Keeping your head warm is essential when hitting the slopes. Even though most helmets come with warm liners, many skiers also choose to wear a ski hat as extra protection when the temperature drops. In addition to warmth, soft ski hats also improve the overall comfort level.
Since its main goal providing warmth, a ski hat needs to be made from highly-insulating materials. In addition, it should fit well so you have a snug and cozy feeling on your head. In this article, we’ll discuss everything that goes into making a good hat, and present the best ski hats currently available so your head can stay warm throughout the day on the snow.
How To Choose A Ski Hat – Buying Guide
When it comes to beanies for skiing, their performance in low temperatures is probably the most important thing you need to consider. The best ski hats block wind and cold air while retaining insulating properties and keeping your head warm.
In addition to performing well in the winter, most modern winter hats also feature stylish designs that allow you to wear them throughout the winter and not only on the track.
If you plan on wearing your hat under a helmet, you need to make sure that it can fit properly. We advise that you go for ski caps made of thinner materials so they don’t add too much bulk. Forget about poms, tassels, and extra-thick materials as these will cause problems.
A beanie hat that fits under your ski helmet should be lightweight and preferably made from polyester and elastane. Even if it’s made with wool or acrylic material, it should have a solid and simple construction.
The best ski hats need to be windproof and retain heat well. In addition, it needs to ensure that your head is dry even when you get sweaty from intense activities on the snow.
Generally speaking, the best materials are wool and acrylic yarn because they are lightweight and retain body heat incredibly well. Combined with synthetic fleece liners, they also eliminate moisture very well and keep you dry throughout the day.
Fit and Elasticity
To do its job, the beanie for skiing needs to fit you well. Luckily, most models are universally-sized and fit almost every head shape equally well. The reason for this is the addition of elastane to the fabric which makes it elastic and able to adhere to your head well.
However, if you have a very small or very large head, we suggest you pay more attention to this. A few manufacturers make winter hats in different sizes (small and large), ensuring that any skier can have a well-fitted hat. This way, the hat will neither be too tight nor allow cold air to get inside.
If you’re wondering how to quickly assess whether a hat is well-made or not, you can do this with a quick checklist we have created. You should look for the following:
- Heat-retaining and insulating material used as the main fabric for the hat
- Moisture-wicking fabric used as a liner inside the hat
- Systematic compact thread design if the model you want is knitted
- Double layering of material for improved performance (wool/acrylic shell, synthetic liner)
- Addition of elastane in the fabric to improve the fit and overall comfort
While ski hats aren’t breathable in a traditional sense, they need to wick moisture and keep your head dry. Otherwise, the sweat might cool down and cause an even bigger problem. All the materials we’ve talked about feature breathable outer layers and moisture-wicking liners so this shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, the hat shouldn’t let air inside because this will compromise the insulation.
The comfort of your hat depends on the fit and the type of liner used. As we’ve pointed out earlier, the hat should fit snuggly around your head and prevent air from getting inside. This will keep the heat concentrated and make you feel more comfortable while wearing it.
In addition, the best ski hats come with soft liners inside. The liner is usually made from synthetic fleece which has numerous piles that feel great against your heat. As a bonus, this type of liner will also remove the moisture if you start to sweat while skiing, which further adds to comfort.
The outdoor temperature has a big impact on the performance of your skiing hat. This being said, a well-made beanie hat can work in very low temperatures and maintain the same thermal qualities. The warmth that your hat can give you mostly depends on the materials used.
Even if you feel like the hat isn’t warm enough for sub-zero temperatures, there is a way to make it warmer. You can combine it with additional gear like balaclavas that will add a layer and prevent your head from cooling down quickly.
Layering and Thickness
Most of the models we’ve featured on our list have two layers of materials. This is the best solution, as it provides both the warmth and the comfort you need in the snow.
The outer layer is usually made from either wool or acrylic material. These materials are really good at trapping heat and blocking wind, ensuring your head stays warm. The inner layer is usually made from synthetic fleece which feels very soft on your head and efficiently wicks sweat away.
When talking about thickness, keep in mind that woolen dual-layer winter hats are much thicker than standard ski helmet liners. If your helmet has a snug fit, make sure that the hat you’re considering can fit under it.
Q: Why Do I Need A Ski Hat?
Winter ski hats keep your ears, scalp, and forehead warm and protected from the wind. A cold head on the snow can lead to headaches and even cold-related fatalities in extreme cases. In addition to head protection, the best ski hats come with neck warmers that can be pulled up to your nose if you need additional face protection on cold days.
Q: Can I Wear My Ski Hat Under My Helmet?
Yes, you can, but it depends on both the hat and the helmet design. An ideal hat to wear under a ski helmet normally features a thin, lightweight layer of polyester and elastane. On the other hand, thick woolen or acrylic products might have difficulties fitting under a snug helmet. It’s a plus if the harness inside your helmet is adjustable, as this will allow you to fit most winter hats.
Q: Should I Wear A Ski Hat If I Wear Ski Helmet?
Skiers have different opinions when it comes to this and it generally depends on the kind of helmet you have. If you have a snug helmet with a thick liner, you won’t have enough room inside for wearing a hat. On the other hand, a hat will be a great addition if the liner you have isn’t very warm. Be careful, however, to adjust the helmet properly over the hat so you don’t compromise the impact-protection it gives you.
Q: Can I Wear Only Ski Hat For Skiing?
The best ski hats are designed to be versatile, which means they are not limited to skiing. Besides using your hat under the helmet on the slopes, you can also wear it casually during the winter.
Most of the models we’ve featured are very stylish, so they look good in every situation. In addition, some models are thin and lightweight so they work great for running and moderate weather too.
As you know, head warmth is crucial when going down the slopes. Whether you choose a traditional wool hat or a moisture-wicking synthetic one, the best ski hats will keep you protected in the snow. With the help of our ski hat reviews, we’re confident that you can pick a model that will make your head comfy and warm no matter where you go.
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