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Ibex Meru Hat

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Ibex Meru Hat winter hat

After six months of wearing the Ibex's Meru Hat, I can confidently state this is the most comfortable beanie I have ever worn. This quality merino wool hat has done the job exceptionally well. Soon after starting to wear the Meru, I stopped grabbing other hats out of my closet.


  • Itch-free
  • Well-made
  • Snug, but not tight (comfortable with glasses)
  • Warm


  • Earlobes not fully covered

As I stated in the summary, this is the most comfortable beanie I have used, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone shopping around for a wool beanie.

Testing: I wore the Meru throughout the winter of 2016-2017, including late fall hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and winter camping in Shawnee National Forest. It was also my day-to-day hat, in temperatures down to 0°F. 

Fit: As a glasses wearer, I know that beanies can provide too much pressure on the ears, causing pain after a short time. The Meru was snug, but not overly tight. I was able to wear it for hours without noticing pressure points behind the ear. 

Comfort: Flat stitching ensures there are no other uncomfortable spots. The Merino wool ensures the hat is itch-free. 

Warmth, Breathability, & Moisture: I've used this beanie in about every scenario one could test. I've worn it just walking to my car in the wind. I've hiked in cold weather. I've run in really cold weather. In all cases, my head was warm—but not hot—and sweat was wicked away nicely.

I have not worn this hat in the rain, and we had no snow to speak of in Illinois this winter. So I don't know how it would perform when wet.

Con: My one con to the Meru is that my big ol' Dumbo ears aren't completely covered by the beanie. So my lobes got cold in windy conditions. Unfortunately, this is true with most beanies I own. So although it's a "con," it's one I have come to expect with nearly every hat. 

At $30, the Meru is a pretty good value. If you can score one with the Trailspace logo, then you also get points for style. But even without the logo, this is a hat worth trying. 

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Trailspace Reviewer of the Month prize-May 2016)

The perfect beanie to wear under a helmet or when you are working hard in the cold.


  • It has the Trailspace logo
  • Merino wool resists odors
  • Warm when wet
  • Soft material


  • Loses some elasticity once wetted

The fact is that, without a hat this day I would have been very hypothermic.

I love wearing my Trailspace logo running cap so when Alicia sent me the beanie I was double stoked because now I can rep TS in the cold as well. My favorite thing on the trail is getting asked, "What is Trailspace?"

A very, very wet day on Mount Baker. I sweat so much that I poured sweat out of my ski boots once I got to camp. This hat held in my heat while I worked up a huge sweat.

Fit: I have a 7 3/8 melon and the "one size" beanie fit perfectly.

Coolness factor: This category's very existence drives many people nuts, but I like the idea of renewable clothing. Ibex also provides a great care guide on their website. Also I like that the people at Ibex are dog people with a dog-friendly workplace, so there. Ibex also does some other cool stuff, read about it on their site:

Comfort: This hat isn't as soft as fleece but it is much more breathable. Acrylic or rag wool caps make my head itch, this one did not. Flat seams are great under a helmet. 

Warmth: Not as warm as fleece, but this testing day I was sweating a lot and needed the breathability more.

Durability: Wool beats fleece in the don't-get-too-close-to-the-fire and the abrasion resistance categories. This cap is also well constructed. No issues. Also, merino won't pick up a body odor like synthetics do. 

Dislikes: It lost some of its elasticity after I soaked it in rain and sweat, I'll deduct half a star. The elasticity returned after my Mrs. ran it through the wash. 

Best Use: Pretty much all cool weather activities unless you are just sitting still. 

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Alicia)

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Price MSRP: $25.00
Historic Range: $6.73-$39.95
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