I was on the hunt for a great winter hiking hat. Good wouldn’t cut it. I wanted great. And great meant warm. On hikes where the temperature drops below freezing and camps in single digits, I wanted a hat that would allow me to enjoy the winter outdoors. I didn’t want thin fabric or fleece-lined around-the-ears only or some decorate fru-fru beanie. I wanted a top-notch warm winter wool hat. I searched in vain for months, years even . . . until one day I stumbled along a hat so extraordinary that I have taken it with me on every winter hike. Meet my hat: Bula’s Aran Beanie.
- Super-duper warm. I have lived in this hat all winter.
- It is fifty percent merino wool, which does wonders because it is soft, anti-microbial, allows your skin to breathe, wicks away moisture, dries quickly, and prevents feeling temperature changes.
- It has a velvety-soft liner, which provides additional warmth.
- I love that it does not have a silly ‘poof’ or whatever-it-is-called at the top. This hat is simple and wonderful for that reason.
- Fits snugly to my head and is not super tiny or extra baggy, like other hats I’ve seen.
- This is minor: While mine is a pretty blue, I wish there were other natural colors, such as greens, browns, or greys.
- I’m going to rant for a moment: Companies do not provide hats, scarves, and gloves sets for serious winter gear. Therefore, a con I’m going to throw in is that there are sadly no equally-warm scarf and gloves.
- Other than that — solely looking at the hat — I truly have nothing against it.
Rating: out of Five Vistas
Tips for tracking down your own hat
- If you’re able to track down a full wool hat, I think this is the best way to go. Wool has more benefits than other materials, such as acrylic ones.
- I’d recommend one that fits snugly to your head. Take those slouchy beanies: There’s extra space so it takes longer to warm your head.
- I’d recommend doing away with hats that have pom-poms and other frills. It’s one more thing to snag on a tree limb.
- Also find a tight knit hat. Andy snagged his hat (pictured below) walking home from a city grocery store — One ity bity tree limb and it pulled. Imagine what it would do on an overgrown trail.