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Patagonia Lightweight Alpine Beanie

The Lightweight Alpine Beanie has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best winter hats for 2023.

photo: Patagonia Lightweight Alpine Beanie winter hat

This is a years-old Patagonia beanie, the lightweight in my arsenal. This is the one I wear when I want something on my head, but am moving fast and generating a lot of heat. Consistent with the thin fabric, wind cuts right through it, and it isn't very warm. However, it is great under hoods or balaclavas and quickly wrings out to dry. Despite its light weight, it has been tremendously durable.


  • Ultra light
  • Great fit
  • Low profile is great under a balaclava
  • Easy to wring out
  • Highly durable
  • Outstanding wicking


  • Not the choice as a stand-alone in high wind
  • Not very warm

This is the oldest beanie I own. 


It may also be the most versatile. I wear it on the hard uphills where I am heating up, I wear it under balaclavas when it's cold, and it is my favorite beanie to sleep in when I'm camping in cool/cold weather. It's a stretchy polyester, smooth on the outside, very lightweight grid fleece on the interior. 

Fit is easy because it stretches well; it is one size fits all, and i think someone with a smaller noggin might think it too loose. But then again, it has been riding around on my head for years. 

The light grid fleece is outstanding for wicking moisture, though on really hard hikes the hat does tend to get wet. That is no problem, because this is the easiest hat I have owned to dry. Squeeze it, wring it out, put it back on. 

This is not my choice in high wind, which goes right through it, unless you use it with another hat or hood. It isn't very warm, best used for cool weather or icy weather and high output activities, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, humping your backpack up a trail. Patagonia makes Capilene 4 beanies that are quite a bit warmer, and synchilla beanies that are fluffy and very warm.   

You would think a hat this thin and light would eventually rip or develop holes, and that has happened with some of my other micro-fleece beanies. Nothing could be further from the truth — this looks about the same as it did brand new. 

I suspect that Patagonia no longer manufactures this. It's a shame. I'm not giving mine away. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15-20

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