Best Beanies | Top 10

Keep your head warm in winter with this fine, fine, selection of beanie hats

When contemplating the best beanies, it’s common to find yourself asking “are all of these hats really that different”. Fortunately for you and your thirst for content, we’ve concluded that they very much are. Let’s face it, if we didn’t this product round-up would probably just end around about here.  We’d have gone home. Packed up. Popped a beanie on, the irony of which we’d never notice whizzing over our heads because we were thermally insulated thanks to the hat that’s at the very heart of this now lengthy and protracted slice of questionable literature.

Indeed, the best beanies and hats on the market today are a diverse bunch. From the ultra cool, to the classics, to the contemporary, this is a collection of the very best beanies that you’ve got to – brace yourselves – take your hat off to.

1) The North Face Salty Dog Beanie – £22.49

Easily one of the best looking hats we’ve seen this year, the Salty Dog by The North Face is an instant winner. Made completely from a polyacrylic, it has a short roll for that hipper than thou look that never seems to go out of style. In short, we love it.

Where You Would Wear This

There’s a quiet, almost solemn charm about a weather-beaten Nordic fisherman. Those piercing blue eyes, gleaming like gem stones from that rugged face, perfectly aged beyond its years by years of humble, hard work. You pull on your North Face Salty Dog beanie and for a split second, you let yourself believe. You channel the spirit of your forefathers, crossing the ocean, discovering the world. You take in a deep breath and fill your lungs with what you swear is the ocean, the sweat on your brow, the sodden ropes lashing against the side of the boat, the garlic bread… Garlic bread?! All of a sudden you come to your senses, and realise you’re in a Pizza Hut in Wokingham. It’s Janet from accounts birthday meal. But still, what a hat.


2) Penfield Harris Beanie – £17.49

If you’ve not heard of Penfield, things are about to change. The Massachusetts based outdoor company has been making quality gear since the 1970s. This rib-knitted beanie sits that mould perfectly. Made from 100 per cent acrylic, it’s flecked look is cool, and it’s sure to keep you warm.

Where You Would Wear This

Still two more minutes until the 136 comes. This always happens at Elephant And Castle. The world seems to slow down here. Still, it’s a necessary evil as you’re off to Peckham. Dante has his new exhibition at Peckham Spring and DJ Charmander is meant to be playing at Levels at the Bussey Building tonight. You get your excitement out of the way now, before you have to play it cool and act all nonchalant in front of the Kate Tempest Fan Club. The sign says the bus is still two minutes. Your vintage Puma Kings are letting in the rain water, but at least the tiny portion of your head that your Penfield Harris beanie is covering remains dry. You’d never admit it out loud, but it’s times like this that you miss being at home, watching Strictly with mum.

3) Rab Rock Bobble Beanie – £15.99

The bobble-hat may be one of the great dividers of mankind. Some love them, some hate them, but Rab have changed the goalposts by making a bobble hat that even the most ardent Lilliputian would struggle not to love. Made from 100 per cent acrylic, simple yet bold two-colour design is striking, and that ribbed cuff makes it really adaptable.

Where You Would Wear This

Fifteen years on from that first lads holiday, now all with slightly larger jeans, significantly less hair and – most distressingly – still roughly the same disposable income, you’re all back together again for three nights of mayhem in Berlin. You’re the last gang in town, ready to cut loose. You’ve already got tickets booked for a Hertha Berlin game, and this time you plan to really appreciate the tour of the Reichstag. Oh, and Dan isn’t drinking because of his antibiotics. And Tom has got a wheat intolerance so eating out is a bit tricky. And you promised Mel you’ll call every night from the hotel at 11pm. Berlin, had better be ready! You certainly are. You’ve packed your easy-care chinos, your flight socks, and your Rab Rock bobble beanie because, let’s face it, you still know how to have fun.

4) Enjoi Patch beanie – £15.99

Bold, simple, and straight forward, we love this 100 per cent acrylic beanie from the dudes at Enjoi. The bright orange colourway is a nod to the American outdoors, but the minimalist stylings ensure it looks super stylish even when your deep in the concrete jungle.

