A winter hat to keep your skull and ears warm is a necessity. Fleece or wool hats are good choices as they are warm, dry quickly and insulate even when damp or wet. A close-fitting design such as a watch cap, make putting your hood up an easy task.
Other options include a fleece neck gaiter or buff or an insulated cap with ear flaps. The fleece neck gaiter or buff option uses soft, double-layered brushed acrylic fleece traps air to keep neck warm. It can be made into a hat shape that can open further for venting if needed.
Bomber Hats: perhaps a delayed tribute to Marge from Fargo, the bomber hat is back in a big way. From Woolrich’s famous Buffalo Check Wool Blend Trapper ($45; woolrich.com) to Tilly Endurable’s Aviator (tilley.com) to Chaos’ glitzy Wow ($27; chaoshats.com). The beauty of the bomber is that it’s also blessedly warm.
The Columbia Kazoo Hat has become my regular snowshoeing and camping hat. The fleece lined hat provides a baseball cap style brim with long ear flaps. Since I routinely wear glasses the brim is useful not only for shade but also to help keep snow and moisture off my glasses. It has to be a serious wind blast to make me employ the hook and loop closure. I usually wear the ear flaps loose as the hat fits securely. The long ear flaps keep my ears and neck warm even in a strong wind. The feature I like the most is the ability to temperature control. Unlike a beanie or watch cap the hat can be adjusted to provide more ventilation. As things warm up the ear flaps can be fastened across the back of the hat and gradually raised towards the top of the hat exposing my neck and head as it morphs into a baseball cap. The hat easily packs in a coat pocket, and it is surprisingly light weight for being so warm. I got my hat at the local sporting goods store but a web search revealed a variety of sources including Campmor, Cabelas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Amazon with cost ranging from $12-15.