In this side-by-side product review Outside Pursuits leads you through everything you need to know in order to pick the best beanie for cold weather that meets your specific needs and winter weather environment.
We’ll take a look at what makes a great beanie product and what to avoid. Also see How To Choose The Best Beanie later in the article. So what are the best beanie brands and products?
Quick Answer: The 12 Best-Rated Beanies for Cold Weather
Best Unisex Beanies
- Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie
- Columbia Sportswear Thermarator Hat
- Outdoor Research’s Gradient Hat
Best Men’s Beanies
- Coal The Yukon Cable Knit Wool Beanie Winter Hat
- Arcteryx Rolling Stripe Hat
- Patagonia Men’s Brodeo Beanie
- Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Elements 2.0 Beanie
- The North Face Men’s Bones Beanie
Best Women’s Beanies
- Under Armour’s Women’s Around Town Beanie
- The North Face Shinsky Beanie
- Columbia’s Women’s Cabled Cutie Beanie
- Patagonia’s Women’s Cable Beanie
- The North Face Cable Minna Beanie
Best Beanies Reviews
Best Unisex Beanies
If you haven’t heard of Merino wool yet, you’re missing out. It is super soft, extremely comfortable, exceptionally breathable, fire resistant, moisture wicking, odor resistant and insulates when wet.
Oh, and just in case all that wasn’t enough – it is also machine washable and dryable. For more about this amazing material see: The Merino Wool Advantage.
Merino wool is incredibly versatile. The Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie offers all the amazing benefits of Merino wool in a stylish and unisex winter beanie cap.
For more about wool fabric care see: Wool Care
With a circumference of 17”-25” and height of 9”-12”, this knit cap fits most head shapes and sizes. The material is very stretchy and flexible. Because of the versatility and features of the wool, this winter hat is ideal for almost any winter activity.
You can sit without fear around a fire, exercise and sweat all day without worry of smell or sweat, and play in the snow all day without your beanie getting soaked – Merino wool absorbs up to 30% of its weight in moisture.
The Minus33 Merino beanie is lightweight, can be cuffed, and will keep you warm in up to 0-degree weather.
Columbia Sportswear Thermarator Hat is 100% Polyester Thermarator Fleece and utilizes Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat Reflective technology, a breathable material that reflects body heat. It’s a snug fit that will keep you warm in the coldest storms.
Unlike most winter beanies, this hat comes in two sizes to pick from: large/x-large and medium/small, making it great both men and women.
If you hate hand-washing, this might be the right winter cap for you. This winter beanie is super easy to take care of: it’s machine washable and dryable.
It’s perfect for truly cold weather, and the length comes down to cover the ears. It blocks out snow, wind, and cold like a charm.
Outdoor Research’s Gradient Hat has all the important functions you could want: moisture-wicking, breathability, and microfleece lining. It’s made of 100% boiled wool that is highly durable and long-lasting. The best part? It’s funky colors.
There are five gradient colors to select from. You’ll be sure to standout in a fun way on the slopes. Be aware this hat runs a bit small, and you cannot machine wash or dry.
Warning: Do not buy if you are allergic to wool!
Best Beanies For Men
If you are picky about beanies and like a more trendy style, the Yukon Chunky Knit Warm Beanie Hat by Coal is one of the most stylish and functional winter hats for men on the market.
The outside crossed cable-knit body is 100% wool, but the inside is lined with polyester and a fleece band. Even the logo on the beanie is stylish: “Coal” is displayed on a beige suede tag.
This beanie fits snuggly but still covers the ears nicely. Don’t be fooled by this hat’s good looks – it will keep you warm in 25° F temperatures. This is one of our favorite knitted beanies for guys on the market.
Buyer beware: If you are allergic or get easily annoyed by wool, buy a different beanie!
The oversized “slouch” beanie is a classic look on and off the winter slopes. If you like a loose or larger fit, the Arcteryx Rolling Stripe Hat is the beanie for you.
