World's Warmest Winter Hat?

Touted as the “lightest and warmest hat on the market,” Black Rock Gear’s Original Down Hat is like a puffy jacket for your head. Its paneled rip-stop nylon fabric is stuffed with 900-fill Canadian grey goose down, creating an instant zone of warmth once you pull it on.

This winter, I have been wearing the Original Down Hat in temps as low as zero degrees F. It is comfortable and warm, fitting tight and staying in place with just a little bit of stretch.

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Black Rock Gear’s Original Down Hat

The hat is resistant to water and wind, though not water- or wind-proof. There’s a headband around the inside to wick sweat.

The company, which markets to the ultra-light crowd, takes pride in the light weight of the cap. On my scale, the Original Down Hat weighed exactly 1 ounce. It scrunches up to the size of a billiards ball.

Is it the “warmest hat on the market,” as the company suggests? I wouldn’t go that far. Though toasty, the hat has just a thin dose of goose down. I have worn hats as warm as the Original Down Hat, including neoprene hats and balaclavas.

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Original Down Hat, front and rear views

At $59, the Original Down Hat is pricey. But this made-in-the-USA product is a quality piece. Pull one on when the winter winds pick up. It’ll keep you toasty like few other headwear options can.

—Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at

Posted by twoeightnine - 03/02/2011 02:45 PM

I picked up a handknit and felted Icelandic wool hat last week in Reykjavik. Hands down it’s the warmest hat I’ve ever worn.

Posted by fejnud - 03/02/2011 07:19 PM

Years ago I picked up a rabbit fur lined bomber hat with a light canvas outer. It was good to the 100 below windchill we were trying to ski in. I’ve never found anything warmer even though it is purple.

Posted by Chris - 03/03/2011 10:52 AM

Outdoor research is also coming up with a down hat for the coming year. I have to say I like the style of this one a bit more.

This seems frivolous but I also can’t say no to down.

Posted by Mark - 03/05/2011 09:22 PM

Love the Black Rock to keep my head warm – it is a great fit and toasty warm. But, if you sleep in it, the nylon is really loud if you move around inside a sleeping bag.

Posted by Jeffzx9 - 03/08/2011 11:17 AM

Disagree on the “warmest hat” claim. The Canada Goose coyote fur bomber hat must be the warmest hat on the planet.

Posted by Joe - 03/10/2011 04:39 PM

Yeah, like others, I think rabbit fur bomber hats are the warmest of the warm. Not necessarily light, but definitely warm.

Posted by Albert Head - 02/05/2013 02:53 PM

Great until it get’s wet (with either melt water or sweat, then you’re screwed (water and down don’t mix too well). I see your gay down-filled, facroy-made wannabe hat and raise you a merino wool/possum fur toque any day, any time. Wool actually gets warmer when it gets wet, too!

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