The 10 Best Winter Hats For Men
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in September of 2016. Although it is a myth that you lose most of your body heat through the top of your head, it still pays to keep your noggin warm and dry on chilly days and nights. But please, do it in style with one of these men's winter hats, which are suitable for myriad activities. We've ranked them by comfort, durability, and price, so you can stay cozy and fashionable at the same time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 15, 2020:
Styles are always changing, so we made a few tweaks to this list to keep up with the trends while still providing tried and true classics and pieces that will, above all else, keep your noggin warm while you're out and about in chilly climates.
You can't go wrong with the Carhartt A18 if you're looking for a classic beanie of solid quality at a respectable price. Carhartt is a reliable brand and a fan favorite, but we still decided to remove the Carhartt A164, as it's close enough to the Home Prefer Newsboy that its inclusion felt repetitive. Some wearers also feel that it can get itchy at points. We decided to bring on the Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon for outdoorsy types who love to cycle, ski, snowboard, or engage in any activities that require a helmet, as it can fit seamlessly underneath. It's not quite a skull cap, but it fits close to the head with leftover room for hair and manages to be lightweight, warm, and stylish at once. It also protects the ears.
When the Coal Yukon Brim Beanie became unavailable, we used the vacancy to add something with a sense of humor that was still practical and fashionable, which is where the Kavu Herschel comes in. Designed in Seattle, this acrylic 80s throwback is soft and cozy with a cuff that hasn't been sewn down, so you can roll it how you please. There is an array of fun knit-in designs available to suit a range of tastes, and its one-size-fits-all construction means that women can wear it as well.
If you need something that can stand up to water, the Mysuntown Trapper and Ergodyne N-Ferno 6802 are both smart choices. When paired with a good waterproof jacket, these will help you stay shielded from the elements and able to perform outdoor tasks in inclement weather without getting soaked to the bone.
November 11, 2019:
The type of hat you wear has just as much to do with practicality as it does with your sense of style, so we put together a diverse list to cater to varying needs and preferences. You'll find everything from aviator and trapper-inspired selections to casual beanies and caps. We prioritized reliable construction, comfort, warmth, and add-ons like ear flaps, tightening bands, and face covers.
For heavy-duty winter wear, the Queenfur Aviator, Ergodyne N-Ferno 6802, and Mysuntown Trapper are all crafted to withstand high winds and seriously cold climates, with the latter two sporting water-resistant shells that make them well-suited for use in snow.
If you deal with milder winters, the Comhats Baseball and Forbusite Slouchy Beanie are great, but bear in mind that the Forbusite model likely won't stand up to harsh conditions or rigorous wear. The Comhats offering is perfect if you need something that pairs with everything, since it matches all sorts of outerwear styles, from down jackets to peacoats.
For hats that are supremely warm, but not as hardcore as the aviator styles on this list, the Carhartt A164, Carhartt A18, and Coal Yukon Brim Beanie are all excellent choices.
We let go of The North Face Beanie due to availability concerns, as well as the Tilley Tech-Wool, which we still consider a very stylish choice with great features, however, we feel that when compared to other models, it's not as versatile when it comes to coverage and protection in harsh climates. The tuckaway ear warmers are also susceptible to blow about in strong winds. Joining the ranks in their places are the Comhats Baseball and Stormy Kromer Rancher Cap, both great selections for active users who will be hunting, hiking, camping, and more.
Canada Goose Aviator This cozy piece from Canada Goose is inspired by vintage aviation styles but has been upgraded using the brand's outerwear knowledge to suit modern needs. It's crafted from a water-resistant shell and detailed with a shearling-trimmed visor and ear flaps, which were originally put in place for pilots who flew aircraft with open cockpits. It also boasts a buckled leather chin strap to secure it in place. canadagoose.com
Drake's Watch Cap Knitted in Scotland, Drake's Watch Cap features cable-link stitches that give it a traditional look and lock in warmth. It's spun from 100% wool in various shades, such as cream, grey, navy, and even dark grey speckled Donegal yarn, and can add a touch of class to both casual and formal ensembles. drakes.com
C.P. Company Goggle Beanie This stylish beanie from C.P. Company is crafted from Merino wool, which is thinner and softer than traditional wool. It offers reliable warmth and breathability and features a chunky, tight ribbed knit throughout and goggles embedded in the turn-up brim. cpcompany.com
The Importance Of Keeping Your Head Warm
Wearing a hat traps that heat against your head, and keeps it from following its instincts of chasing after the cold air.
