The masterful Coal Frena beanie

DSC05603When I head out much beyond the front country I always have two hats along, in addition to the various hoods on windshirts, rain coats, and puffy jackets.  The percentage of warmth hats impart may have been overstated back in my Boy Scout days, but a dry hat remains the simplest and lightest way to bring warmth along in your pack.  My light hat, for moving in all but the coldest weather, is a light synthetic buff, either the UV Buff or one of the many just as good and much cheaper knockoffs.  When it’s cold, I’m in a packraft, in camp, or sleeping the buff becomes a neck gaiter or facemask and my warm hat comes out.  And the Coal Frena is far and away my favorite warm hat too date.

R0010398I’ve tried wool hats: which itch, sag when damp, and take forever to dry.  I’ve tried windstopper hats (what? can’t hear ya!), which are too warm to be versatile outside the arctic.  I’ve tried straight fleece, whose fit generally sucks.  The acrylic Frena dries fast, wicks, and is warm enough but not too much.  Most importantly, it’s stretchy and big.  Big enough to fit me (ie cover my ears totally) when I have a lot of hair and am wearing both a buff and ball cap under it.  All while staying put.  I’ve never been able to say the same about any other hat.  The only disadvantage of this voluminousness is that it doesn’t play well with most helmets.

R0010389The Frena is a bit fragile, and does stretch out with time (compare right, 24 months old, with left, 6 months) and get a bit fuzzy and pilly.  I’m willing to live with those things, especially as you can pick up the more emphatic colors deeply discounted (in comes in solids for you boring folks).

Get a few, and be content.


2 responses to “The masterful Coal Frena beanie”

  1. Cute beanies! Now I want to one. :)

  2. […] In the above photo I’ve got a Kuiu Tiburon ball cap (for keeping snow out of my glasses), Coal beanie (stretches to fit over other stuff), buff (around my neck), and the hood from my Strata.  The hood […]

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