Not all beanies are created equal

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by lefty923, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. lefty923

    lefty923 Tracker

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    I have my share of beanies. It's my #1 go to when it's cold out as I'm folically/hair impaired. I've got a couple acrylic blends, a couple made from merino wool and a couple good ol Mil Spec wool ones. I'd say the acrylic ones are my least favorite, when they get wet, they are almost as bad a cotton. I love the straight wool ones but they can be itchy, especially with no hair as a barrier. So my preference has been the merino wool ones. The down side it the initial cost, they avg. 30-40 bucks, and aren't made in the USA. Sadly both the merino wool ones haven't lasted. They have both popped a stitch or a seam over time with only winter wear.

    My USA Mil Spec wool ones, I've had no issues at a 3rd of the cost. One way I've gotten around the itch is to wash them in luke warm water with conditioner. My go to has been Mane and Tail. Give them a good rinse and let them air dry.

    YMMV.
     
  2. Harper

    Harper Supporter Supporter

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  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Smartwool has a thinner cap I've a couple bought when on sale, I like them. My go to is a USGI Wool cap. When it gets really cold, sub zero, sometimes I turn to a sheepskin hat by : http://hpsheepskin.com/hat.html a little bit warm for me sometimes but it's a great cap.
     
  4. Wolf427

    Wolf427 Scout

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    Neff has been my go-to brand for a proper beanie, not a toque!
     
  5. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    I use two merino wool watch caps in Afghanistan (both from Icebreaker) and love them; my oldest one has held up quite well over the past couple years. I also have an issued fleece watch cap which is still nice but too bulky compared to the almost skull-cap fit of the merino wool ones. I also just picked up a synthetic version from Outdoor Research for running and love it on cool mornings. It blocks the wind extremely well and doesn't let the perspiration from my had to wet-out at all. It also dries quickly which is nice.
     
  6. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  7. pirogue

    pirogue Tracker

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  8. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael

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    The issue fleece caps shrink slightly if you keep throwing them in the dryer, all of mine lived in the dryer for a week or so until they finally shrunk down like I like them.

    I'll vouch for the alpaca wool website listed above. They have 25% off til Tuesday. I bought my wife a shawl from them for Christmas and it's really nice and warm. With the current sale, a superfine alpaca wool beanie is $15.99 shipped. If it's half as nice as the shawl I bought thats a pretty good deal.
     
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  9. Ratman

    Ratman Tracker

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    I have only had it for a few weeks but really like it so far. I am bald by choice, so beanies are important to me in winter. Minus -33 100% Merino wool beanie on amazon, excellent for daily wear down to the teens F., around $20. Polartec fleece is my second choice but too warm if very active and doesn't cover the ears as well, ~$10 on ebay.
     
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  10. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer Supporter Supporter

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    If he alpaca beanie is in any way like the alpaca blanket I have, it would be perfect. I live an a 200 year old house that isn't insulated, and all I have on my bed is a cotton sheet and my alpaca banderita blanket. It's very light weight, I'm never cold nor too warm, and I always seem to be at a perfectly comfortable temperature.
     
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  11. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    I have the 100% wool watch cap. It is very warm, though a bit itchy. My biggest issue with it is that it is a bit tight on my forehead, enough that it actually gives me headaches! Does anyone have any suggestions to stretch it out so that it fits a bit more loosely?
     
  12. Whispering Pine

    Whispering Pine Tracker

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    I have the wool watch cap, and I absolutely love it. It is one of my better purchases for winter wear and only costed 5 bucks. The differences between it and the cheap toboggans I’ve always wore is substantial.

    I wear it when it gets about 25 degrees, or if the winds blowing and it’s below freezing. I’ve wore it all the way into subzero temps, and it has been all I’ve ever needed. My wife wore it once for about twenty minutes and said she couldn’t deal with the itching, but it has never seemed itchy to me unless I try to wear it inside a warm room.
     
  13. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    I have a cotton one, an acrylic one, a 100% wool one, a stretchy fleece one, a fully fleece lined synthetic one, and then my favorite 3 that are all marino wool blends with fleece lining around the bottom. The fleece over your ears is super nice.

    I guess I have a lot of beanies, but with a very low total investment. I got a couple as gifts, and found really good deals on the rest. I paid $2.50 each for the ones I wear most that are wool blend with fleece liner.
     
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  14. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Scout

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    I sometimes line my beanie with a merino wool buff. Once you've worn it for a bit, you can take and put it back on and the buff stays in place in the beanie. It adds extra warmth, and in your case, will make for a soft texture.
     
  15. Cascadian

    Cascadian Scout

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    After surfing for 50 years I have exostosis ("surfer's ear") in both canals. Long term exposure to cold water causes bone to close the ear canal as a defense. (It's what whales do too.)

    As a consequence, even a light cool breeze really bothers my ears -- gives me a splitting headache (even though I'm perfectly happy in shorts in the 30s).

    So I've tried every beanie ever created.

