Wear these cozy hats to stay warm and perform your best when the temperature drops
Here’s something you might not know: Our bodies lose heat equally through all areas of exposed skin. So although most of us grew up to believe-or being told by our mothers-that most of our body heat escapes from the top (i.e. our heads), those knees you have poking through your jeans are cooling down at about the same rate as your noggin.
When it comes to cold-weather riding, we put forth a great effort-and lay out a healthy chunk of change-to ensure that we stay warm in the chilliest and wettest of conditions. We invest in winter tights, waterproof jackets, insulated gloves, even cozy socks. Now it’s time to add a good winter cycling cap to this list. But before you buy the first one you see, here are some things to consider.
Some Fit Better Under a Helmet
While every cap and balaclava on our list can (technically) fit underneath a helmet, some are more conducive than others. The POC AVIP Road Beanie is made of a four-way stretch fabric for a slim fit, the Pearl Izumi Barrier Skull Cap comes with a ponytail port, and the Craft Skull Hat covers just enough of your ears to keep them warm without getting in the way of helmet straps. But if you’re the type who ditches the helmet when the temps drop in favor of a nice, cozy cap, your options are endless, as it eliminates the threat of the cap being too bulky or loose to fit underneath it. The fleece-lined Sealskinz Belgian Cycling Cap is extra thick, with an earband and short brim, but it’s also wind- and waterproof, making it a good option for helmetless days.
A Balaclava Covers More Skin
On the coldest, windiest days, the more skin you can cover, the better. A balaclava is at once a cap, an earband, a face mask, and a neck gaiter. Advantages to these one-piece options include more coverage without the bulk of overlapping multiple accessories. A downside is that they’re not as easy to remove or pull down if you start to overheat. The Performance Hinged Balaclava is designed so you can pull the hood back to cool down, and the Gore Windstopper Balaclava is perforated where you breathe for better ventilation.
It’s Important to Protect Your Ears
There’s nothing pleasant about the feeling of frigid air whipping into your ears as you’re flying down the open road on a bike. Look for a cap with a dedicated earband, like the Castelli Difesa Thermal or Louis Garneau Winter Cap. Conveniently, this style of cap adds a little extra protection at the back of the neck, as well.
Wind- and Waterproof Options Exist
As is the case with all cycling apparel, there are wind- and water-resistant options and wind- and waterproof options. They are not one and the same. If you truly want to keep wet weather and cold wind from working their way in, look for the latter. Sportful’s Fiandre Norain Cap is minimalist-no earband, no thermal lining-but it’s wind- and waterproof, making it a good option for cool, rainy days.
Phillip: What’s your favorite act of misusing and/or stealing funds from a charity in this list of violations to which the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, just admitted in the course of paying $2 million in court-ordered damages to resolve a lawsuit filed against him by the New York attorney general’s office? 1. When he had the Trump 2020 campaign put the Trump Foundation’s name on promotional materials and ceremonial checks related to a fundraiser that he, as a candidate, held for military veterans in January 2016. (The Trump Foundation was ostensibly a charity, and charities can’t participate in political campaigns.) 2. When he used $100,000 of the Trump Foundation’s money—which was raised almost entirely from other people—to settle an ordinance dispute that his Mar-a-Lago club/vacation home was having with the city of Palm Beach, Florida. (He had violated the ordinance in question by flying an enormous American flag on an 80-foot flagpole, which, admittedly, is a funny way to get sued by the city of Palm Beach.) 3. When he used $157,820 of the Trump Foundation’s money to settle a legal dispute with a man who’d won a $1 million hole-in-one prize during an event held by another charity at a Trump golf course in New York. (The resolution agreement released by New York state says that a company from which the outside charity had purchased “ ‘hole in one’ insurance” was responsible for denying the man his prize. Per reporting by the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, who uncovered a great deal of the activity covered in New York’s suit, the question at issue was whether Trump’s golf course had made the relevant hole too short.) 4. When he used $25,000 of the charity’s money to make a donation to a political group that supported then–Florida attorney general Pam Bondi at the same time that Bondi was considering whether to sue “Trump University” for defrauding its “students.” (Bondi did not, but New York’s attorney general did, which led in part to the other multimillion-dollar fraud settlement that Trump paid since taking office.) (Bondi now works for the White House as a special adviser to Trump on matters related to impeachment.) (LOL.) 5. When he used the Trump Foundation to pay $5,000 to put an advertisement for the Trump International Hotel in D.C. into a program distributed at another charity’s fundraising event. 6. When he used $10,000 of the Trump Foundation’s money to buy a painting of himself (Donald Trump) that he hung inside his Doral resort in Miami. 7. When he used $32,000 of the Trump Foundation’s money to pay “stewardship” costs for a piece of property in Westchester County, New York, that he’d donated to a land preservation group (but only after attempting unsuccessfully to build a golf course and luxury housing on it).