I was on the hunt for a great winter hiking hat.  Good wouldn’t cut it.  I wanted great.  And great meant warm.  On hikes where the temperature drops below freezing and camps in single digits, I wanted a hat that would allow me to enjoy the winter outdoors.  I didn’t want thin fabric or fleece-lined around-the-ears only or some decorate fru-fru beanie.  I wanted a top-notch warm winter wool hat.  I searched in vain for months, years even . . . until one day I stumbled along a hat so extraordinary that I have taken it with me on every winter hike.  Meet my hat: Bula Aran Beanie.
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  • Pros
    • Super-duper warm.  I have lived in this hat all winter.
    • It is fifty percent merino wool, which does wonders because it is soft, anti-microbial, allows your skin to breathe, wicks away moisture, dries quickly, and prevents feeling temperature changes.
    • It has a velvety-soft liner, which provides additional warmth.
    • I love that it does not have a silly ‘poof’ or whatever-it-is-called at the top.  This hat is simple and wonderful for that reason.
    • Fits snugly to my head and is not super tiny or extra baggy, like other hats I’ve seen.
    • This is minor: While mine is a pretty blue, I wish there were other natural colors, such as greens, browns, or greys.


  • Cons
    • I’m going to rant for a moment: Companies do not provide hats, scarves, and gloves sets for serious winter gear.  Therefore, a con I’m going to throw in is that there are sadly no equally-warm scarf and gloves.
    • Other than that — solely looking at the hat — I truly have nothing against it.


  • Rating: IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397 out of Five Vistas


  • Tips for tracking down your own hat

    • If you’re able to track down a full wool hat, I think this is the best way to go.  Wool has more benefits than other materials, such as acrylic ones.
    • I’d recommend one that fits snugly to your head.  Take those slouchy beanies: There’s extra space so it takes longer to warm your head.
    • I’d recommend doing away with hats that have pom-poms and other frills.  It’s one more thing to snag on a tree limb.
    • Also find a tight knit hat.  Andy snagged his hat (pictured below) walking home from a city grocery store — One ity bity tree limb and it pulled.  Imagine what it would do on an overgrown trail.

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Happy trails!

2 thoughts on “Gear Review: Winter Beanie

  1. Hi bezzy, you did it again ! Have you heard of “Thinsulate” ? We have wooly hats here lined with Thinsulate, they are very good. I’m thinking of getting myself a new one. Take care XX Midad.

    1. Owww, no — I haven’t heard of thinsulate! I’m looking it up now and it sounds wonderful! I think I’ll look up to find and hat and gloves! Thank you *so* much for the recommendation! xoxo

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