If you haven't done so already, you can read the first part of the Hats and Headbands review over here. This is where I cover headbands and touch lightly on how they compare to hats.
No, not summer hats, these are winter hats. As the temperatures warm up I may cover my summer hats, but for now, these are my winter hats. I need to admit up front that I have an unhealthy obsession with winter hats and I don't know why. Once upon a time I had a crazy jester hat. I've since retired it (or maybe my wife tossed it when I wasn't looking because she hated it) and moved on to the beanie style hat. They fit close to my head and they keep my head warm. I don't have a lot of hair but I do have a lot of melon, so size is an issue (insert crude joke here). I have tried on many, many winter hats over the ages and I've learned that they are made for people with normal sized heads. So unless it's larger than normal or made of some elastic material, the hat usually doesn't make it into my collection.
Columbia Whirlibird Watch Cap Beanie
Not really any features to speak of. It has a small Columbia logo embroidered on the front, but that's about it.
It's super stretchy, so you can put both hands on either side of your head while wearing it without worrying about having room. It also comes down low enough to cover your ears, so there's no worry about them getting cold.
- Hand wash cold
- Dry flat
- Do not wring or twist
- Do not iron
- Do not bleach
I'm not sure where I got this or how long ago, but I love it. It works for running and for casual wear, so it is versatile. I may look like a thug or a bank robber when I wear it, but I like how well it fits and keeps my head just the right temperature.
Penthouse Knits Wool Hat
No real features to speak of other than it's made from a wool blend so it gets mighty itchy if you wear it for a while. But then again, it keeps your head super warm too.
A bit small. It barely comes down low enough to cover my ears. At least to cover them well enough to keep them warm, but the trade off is that it keeps my head very warm. Which means my ears don't really get cold. It's also stretchy enough to fit my head and allow for some extra room.
- Hand wash
This is the warmest of the hats in my collection. And since it's so old (probably 20 years old or so) and since it appears the company is out of business, it'll be hard to find something like it. But with wool still out there for die-hard outdoor-types and variations of wool-like material available (like bamboo and Alpaca fur), you can still find something warm enough to match the heat of this hat. I typically reserve this hat for below freezing days or cold and rainy days because it retains so much heat. Even when soaked through from a heavy rain, it'll still make my head sweat. The only downside is that it will itch like crazy.
Saucony DryLete Skull Cap
Not really any features to speak of. Hats aren't too exciting like that. But it does come in ViZi-PRO and has some reflective logos, so at least somebody may see you out there.
Snug. Not as tight as the Saucony headband, but tight enough that it won't come off. And it's snug enough that you could probably wear it under a bike helmet or some other headgear if needed. And with the curved edges, my ears are covered up just fine.
- Machine wash cold with like colour (their spelling, not mine)
- Do not use softeners
- Remove immediately
- Do not bleach
- Line dry
- Do not iron
- Do not dry clean
Oddly enough, it was raining yet again when I tested this hat. Starting to wonder if running in the rain is going to become a theme of mine. Anyway, it fit nicely. Not too tight, not too loose, but if I had to pick a side, I'd say just a hair on the too-tight side. I was a little surprised at how well it performed in the rain. I had my wool hat as a backup all ready to go and I didn't need it. For the first six miles of my run in the rain (it varied from light to heavy rain with temps in the 40s) my head was warm. It wasn't dry by any means, but it was warm. Around the six mile mark (just over an hour running) I started to notice the wind pick up and I could feel it a bit on my head. It wasn't bad, but I'd say anything more than two hours in the rain, especially if there's wind, and I'd consider packing a backup just to make sure you stay warm for the duration.
I've mentioned it a few times already, but I'll make it clear again. I have a big head. For those in the know, I wear a size 7 3/4. That means my head is roughly 24+ inches around. Closer to 25 inches if I include my ears. So size matters to me a lot. You can see my measurements in this gallery if you'd like.