Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cool Beanie Keeps Skiers Warm

I do a lot of backcountry skiing, and so over the years I have collected a half-dozen pairs of skis. Not as many as some skiers, but enough to make some people wonder if I’m obsessed.

Maybe I am, but not about skis. I have far more ski hats. I must own nearly twenty: wool, synthetic, thick, thin, beanies, Peruvian models with ear flaps, balaclavas, you name it.

I didn’t set out to collect hats, but I was always searching for the perfect hat, one that fit right, kept my head warm, and looked good. I now have several that fit the bill, but I’d say my favorite is the Exos Beanie by Outdoor Research.

I’ve tested a number of hats for OR. One thing I especially like about the Exos Beanie is its thinness: when you start to heat up on the trail, you can crumple it up and stuff it in a jacket pocket. It’s even thin enough to fit under my ski helmet.

Despite its small size, the Exos keeps the wind out and warmth in. It’s 50 percent nylon, 43 percent polyester, and 7 percent spandex, with a micro-fleece ear band. The spandex probably accounts for the snug fit.

The Exos has small slits near the ears to accommodate sunglass arms. That’s a nice touch.

Although the Exos Beanie will keep your head warm in most situations, I would put a thicker hat in your pack in case of emergencies or if you’re winter camping.

The Exos sells for $27 and comes in black, blue, or gray.

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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

3 Responses

  1. susan r stewart says:

    where can you purchase this beanie?

  2. Phil says:

    You can buy it online:

    Not sure what stores carry it.

  3. I just got this for use under a climbing helmet. The Clymb had it for about $12. The lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt either.

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