Choosing a hat to wear this time of year almost seems like a chore. While window shopping around town and scrolling through retailers is nice and all, when it comes down to knowing what will withstand the harshest climate can’t be tested until that storm hits. Of course, beanies tend to be the garment that comes to mind in instances like these, but a winter hat constitutes so much more than something that only keeps the top of your head warm. Although a nice wool beanie can tend to your needs in a warmer climate, not everyone is living in sunny Southern California — be that as it may, countless other styles manage to make for the ideal winter hat.
Considering store employees won’t let you go and test any of their hats outside of their boutique, use this guide as the closest experience you can get to that, as it is filled with a dozen trustworthy picks for men’s winter hats (that aren’t beanies) that are viable in all sorts of cold-weather circumstances.
Carhartt Rain Defender Earflap Cap
This earflap cap from Carhartt serves as a great place to kick things off. As part of the heritage brand’s signature Rain Defender series, it ensures that you will have nothing to worry about when heading into the rain, whether it be damage to your hair or your cozy new hat. Thanks to its trademark water-resistant finish, a FastDry sweatband, and removable sherpa flaps, Carhartt delivers on an ideal cap to parade around all year round considering you are left with a pretty standard summertime hat upon removing the aforementioned flaps.
Madewell Wool Five-Panel Baseball Cap
While a baseball cap is rarely the piece you would consider suitable for the winter, this wool-crafted take on a timeless design provides a classic look fit to go with any outfit you have on, be it the plushest coat or a lightweight windbreaker. Madewell’s name carries over to the fashion in which the brand manufactures their garments, and this five-panel is a direct example of how they manage to make the basics as well as anyone can.
Lands’ End Ultra Lightweight Balaclava
Balaclavas are a branch of headwear that falls on an odd spectrum when it isn’t too cold outside. Some are too suffocating and others are too thin, all the while you have to refrain from either looking too gaudy or too much like a vigilante. Luckily, Lands’ End is a Wisconsin-bred brand that knows the cold like the back of their hand, and they crafted this entirely nylon-shelled balaclava as a result of that. Equipped with 100% polyester insulation and an adjustable drawcord, this practical balaclava seeks to retain all the heat it can without letting a touch out.
Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Beanie
Anything made with down is rare to find at a price this low, but Outdoor Research’s beanie is sure to surprise many. Yes, it is as light as you’d imagine, all while ensuring optimum heat retention as a result of its 650-fill-power-goose-down insulation. While that may be a mouthful, few words exude the warming capabilities of down-crafted garments, and this beanie checks each box that it needs to in that category. On top of all that, it even features a small pocket to hold any gear you may have on hand when meandering through the snow.
The North Face Wool Balaclava
For the absolute harshest of climates, this balaclava from the San Francisco-based staple brand guarantees full warmth without giving any room for it to escape. Crafted from nothing but wool, there are only so many viable options to choose from when buying a balaclava, and if you’re seeking a more classic take on the wintertime staple than the aforementioned piece, we recommend looking no further than The North Face.
Patagonia Corduroy Earflap Hat
Built for the standard outdoorsman or the common commuter, Patagonia’s stylish take on an earflap hat will work well with practically any outfit you put together all year round. Crafted from entirely organic cotton corduroy, the hat’s crown-tape lining and inner headband utilize the same eco-friendly cotton to ensure the best for all parties involved. Keeping on with that trend, the earflaps are also lined with 100% organic fleece and look to be unbelievably warm. Available in a trio of colors and a duo of sizes, this hat is certain to tailor to your liking and keep you toasty every step of the way.
Snow Peak Thermal Boa Fleece Warm Cap
Fleece is one of the most coveted materials around this time of year, often serving as the parent to its spawn in sherpa. While the latter is capable of accenting countless garments and providing a bit of extra warmth, fleece is capable of crafting a piece on its own, which is why Snow Peak decided to deliver on one of the warmest hats you can don through the winter. The eco-cognizant brand fuses recycled polyester and Polartec’s trademark fleece to make for a stylish cap that is one of the softest pieces of headgear on the market.
Filson Mackinaw Cap
Filson’s Mackinaw Cap hones its durability like no other, akin to many of the other Seattle brand’s items. Thanks to the brand’s signature Mackinaw Wool composition, their humble cap is capable of retaining up to 30% water, ensuring evasion from any rainy occasion. On the topic of retainment, warmth is further guaranteed as a result of the Mackinaw Cap’s nylon lining and insulated crown. Additionally, the cap features a set of hidden earflaps that provide warmth while remaining a very subtle choice.
Filson Wool Packer Hat
Made up of the very same trademark wool that composed the hat listed before this, Filson implements this top-tier quality into a far more refined look. With ventilating grommets to keep your cranium from getting too warm, the fuzzy fedora comes equipped with as many fix-ins as a holiday dinner. While this hat looks like it was intended to be worn in the snowy streets of London, it was made right here in the States and will surely make for a statement any time you step out.
Paul Smith Brown Corduroy Cap
Paul Smith is a brand that has been honing its fashion-forward subtleties for decades, and they don’t refrain from their archetypal looks just because the temperatures start to drop. At this point, a pair of earflaps should be expected to be equipped on any cap you find on this list, and this minimalist piece from the British fashion house marks both of its boxes on that front. Lined with quilted cotton and smooth corduroy, this particular cap would surely complement your summer clothes with no issue, its warm, brown tone seamlessly coincides with sitting by the fireplace.
Todd Snyder 5-Wale Corduroy Bucket Hat
The Japanese headwear aficionados over at Cábleami are to thank for this gorgeous joint effort between the two respected names in their field, with this particular hat being worthy of as much respect imaginable. Equipped with an adjustable drawcord, this buttery smooth bucket hat from the New York fashion house serves as an ideal hat to throw on when heading out in the snow. Ideal with a pair of selvedge jeans and anything else to finish it off, this bucket hat provides a different take on what to don this winter.
Canada Goose Aviator Hat
This high-end piece of wear is a winter staple for those willing to shell out what it costs to parade around so luxuriously. With an adjustable chin strap and sustainably-sourced wild coyote fur trim, the Canadian staple surely had their harsh winters in mind upon crafting this iconic hat. Available in a quartet of colors, we believe their eye-popping red offering serves as the most ideal choice to combat frigid temperatures this year, and could also double as a very self-indulgent Santa hat. From Canada to SoCal, this hat is built to acclimate to wherever you may find yourself, but this gorgeous garment is geared for the snow.
20 Best Winter Boots For Men
Considering a sturdy pair of shoes to accompany the cozy new hat you just bought? Look no further, because our guide full of a wide selection of great winter boots is built to complement any choice of headgear you’ll find on our list.