Hats are an absolutely critical component of your winter outfits!
They’re not just a style choice—though I’ll be the first to admit they can really tie together a kickass wardrobe and cover up for a bad hairstyle—but they’re actually incredibly practical.
A good hat will shield you from the cold by preventing body heat from escaping, which will help to both keep you warm and reduce your risk of catching a cold over the winter months. More than that, though, a good hat will protect your ears.
If you’ve ever been out into extreme winter cold with your ears uncovered, you know how painful it can be. Not only will the soft tissue and cartilage get chilled, but the cold can actually damage your ears and negatively impact your hearing.
Which is why a good winter hat is a must-have when the weather turns cold.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best winter hats for men, selecting from the toughest, softest, most comfortable, most practical, most versatile, and, of course, most budget-friendly options around.
Go over this list, read through the Buying Guide and FAQs section below, and I guarantee you’ll pick the best winter hat for your specific needs and style choices.
BEST WINTER HATS FOR MEN
- BEST WINTER HATS FOR MEN
- Mack Weldon Tech Cashmere Hat
- Carhartt Knit Cuffed Beanie
- Timberland PRO Men's Watch Cap
- Filson WOOL PACKER HAT
- Huckberry Beanie
- Helly Hansen Mens Business Beanie 2
- Canada Goose Aviator Hat
- mysuntown Trapper Hat
- Levi's Men's Knit Cuffed All Season Beanie
- Carhartt RAIN DEFENDER CANVAS EARFLAP CAP
- Vgogfly Slouchy Knit Skull Cap
- Under Armour Adult ColdGear Infrared Balaclava
- Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Beanie
- Smartwool Merino Beanie
- Black Diamond Pom Beanie
- Patagonia Corduroy Ear Flap Cap
- Filson Mackinaw Cap
- BUYING GUIDE & FAQ'S
What could be more luxurious than cashmere? The Mack Weldon Tech Cashmere Hat is cloud-soft on your skin, so you’ll never itch or feel stifled even after a long day bundled up. The blend of cashmere, nylon, and Merino wool is both incredibly comfortable and surprisingly durable, and it’s a hat you’ll want to wear year after year.
The recovery rib knit is resistant to fraying or ripping, and you’ll find its double-layered construction offers impressive thermoregulation to keep your head and ears warm in even the most vicious winter chill. Though it looks and feels like a luxury product, it’s as hard-wearing and reliable as any workman’s beanie—and at a price tag far more affordable than you’d expect from cashmere.
Carhartt is a brand every tradesman is familiar with, thanks to their rugged workwear designed to be worn around town or on a job site. No surprise, then, that their Knit Cuffed Beanie gets a special mention on our list as being one of the most reliable, durable winter hats for men who work outdoors.
The hat is made using 100% acrylic fabric, featuring a rib-knit pattern that can take a lot of hard wear without being damaged. It’s also beautifully warm, with a stretchable, one-size-fits-all comfort that is compatible with just about any head size. Once you see the price tag—one of the lowest on our list—you’ll agree that it’s definitely one of the best winter hats for men.
Timberland PRO is a working man’s brand, known for producing durable, comfortable gear that you can rely on, with no fluff or frills. Their Men’s Watch Cap is exactly what you’d expect: a simple and practical hat you’ll feel comfortable wearing all winter long.
Made in the classic “beanie” style, the rib-knit stretch acrylic is incredibly warm, and even includes a water-resistant coating that will keep your head dry from sweat, snow, and rain. It’s slim enough to be worn beneath a hard hat or snowboarding helmet, but thick enough that it’ll keep you warm all on its own. If you want affordable and reliable, you’ll definitely want to consider this hat.
For men who are all about the look, this Wool Packer Hat by Filson definitely fits the bill. Cut in the classic fedora style, it’s a snug-fitting hat that will be delightfully warm thanks to the 100% 24-ounce virgin Mackinaw wool used to make it. The wool offers both excellent insulation and waterproofing, keeping the rain and snow off your head. However, it’s also surprisingly breathable even when wet, making it one of the coolest winter hats you’ll ever wear—both in looks and temperature.
