Looking for a Running Hat or Beanie? 9 Picks for Cold Weather

Looking for a running hat or running beanie to keep your noggin warm during cold weather?
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❄️For a lot of runners, running in fall and winter weather means colder temps...maybe even snow, ice, and wind.
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🏃‍♀️If you plan to keep crushing runs outdoors for the next few months, a good running hat or running beanie will keep your noggin warm for miles.
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"Topping off your run with a warm hat during cold weather is key to getting a runner out the door," says WeeViews Ambassador Brynn Cunningham.
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"So I’ve compiled a list of my favorite unisex running hats to help you find one ideal for your running needs."
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👉Check out these 9 running hats and beanies...

Brynn Cunningham tested out 9 running hats and beanies in cold-weather running conditions.

🏃‍♀️How the running hats & beanies were tested...

  • Seasons. Through three seasons (fall, winter and spring), in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania 
  • Duration. For at least one year and up to 10 years
  • Temperature. In temperatures ranging from negative 10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Precipitation. In all precipitation - snow, rain, sleet, hail and wintry mixes
  • Terrain. Mostly on trails, sometimes on dirt roads and less often on roads 
  • Long runs. On double-digit long runs and lots of single digit runs, lasting from 30 minutes to four hours
  • Speedwork. During speed sessions and one race, the 2021 Mount Summit Challenge, where I finished first overall female (Turtle Fur Brain Shroud Comfort Shell)
  • Cross training. And, as an added bonus, while skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and backpacking 

Hats are divided into the following categories:

  • ❄️Liners & Skull Caps 
  • ❄️Warm Beanies 
  • ❄️Hats with Bills & Ear Flaps
  • ❄️Orange Hats for Hunting Season

Wear-tester's head circumference: 21 inches
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❄️Liners & Skull Caps

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1. Oiselle Lux Beanie, OS

I purchased the Oiselle Lux Beanie in May 2017, and six years later this silky smooth beanie is still going strong.
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It’s great for wearing alone and also for layering under a thicker beanie in the coldest weather, like the wool-blend Patagonia Brodeo (reviewed below).
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Pros: 

  • Super soft
  • Smooth exterior perfect for layering 
  • Long enough to cover ears
  • Can fold up the bottom for less coverage
  • Packable
  • Durable
  • One size fits almost the whole family (me and my sons, ages six and 10, but not my husband) 

Cons: 

  • Fitted, which causes uncomfortable pressure on the head after an hour
2. Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino 150 Beanie

Southwestern Pennsylvania has lots of days with temperatures ranging from 30 to 60 degrees which calls for a beanie that’s not too thick or sweat-inducing.
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The Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Merino 150 Beanie provides the perfect amount of light warmth and breathability.
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Personally, I like a loose, relaxed fit on my head, so I bought this in a size L/XL to avoid the feeling of a vice grip around my temples.
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As a bonus...

  • 😀My day job with a local outfitters as a Bike Tours Guest Registration Specialist (organizing spreadsheets for 270+ bike tours in 20 states plus Cuba) provides me with a 30 percent discount on gear...
  • 😀So I scored this hat for just $17.50 (normal price is $25). Not all of us get discounts on gear, but this beanie is on sale now (at least at the time of writing this article). 

Pros: 

  • Merino blend: 47% Merino Wool, 47% Recycled Polyester and 6% Elastane Jersey 
  • Relaxed fit when sized up
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable 
  • Packable
  • Helmet compatible 
  • Covers most of the ears

Shop Outdoor Research Alpine Onset on Amazon

3. Turtle Fur Brain Shroud Comfort Shell. Brynn wore the Turtle Fur Brain Shroud Skull Cap during the 40-ish degree Fahrenheit 2021 Mount Summit Challenge (review here) on top of her Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones.

Turtle Fur offers many types of hats for men, women and children at an affordable price.
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They are some of my favorite hats for their basic simplicity.
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The Brain Shroud Skull Cap is best for cool 50-degree Fahrenheit days when running easy and 40-degree days when running hard or racing and perfect for stashing in a pack.
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Pros: 

  • Affordable (I found this one at a discount store for a few dollars) 
  • Soft interior 
  • Loose, relaxed fit
  • Packable
  • Helmet compatible 
  • Covers the top half of the ears 

Shop Turtle Fur Brain Shroud Cap on Amazon

❄️Warm Beanies

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4. Patagonia Brodeo Beanie. The wool-blend Patagonia Brodeo Beanie is a go-to layer on the coldest days like this one at eight-degree Fahrenheit day with a windchill of negative 25.

