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World’s Warmest Winter Hat?

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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.

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.

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 www.gearjunkie.com.

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