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Cold weather bean protection...

4:23 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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It seems that we are always talking about footwear whether it be for the cold, warm, or anything else for that matter. 

What about the bean when the temps drop? We lose alot of body heat from this area if not covered.

Has anyone found the perfect cold weather cap yet?

4:47 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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My go to system is a 3 layer concept.

Smartwool balaclava, smartwool beanie, synthetic hood off an old hunting jacket. And a thicker fleece balaclava reserved dry and put it on in camp when needed as needed.

I have comfortably tested this down to -30. I havnt had a need to change it in quite some time. The best thing I did was to start using that old detachable hood.

5:18 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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Hmmm, I may have to try that. It would seem that it would offer quite a bit of flexibily dependent on fluxuation of the temps. 

I have been using MH's Dome Perignon up until recently but the thing is that it cuts down on how well I can hear with the Windstopper material in it, plus it has to be really cold for me to use it. 

I don't feel that it is suited for activities that have a high level of exertion. Then again this is also dependent on temps and weather conditions.

I recently purchased OR's Prismatic cap and I like it. Its Gore-tex, has ear flaps that are removable(zipper,)and its pretty warm. It breathes well too.

I just ordered a 2nd on in black. I have found that when I find something I like the company either changes the design or eliminates it from their line up completely. 

At the same time the Dome will still end up in my pack for when it is really nasty on the ridges or I want something on the head at night when I am checking my eyelids for holes. 

5:35 p.m. on December 10, 2011 (EST)
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I have a goofy wool hat with flaps and poler tech inside. Also a beanie and balclava.

10:21 a.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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So, being follicularly deficient, I have some experience in this area!  For extreme cold while hiking, I'll wear a thin, tight synthetic cap.  Over this, I'll put a thick double layer wool hat.  The idea is to create a warm reservoir around the ol' dome and let as much moisture as possible escape.  For hiking in moderate cold, I've become devoted to a pretty bizarre system.  I'll wind a bandanna around my head and top it with a synthetic ball-cap with a brim.  When I'm cold, I'll pull a loose synthetic knit cap over the whole mess.  This is an ugly system, makes me look homeless, but enables rapid thermoregulation.

3:00 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Also theres the old adage: If your feet are cold wear a hat, if your head is cold wear warm sock...

I like wool on my head when its cold. A baalclava works best for me too. There are many styles some that go all the way down around the neck.


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5:35 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Layers. I like mountain hardwear's micro fleece beanie for a light hat. Pataginia's r1 balaclava is very good , and the expedition capilene beanie too if you sweat a lot and if you don't want wind stopper. North face's Denali thermal beanie is thick and great under a hood if it's windy, very warm.

The dome perignon is great but super warm and does impede your hearing.

Related, north face makes an excellent neck gaiter that is wind stopper only in front of your mouth, stretchy fleece otherwise, loose at the bottom.

Should add, down parka with a good puffy hood is essential for standstills.

5:39 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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leadbelly2550 said:

Related, north face makes an excellent neck gaiter that is wind stopper only in front of your mouth, 

 Great, so I wouldn't be able to hear or breathe lol. j/k(I just had too.)

8:28 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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I have a Turtlefur fleece beanie, a fleece balaclava, a lightweight synthetic balaclava, a face mask and for really cold weather, I'm thinking of getting one of these-

http://www.winterstyle.com/rabbit-full-fur-russian-ushanka-winter-hat-gray-p-194.html

or maybe one of these-

http://www.winterstyle.com/rabbit-fur-aviator-trapper-winter-hat-blackblack-p-502.html

They look goofy, but are supposed to be really warm-they make faux fur ones, along with wool versions, too.

My big parka has a down hood on it, too, so I usually don't bring all this stuff if I have it with me.

9:07 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Somewhere else on Trailspace recently, I listed my preferences. Over the years, I have used everything mentioned above, plus a number of other things. What I have settled on that works very well from sea level to 20,300 ft, Arctic regions to the Antarctic, cold days in the Sierra, Colorado Rockies, Wasatch, NH Presidentials, Canadian Rockies, and other cold places is this:

1. variety so I can change with the changing conditions, the below listed singly and in combinations to suit the changing conditions.

2. Mountain Hardwear balaclava Windstopper with ear mesh to hear

3. Outdoor Research Peruvian hat Windstopper

4. various beanies and toques, one of which is a brand name (Patagonia, caught it in a "toss some in the air to scramble for"), plus giveaways from Hotties, Trailspace, Bear Valley Telemark Festival, etc

5. 2 Buff neck coverings, their Polar Buff and their merino wool Buff (I can breathe easily through the merino wool)

6. a Serius mask

7. hoods on various jackets - wind shirts, hardshell jackets, merino wool hoodie, Primaloft parkas (Integral Designs), down parkas (Marmot 8000 meter jacket - all the hoods are sized for wear over a helmet

8. crash hats (Petzl mostly for climbing rock and ice, Giro skiing) - usually wear a beanie under the helmet if it is that cold)

And I do have other wool and synthetic watch caps and balaclavas, including the one illustrated above. But the seven categories above are my go-to head coverings for the cold. My pack always has a midweight balaclava stashed in it and my midweight parkas have a beanie stashed in a pocket at all times of year.