    This is my current favorite: Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon II -- XL
     
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  16. plantedtao

    plantedtao Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Coal Yukon brimmed. Black or grey or olive colors.
    All heavy Wool with a fleece lining band for the ears and I love a brim in the rain.
    Plus Coal is a local Seattle company :) (I dont think the hats are made here tho)
     
  17. grizz78

    grizz78 Tracker

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    Can't go wrong with a coon skin cap
     
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  18. okapimike

    okapimike Scout Bushclass I

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    Exactly the same here, left ear has already been drilled out. My favorite beanies I've made from shrunken thrift store sweaters, lambswool or merino. Very quick to hand sew with wool yarn, keeping the original ribbing from the waist and four seams to the top of the head. The thinner office type are best for me, not too hot, but safe feeling.

    I'm also usually barefoot and beanie, nearly been picked up by the fashion police a few times lol.

    It's cool to read about someone who has exactly the same experience as me so far away. Aloha from Jbay.
     
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  19. Cascadian

    Cascadian Scout

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    Jbay! Sweeeet!! (No wonder you had to get your ear drilled.)

    Check out my spot right out in front. That's a solid 10'-12'. Most of the time I surf completely alone. (Yay me!)

    Great idea on the thrift store wool. I'll have to consider that for Bushclass.

    Aloha and mahalo.



    secret-surf.jpg
     
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  20. lefty923

    lefty923 Tracker

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    Yes! Get it damp and put it on for a little while. Then take it off and let it air dry the rest of the way. Or use a hair dryer while it's on your head. It will hold it's shape. If it's too loose, get it wet and then don't put it on and let it air dry. To shrink it, dry it in the dryer.

    It's a little bit of a process to get them where you want them. I just bought another USGI one and it was too big by 4-6 inches, gave me the reservoir tip. I just soaked it in hot water, towel dried it a little and put it in the dryer for an hour. It's now a little tight too, but with a little water it will loosen up.
     
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  21. pirogue

    pirogue Tracker

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    These kind of threads usually cost me money, but I've always felt you get what you pay for. So I ordered a Canada Goose beanie, after seeing the post above. I have a lot of quality brand clothing, merino wool, etc, and after receiving the Canada Goose beanie, i think it is worth every penny.
     
  22. justinspicher

    justinspicher Scout

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    I scored a beanie made from excess KOM wool a few weeks back. My wife hates it but it sure is warm.
     
  23. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

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    I have an alpaca wool sweater, that I got at a yard sale, that has a leather tag that just says made in Peru. Nothing else. it is pretty nice and less itchy than my wool shirts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  24. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    I picked up a Duchworth (via Shnee's) skull cap a while back, they had orange, hard to find wool in orange, wanted for cold late season hunting, not quiet hunter orange but with other orange on it will be warmer than the acrylic one I have.

    Also picked up an Alpaca cap from the sister of a friend who raises alpaca's then sell made items from N.E. Alpaca Fiber Pool, Inc. It has light fleece liner on the inside.

    Both quality made in USA. SO many options out there.

    With my everyday use cap being in good condition these two don't get much use, yet.
     
  25. Melissa Hinostroza

    Melissa Hinostroza Tinder Gatherer

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    Hi Nightflyer! By any chance, do you know what micron your blanket is? Or is it Superfine Alpaca (25.5), Baby alpaca (22.5), or Royal Alpaca (18.5)? I ask this because my organization, Arms of Andes, is planning to develop beanies of Alpaca and we wanted to get better idea what people are looking for. Thanks!
     
  26. leghog

    leghog Scout

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    I few years ago I bought a 100% alpaca one. Made in Peru. Haven't looked at another since. I'll probably just wear this one until I die.
     
  27. Robert Y

    Robert Y Scout

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  28. Mike Fitz

    Mike Fitz Tracker

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    I spend about half of the Winter in Edmonton and spent the money for the Canada Goose merino wool beanie a couple of years ago. I have to say it's the tightest knit and warmest merino wool I've tried and I've tried the minus 33, GI regular wool watch caps and a few others. I don't know if there's a better option out there that doesn't look too out of place when you take a break from hiking in the ravines and grab some lunch and a beer (I've considered a coyote or skunk full face one from Wildthings Fur) but that might stand out a bit these days. Always looking for the next best thing though so if alpaca or seal or something else comes out that's warmer and more comfortable I'm willing to give it a whirl.
     
  29. leghog

    leghog Scout

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    I'd be looking for 100% alpaca (no blend) using whatever will be warmest.
     
  30. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Supporter Supporter

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    The answer to this is obtaining a woman who can knit a Merino wool hat for you, right here in the USA.

    ...wait, on second thought the hidden costs of that proposal are far more expensive in money and stress than a knit hat is worth.

    Edit: I suppose I should add the "YMMV" caveat to that statement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  31. badglide9705

    badglide9705 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    Still might be a good option if she can do more than knit!;)
     
  32. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Bushclass I

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    Would love to see a tutorial for this.
     
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  33. funkja

    funkja Scout

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  34. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Like a few others have mentioned…
    I prefer Smartwool Beanies.
     
  35. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

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    I have 3 fur hats for really cold weather, but the knit caps I wear are from the local farm supply,,, buy a couple, wear them for a winter, and lose them somewhere... one of them costs about the same as 2 cups of bad coffee at most cafés, so I don’t fret too much... My anaraks have hoods if the wind gets to be too worrisome...
     

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