When it comes to gear coverage at Outside, hats don’t get enough play. And surprisingly, there are a lot of headwear makers out there with creative, unique, functional designs that deserve some coverage. So, here are my top five picks in women’s headwear this winter. —Ali Carr Troxell
Nobis Rachel, $56
Choosing just one hat from Canadian streetwear company Nobis is incredibly difficult. Their roots are in headwear and they’ve always done everything with incredible attention to detail, the highest-quality materials, and a little bit of whimsy. The mohair-acrylic Rachel, from their “favourites collection” is a great example of this—stripes, buttons, and satin material make up this funky, mismatched hat.
Coal Addie, $35
Ten-year-old headwear company Coal, out of Seattle, creates hats that are more than just standard beanies. The mohair-like Addie is a cableknit hat with a beret-style fit. It’s a nice balance of feminine details and a nontraditional shape. Not into the beret? They also have flap and brimmed beanies as well as scarves and mittens.
Holden Classic Beanie, $22
As high quality as their outerwear, the Holden Classic Beanie is a simple, soft, classic throw-on with a little extra length to make it modern—a no-brainer, especially at this price.
Patagonia Better Sweater Beanie, $25
For active endeavors, like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, we reach for the Patagonia Better Sweater Beanie. The polyester outer dries quickly in snowstorms and its thin profile fits nicely under a helmet.
The North Face Grinbriar Beanie, $28
The North Face Grinbriar Beanie nods to a trend we’ll be seeing in headwear for a while—retro design details. The leather diamond shape logo is reminiscent of old-school backpacks and the heathered acrylic yarn is inspired by the 1970s.
Next Up: Women’s Bike Commuting Essentials