What are the best brands for warm winter hats? Great question. If you’re in the market for a brand-new winter hat, certainly you know there are so many different kinds of hats and dozens, if not hundreds of different hat manufacturers out there. With so many choices, shopping for a warm winter hat can make your head spin. Stop spinning and start reading! I’ve done all the research for you, so you can narrow down your selection and find the warmest, highest quality warm winter hats on the market today! For additional information you can also check out our article entitled “Top 17 Ski Hats“.
Because of the technology in the materials used in Fortress Clothing, they have the warmest hats bar none. You could literally fall through the ice in a frozen lake, get out and not have to change your hat. Even wet it would keep you warm in subzero temperatures. I want go into the details here because I talk about it in many of my other articles.
You can also see my recommended gear page for more information about the company.
Wigwam is a Wisconsin based company making wool socks since 1905. In the past few decades, the company has applied it high quality socks platform to making hats as well. So glad the company expanded its inventory. Its socks are incredible by the way! You can read all about Wigwam socks in another blog post here. Back to hats. The company makes a merino wool hat so soft and durable, you may never want to take it off. Its wool hat is streamlined, fits sung around your head, but not too snug! This is the kind of hat you can wear to pick the kids up at school on a cold winter day or for a short hike on a bluebird day.
The wool hat it sells it 30% wool and 70 % acrylic. Honestly, I’m surprised there isn’t more wool, but it does a great job keeping wicking moisture away from your forehead. Other hats in the Wigwam line are 100% acrylic. This synthetic material is also great for keeping you well insulated, but not too hot! Wigwam hats are popular because they are budget friendly and well made. However, they don’t appear to be coated with waterproof material, which could be a problem if you run into some bad weather. Great warm hat for daily activities and short hikes. I might choose something with a more protective outer shell, if there’s a chance a blizzard or gale force winds will be passing through!
If you are looking for an old-school trapper hat with new age technology, Mysuntown has you covered- literally! Mysuntown makes an incredibly warm trapper hat that is waterproof, wind resistant and is well insulated. This is the only warm winter hat this company makes and it has quite the loyal customer base. Its trapper hat is line with faux fur, made out of polyester. This specific material is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. While I have yet to purchase a mysuntown hat, I imagine it would be like wearing a pair of slippers on your head.
The trapper hat also has ear flaps to cover your ears and a cover for your mouth, cheeks, nose and chin. A mysuntown hat would be a great choice for subzero temperatures and activities where you aren’t exerting a lot of energy. You may get too hot in this hat if you are hiking up a mountain, skiing or running in the cold weather. However, I think this would be the perfect hat for hunting and ice fishing! The hat also comes with a chin strap to keep it from shifting while you’re outside enjoying the great outdoors!
Best known for making durable gear for those who work hard outside for long periods of time- Carhartt masters the art of the making a warm winter hat. Carhartt makes hats out of synthetic material that wicks away moisture and keeps you super cozy all at the same time. Some of its hats are also lined with a Sherpa material- for extra comfort and warmth. Carhartt also pays close attention to the ears- by designing some of its hats with specifically to wrap around a cover your ears!
Ears are prone to frostbite, so keeping them covered in the cold is a really good idea. With Carhartt you are getting a really high-quality product without the high price tag. A Carhartt warm winter hat will cost you around $25-$30- depending on the style and material. If you’re looking for a versatile, no fuss, well-made warm winter hat look no further than Carhartt!
Turtle Fur is synonymous with warm winter hat. This brand has been making warm hats since the 1980s. Turtle fur makes high quality hats for every activity and every season. Need a moisture wicking liner for your ski helmet? Turtle Fur has you covered. How about a nice thick warm fleece hat for hiking through Yellowstone in late October? Turtle Fur has you covered.
A Turtle Fur will last you years, sometimes decades. Many people who are loyal Turtle Fur customers, often speak of their hats as prized possessions. Turtle Fur is that amazing! Turtle Fur uses a variety of fabrics to make its hats so warm- from a special fleece blend, to wool and synthetic. The company started out making neck warmers in Stowe, Vermont. Skiers and snowboarders caught on and the company has expanded to making the best warm winter hats on the market today.
If you’re trying to make a fashion statement and keep your head really warm at the same time, Tough Outfitters is the brand for you! Tough Outfitters is on a mission to keep you warm, one hat at a time. The company offers a variety of hats to match your style and activity. The fashion hats are made out of premium acrylic material, which keeps your head really warm. While warm, the beanie’s may not hold up under intense weather. The company also makes liners for helmets.
These liners have a loyal customer base because the material stretches and contours to your head, regardless of the shape or size! For some people with larger heads, it can be difficult to find a hat/liner that fits well. Tough Outfitters is dedicated to making warm winter gear even for your neck and ears!
The full-face masks are windproof and waterproof, making it nearly impossible for winter weather to creep inside and steal your body heat. Plus, you can’t beat the price of a Tough Outfitters hat. Beanies range from $8-$10. While other hats ring in under $15! If you’re on budget or want to buy a couple hats to keep in your pack, Tough Outfitters is the brand for you!