Sure, it’s on the pricier side compared to some of the budget options on our list, but if you want to step up your winter outfit game, this is a top pick for sure.
What makes this Huckberry Beanie so special? Simple: it’s made using premium-quality fabrics—a blend of nylon, wool, Spandex, and acrylic fibers—that maximize performance, offer superior durability, and provide top-in-class insulation, all without being bulky or stifling. It’s crafted by a Japanese manufacturer renowned for their knitwear, and cut in the classic “fisherman’s beanie” style that will be perennially fashionable.
You won’t pay an exorbitant price for this budget-friendly hat, and you’ll love how the minimalist style combines with any outfit. Definitely a winter hat you can wear year after year.
Helly Hansen is a brand dedicated to providing the best warm winter gear around, manufacturing products specifically for winter sports (snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, etc.) as well as winter work. Like all the HH products, the Business Beanie 2 is hard-wearing and comfortable, with excellent insulation to keep your head and ears warm even when the temperature drops to sub-freezing.
The double-layered, rib-knit cap looks and feels great, and it’s cut in a simple yet classic style that pairs with any winter outfit. It’s not quite a “budget” product, but the value is absolutely worth the price.
The aviator hat is a style that only a few guys can pull off, but those who do earn some serious flair. There are few aviator hats as epic as this one by Canada Goose, which combines 625 fill power duck down insulation, a coyote fur ruff, and a water-resistant synthetic shell to keep out the wet, snow, and cold like a BOSS. Wear it loose, pull up the flaps, or buckle the adjustable chin strap—however you like it, it’ll be supremely warm in even the bitterest chill.
Best of all, it’s a Canadian-made product using only quality materials, so you get the most bang for your buck.
If you’re expecting the temperatures to plummet to truly arctic chills, then you need this Trapper Hat. The fact that it’s Chinese-made means it’s incredibly affordable, but don’t think for a minute that it sacrifices quality, comfort, or warmth just to be budget-friendly.
The hat is cut in the classic Russian pilot hat style, using a waterproof polyester shell and polyester fur insulation that will keep out even those sub-zero winds. It includes not only ear and forehead flaps, but also a removable (and washable) mask to shield your mouth and nose. Take it out snowboarding, shoveling, or sledding, and your head and face will never feel the cold.
This hat truly is an “all-season” option, thanks to its lightweight fabric, slim design, and comfortable feel. It’s thick enough that you’ll feel warm all winter long, but offers enough ventilation that you won’t overheat even when the sun is shining bright. It’s built for active use, staying in place even if you’re flying down the slopes on your skis or snowboard.
The rib-knit acrylic fabric has just enough stretch that it is a true “one size fits all”, making it perfect for guys (like me) who have larger-than-average heads. Considering its wallet-friendly price and versatile design, it’s an absolute steal!
Some guys just prefer baseball caps, the Carhartt Rain Defender Canvas Earflap Cap lets you know that’s absolutely okay. It’s everything you love about a baseball cap—slim, lightweight, comfortable, and featuring that brim to keep rain and snow off your face—but with the practical, winter-friendly addition of earflaps you can pull down when the weather turns cold.
Unlike your standard baseball cap, however, it’s lined with 100g insulation that will maximize warmth and trap heat close to your scalp. Plus, the cotton canvas fabric has been treated with water-repellent finish that will resist rain and sleet, as well as a FastDry sweatband to wick moisture away from your head and keep you dry and cool all day long.
Looking for a winter hats that combines warmth and style? Give the Vgogfly Slouchy Knit Skull Cap a chance to class-up your outfits. It’s cut in the slouch cap style that has become incredibly popular in the last few years, giving you a laid-back vibe while still controlling unruly hair and keeping out the cold. Even though it looks casual, it’s a hard-wearing hat you can use for any winter activity: snowball fights, sledding, Christmas caroling, or just commuting to work.
The synthetic acrylic is both durable and supremely soft (almost rivaling cashmere!), integrating a “delicately sewn” artificial fleece fiber that provides excellent insulation while still allowing for good ventilation.