With 18 different colors and styles to pick from, and the versatility to pull the beanie down over your ears or roll up the brim, it offers flexibility that few winter beanies can offer.
It is made with natural moisture-wicking wool and can easily fit under a hood, helmet, or, in the off chance you want to take it off, can easily fit into a pocket. It’ll keep you warm in up to -10-degree weather.
Because of the sweat men create doing winter activities the wicking wool is definitely a major benefit when considering the best beanies for guys.
Tip: Don’t lose the “length” of this beanie by putting it in a dryer! Remember to always follow wash and dry instructions.
No discussion of beanies for men would be complete without mentioning Patagonia. If you are looking for a winter hat specifically to go under your hood or helmet, we recommend the Patagonia Mens Brodeo Beanie.
It’s a full coverage beanie so your ears will stay warm, and has a classic ribbed band for extra warmth. The fabric is medium-thickness, so it will fit under all your hoodies and helmets.
It’s comfortable, and most importantly, will not itch under your helmet or other layers. You can concentrate on your sport without being distracted.
Like most beanies, it’s a one size fits all. This is one of the best layering beanies for men.
Bonus: It also looks good without a hood or helmet covering it.
Not surprisingly, Under Armour has made, yet again, another amazing product. Their Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Elements 2.0 Beanie utilizes Under Armour’s patented UA Storm Technology fabric, which is durable and water repellant – a rare find for a winter beanie.
On the inside, there is a soft coating with Patented ColdGear Infrared Technology, a thermo-conductive inner coating developed to absorb and retain your own body heat.
This winter beanie is incredibly comfortable and keeps you warm without overheating. It’s a great option for individuals who like to run or train outside during the winter months.
Overall, we deem this hat the best water-resistant beanie for men. With 14 different colors to select from, there is a lot of aesthetic options to pick from.
Like most other winter beanies, it comes in a “one size fits all.” It runs a bit larger than other beanies, so if you have a larger head, you’re in luck. Because of the material, it’s very versatile and fits most men.
It is a traditional fit, which comes to the top of your ears. If you are looking for ear coverage, this beanie isn’t the right one for you. Also, be aware: this beanie is made from polyester, so if you are allergic, choose a different beanie to buy.
Are you allergic to wool or polyester? If you are, finding the perfect snug winter hat can be a real challenge. The North Face Men’s Bones Beanie is slim fitting, durable, and made up of a variety of synthetic materials, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin or allergies. The Bones Beanie is our choice for best synthetic beanie for men.
It fits perfectly under hoods and helmets, and is machine washable. Just make sure not to machine dry it!
Best Beanies For Women
If you want a well-made, reliable beanie for a range of winter activities – from lounging around the cabin, to snowboarding down the mountain – Under Armour’s Women’s Around Town Beanie might be the perfect winter hat for you.
The soft cable knit is incredibly stylish this season, and the “one size fits all” lives up to its name. It’s remarkably comfortable, well-fitted, and well of all, looks good with any outfit. In our opinion, the Around Town Beanie is the best versatile beanie for women.
Tip: If you want to really stand out against the snow, try a fun color like Violet Storm or Knock Out Maroon.
If you want a relaxed fit that covers your ears, look no further than the North Face Shinsky Beanie. This open-weave beanie comes in 8 unique colors and is great for moderately cold weather.
The “one size fits all” is accurate – this hat fits most women’s heads nicely.
If you’re looking for that oversized “slouch” look, seek no further – this beanie is the best!
Tip: If you need a winter beanie for sub-arctic weather, this isn’t the one.
Columbia’s Women’s Cabled Cutie Beanie has a trendy, knit-cable look that fits snuggly on your head. Our favorite part of this hat is its functionality, though: Omni-Wick High-Performance Wicking Fabric makes this beanie an excellent option if you love to ski, snowboard, or sweat in the winter.
The cozy fleece ear band is super comfortable and soft, so you can wear this beanie under hoods or a helmet without it causing an itching sensation. In our opinion, this is the best versatile beanie for men.
Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles promotes fair labor practices, safe working conditions and environmental responsibility. Patagonia’s Women’s Cable Beanie is another trendy knit-cable hat that will keep your head cozy – but it’s a bit different than the others on the market.
This winter beanie is made of recycled wool and recycled nylon, so you don’t have to worry about your environmental footprint when you’re purchasing this brand-new hat. Without a doubt, we believe this is the best environmentally-responsible beanie for women.
Patagonia uses recycled nylon that comes from post-industrial waste fiber, yarn collected from spinning factories, and waste from the weaving mills. These materials are processed into a fully functional reusable nylon fiber.
Patagonia is also concerned with the impact wool product has on the environment. They promote the practice of recycling wool, and collect and shred worn wool sweaters into individual fibers, which is then made into brand-new products, like this winter beanie. Isn’t recycling incredible?!
Do you love the warmth and performance of wool, but can’t stand the feeling? The North Face Women’s Cable Minna Beanie is the perfect blend of fabrics to create wool-like performance, but with a soft feeling, including a fleece ear band.
This beanie will keep you incredibly warm and looking stylish, with 10 colors to select from.
Bonus: If you don’t like branding, check this beanie out. It has the smallest logo out of all the winter beanies we’ve reviewed.
Beanies Comparison Table
|Materials Blend||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|Best Unisex Beanies |
|Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie||Wool||100% 18.5 Micron Merino Wool 230 g/m2 Interlock knit construction with flatlock seams||4.5 / 5.0 Stars|
|Columbia Thermarator Hat, Graphite||100% polyester||Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
|Outdoor Research Gradient Ha||100% Wool||Impermeable boiled wool never lets you down||4.2 / 5.0 Stars|
|Best Men’s Beanies|
|Coal The Yukon Cable Knit Wool Beanie||100% Wool||Traditional Fitting Beanie, Crossed Cable Knit Pattern||4.8 / 5.0 Stars|
|Arc'Teryx Rolling Word Hat||100% Polyester||Oversized 'slouch' style, Reversible||4.1 / 5.0 Stars|
|Patagonia Men's Brodeo Beanie||70% recycled wool, 25% recycled nylon, 5% other fiber||Full coverage beanie so your ears will stay warm||N/A|
|Men’s Storm ColdGear Infrared Elements 2.0 Beanie||100% Polyester||Traditional fitting cut, Ultra-soft, brushed fleece for comfort all day||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
|The North Face Men’s Bones Beanie||Synthetic materials||100% acrylic shell with a micro-fleece ear band||4.3 / 5.0 Stars|
|Best Women’s Beanies|
|Under Armour Women's Around Town Beanie||High-quality wool||Thick and warm, fluffy beanie||4.5 / 5.0 Stars|
|The North Face Shinsky Beanie||Wool||Top off winter outfits with this casual, open-weave beanie||4.9 / 5.0 Stars|
|Columbia’s Women’s Cabled Cutie Beanie||100% Acrylic; Omni Wick Fleece: 100% Polyester||Cable-knit beanie featuring fleece ear band and moisture-wicking interior||4.2 / 5.0 Stars|
|Patagonia Women's Cable Beanie||Fleece lined to ensure lasting warmth||One size fits all beanie||4.0 / 5.0 Stars|
|The North Face Cable Minna Beanie||Wool and alpaca blend||100 pct polyester fleece ear band for extra warmth and soft feel||4.5 / 5.0 Stars|
How to Choose the Best Beanie
Winter is coming, and it’s time to break out your cold-weather wardrobe and get ready for seasonal sports. Whether your sport is ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, or snowboarding, you’ll need one of these best beanies to keep you comfortable, and your skills sharp.
We’ve looked at the top beanie brands and best winter beanies on the market to help you make educated purchasing decisions.
Whether your primary concern is style, function, or warmth, our beanie reviews will help you find the right winter hat to suit your needs.
Now that you’ve seen our best winter beanie reviews, we’ll go over a few important features you need to consider before purchasing a hat.