If you’re heading up a mountain or plan on camping in extreme cold weather, Mountain Hardware is the right brand for you. Mountain Hardware has been dedicated to making the warmest and highest quality outdoor gear since 1994. The company uses a mix of windproof, breathable and water-resistant fabrics to make its hats withstand the most intense of winter weather conditions.
Like other warm winter hats, Mountain Hardware designs most of its products to fit around the ears. Again, it’s important to cover your ears to prevent frostbite and hypothermia from setting in. With a Mountain Hardware hat, you get both style, bright colors and the warmth to match. You can look cool and stay exceptionally warm in a Mountain Hardware hat. Plus, this brand tends to markdown its hats at the end of every season. Wait for a sale and you can buy a couple for stocking stuffers or your next adventure!
This brand Arc’teryx sets the bar when it comes to warm winter hats. The company, founded in 1989 in Vancouver, is dedicated to making hats that fit the way they’re supposed to and keep you really warm all at the same time. The company only offers a handful of winter hats, but don’t be fooled by the minimal selection. The company appears to be very intentional about its hats and the fabric blend it utilizes to give them the warmth!
Arc’teryx uses both merino wool, spandex and other acrylic materials to make its hats warm, breathable and resistant against most weather! The brand is budget friendly too, with all season hats ringing in at about $35.
Smartwool has mastered the art of merino wool hats- it’s what it does best! This company re-introduced the world to wool. While wool really never went anywhere, it used to be really scratchy and uncomfortable. Then someone, somewhere discovered a way to make wool really soft- without losing its moisture management and insulation capabilities. How about that? Smartwool uses merino wool in everything it makes, from long johns, socks to hats. Merino wool is a great material for a hat because it’s comfortable and it keeps moisture away from your head. A lot of cycling hats use merino wool to keep dry and warm.
Plus, merino wool is fast drying- so if you ever get wet, you know your hat won’t stay that way for long. Smartwool doesn’t skimp on the wool, like some other brands do! Most of its hats are at least 60% wool, if no more- depending on the style and your activity level. From what I can tell, once you put on a Smartwool hat, you may never take it off. This would be a great hat to take with you winter camping- cozy enough for fish tales around the campfire and to sleep in inside your tent! Smartwool is on the pricier side of hats with the average hat ringing in around $40. But, you get what you pay for and with Smartwool you are paying for the insulation of merino wool!
Winter Hats Tips
Before we get into the best brands for warm winter hats, let’s go over what you should be looking for in a hat. Your hat should fit just right- not too big and not too small. While this may seem like obvious advice, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hiking in a group and someone’s hat is too small, exposing their ears and they’re suddenly freezing cold. If you go with a hat on the smaller size, it’s not going to be effective at staying put and keeping a cap on body heat. Small hats tend to move around and don’t cover ears like hats are supposed to.
Keeping your ears covered with keep cold air from reaching your ear canal and protect the vulnerable ear cartilage. If your hat is too big, it will move around as well and will allow all that precious body heat from escaping. When you’re outside in bitter cold weather, it’s easier to stay warm then it is to get warm. This means you should always be covered and keep your body heat, well, close to your body. If you hat is letting out all your body heat, you will feel it in your feet, fingers and the rest of your body. Choose a hat that fits just right and covers your ears!
What makes a hat warm?
A warm hat is typically well insulated with either fleece, down or a synthetic material. A warm hat is also designed with moisture wicking fibers, like merino wool or nylon/polyester. The outer layer of the hat should be breathable, water-resistant and wind-proof. If you love the way fleece feels right against your ears, make sure the outer layer is wind-proof. Fleece is not naturally wind-proof and if it doesn’t have a protective outer-layer the wind will whip right through! Merino wool hats are great for wearing on high octane/activity adventures.
Merino wool hats are really good at keeping sweat away from your head- and this kind of wool is really, really cozy. Merino wool hats are typically thin, so you can comfortably wear a ski helmet, bike helmet or a hooded jacket over it. Down has incredible insulating properties, but it doesn’t hold up well when it gets wet. Please also see our article entitled “Why Is It Important To Wear A Hat In Winter“. So, if you’re down with down, make sure the outer layer is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR).
Also, think about what you’re going to be doing. A hunting hat may vary from a skiing hat. A warm hat for walking the dog on brisk fall mornings may not be suited for a hike up to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Okay, so that’s my crash course in what you should look for in a warm winter hat. Let’s take a look at some of the best brands for warm hats – soon enough you’ll be ready to shop with confidence for your next winter adventure.
Ready to shop? I am! It’s clear, there are a lot of high quality warm winter hat brands on the market today. I hope my guide, points you to a nice warm hat that you can enjoy for years to come! What’s your favorite warm winter hat brand? I’d love to hear your suggestions as well! Stay warm out there!