Keeping your head warm while skiing can mean the difference between having fun or watching everyone have fun… from the lodge. Even if you wear a ski helmet, having a thin layer beneath that helmet will keep you warm and dry! There are so many ski hats available today, it can make your head spin. For more information see our article entitled “Top 37 Warmest Winter Hats“. I’m here to help. I’ve narrowed down the best ski hats on the market today- to help you make the right choice!
(Quick side note: If you are looking for hats and other winter clothing that will keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures even if you get wet, see my article “Fortress Clothing – My Review!“)
What makes a great ski hat? It comes down to quality of materials, construction and fit! When choosing a ski hat makes sure its insulated with merino wool, fleece or a synthetic material. Merino wool Is a great choice because it wicks away moisture (sweat) and keeps your head dry. Merino wool is also really comfortable. Merino wool is a great layer to wear underneath your helmet because the material can be so thin- you hardly know you are wearing a hat!
Fleece is also a great choice to keep your head warm, just make sure the outer layer is lined with a waterproof/wind proof material. If not, fleece will let wind through and it will steal your body heat. Also, when shopping for a ski hat, pay attention to the fit. You don’t want the hat to fit too snug or too big. A hat should fit over the ears and be snug enough to keep body heat from escaping.
If that hat doesn’t cover your ears, it’s too small and you need to get another size or style! If it’s going to be a really cold day, opt for a full- face mask that covers your neck, mouth, cheeks, ears and head. Please also check out our article entitled “What Are The Best Brands For Warm Winter Hats“. Ready to go shopping? Let’s take a look at the top ski hats on the market today!
Mountain Hardware is a trusted brand with a long history of making high quality, winter hats. This tops the list of ski hats because of the quality! It’s made with wind-blocking fleece- designed to keep your head warm. The hat can be worn alone or with your ski helmet. It’s breathable and fleece dries quickly! This is a great, durable and warm ski hat for hitting the slopes in January and in the spring. It also covers your ears, adequately. Plus: well made, wind-blocking fleece, trusted brand, covers ears. Cons: runs small, sells out quickly!
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If you want to stay equally warm while you sit on that long chairlift and while you tear up the mountain, a Fortress Classic Balaclava may be the best choice for you. This full face-mask is made by Fortress Clothing- a Utah based company, using patented insulation material to keep you warm no matter what Mother Nature decides to throw your way.
This Balaclava is designed to keep you warm from -35 degrees to 50 degrees F. How about that? Pros: comfortable, outer shell is treated with a durable water repellent finish, polyester lining keeps moisture away from your head, patented insulation, chin strap to keep in place, can be worn several different ways, wind resistant. Cons: more expensive than other full- face masks, but this is perhaps the highest quality balaclava available on the market today.
This North Face beanie is a beast at keeping your head warm on and off the mountain. The shell of the hat is made with 100% acrylic material, with a soft fleece lining for comfort on the chair and on those black diamond runs. This hat ranks high on the list of ski hats because it fits well around the head and provides a lot protection to your ears.
At just $20, this hat is a great high-quality hat for budget friendly skiers! Pros: comfortable, fleece lined, multiple colors available, covers ears, keeps head protected from wind and wet weather. Cons: sells out quickly, only available in one size, may be too bulky to wear with ski helmet.
The Canada Goose Aviator Hat ranks 4th on the list because it’s equally warm as it is stylin’. Canada Goose is the brand Olympics, arctic explorers and Iditarod Champions choose to wear when they encounter extreme weather. This hat is the aviator style, ear flaps and all. It’s lined with coyote fur to added warmth and exceptionally softness.
The hat is insulated with 625 fill down. The company is known for using plumage, which is the soft and incredibly warm fibers underneath the down feathers of a duck. This hat is not only cozy, but it keeps wet weather away too with water-resistant fabric. Pros: incredibly warm, best for windy and below freezing temperatures, down insulation, water-resistant, keeps ears covered. Cons: can’t be worn with a ski helmet, may get overheated, expensive.
This hat is built for tough situations. It is tough and durable and designed to keep your head warm when temperatures dip suddenly. It is made out of a weatherproof fabric that provides a quality but soft feel. It is great for winter camping or just a dog walk on a chilly morning.
Since this is made out of faux fur, you don’t have to worry about killing any animals. This makes it less expensive but still gives it the warmth and comfort you are looking for.
Turtle Fur is a well-known, trusted ski hat brand. The company gained national attention in the mid-90s when it unveiled the original neck warmer. The midweight beanie is 100% polyester with extra fabric around the ears. According to the company, it uses yarn with a “striated texture” to give the fleece ultimate heat trapping capabilities.
The hat also covers your ears and the fleece doesn’t shift even on those long runs! By adding extra protection around the ears, you reduce the risk of letting cold air inside your ear canal and exposing your ears to chilly weather. Pros: it’s warm, comfortable, breathable, made with recycled material and it’s under $15! Cons: It runs small, and it may not fit underneath a ski helmet.
This popular hat is stylish and keeps your head warm and dry all at the same time. It ranks 6th on this list because it’s well made with high quality material, and Arc’Teryx is perhaps one of the most trusted ski brands in the world. Here are the stats: it’s made with a combination of 50/50 merino wool and synthetic material. This combination of fabric allows the hat to stretch and fit your head just right, keep you insulated and allow moisture to move away. Pros: unique design, well made, combination of wool and synthetic material, fleece lining. Cons: runs small, price and may not fit under helmet.
You know when you’re cruising down a groomed run and the wind is whipping against your cheeks? Man, that’s cold- but so fun. It’s not so fun when all that wind starts to steal your body heat. This hat keeps the wind away. This hat takes the 7th spot on this list because of it’s wind stopping capabilities. So, what makes it so special?