When out on the slopes, nothing is quite as warm as a balaclava, which provides full-face and head protection from both the cold and whipping wind. Under Armour is the brand for sportsmen, and the Adult ColdGear Infrared Balaclava is exactly the companion you’ll want for your winter sports.
The thermoconductive coating inside the balaclava will absorb and retain all the heat escaping your head, keeping you warm even in fierce cold. The super-soft brushed fleece is supremely comfortable and offers a layer of protection to reduce friction from your helmet straps. Thanks to the side tacks, your ears will be fully covered, and the balaclava will fit snugly to ensure you’re always protected against the chill.
You’ve never encountered a beanie quite like this one from Outdoor Research! While most beanies are made using acrylic or wool blend fabrics, the Transcendent Down Beanie is more like a puffer coat than a regular knit hat, using a synthetic 20-denier polyester shell filled with 650-fill-power goose down to maximize warmth.
The minute you slip this hat on, you’ll realize it’s the warmest thing you’ve ever worn on your head, and it’s both wind and water-resistant. It also compresses down very small to fit in any backpack or pocket, but the goose down is warmer than any fabric could possibly be. It’s the perfect hat for hiking, snows ports, or working outdoor in brutally cold temperatures.
If you want soft and durable, give the Smartwool Merino Beanie a try. The Smartwool brand is famous for its fabric: a blend of quality Merino wool with synthetic fibers (nylon) that maximize ruggedness without compromising breathability and comfort. This is the perfect lightweight hat to wear anytime the weather is cold: spring, fall, or winter.
Best of all, it includes 20+ UPF protection to keep your head protected from UVB radiation in sunlight. Wear it under your ski helmet or on a run, it will always stay securely in place and keep your head toasty warm.
Love yourself a beanie with a little pom top? Black Diamond has just the thing for you! This cozy hat gives you all the style you’re looking for to complement the “cute” winter outfit you’re planning, but feels as good as it looks and keeps you wonderfully warm. Made using 100% recycled polyester, it’s a “green” product that is as good for your wallet as it is for the planet.
The Patagonia Corduroy Ear Flap Cap is a truly one-of-a-kind creation: it’s cut in the classic baseball cap style, but features twin ear flaps, a chin strap, and a corduroy finish that makes it far classier than “any old ball cap”. A lot warmer, too!
The organic cotton corduroy gives it an elegant flair that you won’t find anywhere else, and the 100% recycled fleece used to line the ear flaps is supremely warm. It’s Fair Trade Certified sewn, B Corp Certified, and comfortable and guaranteed to be itch-free—definitely a hat you can love.
The Filson Mackinaw Cap takes the best of standard caps and steps up its game by adding in insulation on the crown, a wider-than-standard bill, and ear flaps. The result: a truly warm and stylish winter hat perfect for “rough and rugged” guys.
This hat uses heavyweight 24-ounce virgin Mackinaw wool to maximize warmth and water-repellency, but you’ll love how breathable it is even when wet. It will never get soggy or feel clammy, and it’s one of the hardest-wearing, longest-lasting hats on our list. If you’re expecting a vicious winter, this is the hat that will see you through to spring in style.
BUYING GUIDE & FAQ'S
So you need a warm, cozy, stylish hat to get you through the winter? You’ve come to the right place!
Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the perfect winter hat to accompany your daily outfits, your choice of winter activities, and your personal preferences.
But first, we need to talk about just how important a hat is—or, more accurately, if a winter hat is actually important at all.
Why Do I Need a Winter Hat?
How many times as a kid did your mother or father tell you to put on a hat because it’s cold outside? Typically, that’s accompanied by the explanation of, “Because you lose the most body heat from your head”.
But how true is that, really?
According to experts, “you lose heat from any part of your body that comes in contact with a cold environment.”
The way it works is that your body is always trying to balance the amount of heat it produces internally and the amount of heat lost to your environment.
On a cold day, there are a few ways to lose heat:
- Convection, the transfer of heat when gas moved past an object. For example, if cold air (a gas) blows across bare skin, you lose body heat.
