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Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/26/2013 15:08:27 MDT Print View

What are your favorite wind-resistant warm hats for shoulder season/winter?

What are your favorite warm hats/system that are sun protective? By system I mean combining different elements, such as a warm beanie or balaclava with a sun hat.

Up to now my winter hat has been an OR softshell that is very warm, in part because the fit is so snug it pushes your ears right up against your head. Shoulder season has been a Cloudveil 4 Shadows light softshell or merino cap. When necessary I can combine either with a 2 oz wind-resistant Hind Balaclava.

I know that Will R. uses the OR Wind Warrior Windbloc Hat I just wonder if Windbloc material will dry quickly enough. Thankfully this hat has non-Windbloc material over your ears so you can hear better.

Luke's Ultralight carries a waterproof breathable fleece beanie:

Noticed OR now has the Exos Beanie PowerStretch with sunglasses holes - and an Exos cap with brim -

Edited by mountainwalker on 09/26/2013 15:15:58 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/26/2013 15:45:37 MDT Print View

I have a Patagonia R.5 beanie that is good for general warmth under a hood, just big enough to cover the tips of my ears. It weighs 0.8oz and stows in a jacket pocket, so it's there when needed. It is not wind resistant, but I run hot, so the breathability and wicking suits me.

The next step up is a TNF or Outdoor Research Peruvian-style beanie with ear flaps and Windstopper fleece. They are about equal in performance and the TNF fit my XXL noggin a little better. It has to be *cold* for me to need the the Windstopper stuff.

For sun, the Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat is the best. It is the goofiest looking thing, but it works. Their Field Hat is good if you want something more conventional looking.

If you like baseball style caps, the OR Sun Runner is good, with a removable cape. I have a Nike Fit Dry white cap polyester billed cap that melds well with a bandana for just a universal "cap."

For rain, it's the OR Seattle Sombrero. I have a Sunday Afternoons Cloudburst rain hat that I'm going to put to the test this fall.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Favorite hats on 09/26/2013 15:50:45 MDT Print View

Like Dale I endorse the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat for sun and OR Seattle Sombrero for autumn rain.

For fall and winter warmth I use an old Vermont Bird Company cashmere watch cap. Patterns are now owned by Golightly Cashmere, which took them upscale and raised the price. If I need a brim in winter I wear a lightweight nylon cap under the Sombrero.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/26/2013 16:28:36 MDT Print View

My favourite winter hat is a Bergaus Winstopper fleece hat I have had for 10 year or so, my favourite summer hat is a cheapo bush style hat with mesh vents I picked up at an Eddie Bauer outlet.

alex hansen
cold weather hat on 09/26/2013 19:40:33 MDT Print View

I have a fleece baseball cap from rei with fold out ear covers, and built in LED's on the brim. I like it because it provides back up lighting and the ear covers fit really snug, and keep them super warm.

In the summer i wear a light mountain hardwear visor and pair it with a buff. I wear the buff around my neck wet during the day to keepme cool,or over my head with the tail covering my neck. also at night i wear it as a beanie and keeps my ears warm around camp when its cool

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Oy Vey! on 09/26/2013 21:14:08 MDT Print View

The Outdoor Research Sun Runner is very popular. I have an old painter's cap with russian on it. In the summer, I don't overthink my kit too much... I could do better, but I don't burn easily. I think my ancestors came from the deserts of Jerusalem.

In winter... I am still undecided. Here are my three favorites, but what I use at a given moment is still in flux. I wish I had a do-it-all hat, but I don't.

OR Windstopper Peruvian: Very comfortable, but it cuts my already bad hearing to near-deafness, so I can't use it in groups. THis hat is ultralight, though, and extremely warm. The hem really seals it up against wind. I can wear it for hours without discomfort.

Arcteryx Contrail: Basic wool hat with a fleece inner. Found it on sale, seems flimsy but it's going the distance so far.

Pendleton Wool Headband: Instantly fell in love with the pattern on this guy. So old-school-cool. Anyways, it's wool and fleece, but with no top, and it's thicker than the Arcteryx.

