Cycling, Kit Guide

Great hats for outdoors fans

10 Jun , 2014  

I don’t think it matters what time of year it is, a comfy and practical hat is always going to be on my list of must-pack outdoors kit.

When the sun is out it’s a peaked cap that I choose.

When it’s windy I keep my hair in place and my ears warm with a buff.

When it’s hot and sweaty I wear a a Hola headband.

And when it’s chillier and drizzling, a beanie is hard to beat.

Hats for sunny weather

resizeImage-3One of the best peaked caps for walking and sports is the Salomon Softshell Neck Cap. The stretch hat has a removable neck panel.

The fabric has laser cut holes for lots of breathability and also protects your head from wind and sun (it includes a 50+ UVA and UVB protection).

Hats for windy weather

104863-120x150A buff – and there are many, many brands of buffs – is a tube of fabric. It is very versatile and can be worn as a neck warmer, a head band, an all-over head warmer, under a bike helmet or as a hair tie back.

I own about 10 buffs and use them almost every day for running, cycling and walking. Because they take up so little space in a rucksack, they are the one item I always pack.

Buffwear make the original buff but many other companies do similar.

When it’s hot and sweaty

Halo-Cycling-Cap-White-220x220All of us suffer with dripping perspiration at some time. The worst is when it drips from the forehead into eyes and on to glasses.

A brand called Halo Headbands have created a sweatband that is technically designed to keep sweat out of your eyes.  The Halo Headband comes in all kinds of shapes including bandanas, sports hats and visors.

I have tested the Halo II Pullover Sweatband. It is a two-layer formation of fabric in all shades of the rainbow and with a Sweat Block Technology. The fabric is Dryline, which apparently absorbs sweat and then wicks it away so it can quickly evaporate.

There is also a “Sweat Block Seal” to channel sweat back and away from the eyes and the rest of the face. Thankfully, the fabric also has antimicrobial odour control. Otherwise it would end up pretty smelly, pretty quickly.

category_haloII-220x219For sweat protection while cycling, the Halo Cycling Cap fits neatly under a bike helmet and also offers amazing levels of sweat protection. The visor is useful if it’s sunny or rainy.

See Halo Headband UK

Hats for colder weather

Handmade-Acrylic-Tri-Blue_large-1I love a chunky knit beanie hat. These days, beanies come in many fashionable styles and fabulous colours. When high-level walking, even in summer, I often turn to a beanie to keep my head and ears warm.

Then, when I come off the hills I like a beanie to cover my madly disarranged hair!

So many sporty people wear beanies and the choice is very wide ranging. A company that I have recently been introduced to is Dewerstone. And my particular favourite is the Handmade Acrylic Beanie. It’s actually made in Chamonix Mont-Blanc, which is one of my top European destinations.

Dewerstone decided that the legendary mountain town nestling in the shadow of western Europe’s highest mountain was the perfect place for their beanies to be made by hand.

The stripy beanie offers great looks, is very soft and cosy and boasts good warmth and wind resistance. It’s my latest favourite chunky beanie.

See Dewerstone

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A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.