In need of some serious brain insulation for my winter commutes, I pedaled over to Rapha NYC and picked up one of these little merino dudes. The winter in 2014 on the East Coast was brutal. Really really brutal. So Merino was key and at $55 Rapha's Merino Hat it was worth the shot.
The fit is good which tends to be a problem for me since my head is on the small side. If your head is huge like a watermelon I don't think you will have a problem as the hat has plenty of stretch to it!
Raphas choice of Merino was spot on in my opinion. Well actually it's actually 95% Merino and 5% Nylon which is perfectly fine for me. Actually I prefer my Merino products to have a touch of Nylon or some other synth material in them. This makes them more durable and more forgiving if you accidentally throw it in the wash. Raphas use of Merino varies for example I don't care for what they use on their city collection. It's much too fragile and I had my Merino Hoodie rip on the first day I bought it. Not cool. But the Merino Hat? Pretty damn cool.
I personally have a deep love and hate relationship with Rapha. This particular garment I actually love. I wore it in temps down to 6 degrees and always throw it in my bag when I travel or know there will be a chill. Since it's Merino it will be versatile and important part of my kit. I assume that I will have this hat for a long long time.
Offerings from Ibex and Icebreaker are also pretty rad and going to be about 20 bucks cheaper. Ibex's version is actually made in the USA of fabrics from New Zealand and is only 30 bucks! So if your looking to add some Rapha to your kit I'd say that their Merino Hat is not that bad of a deal. On the other hand if your looking for the best Merino Hat and not worried about that Rapha bling I'd definitely go with something from Ibex or Icebereaker. In fact Icebreaker makes some of the finest Merino garments on the market hands down.
But who doesn't want some Rapha bling right?
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More from Rapha below :
"The Rapha Merino Hat is made from a luxury merino wool to keep your head warm and comfortable even in the harshest winter conditions. The hat has a small amount of nylon woven into the fabric to make it more durable and to ensure a snug fit. The natural fibre of merino wicks sweat away from the head and the fabric is quick drying, even after a downpour. The hat is designed to be worn with or without a helmet and is fully reversible. It is black on one side and available in a choice of colours on the reverse. The two-inch earband can be folded up to help regulate body temperature as well as to provide some stylish versatility. The hat is finished with a black Rapha logo tab."
Key features: Merino and Nylon blend for durability Quick drying Reversible Foldable earband Snug fit, perfect under a helmet Lightweight, insulating, breathable Easy to wash" - Rapha.cc
Pick one up at your local Rapha hub or online here.