For really cold trips, I have a really thick fleece/wool bomber-style hat that is an absolute joy to sleep in. No ropes/knots.

Edited by mdilthey on 09/26/2013 21:18:50 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: hats on 09/26/2013 21:52:21 MDT Print View

For sun, an Arc'teryx Neutro visor and an XL white cotton bandana tied as a sun shield. This rig vents and dries better than anything else I've tried, and the bandana keeps the visor on in strong winds.

In winter I add an original buff under the visor, and if I need more insulation add the hoods from a Capilene 4 hoody and whatever windshell I might be wearing.

I've never under stood the appeal of hats made from wind resistant fabrics. My ears never get that cold, and I value hearing well.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Windstopper hats drying time; Warm/Sun hat = for sun in cold weather on 09/29/2013 12:44:00 MDT Print View

Dale and Stephen, do you find Windstopper fleece takes forever to dry when it gets wet?

Windstopper directly over my ears is a big no no - cuts hearing too much. Though I believe the OR Windstopper hat has Wind Pro over the ears for better hearing.

I'm very curious to hear how your Sunday Afternoons Cloudburst works out. Only possible issue I see is that the downward facing flap in back could perhaps dump water between your back and pack.

I should specify that what I mean by warm sun hat system is what you wear in colder weather + sun to stay warm and shade your neck/face.

Max and Dale, I've heard the OR Sun Runner in hot weather can heat up at the top because of not enough airspace between your head and the surface of the hat. Haven't heard this about the Sunday Afternoons hat.

Edited by mountainwalker on 09/29/2013 12:50:16 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system" on 09/29/2013 13:22:48 MDT Print View

Sun Precautions has a neck drape style shade hat that's very good---100% spf. The neck drape is large, which is good; it has velcro fasteners at several places which allow you to leave the drape open and then 'button up' all the way over your nose if you wish. Even hanging loose it provides good protection for your ears, neck, and the side of your face.

Others like a cotton bandana used with a baseball style hat. From what I've read, cotton is not a good sun block. It may stop burning, but other rays get through pretty easy. However others are just fine with this combo. Perhaps look into this yourself.

I tried using a lightweight balaclava for sun protection/warmth but my glasses keep fogging up with this system! Unless my nose and mouth are left uncovered.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Hats on 09/29/2013 13:39:31 MDT Print View

This is an easy one winter Kats hats. Easy to care for non itchy and soft. A great value made by hand in the good old USA. It is in my top five favorite piece of gear.

Summer I am still on the hunt. I use a Henschell also made in USA.

Paul Andronico
(Jakesandwich) - MLife

Locale: S.F. Bay Area
Simms Beanie on 09/29/2013 14:00:54 MDT Print View

My favorite beanie by far is a fishing beanie made by Simms. It is a thinner, Polartec beanie that weighs less than an ounce, blocks wind fine for me, and has fantastic coverage of the forehead, ears and back of the neck. I use it as part of a head layering system with a hooded puffy and rainshell. When I found it the fit and coverage was so great I bought three! It does have a fish logo on the front. They are on sale right now for $9.95 for anyone interested:

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/29/2013 22:34:14 MDT Print View

Shoulder season means I am wearing my Cap4 hoody and likely have wind shirt, Until it's so cold I expect to be wearing a balaclava I almost always have a Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat. So for me, is some combination of these three elements. Yes, it may seem funny to wear a sun hat when it's cold, but it gets the job done when combined with the hoods.


jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system" on 09/29/2013 22:58:12 MDT Print View

I also wear the Sunday Afternoon hat in summer and shoulder seasons. But in snow, there's the problem of reflective sunlight. That's why I like--why I'm forced--to use a drape style hat, or a balaclava, for sun protection.

But maybe I'm too cautious! (I don't think so.) Maybe a lot of sunscreen is enough. (One of the problems with sunscreen is that you're not always aware of when it's worn off etc.)