It’s made with Gore-Tex Windstopper fleece- this material is specifically designed to stop wind in its tracks. It’s also made with 90% polyester and 10% spandex. While most wind stopping hats reduce your ability to hear, this hat doesn’t do that! Pros: stops wind, comfortable, trusted brand, made specifically for extreme cold weather. Cons: runs small, may not fit under ski helmet.
When it comes to keeping people warm, Patagonia knows what it’s doing. The company has been making warm winter gear for skiing for decades. This beanie is made with 96% recycled polyester and 4% spandex. The extra ribbed cuff protects your ears at all time. The bright color and fun designs also rank this hat high on this list. Pros: warm, comfortable, breathable and fun design. Cons: pom-pom on top will not work with ski helmet or a hood.
Another gem from the Arc’Teryx collection. This hat is thin- but don’t be fooled, it keeps you warm on the coldest ski days. Made with wool, this hat is lightweight and keeps you oh, so warm. It’s thin enough to be worn underneath a helmet- making this the 9th best ski hat on the market today! Wool also has a way of keeping funky odors in check! Pros: comfortable, wool, wicks away moisture, can be worn under ski helmet! Cons: may not cover ears at all times.
It’s easy to see why this is one of the best-selling hats for North Face. It’s comfortable, thick material and shapes nicely to fit just about any head size. Here are the stats or the “nitty gritty” as they like to say. It’s made out of a 50/50 blend of wool and acrylic. This unique blend of fibers gives the hat plenty of stretch and keeps moisture from building up around your forehead.
Even with the wool, this hat won’t itch! I love that! Nothing worse than an itchy head while riding the chairlift. Pros: well made, wool blend, double cuff to cover ears, breathable and wicks moisture. Plus, you can’t beat the $27.95 price tag. Cons: one size fits all, may not fit underneath ski helmet.
Dale of Norway is a brand trusted around the world. The Norwegian based company has been making ski gear and warm wool sweaters since 1879. Yep, you read that right: 1879!! This hat is made with 100% wool, which is naturally a great way to keep your head warm and keep moisture away. The hat is lined with extra-fine merino wool for added comfort and softness.
The original Norwegian design makes this ski hat extra special. This hat ranks 11th on this list for its quality and craftsmanship. Pros: 100% wool and lined with extra soft merino wool, comfortable, warm, wicks away moisture. Cons: one size fits all, may not fit under ski helmet.
If you wear a ski helmet at all times and need added warmth for those bitter cold days, this is the hat for you. This hat ranks 12th on this list for its durability, versatility and the fact its made with wool! Wool hats are the best! This hat is super thin so it fits well under a helmet.
You can also wear it alone on those spring skiing kind of days. You know, when the temperature hovers around 50 degrees and the snow is slushy? This is the hat you want to wear on those days, for sure. Pros: soft wool, breathable, keeps your head from getting too sweaty. Cons: may need to wear hood or helmet on really bone-chilling days.
Made with special heat reflective fleece, this hat tops my list at #13. Columbia is well known in the ski crowd for making high quality and affordable gear. This hat is no exception. It’s made with Columbia’s Omni-Heat thermal reflective material- which is specifically designed to keep your body heat where it belongs. This innovative technology literally reflects heat back to your head.
What will they think of next? The hat isn’t too thick, so it works with or without a ski helmet. Pros: high quality fleece, trusted brand, prevents head from getting too hot on the slopes, keeps head warm on the chair, fits well around head, covers ears. Cons: sells out quickly.
If you watched the Olympics, you may have noticed the U.S. Ski Team was all about the Spyder gear. That’s because this company is the official gear sponsor. It’s easy to see why. Spyder is dedicated to making really warm, intuitive and durable outdoor gear. This hat ranks in at 14 on my list of top ski hats because of its warmth, comfort and versatility.
It’s reversible, so you are basically getting two hats in one. Plus, it’s made out of double knit acrylic, nylon and elastane. It’s blocks the wind, fits well around most heads. Pros: can be worn under a helmet, keeps sweat from building up on those black diamond mogul runs. Cons: one size fits all, may not provide full ear coverage.
This hat ranks 15th on the list because it’s really warm and stays in place even when you’re pretending to be a ski racer. This hat is made by Salomon, which basically means skiing. Okay, not really. But, this brand has been making skis gear for decades. It’s a trusted brand that always produced high quality gear.
This hat is a fun way to show your style in the slopes without sacrificing your body heat. The blend of Alpaca wool and synthetic material make it really warm and comfortable. Pros: well made, splash of style, alpaca wool, fleece lined, stays in place during fast ski runs. Cons: pom-pom on top mean you can’t take your helmet with you!
The Rossignol W Abby is one of the popular winter ski hats this company makes. It’s a best seller! The hat is functional and fashionable making this hat #16 on this list. It’s simple design and iconic logo make this hat one to wear on the slopes and at Saturday morning soccer games. It’s made with 100% polyester fleece lining and acrylic material on the outside.
The hat is also breathable which will keep you from sweating bullets the next time you need to back track to the chairlift. Pros: it’s well made, fleece lined, keeps moisture in check and covers ears and forehead. Cons: won’t fit under helmet, higher end price range.
The Burton All Day Long Beanie does exactly what you think it would do-it keeps your head warm all day! It’s made with comfort in mind- not too tight and not too big. It’s designed with a little slouch for added style and warmth. The outer shell is made with 100% fine knit acrylic. This hat ranks last on the list because while it keeps you warm, it may not hold up to blizzard like weather. Pros: keeps head warm, trusted brand, can wear under a helmet or alone. Cons: may not keep wet weather away for very long. One size fits all.