR Storm Bucket for rainy weather (I like it). The OR Peruvian Hat is great for colder weather and sleeping. A good ol' Polarfleece beanie is light cheap, warm and breaths.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 00:27:49 MST Print View

Home-made wide-brimmed cabbage hat, calico, very like a Tilley.
Works fine to sub-freezing.
QWorks fine in the rain.
Works fine in hot weather.
Works fine.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 00:41:27 MST Print View

One thing I would like to point out to a few of you is that when your humping it hard on the trail, even in subfreezing winter temps, its easy to overheat if you wear too much clothing. And a warm hat will be one of the first things to come off in cold weather backpacking.

As long as you are moving and heating, unless its REALLY cold or maybe freezing rain or sleeting or something, that hat goes off.

When you really need that warm hat is when you stop for any length of time. In camp, on breaks, when eating lunch...at nighttime. Then you NEED a warm hat. You arent moving, you arent being "fast and light." You arent generating body heat like when you are on the trail.

Reading a few of the posts here, I get the impression some think they will be moving ALL the time. A calico wide brimmed hat for wintertime backpacking? COME ON!

Ever had hypothermia before? Even early stage, mild hypothermia?

Vlad

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 02:44:01 MST Print View

> When you really need that warm hat is when you stop for any length of time.
That may be a little more than I would endorse, but I should add that our windshirts have good hoods. These can make a lot of difference - either under or over the hats.
That said, we DO take fleece ski hats in winter for sleeping. Yeah, good stuff then!

> A calico wide brimmed hat for wintertime backpacking? COME ON!
Well, all I can tell you is what we do. I could show you pics of us ski-touring with those hats on. Can get rather sunny in the snow, with lots of UV. But once again, our tops have hoods, and we carry fleece hats as well.

> Ever had hypothermia before? Even early stage, mild hypothermia?
Nope - but that is because we carry enough clothing and are extremely careful about NOT getting hypothermic. I walk and ski with my wife, and we watch each other all the time.
Well - a bit cool sometimes in the snow when putting up the tent, but that's usually a calculated gamble on what we know about each other's reserves.

Now, Heat Stress and even Heat Stroke - ah yes. I'm in Australia, remember!

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 13:28:42 MST Print View

>I could show you pics of us ski-touring >with those hats on.

Man, you arent going to spread UL with statements like that! Come on! A calico broad brimmed hat? A hat like that is for warm weather...summertime, perhaps springtime or early fall here in the USA.

Not for wintertime usage. Unless perhaps you are a skin cancer survivor and trying to avoid any sunlight.


> Ever had hypothermia before? Even early stage, mild hypothermia?
Nope - but that is because we carry enough clothing and are extremely careful about NOT getting hypothermic. I walk and ski with my wife, and we watch each other all the time.
Well - a bit cool sometimes in the snow when putting up the tent, but that's usually a calculated gamble on what we know about each other's reserves.
-----------------------------------------

You carry enough cold weather clothing to prevent hypothermia, yet your cold weather hat is a broad brimmed calico hat? LOL That makes no sense whatsoever. The hat you describe is like a boonie hat or a modified cowboy hat here in the USA. It is a medical fact that a huge amount of heat loss is thru the head and neck area. The hat you describe isnt going to insulate your head very well (except perhaps in heat in Australia).

>Now, Heat Stress and even Heat Stroke - >ah yes. I'm in Australia, remember!

I think this explains much of your answer about a "cold weather hat."

Vlad

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 14:14:42 MST Print View

Vlad - you're kidding, right? It makes perfect sense to me as long as there's a woolie somewhere about for when the sun goes down... The sun crisps the back of your ears just as nicely in winter as it does in summer.

IF you're kidding, you got me. Great poker face. If you're not, very few things in life make "absolutely no sense whatsoever." Something to think about in your work with kids...

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 14:44:07 MST Print View

I layer my head wear like I do on the rest of my clothing. My base layer is either a Smartwool Shadow's Hoody or an Ibex Hooded Shak. As it gets colder I add a Patagonia Houdini and finally a Seirus Quick Draw Hat. I love hoodies. They encourage me to fine tune my comfort. Nothing to look for, they are always there, and no drafty necks.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 16:23:41 MST Print View

My first choice still seems to be a headband, something along the lines of powerdry, but I always have a synthetic beanie, sweatvac,underarmour tech., or craft windstopper. These are all made essentially for under bike helmet applications.
Some kind of insulated headgear goes in the fanny pack/pack when the temp. swings too much. I have been caught in the first stage of hypothermia cross-country skiing in freezing rain [alone], it was all I could do to get the key in the ignition of my truck to start it from the shaking/shivering. Sun protection is way important on the snow, some of the old timers probably remember smearing a little glacier cream under your nose to keep from burning.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 16:30:27 MST Print View

The OR Airfoil is very versatile but it's going to be overkill if the Possumdown hat is too hot for you. I'd take a look at the MH Transition Dome mentioned by the other poster. That looks like a good compromise.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 17:25:41 MST Print View

I have had first stage hypothermia before. It caused confusion and loss of coordination along with severe shivering. It was beyond "just being really cold." It was a long time ago and if I had been alone, I probably would have progressed into the deeper stages of hypothermia and died.

You cant think clearly when it hits, you lose manual dexterity...cant even tie a basic knot. You are screwed if you are by yourself.

It sneaks up on you real gradual like. Being ignorant about it, being overconfident and in denial about the possibility of it ever happening to YOU is what usually leads to it.

A warm toboggan type hat, wool/fleece/primaloft/whatever is essential to help prevent it in cold weather. If you stop for any length of time, that hat goes on. A broad brimmed cowboy or boonie hat isnt going to cut it. Thats a hat for warm weather, not cold weather.

Hypothermia has killed plenty of "tough guys" who never thought it would happen to them. In the first Iraq war, several British SAS troopers were killed by hypothermia when they went deep behind Iraqi lines on foot and their patrol was compromised and they had to E&E.

There were three or four Army Ranger trainees (all officers if I remember correctly and several were West Pointers) who died of hypothermia during the Florida swamp phase of Ranger school. That was back in the nineties, during a winter Ranger class and caused a big stink...probably because they were officers and mostly West Pointers.

Advising someone to go backpacking in the winter with a broad brimmed hat is negligent. Unless your winters are warm <grin>.

Vlad

R K
(oiboyroi) - M

Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cold Weather Active Wear Headwear on 10/30/2006 17:40:52 MST Print View

Vlad the thread is about active headwear ... not camp insulation. The things you say are true, yes, but from my own limited experience with cold weather, (10 - 30 degrees) a super warm hat is not really ideal while moving. I've used a patagonia R1 balaclava and and even this was too warm while on the move. The top of my head and neck would get quite sweaty while my ears were a little cool. I've been considering a wind pro (or thinner) head band and now that Larry has suggested the same, will give it a try. I suspect it would work well in the temps listed in the original post as well.

This would be on combination with a OR sun runner cap for sun pro.

Edited by oiboyroi on 10/30/2006 18:12:08 MST.