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Best Overall: Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie at Amazon
"With unmatched softness, comfort, and breathability."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Mountain Hardwear Perignon Hat at Amazon
"Comfortable and keeps you dry and warm throughout inclement weather."
Best Budget: Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat at Amazon
"Retails around half the cost of other winter hats in the market."
Best Style: Cos Cashmere Hat at Cos
"Styled like a traditional beanie with a softer construction."
Best for Toddlers: Patagonia Furry Friends Hat at Backcountry
"Plush and cozy enough for toddlers to spend the day playing winter activities."
Best with Pom-Pom: Smartwool Ski Town Hat at Amazon
"Its faux-fur pom-pom makes for a great fashion statement."
Best Trapper Hat: L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Bomber Hat at L.L. Bean
"Comes with a waterproof quilted outer lining and has a faux fur trim."
Best Down Hat: Outdoor Research Transcendent Beanie at Amazon
"Uses responsibly sourced 650-fill power goose down."
Best for Running: Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Beanie at Under Armour
"Absorbs and retains about 10-percent of body heat to your head."
As the cold weather settles in, you'll want to retire your go-to baseball caps for something warmer. Many of us reach for whatever beanie we happen to have on hand, but there's a case to be made for carefully selecting a winter hat. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a winter hat, but we'll focus on three: warmth, comfort, and breathability. When considering materials, keep in mind that fleeces made from wool and polyester are very warm, and some winter hats even have a thermo-conductive coating to help your head retain heat. Design-wise, most people appreciate something that covers their ears, which are especially sensitive to the cold. Besides warmth, comfort also matters. Whatever hat that you get, you want to make sure that it fits snugly on your head.
Read on for our selection of the best winter hats available.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie
The Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie is a stylish cap with unmatched softness, comfort, and breathability. Merino wool is incredibly soft, as well as moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and insulating. Even when you start to sweat while participating in winter sports or a brisk walk, you'll be able to rely on this winter hat to keep you warm, dry, and fresh. In fact, you can wear it while playing in the snow — the wool can absorb up to 30-percent of its weight in moisture. The lightweight material is naturally elastic, and the circumference ranges from 17 to 25 inches, so you won't need to worry about fit. Best of all? You can toss it in your washer and dryer when you want to clean it. The collection has 11 different colors, including all the hues of the rainbow and more.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Mountain Hardwear Perignon Hat
Whether you're rock climbing or snowboarding, Mountain Hardware's Perignon Hat is a workhorse hat that's comfortable and keeps you dry and warm throughout winter's inclement weather. This winter hat gets the job done — it completely covers your ears and has an inner fleece-lined ear band for extra warmth. The Perignon also reaches the back of your neck, which is also particularly sensitive to the cold. The beanie, made from 100-percent polyester Toasty Tweed Fleece, has Mountain Hardwear's Windbloc technology so it's breathable and resistant against biting winds. It's also stretchy, so it can accommodate different head sizes. The hat does weigh four ounces, so it's a hair heavier than many other options in the market that weigh one to two ounces.
Best Budget: Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat
This best-selling, cult-favorite beanie has thousands of positive reviews, and with good reason: it's warm, comfortable, and retails around half the cost of other winter hats in the market. It's made of stretchable, acrylic rib-knit fabric for a one-size-fits-all hat, while the classic, simple style goes with any outfit. Carhartt, which has been making these hats in the U.S. since 1987, ensures durability with every construction. The winter hat also comes in a variety of colors, like green, black, orange, red, gold, brown, blue, and more. Although it's labeled for men, this unisex beanie is perfect for women, too.
Best Style: Cos Cashmere Hat
Leave it to timelessly stylish brand Cos to deliver some of the most high-quality winter accessories, like the Cashmere Hat. Styled like a traditional beanie with a softer construction, this winter hat is made of 100 percent cashmere that will last you season after season. It was designed to be a bit oversized, but you can also fold up the brim for a tighter fit. Choose from grey and brown.
Best for Toddlers: Patagonia Furry Friends Hat
Keep your little ones toasty with the adorable Furry Friends Hat from Patagonia. Constructed of 100 percent polyester fleece, this winter hat is plush and cozy enough for toddlers to spend the day sledding, ice skating, or playing with snow. Plus, the furry bear ears are a cute touch. With sizes including 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 2T-5T, reviewers praised the comfortable fit of the hat. Colors include grey and pink, and the hat can be machine-washed and dried.
Best with Pom-Pom: Smartwool Ski Town Hat
Pom-poms are a fun way to add flair to the traditional cable knit beanie, and this Smartwool Ski Town Hat is no exception. Its acrylic and wool blend will keep your head warm and comfortable during snow and wintry days, while the eye-catching pom-pom makes for a great fashion statement. Machine washable, this winter hat is available in white and charcoal.
Best Trapper Hat: L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Bomber Hat
The trapper hat, which was first worn by Norwegian Arctic explorers and fighter pilots during World War I, gets a refresh with this stylish number from L.L. Bean. Like traditional trapper hats, this winter hat is made to keep you extremely warm with its ear flaps and faux-fur trim. Even more, the winter hat comes with a waterproof quilted outer lining. It's available in two sizes and should be hand washed.
Best Down Hat: Outdoor Research Transcendent Beanie
Since down jackets exist, why not down hats? Outdoor Research’s Transcendent Beanie, which hails from the same product line as the popular Transcendent jacket, has an ultralight and water-resistant ripstop shell. Inside, it uses responsibly sourced 650-fill power goose down. The beanie helps you retain heat during winter treks, and when the temperature gets warm, all you need to do is stuff it into its hidden pocket or compress it. The winter hat won't be too heavy to carry around as it weighs a mere ounce in total. One thing to keep in mind is that reviewers have mentioned sizing issues. To play it safe, go with a large/x-large size as opposed to a small/medium one.
Best for Running: Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Beanie
If you need something that will fit under your helmet and keep your head warm, look no further than Under Armour's ColdGear Infrared Beanie. The "infrared" part of the name refers to the thermo-conductive inner coating of the beanie which absorbs and retains about 10-percent of body heat to your head. The beanie is soft, consisting of ultrasoft, brushed fleece. The one-size-fits-all winter hat also has a UA Storm technology coating that keeps it breathable and expels water. There are 12 different colors to choose from, including various shades of reds, blues, and grays. Some things to consider are that the beanie isn't windproof and that it doesn't cover the ears completely, which can be very sensitive to the cold during the winter.