- Conduction, the transfer of heat from one object to another. For example, heat lost when sleeping or sitting on bare earth.
- Chimney effect, which happens when cold air gets into your sleeves or pant legs and pushes out all the warm air produced by your body.
But the problem isn’t just external. Your body also has to compensate for the cold in a number of ways: blood vessels contract, your blood flows more to your core organs than your limbs, and you shiver as a means of generating heat.
Hats solve both the external and internal problems. It provides a layer of protection that prevents heat loss through both conduction and convection, which in turn keeps your head warm enough that your blood flow isn’t compromised and you don’t shiver.
You aren’t necessarily losing more body heat through your head than any other part of your body—heat loss occurs equally on any skin bared to the cold—but it’s the part most likely to be affected by reduced circulation (which can lead to headaches). It’s also one of the easiest parts to cover up, which is why winter hats exist in the first place!
Styles of Winter Hats
Winter hats come in a number of styles, all of which serve specific purposes for your outfit and your choice of activity:
Beanie – The beanie is the iconic winter hat, an all-around superstar when it comes to cold weather gear. They’re typically made using polyester or acrylic, lightweight synthetic fabrics that trap in body heat, but can be made from wool or fleece as well.
The knitted hats are a winter staple because of how inexpensive they are, and they come in an impressive range of styles, shapes, and sizes—from tight-fitted skullcap-style beanie to the trendy slouch cap beanie. They’re great for spring and autumn use, too, and they fit snugly enough to use for high-impact, fast-paced sports. Plus, you can stuff them into a pocket or backpack, making them ultra-portable.
Bobble Hat – The bobble hat is really just a beanie PLUS a bobble, a ball of fur or wool that gives the hat just a touch more style than the classic beanie. They’re great for people with longer heads, though they’re compatible with just about any face shape.
They’re less portable than standard beanies, and can’t be worn underneath a ski helmet or hard hat. However, they’re much more chic than your basic beanie, the perfect style-friendly winter wear to match with a scarf or fur-collared coat.
Fedora – The fedora is a brimmed hat with a crease down the center and a pinched front. It has been popular headgear for over a century, thanks to the protection the brim offers against rain, snow, and sleet.
It’s definitely a fashion-forward choice, typically paired with more formal or business-oriented outfits, and it’s not the kind of hat you’d wear to the ski slopes or a casual weekend lounging around the house. Just make sure to find a fedora with extra insulation on the crown, because lightweight summer fedoras may not be thick enough to keep out the winter cold.
Trapper/Aviator Hat – Both trapper and aviator hats are fairly similar in style: they both feature fold-down ear flaps and extra insulation around the head and neck. They originated as the ushanka, headgear used by Russians in the bitterest cold. Though they were once made chiefly from rabbit fur, muskrat fur, or sheepskin, modern trapper hats and aviator hats often use polyester fleece, faux fur, and other synthetic, ultra-insulating materials.
For extreme cold, it doesn’t get much better than this (except the balaclava), thanks to the full head and neck protection. You can wear the ear flaps pulled up or hanging down low, depending on how much warmth you need.
Balaclava – The balaclava is more of a mask than a hat, definitely worth including on the list of the best winter hats for men. Essentially, it’s headgear made of cloth (cotton, wool, or synthetic fabric) that covers your entire head and neck, leaving only the eyes, mouth, and nose exposed.
Balaclavas can be worn like a beanie when the weather is just mildly cool, or pulled down to cover your entire face when the temperature turns arctic. Snowboarders and skiers love them because they provide maximum coverage against the wind and cold. However, they can be very hot and are not convenient to wear around town.
Baseball Cap – Yes, baseball caps can be used in winter, too! You may find that your standard ball cap doesn’t quite cut it against the worst cold, which is why some winter-specific caps include a layer of insulation on the crown, an extra-wide brim to keep the snow and sleet off your face, and (sometimes) ear flaps.
Driving Cap – Driving caps are also known as flat caps or newsboy caps. You’ve seen a lot of them in movies and TV shows (like Peaky Blinders) that depict the UK and US during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They’re rounded caps with short, stiff brims, typically made from wool or felt. They’re not the warmest winter hat, but pairing them with a suit, vest, or overcoat is definitely a style choice for guys who want a more rugged, “throwback” vibe.