When you were a child, in the winter your parents probably never let you leave the house without a hat on. You'd likely think, "Why? I have hair for that!" But they were onto something. When your head is the slightest bit cold, the rest of your body will feel it. While the old adage that you lose 70 percent of your body heat through your head isn't actually true, you can still lose a lot of heat through that noggin of yours. After all, in most individuals, the head makes up about 10 percent of their body. That's a large percentage of your body to leave exposed to the elements. A hat won't keep you warm if you're totally nude, but it's still a very important addition to your winter wardrobe.
There are two main ways that your entire body can lose heat: conduction and convection. The former pertains to one solid matter interacting with another, and the latter pertains to gases interacting with solid matter. In terms of keeping your head warm, you mostly need to worry about convection. You probably don't put your head on cold objects, but your head does interact with cold gases all day long if it is exposed. Because hot always travels to cold, if the air your head interacts with is colder than your head, then the heat from your head will leave it and travel towards that air. Wearing a hat traps that heat against your head, and keeps it from following its instincts of chasing after the cold air.
Keeping your ears warm is also very important. Don't forget that your ears have almost no fat on them to keep them warm. That's why they become cold to the touch almost instantly when you go outside in the winter. And beneath the cold skin of your ears lie nerves that are tremendously sensitive to temperature change, which is why you can often feel pain there when it's cold out. That's why wearing hats during the day and even sleeping in hooded blankets at night is especially important when it is cold.
What To Look For In A Good Winter Hat
When you were a child, you had to wear whatever winter hat your mom plopped on your head as you left the house. But now that you're an adult, you can tailor your hat choices to your style and needs. If you live in a very cold climate, the material type will be especially important for you. Some hats are reversible, with extra-warm polar fleece on one side, for those particularly biting days, and wool on the other. For less severe climates, you can look for a wool blend that may also combine acrylic and polyester.
If you need your hat for winter sports and plan on having cold winds whip against your face for hours, look for a hat with an attached windproof mask and ear flaps.
If you need your hat for winter sports and plan on having cold winds whip against your face for hours, look for a hat with an attached windproof mask and ear flaps. If you combine that with some good goggles then your head and face will be completely warm. You may also want a hat that is water-resistant, because you never know when you'll be caught on the slopes during snowfall.
Some hats have a visor that you can clip up or keep down to keep some sun out of your eyes. These are a nice option if you wear your hat both indoors and outdoors. Wearing a hat can sometimes interfere with conversation, but some have ear holes you can uncover to better hear your friends. Speaking of which, if you do plan on wearing your hat for a full day, going from meals with friends to hiking to other activities, look for one that easily folds up, so you can stick it in your jacket pocket.
The History Of Signature Winter Hats
When you think of winter hats, you likely picture two main types: the beanie, and the ushanka (the Russian hat with fur-lined earflaps you've seen in movies). Each of these has its own unique origin story. But first, let's look at the history of hats as a whole. Hats have been used for several reasons throughout history, including warming purposes, fashion, to denote different rankings in the military, and even to show someone's social status. The first recorded incidences of hats come from around 3000 B.C.E., but historians believe they must have existed before then. In the Middle Ages, hats transitioned more from utilitarian items to symbols of social status. In fact, hats have a long and complicated involvement in society. The 19th century saw the emergence of hats mainly intended for fashion. They started with bonnets and evolved into the large, elaborately decorated hats you might see the ladies of Downton Abbey wearing.
Throughout the 1900s, Eastern European soldiers wore several versions of this hat, which is how it became a Soviet Union media icon.
One of the first beanies was called a Monmouth and was named after the town where it was created in Wales. The original versions were made out of taffeta, satin, or velvet, and some even featured embroidery. Sometime between the 15th and 18th centuries, beanie makers started using wool, particularly that of the beloved Ryeland sheep. The beanie is still a very popular accessory today, and designers regularly come out with new styles and types, such as the Bluetooth beanie.
The ushanka hat has appeared in images from as early as the 1600s, and people throughout Slovenia, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Germany, and other nearby countries have worn them for centuries. Many of these countries altered and improved upon the hat, particularly during wartime. Throughout the 1900s, Eastern European soldiers wore several versions of this hat, which is how it became a Soviet Union media icon. One photo of President Gerald Fold wearing a ushanka in 1974 caused quite a bit of tension in the U.S. Fortunately, since then, the hat has become de-stigmatized and is mostly a fashion item today used on especially cold winter days.