We’ve reached day 10 of our 12 Gifts of Christmas.  And today we’re talking Hats.  Hats are the perfect gift for the outdoor Adventurer, whether they be a hiker, a canoeist, a kayaker, skier, mountain biker…


Michael from RockRiver Expeditions wears his Mountain Equipment woolly hat


I have a great collection of hats, which is a good thing because I’m also pretty good at losing them!  Every year they go on my Christmas list, and then I buy more in the year – and they all get worn.

Woollen, fleece, caps, wide brimmed, they each have their use and their season.


Michael Goude from RockRiver Expeditions wearing his Sportiva beanie hat


The Woolly Hat

I love a beanie – easy to stash in a bag or pocket and pull on when you need it.  But some are better than others.  Some are a single layer of wool – they’re okay, but get high up on the mountainside and the wind will blow straight through.  Look out for fleece lined wool hats, they’re much warmer in harsh conditions.  Some have a band of fleece lining the rim which is better than nothing, but still not as good as the fully lined ones.

Paula likes a pom pom hat, but consider if you’re going to need to pull up a hood over your hat.  If so, leave the pom pom at home and go with a beanie design.  Otherwise your hood won’t sit quite right on your head – very annoying if you’re trying to avoid the rain!


Michael and Paula Goude from RockRiver Expeditions wearing a woolly hat and a fleece hat on a canoe expedition in Scotland


The Fleece Beanie

So useful.  Very warm, lightweight, small if you need to stash it away somewhere, it wicks away sweat and dries quickly.


The Neoprene Skull Cap

Kayaking in the winter can get chilly and just having this extra layer can make a lot of difference.  These are designed with minimal seams and to sit snugly between the head and the helmet.  Just like a wetsuit, the neoprene traps a little water between the skin and the hat allowing the head to stay warm.


The Baseball Hat

A spring/summer choice usually, and for one reason.  Many of the waterproof jackets that I buy are designed to be able to fit a helmet under the hood.  Which is perfect for climbing and so on, but when I’m just walking and the rain starts, I pull my hood up and it drops over my eyes.  I can adjust all of the adjustable bits, but it never really stays properly in place.  So I wear a cap.  The peak of the cap holds the hood up above my eyes and hey presto, it all works perfectly.


The Wide Brimmed Hat

This is my go to hat in summer.  It keeps the sun from burning the top of my head, ears and the back of my neck.  It’s also really useful when you need to wear a mosquito net.  The brim holds the net away from the face making it much more comfortable.  And if you don’t need the net over your face temporarily it sits easily on the brim out of the way.  It comes in very handy in Scotland in midge season!  They’re usually made out of quick drying thin material so they’re still lightweight and screw up easily to squash into your bag when you’re not wearing it.


Paula Goude from RockRiver Expeditions wearing a wide brimmed hat with mosquito net


So if you’re looking for a stocking filler or a small gift for someone, think about getting them a hat.  I love them, I know Mrs RockRiver loves a hat, and you could be giving the Adventurer in your life a very comfortable winters day or saving them from being burnt from the sun.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Have I missed out any types of hat?  Do you have a favourite?  Share in the comments below.


Find all of our gift recommendations here;
Day 1 – The Buff
Day 2 – The Lifeventure Thermal Mug
Day 3 – The Silva Expedition 4 Compass
Day 4 – The MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
Day 5 – The Alpkit MytiStax
Day 6 – The Satmap Active 12 GPS
Day 7 – Icebreaker Merino Tshirts
Day 8 – Leki Walking Poles
Day 9 – Alpkit Viper 2 Headtorch
Day 10 – Hats
Day 11 – Mountains
Day 12 – Ordnance Survey Maps

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