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Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

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Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby HikingGeek.com » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:35 pm

What type of hats do you use, particularly when you'll be going into cooler temps?

Have any of you used down hats? Any issues with wetting them out with sweat?

I just received this down beanie from Black Rock Gear.
Image

When I first learned about this hat, I figured its principle use would be for hanging around camp or sleeping, but others mentioned hiking in it.

I sent an email to Black Rock Gear for some clarification on the hat's intended use and temperature range.

"Temp rating is very subjective and really depends on the person and activity. I would consider our beanies to be warmer than your standard heavy knit wool ski hat. So taking that as a starting point people will wear them in anything from sub zero temps up into the 50’s. I’ve had the hats used up on Everest and K2 along with people wearing them on summer and winter hikes of the PCT and AT. So really anywhere people wear a normal ski hat you’ll find people wearing ours.

I would personally consider them to be perfect in temps in the 20’s and 30’s, but that is just me.

I think you will find they are so warm for their weight that you’ll have to drop other layers when the hat goes on. I’ve had numerous customers tell me things like “my head didn’t know it went outside” when they wear their beanie. Or that it was so light and had such a good temperature range they wore the thing for their entire back country trip and it never left their head."

Do any of you own anything from Black Rock Gear? You can seen some photos of the beanie here: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie



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Re: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby edhyatt » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:56 pm

I've had the beanie for a couple of years.

I mostly use it around camp once I've pitched and when striking - often to sleep in when I don't want to use a hood.

I really rate it; a very fine piece of kit.
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Re: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:35 pm

I have a down jacket with a detachable hood. I often just bring the hood when it is cold. It is great to sleep in and a good addition if windy. Cold wind blows right through wool and fleece hats (unless wind-pro). In the old days we would sew a nylon outer liner to our wool hats to make then 4-season hats.

The weight is so minimal, and it adds considerable to your temperature range. I have never used the specific hat you show, but I would guess it is good.
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Re: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby balance » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:49 pm

Thanks HikingGeek. That Black Rock Gear is very interesting.

One of my favorite pieces of gear is a fleece balaclava from REI. I've also got a thin balaclava from Patagonia, that fits under the fleece when necessary. Ounce for ounce, a balaclava provides more warmth than anything else that I use (except maybe bread bags on the feet). Since I do middle of the winter snowshoeing that's important.

However, I think the Black Rock Balaclava would be even more useful than the beanie. You don't usually need a lot on your head when you are up and moving about. But when the sun drops in the evening around camp, or you're going to sleep, that's when you need all the warmth possible. That Black Rock Balaclava looks so toasty warm, I can almost feel it blocking out the cold as the temperature drops below freezing. Although it's $45 more, I think the balaclava would fill a more critical need than the beanie.

$115 is an expensive hat! But I think it would be worth it for the warmth it provides.
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Re: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby balance » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:07 pm

Also, after reading edhyatt's fantastic trip report, and hearing that he has the Black Rock Beanie, I suppose that if I get some Black Rock Gear, then I will be able to have such a great adventure in the Sierra Nevada as he had.

Sort of like Michael Jordan. It had to be the shoes, right?
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Re: Under Review: Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie

Postby edhyatt » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:26 am

Sadly not in this case ;)

The Black Rock did not go last summer as I had the Zpacks hood for my sleeping bag....and used that around camp.

It's not the height of fashion.... :-k

Thanks for the comment too.
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