Winter Hat Factors to Consider
If you’re shopping for a winter hat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to select the right headgear:
Looking for something lightweight and very well insulated? Polyester, fleece, and wool are all great options.
Want something with impressive heating capabilities? Consider thicker, heavier fur (both real and faux).
Need a hat to match with a suit? Felt fedoras are warm enough to keep out late-autumn and early-winter cold, and they’re a classy business-friendly option.
Prefer a hat compatible with winter sports, outdoor work, or more intense activities? Nylon and polyester both can be waterproofed and windproofed, and synthetic materials hold up better with more intense outdoor use.
You shouldn’t wear a fedora to go skiing, just like you shouldn’t wear a beanie into your corporate boardroom. Choose a hat according to your activity. For example:
- Beanies are best for anything where you might use a helmet (welding, construction, snow sports, etc.).
- Balaclavas are the choice for spending more than a few hours outdoor in truly cold weather.
- Fedoras are ideal for classier affairs.
- Deerstalker caps and driving caps are a stylish option better to wear around town.
- Trapper hats are great for freezing temperatures and more active activities, such as ice fishing or cross country skiing.
Insulation is an absolute must in a winter hat! After all, you’re wearing it to keep your head protected from the cold, so if it can’t prevent chill, it won’t do its ONE important job.
Hats made from wool, fleece, and faux fur tend to offer the most insulation, but even acrylic and polyester fibers should be warm enough with sufficient layers and thicknesses. Felt (used for fedoras) may be warm enough for cool weather but fail to offer insulation against true cold.
This is the other side of the “keeping you warm” equation. A hat that traps too much heat close to your scalp and allows for no heat escape will cause your head to sweat A LOT, which can lead to itching and discomfort. You want to find a hat that includes some ventilation and thermoregulation. Breathable fabrics (like wool and polyester) are a must-have for activities (like winter sports or working on a job site) where you will be moving and sweating a lot.
A hat that sits loosely on your head may be blown off easily by the wind (a passing gust or the wind of skiing/snowboarding down a slope). On the other hand, a hat that fits too snugly can actually cause tension headaches, and offer less effective insulation because there isn’t enough room for hot air between your scalp and the hat.
Beanies, bobble hats, and trapper hats tend to be “one size fits all”, but guys with extra-large and extra-small heads may have to find hats sized specifically for them.
Price is always a factor to consider when choosing clothing—not just winter hats, but every accessory and garment.
You don’t want to go too cheap, because a low price may mean a poor-quality product that breaks/wears out too quickly. On the other hand, a very expensive hat may not be ideal either, because winter hats are often lost or damaged by snow, rain, or sleet.
Just find a hat that suits your needs, fits right, and looks good, based on research and reading the hat’s reviews. A product you know is good quality will be worth whatever it costs.
How often should I wash my winter hat?
You’re probably going to sweat a lot into your winter hat, and the hat may come in contact with grooming products (moisturizing lotion, hair gel/wax, etc.) regularly. Wearing a hat also increases the growth of bacteria on your scalp (because it’s a warm, moist environment), which can lead to higher dandruff production.
All of this means your hat is going to get DIRTY!
On average, a winter hat should be washed 3-5 times per season, but the more you use them and the more active your activities, the more you should wash them.
Do I need extra insulation in my winter hat?
You absolutely do—depending on your winter. For example, winter in the north of Canada is far colder than winter in Dallas or London. For regions that only get mild winters (with lots of rainfall and wind but little to no snow), a standard winter hat should more than suffice. However, if temperatures drop below freezing (which they do in the northern parts of the UK, the US, and Canada), you’ll welcome a bit more insulation to keep your head toasty warm.
Which style of winter hat is warmest?
The balaclava officially wins the title of “warmest winter hat”, though some could argue that it’s more of a mask than hat. Trapper hats and aviator hats come in a close second, especially the fur-lined hats with long earflaps to protect your lower head and neck.