Cold weather noggin toppers....

5:50 a.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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Just figured some may catch this thread and I could start a new topic of conversation. This time of year we are a lil more susceptible to losing heat from the cranium so does anyone have any suggestions as to "noggin toppers?" I personally wear a MH Dome Perignon. My question is, what works for you? We lose 7%-55% which is vague IMO and should be accounted for right?

1:11 p.m. on January 13, 2010 (EST)
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i like that mountain hardwear hat when the wind is blowing b/c it's a windstopper. i vary with hats depending on output. Patagonia has a lightweight beanie that i like when i'm really moving and the temperatures aren't too arctic, and i have a Lifa hat that serves the same function.

i always wear a fleece balaclava under a hat in deep cold. haven't been happy with windstopper balaclavas. face gets too darn hot, and they never fail to fog my goggles.

one option i also like a lot when it's colder and i expect regular breaks is a fleece jacket with a hood. i hike with the hood off but put it on, plus a shell hood, to keep the heat in when we stop. no matter how hard the wind blows, can't lose the hood. it can fill up with snow, though.....

1:31 p.m. on January 13, 2010 (EST)
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I generally wear a smartwool lightweight cap or balaclava. If I need more warmth I wear something heavier over the top, thicker fleece or a wool hat. Fleece hats directly on my bald head irritate my skin.

2:53 a.m. on January 14, 2010 (EST)
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I usually wear a Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome. It keeps me pretty warm but it's still breathable so I don't overheat. If it is deathly cold outside I wear it over my MH powerstretch balaclava. I don't think it's the perfect system but I've never had a problem with getting cold.

9:10 a.m. on January 14, 2010 (EST)
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I prefer a ski band down to 20*F, a cap is too warm for me while backpacking. In colder temps I like a fleece cap with wind stop fabric.

In really cold windy situations I will wear a heavier cap or balaclava with a neoprene face mask, I do this mostly while wade fishing during the winter and I'm usually quite warm.

There's no reason to suffer....just get the right stuff that works for you. Sometimes you have to experiment a little, and I recommend carrying more than you think you need until you get it dialed in.

3:15 p.m. on January 14, 2010 (EST)
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Yeah wind-stopper is great stuff. I was reading reviews from other sites of the Dome Perignon. The biggest thing that stood out to me was people were saying it was 2 pointy on the top or " the ability of being able to fit a 16oz nalgene under it..." Uhhhh? Ok...

What really bugs me out is that so many have decided to go w/look over function. "I may be cold but I sure look great", maybe the local animals in the bc will nominate ya for "Project Runway?"

Just really seems like a bad case of foolish logic to me.

Sorry, had to vent a bit lol.

8:26 p.m. on January 14, 2010 (EST)
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One problem I have found on expeditions with the Peruvian style or balaclava head coverings made of Windstopper is that they make it hard to hear - a critical point for glacier travel and multi-pitch technical climbing. I also find they are too hot when exercising, even at -30F or colder. I also find that Windstopper softshells are colder than plain fleece of the same weight, as well as being not as compressible when stuffing into the pack, yet are much hotter when active. I gave away all my Windstopper gear some time back and use regular fleece jackets with either a nylon windshell (still breathable, but blocks the wind) or eVent or Goretex if I need the waterproof feature. For headgear, I got a Mountain Hardwear balaclava that is windstopper with mesh in the ear area - blocks the wind, but allows hearing with almost no reduction.

10:35 p.m. on January 14, 2010 (EST)
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Bill, I agree with ya as far as loss of hearing w/windstopper which could hinder an individual and yes on the move they turn the ol dome into an oven. In the bc its not much of a problem IMO. Then again I have known of people/as well as seen footage of people climbing everything from Denali to Everest utilizing windstopper head wear. So I guess it all breaks down to individual preference. I personally am w/Trouthunter on this one. I will use the ol ski band or my serius quick draw. I usually use the MH Dome for around camp where activity levels are low.

Question for ya, which MH balaclava are you referring to? I definitely like the mesh in the ear area feature.

11:58 p.m. on January 15, 2010 (EST)
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Mostly a winter hat needs to have:

1. warmth (head and ears)

2. breathability

3. a nice degree of wind protection

4. decent appearance (so chicks dig you)

My most recent choice is the Everest Designs. Knitted in Tibet & the fleece liner is sewn into the hat in the U.S. REI sold them for $27. but now they have them for $17. Great hat, no two designs are the same. I sprayed mine W. Revivex to help the wool outer repel moisture even better.


12:37 a.m. on January 16, 2010 (EST)
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Mountain Hardware makes one with mesh called, the Flex. It is on my list of gear to buy.

7:49 p.m. on January 16, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks trouthunter. I am looking @ it now....

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