My husband gifted me the Patagonia Brodeo Beanie a few Christmases ago.
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I use it for daily life and the coldest runs, in single-digits and below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
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Pros: 

  • 70% recycled wool, 26% recycled nylon and 4% other fiber yarn
  • Very warm
  • Long enough to cover ears
  • Can fold up the bottom for less coverage

Cons: 

  • Though wool usually doesn’t bother me, this beanie can feel itchy on my forehead, so I like to wear the Oiselle Lux Beanie underneath or fold it up off of my skin
5. Sunday Afternoon Reflector Beanie (Photo/ Eric Harder). This beanie is excellent for road runs, and even more beneficial near high-hunting zones when paired with safety orange.

The neon yellow color was an instant selling point, plus I needed a midweight beanie, not a skull cup and not something as warm as the Brodeo.
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This one is just right, providing a medium amount of warmth with plenty of ventilation for those 30 to 40-degree Fahrenheit days.
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Again, I got this at the local outfitters at a discount for just $17.50 (normal price is $25).
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Pros: 

  • Breathable
  • High visibility 
  • Midweight 
  • Packable
  • Helmet compatible 
  • Relaxed top part 
  • Covers the ears 

Cons:

  • The bottom cuff is fitted (whereas the rest of the hat is loose) and begins to add uncomfortable pressure to my head after an hour.

Shop Sunday Afternoon Reflective Beanie on Amazon

6. Turtle Fur Micro Fur Fleece. Author running on the Ice Age Trail, Wisconsin, in the Turtle Fur Micro Fur Fleece (Photo/ Eric Harder)

This is another basic hat to keep in the quiver. I use it for long runs in the cold, temperatures ranging from about 20 to mid-30 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Pros: 

  • Very warm
  • Simple design 
  • Stretchy
  • Soft
  • Fitted but comfortable for long runs 
  • Covers the ears 

Shop Turtle Fur Micro Fur Fleece on Amazon

❄️Hats with Bills & Ear Flaps

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7. Brooks Shield Hybrid Hat 2.0 (Photo/ Eric Harder)

This hat gets lots of compliments at the trailhead, and it lives up to its first impression.
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For protection from pelting rain, snow and wintry mixes in 30 to 40-degree Fahrenheit runs, the Brooks Shield Hybrid Hat 2.0 is the perfect choice.
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Pros: 

  • Repels water
  • Ear flaps 
  • Adjustable toggle in the back
  • Short bill (good for trail running) 
  • Bill keeps precipitation out of the eyes
  • Packable (bill folds easily) 
8. Trailheads Trailblazer Ponytail Hat (Photo/ Eric Harder). Left: Worn with ponytail. Right: Worn backward.

The Trailheads Trailblazer Ponytail Hat is warmer than the Brooks Shield Hybrid Hat 2.0.
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It's the running hat I pick for very cold, snowy days, in temperatures ranging from the single digits to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Pros: 

  • Ponytail hole
  • Super soft thick fleece
  • Repels precipitation 
  • Easy to turn around and wear backward
  • Affordable (I got mine for $36)
  • Lots of color options, including hunter orange

Cons:

  • Bill is stiff, does not flip up and hinders peripheral vision, not ideal for running trails but still doable
  • Bill does not fold easily for packing

Shop Trailheads Trailblazer Ponytail Hat on Amazon

❄️Orange Hats for Hunting Season

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Author Cunnningham ran the Big Savage Fastest Known Time (FKT) in the Blaze Orange Beanie (Photo/ Eric Harder)

The trails where I live and run most often are open to hunting.
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And between October and December, those trails are infiltrated with hunters, making blaze orange a necessary color in my running wardrobe.
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The Blaze Orange Beanie is an easy, affordable hat for 20 to 40 degrees.
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Because it only covers half the ears, I put one of my skull caps or liners underneath in the coldest weather when blaze orange is necessary.
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Pros: 

Cons: 

  • Not crafted for supreme ventilation 

💥More blaze orange running hats: 

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Brynn Cunningham
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41 Followers
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Trail runner, ultrarunner, white water boater, cyclist (mostly MTB), swimmer, triathlete, cross country and backcountry skier...

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