I like a good hat, but what’s a good hat like? Well, that depends on the context, and the context I’m reviewing this hat in is the cold, wet evenings when I’ve been standing around outside wishing I wasn’t. It’s a beanie hat – a simple dome-shaped style that covers your hair and ears but with no peak – which features three layers.
The inside layer is a warm and cosy microfleece, which traps warmth in around your ears. The middle layer is a Gore Tex membrane which will keep even the hardest rain from soaking your hair, but allow any sweat or previously wet heads to evaporate nicely. And finally the outer is a good-looking knitted acrylic layer which further traps the warmth in.
It works very well indeed at keeping the cold out, although it’s only just long enough to cover my earlobes on very cold nights. And equally it keeps out any rain like it should too. In combination with a tight-necked jacket you’ll stay gloriously dry, but without a hat brim, a jacket with an open neck will suffer some ingress.
My only concern would be that the three layers of this hat aren’t connected. The delicate Gore Tex membrane is loose inside the fleece-knit sandwich and pulling off the hat creases and pulls it somewhat. I wonder if this could, potentially, lead to long-term fail of the membrane. The other effect of it being a loose membrane is that the hat is quite rustly. In a wind it sounds like you’re wearing a carrier bag on your head, which is little paranoia inducing.
That said, and since my test model hasn’t failed, the hat seems to be made well and is comfortable. At £25 it’s pitched at about the right sort of price for a waterproof hat too.
SUMMARY: A very warm, waterproof and simple hat. Great for cold, wet days when you need to avoid drowned-rat hair and losing all your body heat through your head.
Note: Trekmates do make plenty of brimmed hats for better rain protection. See here.