Hats + Beanies Buyers Guide
Making sure your head's properly protected is essential for a good day on the mountain. When you're active in the cold, your body sends more blood to your extremities (hands, feet, face, noggin). Unfortunately, your body heat escapes more in these areas making your entire body feel chilly. Whether wanting to maintain current body temperature or dealing with a freezing skull and wind-bitten ears, the right hat can help. It should fit well without constant adjusting, protect from wind & precipitation, and also look awesome.
The more traditional way to wear a hat would be snug, close to your head, and with a fold-over cuff to compensate for length. Many prefer a slouchier, looser fit that sits further back on the forehead, but either way it should protect ears, be itch-free, and able to stay in place (even when bombing hills)
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synthetic fiber commonly used to make beanies. It's a less expensive alternative to wool, and also easier to clean. It holds dyes extremely well, so even the most vibrant patterns will last.
a natural, versatile fiber that's machine-washable, durable, affordable, and easily dyed.
soft, synthetic fabric that maintains warmth and wicks moisture. Thickness ranges from micro (thinnest, most flexible) to 300 (thickest, most rigid). Fleece is highly breathable, durable, and machine-washable.
thick, natural fibers from sheep, goats, alpaca, camels, or rabbits (angora). Has unmatched ability to retain heat and is static-resistant, but requires special laundering.
Construction & Features
Chunky Knit -
uses bulkier yarns and has bigger, more noticeable knit patterns. Hand-knit styles also often have a chunkier aesthetic that makes for a more traditional, outdoors-y look
a common stitching method that's bound in a circular motion by a single loop (as opposed to knitting which binds rows). It requires much more yarn than knitting to produce the same size hat, but the end result is typically stronger, thicker, and less prone to stretch. Good for creating a vintage "Granny" style or making delicate, intricate designs.
Double Knit -
created on circular knitting machine and results in a knit twice as thick as your standard beanie. The dual layers provide extra warmth, comfort and protection. Many double knits are also reversible.
design feature included in Peruvian & Trooper styles, where longer pieces extend down to cover the ears. Can be lined and/or tied at the chin.
a soft, fine knit with excellent drape & stretch. Jersey fabric is usually made from cotton- or wool - synthetic blends and is flat & smooth on one side and piled on the other.
an interior fleece or micro fleece liner for added softness and heat. A liner made of jersey or other comfortable fabric can also offer protection from itchy fibers like wool.
a double-knit or lined beanie with different colors/patterns on each side is a quick & easy way to switch up your kit
a type of knit with a subtle, striped appearance (think corduroy). The look is created by alternating knit & purl stitches to create vertical "wales"; the width of the wales can vary depending on number of stitches.
yarn that's been spun without a uniform thickness will have small lumps & bumps in it that add unique texture & patterns when woven
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