9:14 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Bill- I am really looking into that MH balaclava. I like the mesh in the area of the ear. The major caveat of Windstopper over the ears is that it muffles sound. This may be just what I am looking for. 

I see the Air Shield Flex on their site but nothing with mesh although it looks as though there is a different material in the ear area but I am not sure.

 http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Men%27s-AirShield%E2%84%A2-Flex-Balaclava/OM4364,default,pd.html

Tom- its funny you should mention those. My uncle who was an avid climber/backpacker brought me one back from his travels over seas when I was young. Rabbit fur if I remember correctly. 

You are absolutely right. The hat looked goofy. Then again I was goofy and still am. 

That was one of the warmest hats I have ever owned in my entire life. 

I even wore it on the cold winter mornings on my trips to school. 

You know, I had to walk 15 miles in 3ft of snow with temps in the nether region of 0 and the trip was up hill in both directions...

Always wondered why it took me so long to get home. ;)

I really loved that had. 

1:41 a.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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I have an OR wind stopper beanie, a traditional 100% wool ski hat w/tassle, two uv coolmax buffs, one merino wool buff. The buffs are my favorite due to their versatility, hats to facemask to neck gaiter, etc. im wearin' one in the profile pic. Anyone who likes wool hats should check out wapiti woolies. They have an Ed Viesturs hat available.

2:11 a.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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Two balaclavas like the onesGarydescribes.  Avoid the version that has the cotton lining, for obvious reasons.  In daylight I’ll wear baseball cap as the base layer.  When it gets real cold I’ll add an alpaca wool scarf to take up dead space around the neck and enclose everything in my wind shell hood.  In wind add ski goggles.

Some refer to masks.  If you mean knit masks or those masks made from fabric used to make wet suits I find both uncomfortable, as I have a non-stop runny nose in the cold, and masks offer more nuisance than warmth.  I have also worn the full on gonzo mountaineering masks with the full face goggle, mouth piece, and snorkel, but would consider wearing this again only in the coldest and windy of circumstances.

Ed

8:01 a.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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I put out heat like a furnace and probably wear less than most folks in similar conditions.  Gloves and hat are the first thing I add as it gets cold, but, I prefer to go fairly minimal down to 0F or so and really like the Novara Thermal Tech Beanie.  It is thin windproof and pretty warm for its size and weight.   Above 0F I typically find that if I am briskly walking up steep grades or running I am likely to pull it up to uncover my ears and forehead and when the going is easier or there is a cold headwind I pull it back down.  I really love this hat.

When that isn't enough an inexpensive thicker pile hat works well for me.  I find the cheapies to be fine.  If exercising at all, I really can't see how anyone can stand to wear a wool balaclava at anything above negative double digits with a strong wind blowing, but I see folks wearing them when I am thinking of taking my hat off.

If it is brutally cold I might add a pile scarf and maybe a windbreaker with a hood.

I pretty much never completely cover my face, but when it is extremely windy and cold I find that smearing some petroleum jelly on the cheek bones helps keep from losing skin.

11:26 a.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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98% of the time I am comfortable with a worsted wool hat.  

If I'm wearin my skull cap I use a plain old hard hat liner from Ace or Truevalue, $4.95.  I've stood atop Mt Washington with that liner and helmet at 2am with 30 below zero temp and 40 to 50 mph winds, Carera goggles and windstopper neck gaiter for my face.  

When its downright scary cold  -40 and under I don my Apocalypse Design explorer hat.

The coldest temp I've experienced without wind chill is 68.

Below of course.

4:17 p.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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Ed, do you have one of these or something similar?

http://www.untraced.it/

They don't seem to sell this stuff in the US, just in Europe.

9:14 p.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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Tom D said:

Ed, do you have one of these or something similar?

http://www.untraced.it/

They don't seem to sell this stuff in the US, just in Europe.

The version I used had an integrated oversized goggle.  I cannot find it on the web.  The link you provide is nice in that it may reduce lens fogging; on the other hand the area where the goggle and mask overlap - or not - can be a site for frost nip in the current designs.  The idea is to completely cover exposed flesh, and preheat breathing air.  This is typically a sub zero piece of equipment.  I found it helped me manage bronchial congestion, in part caused by breathing cold air.  I used it on my high altitude trips in Alaska and Peru.

Ed

9:58 p.m. on December 12, 2011 (EST)
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I've tried to find these things other than on their website with no luck.  I think someone here got one a few years ago but I never found out how they liked it. The concept is interesting. I doubt I would find myself in any weather that cold-at least not intentionally.

