Let's take a look at the Sealskinz waterproof beanie hat. I've owned a couple, using them on several cycling trips now all over the world. Here's my review after using them for a few years.
Last updated: January 2019
The Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat
The Sealskinz beanie hat has to be one of the best purchases I have made in a long while, and it's been a great addition to my cycling gear.
I've owned a couple over the years. The orange waterproof knit hat you see in this photo got lost somewhere along the line – despite it being bright orange!
I've used the waterproof cycling beanie commuting to work, cycling at the weekends, and on several long distance bicycle tours. I used it several times when cycling from Greece to England, and was glad I had it with me!
Sealskinz Hat Review
Now, you might ask why a man that has no hair needs a waterproof hat, and indeed, that was my own view for many years.
After having worn them throughout winters and when it's raining, it's difficult to see how I got by without one before. Even without hair, having a warm, dry head on a wet and windy day out on the bike makes all the difference between an enjoyable ride and a miserable one.
Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat Review
I originally chose the hi-vis orange from the Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat range, as I wanted to make myself as visible as possible to the tin can drivers on the way to and from work.
Believe me when I say, it certainly was hi-viz! (For some reason, probably because I suck at taking photographs, the top picture doesn't show the colour very well.
Look at the photo at the top for a more accurate impression!). Because of the colour, dirt did show up on it a bit though. There are a range of other colours to choose from, and after I lost the orange one, I replaced it with a black waterproof cycling beanie.
Looking at the Sealskinz Hat
On picking the hat up, it makes a sort of rustling sound if you move it around your hand. In a way, it sounds like there is lining paper or something similar in the hat.
To a certain extent this is true, as I guess it's the lining making the noise. I thought that this was going to be incredibly irritating if it made this noise when wearing it, but thankfully, it doesn't when its on my head!
Warm Waterproof Knit Hat
The inner of the hat has a micro fleece lining, and its this that keeps the head warm. I've used it in reasonably cold weather, and it does make a massive difference.
The Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat is also breathable, which means that moisture doesn't build up inside it to the extent that it might in a regular hat.
Now, I would be lying if I said it was totally breathable – Nothing ever is. However, because of the fleece lining, the head stays warm regardless, although at the end of a long days ride, the beanie might be a bit wet on the inside.
How waterproof is the Sealskinz Hat
The waterproof qualities of the Sealskinz hat are also excellent. I cycled in some pretty torrential rain in England and elsewhere over the years, and they always stand up to the test admirably.
The beanies are also surprisingly windproof, and pull down far enough to cover the ears which is a bonus. Cold ears in a driving wind feels horrible when cycling!
Some people have commented that the hats are perhaps sized a little small. To a certain extent they are, but its because it works best with a snug fit.
It's probably worth keeping in mind if you are thinking of getting one. This snug fit would also allow it to be worn underneath a cycling helmet, which again is worth considering.
Concluding thoughts about the Sealskinz Beanie Hat
Overall, the Sealskinz Waterproof Beanie Hat provides outstanding value for money, and should be a part of every cyclist's kit for those times when the weather turns for the worst. It always accompanies me now on my bike tours, and will do for the foreseeable future!