Will you be wearing your winter hat, and nothing else? Or, will you be layering on a hood or a helmet? You need to think about the winter activities you take part in, and how thick (or thin) your hat should be.
If you plan on layering, go with a snug skull cap beanie that is thin. If you don’t plan on layering, you can really wear any type of hat – you can even go crazy and get a toque with a pompom on it.
Do you take winter sports to the extreme? If so, think about purchasing a hat with reflective, neon, or bright colors. In the event of a search-and-rescue, it will help you be found easier.
Do your ears freeze easily? If you don’t plan on wearing a headband or earmuffs, and like your ears to be covered, make sure to look for a long beanie.
Do you go out in obscenely cold weather, or stick to moderately cold climates? Different materials and hats are meant for different environments and temperatures, so be sure to check those details before buying a hat.
Are you bald, or have a sensitive scalp? If so, you need to pay attention to UPF ratings. It indicates how well the material will protect against the sun’s UV rays.
Best Beanie Brands
If you’ve gone through our guide and failed to find the right beanie, we recommend you consider another product offering from one of these top-rated brands. They all specialize in outdoor, winter activity-wear and have reputations for functional, highly-durable products.
Under Armour has developed several patented technologies and fabrics for exceptional performance. Primaloft is a lightweight synthetic material, perfect for insulation that keeps you both warm and dry.
ColdGear Infrared clothing and accessories are made of an original thermo-conductive pattern that absorbs and retains your own body heat, keeping you warmer longer, and helping you stay on the slopes for as long as possible. Regardless of the material or technology, you can buy assured Under Armour will not disappoint.
Patagonia has a wide range of winter hats and winter headbands. We love that Patagonia uses recycled polyester and spandex yarn for a lot of their hats and beanies.
Not only is it environmentally friendly, it’s quick-drying and itch free. From thermal skull caps to wide-brimmed beanies, you will likely be able to find the perfect style and function for your winter activity needs.
Minus33 makes it easy to shop for your needs. They classify their clothing and accessories into three different categories: lightweight (jersey knit Merino wool with a UPF rating of 25, meant for all four seasons), mid-weight (interlock knit Merino wool with a UPF rating of 50+, meant for spring, fall, and winter), and expedition weight (also interlock knit Merino wool with a UPF rating of+, but designed strictly for cold winter weather only).
If you know exactly what you need in a winter hat, this website will help you find it quickly and efficiently. Oh, at the material is amazingly soft, fire resistant, and moisture-wicking, regardless of the material weight category you go with.
Best Beanies FAQs:
Q: Do beanies actually keep you warm?
A: While you can lose heat from any part of your body, it’s essential to keep your head warm if you want the rest of your body to stay warm as well. While humans in general are known to lose more heat from their heads, this goes double for children.
Q: Should a beanie cover your ears?
A: We highly recommend that it does cover your ears. While it’s certainly trendy right now to cuff the beanie above the ears, if you’re wearing it for warmth, the front of the beanie should sit right above your eyebrows and the sides should cover your ears completely.
Q: Are beanies supposed to be tight?
A: Well, if you want it to properly keep you warm, it should fit snugly but never so tight that it’s uncomfortable.
Best Beanies Buyer’s Tips:
- We don’t recommend wearing a beanie all the time. While they’re obviously great for keeping us warm as well as adding a fashionable accessory to our outfits, they shouldn’t be worn all the time. This is because they could create an environment that bacteria/fungi love to thrive. This goes double when your hair is wet.
- Don’t ever sleep with a beanie on. While it may be easy to fall asleep with one on after a long day on the slopes or out hiking, we don’t recommend it. Refer to point #1.
- Pay attention to the size. While most high-quality beanies are unisex, there are some that are specifically designed for men or for women. Those made for men will typically have a larger circumference, though it’s not a rule.
Thanks for reading The 12 Best Beanies. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best choice for a winter beanie hat to meet your needs and types of winter activities. You might also be interested in our informative article entitled, Winter Clothing Materials and Fabrics.
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