1:17 p.m. on December 13, 2011 (EST)
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For cold weather, a wool balaclava is my choice for hiking, skiing, etc. If I am paddle in the cold and need to wear a helmet, a synthetic skull cap from NRS is my choice to keep heat in. I also use other things, baseball caps, Filson Tin Hat if conditions warrant it.

2:11 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

It seems that we are always talking about footwear whether it be for the cold, warm, or anything else for that matter. 

What about the bean when the temps drop? We lose alot of body heat from this area if not covered.

Has anyone found the perfect cold weather cap yet?

 Yes..............yes I have.

 

Here is my leather flight cap that I wear for all cold weather situations.
DSC05225.jpg

Notice all the adjustments for fitting it to your bean weather you wear something under  the cap or over the cap depending upon certian circumstances

.

 

 

It is real leather that is not treated so it breathes.  It is lined with a very thin layer of fleese.
DSC05248.jpg
Notice the zippered ears.  They work for so that you can open them up and vent if you need to , so that yoiu can hear better and or so that you can put in some headphones instead of using ear buds. Guess what I use them for.

 

The rear of the cap.  Again notice the different adjustment for people with wacked out heads like myself.

DSC05259.jpg

 

Turning the cap inside out one finds the thinest layer of fleese.
DSC05271.jpg

 

There's are four of my 5 favoriated pieces of head gear in relation to what keeps my head  warm & dry.  The  balaclava on the left is knitted and works well for really cold situations.  To the right of the flyiers cap is a Turtle Fur balaclava that has a flease lower and a polyester streatch upper.  The balaclava on the bottom is a Get On Pace Sportswear all stratch knit piece for when it's just slightly cold.

DSC05224.jpg

 

 

I have never found a leather product that makes leather water proof and breathable at the same time.  I'm normally  a Tilley hat guy but the problem with Tilleys is that there just not water proof.  I have found that when you water proof them they are just way to hot as they do not breath if you water proof them.   If you don't water proof them then they breath but they get wet in the rain.  Hence the  Eddie Bauer 100% cotton aussie style hat.  It is 100% water proof yet breaths.  It has two vents on each side but that still does no account for how so very well it vents. It has the feel of being mink oiled like my oil skin dusters.  It is a size large, made in New Zealand.  I do not know the model # or name of the hat as I found it for $2.50 at my local Goodwill store.
DSC05265.jpg

Thats my perfect system.

I have one more balaclava that has a knit top and a neoprene face that is for when it's truly wet and cold, but I just could not find it at the moment.

4:20 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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4:46 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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Duplicate.

4:48 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

My go to system is a 3 layer concept.

Smartwool balaclava, smartwool beanie, synthetic hood off an old hunting jacket. And a thicker fleece balaclava reserved dry and put it on in camp when needed as needed.

I have comfortably tested this down to -30. I havnt had a need to change it in quite some time. The best thing I did was to start using that old detachable hood.

 Simple and sweet.  This is my system, too.  I use an Icebreaker merino balaclava with a cheap Walmart poly "tuque".  The balaclava is my on-head hiking layer and if cold in camp I use both.  In frigid conditions I have a Feathered Friends Icefall down parka which has a beefy snap on hood and that baby over the other two guarantees a warm head.


bm07_170.jpg

And like GaryPalmer shows, this used to be my standard load in the winter thru the 70's and 80's. 


tipi%252520walter%252520in%252520a%25252

In fact, during my Tipi years I often wore a rag wool balaclava with coyote fur.

Another option and one that is extremely warm and light---rabbit hide hat, three skins, sewn together with the fur inside.  I made one back in the 90's and took it out on many trips.  See if I can locate a picture.


5:28 p.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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Here are some other hat shots---



54-6-Tipi-Walter-at-Snow-Camp-in-the-Col

Here is a three skin rabbit hat with the skin on the outside and dyed red and tied with cordage.  Very warm.


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Here's the standard Walmart $5 watch cap.


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Then I went thru a hat-with-ear-flap phase---past Christmas presents from Eagle or American Eagle mall stores.  Fairly warm.


Trip-75-064.jpg

Here are three different styles.  Hootyhoo on the left, a ear flap Eagle thingie in the middle, and Envirodiver on the right.





12:40 p.m. on December 20, 2011 (EST)
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Great photos, Tipi :) 

I have a fleece-lined wool watch cap, a fleece balaclava, and a silk-lined wool riding cap that is ancient.  I wear the riding cap almost all the time while hiking in cool or cold weather. I just got the fleece Balaclava for $10, which can be warn as a neck warmer, full cover, or folded into a cap. It is only OK, as the neck portion isn't long enough in the front. Prior to it I always had the fleece/wool hat, which is alright, though soaks up a ton of water. I will get a better wool cap and a Balaclava when I can afford them, or if they come up on a really good sale.  

Here I am wearing the Balaclava with the riding cap over top. (photo courtesy of Patman) The cap is really old, I think it was my great uncle's. My wife hates it, but I love it, so  I only wear it out hiking :)

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Here I am in just the cap:

382947_10150422136079094_500604093_84852


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