Sorry if I'm drifting too much toward sun protection over warmth in winter settings. but I think it's agreed that because of snow, sun is even more intense in the mountains in winter than in summer.

Edited by book on 09/30/2013 09:55:01 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/29/2013 23:02:40 MDT Print View

A wool peruvian style beanie with a buff used as balaclava.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Your favorite Warm Hat; Favorite Warm sun hat/system on 09/30/2013 07:46:58 MDT Print View

Warm hat- brimmed hat

Cold hat (low altitude, no snow)- brimmed hat plus buff for lower face/neck

Cold hat (above treeline, snow)- fleece beanie, buff, visor, windshirt hood combo

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
A good balaclava is a standard item for me on 09/30/2013 07:56:39 MDT Print View

One of the reasons people have said (hugely exaggerated) that "half your body heat is lost through your head) is that in cold weather we are often covered from head to toe except for bare skin around our head and neck. A balaclava does a good job at covering most of that skin up and turns with your head much better than a hood (which I also wear in extreme cold.) For three-season use I have been carrying a Turtle Fur Micro Fur balaclava. Mine weighs about 1.1 oz. For winter use I have a selection of warmer ones. When it is windy and cold I have one with Windstopper that has a little mesh over each ear for hearing.

Obviously a balaclava can be worn in numerous configurations including full extension, partially rolled up, and all the way to a beanie. A balaclava is one of the warmest items per oz. to carry.

Edited by Colter on 09/30/2013 08:10:31 MDT.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Mountain Hardwear Compressor on 09/30/2013 08:03:15 MDT Print View

I love my Mountain Hardwear compressor beanie. Don't know if they still make them, but it's an insulated beanie (Primaloft) and it weighs 1.5 oz and it is crazy warm.

sco jo

Locale: Upper Midwest
4 headcoverings on 10/11/2013 15:09:45 MDT Print View

I use a combination of 4 headcoverings to get me by in 0 deg - 100 deg F weather.
Summer: bandana and light "Dorfman Pacific" baseball style hat. Shoulder seasons and cool nights, add a thin poly ski mask (actually they call it a helmet liner for motorcyclists). It can be worn as a "beanie" or full balaclava style. When it gets real cold I add a Mountain HardWear Dome Perignon Windstopper cap and neck gaiter. All that gear is extremely light and comfortable.

Edited by scojo on 10/11/2013 15:13:28 MDT.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: A good balaclava is a standard item for me on 10/11/2013 17:36:00 MDT Print View

" A balaclava is one of the warmest items per oz. to carry."
it is exactly as Buck says.

all i can add to that is when you are toting a not-so-ultralight load, and the days starts out nippy, it's all about "oh, today we should layer" which is fine, until you get warm'ish, and need to un-layer, and then it's time to take off the heavy pack, adjust layers, put on the heavy pack (it can hurt) and go another bit, only to do it all over again. (heck of a sentence right thar).

but, if thee has a balaclava on to start with, then with a simply yank, you can make a nice adjustment to temperature without taking off the pack. it stores in your front bag or pocket. easy as pie.
for those nasty "in the shade it's cold, and in the sun it's hot" situations, a bali is just the ticket.
and all this goodness is, as Bucks says, for 1 oz.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Fleece beanie and cheap visor on 10/13/2013 04:05:47 MDT Print View

Right now, for the cold, I use a really old fleece beanie that REI used to make. It has a shaped windstopper fleece bottom portion that covers my ears and a non-windproof top portion that is nice and breathable. It's sort of the best of both worlds in my opinion: breathable, yet wind resistant where it needs to be.

I wear knit beanies at home when it's cold, but out on the trail I prefer fleece beanies because they are generally lighter and faster drying.

For sun, I've been using a cheap dri-fit (a.k.a. polyester) white Nike visor that I stole from my wife. It's probably "made for" tennis or something, who knows. I'm generally not a fan of wearing hats in hot weather when not backpacking, but I find that visors are tolerable for me because they keep the air flowing.

Edited by dmusashe on 10/13/2013 04:08:39 MDT.