I've been quite lucky with the weather this past year, only once has it rained whilst I've been out fishing. My only hat is a Thinsulate Wooly beanie type hat which got me through last winter without any real problem. However, it's not waterproof, nor windproof, and when wet isn't so effective to say the least. As much as it covers my ears it regularly rides up requiring a tug down to stop my ears freezing off!.. it was time for an upgrade.
I needed something waterproof and windproof, something to keep my head & ears warm whilst keeping the sun out of my eyes. Quite a tall order though after a good deal of surfing I came across the 'Sealskinz Winter Hat'. The hat with its breathable membrane and micro fleece lining offered warmth, comfort and protection. It seemed to fit the bill so I duly order a 'large' one. This turned up within a couple of days but disappointingly is was a very tight fit. It was supposed to fit up to 59cm though it was no good for me. A phone call later and it was returned and exchanged for an XL item which arrived on the doorstep two days later. The material seems hard wearing and it's well put together.
Sealskinz Winter HatInitial impressions were good, though it was still a bit tighter than I would have liked. That night I tried it out on an evening trip and within an hour it was annoying tight, so much so it was swapped for my beanie.
However, it turned out that as well as a Velcro adjusting strap at the rear there's also a short piece of 'industrial strength' elastic. A small keyhole incision in the stitching and this was duly cut. What a transformation!, extremely comfortable and the Velcro strap still allows for fine adjustment.
The ear flaps can be raised if not required and the visor flips up slightly for a better view. It can be fully pulled up and secured with a press stud if required, effectively producing a 'beanie' style hat. The back is deep enough for back of my neck to be covered. Every single SealSkinz product is tested before it leaves the factory. The hat is mounted onto a machine which subjects it to water pressure. If any product leaks, the item is rejected and diced. Every SealSkinz product is therefore guaranteed to be 100% waterproof.
As for warmth, well it's extremely warm!, when I swapped to my beanie it was very much colder. My headlamp doesn't work as well as it does on my beanie, though that's purely down to the visor.
So, after a minor modification all is well and it appears that my money has been well spent.
Please feel free to comment.