Where You Would Wear This

It had taken you months to find the beanie that was just the right shade of orange. Not too loud, not to dull. Just right. And then, one day, you find the Enjoy Patch beanie online. Despite the fact your beanie collection is easily in double figures, you ordered it immediately. It’s the perfect finish to the monochrome outfit that you’ve picked out for your date with Alexis from Design.

And now, here you are, walking into a faux-old-man, for-hipsters-by-hipsters pub (her choice) for your date. “Oh my god, your hat! That’s so cute. You look like Kung Fu Panda” she exclaims, instantly conveying that, to her, this was never, ever a date. Inside you feel hollow. It’s as if someone has just removed every cell, every sinew from inside your being. It’s the kind of emptiness that makes your eye sockets hurt. You want to be sick. Instead, somehow you manage to mutter “Alright dude” as if you’d read the script from the start. Inside your dying, but one day you’ll look back and realise how beautifully bowled that reply was.

5) Patagonia Brodeo Beanie – £27.99

You know when you see that Patagonia name tag, you’re getting a quality bit of kit, and this Brodeo beanie is exactly that. It’s made from 80 per cent chlorine-free merino wool – that near magical stuff that’s in tones of top-end ski and snowboard gear because of its insulating properties. The other 20 per cent, for those making notes is good old nylon. Yes, by beanie standards, it’s packed with tech, but with that large, ribbed cuff is a thing of absolute beauty. If Apple designed hats, they’d look like this.

Where You Would Wear This

Has anything, outside of actual Russian sailors, ever said Russian Sailors more than this Patagonia Brodeo beanie? You can almost smell the freezing mist rolling in off the sea, over the dock, and hear the thump in the mysterious boxes being loaded and unloaded. Lean, chiselled men in large overcoats and exactly this hat stand guard, one flicking the end of a cigarette into the water. Whether you start to picture Tintin or Mikey Forrester rather depends on where literature has taken you. One thing is certain, this beanie is absolutely dripping with cool.

6) Billabong Arcade Brim Beanie – £13.99

Marrying the two normally separate worlds of beanies and peaked hats, Billabong’s Arcade brim beanie offers something just a little bit different; a brim. Made from 100 per cent acrylic, this is like a regular beanie, but with a little peak at the front to keep the sun out of your eyes or, more realistically, the rain from your brow.

Where You Would Wear This

Thursday’s are always like this at The Rio Rooms. The drama students don’t have lectures on a Friday, making Thursday evenings seem a strange combination of a Violet Beauregarde tantrum and a night out with half the 1994 Arsenal squad. This was not the student life you’d been promised – a life of sit-in protests, discussions about the inescapable misogynistic subtext within the canon of Hemmingway, Penguin classics, cheap lager, screenings of Shallow Grave, and occasional hand jobs. No. This is the same as a night out in the small town you tried so hard to escape, only with a marginally reduced chance of having your head kicked in at the taxi rank for looking a bit different.

Dan comes back from the bar with your pints of cider and black dripping down his hands. Tufts of his parrot-green hair – an ill-advised attempt at self-expression – stick out from under his Billabong Arcade Brim beanie. “Sorry mate” he shouts over the noise of the drama department singing Baby Shark, “I spilt a bit. It’s because they fill it right up.” “Yeah.” you reply, as if to display the vacuum where your enthusiasm for any of this should be. Little do you know, these will be the best days of your life.

7) Planks Peace Beanie – £19.99

You only need to see the Planks Peace beanie, let alone feel it, to know it’s one of the softest, nicest feeling hats you could warm your swede with.  Made from 75 percent acrylic, 25 per cent nylon, it’s a cut above the average. The shallow ribs and CND logo on the badge add stacks of style points.

Where You Would Wear This

You’re nine years old and, for some inexplicable reason, your parents have brought you to somebody’s house. You don’t know who they are, but it took a long time to get here, and your dad is wearing a shirt for the first time in, well, maybe ever. There are lots of people your parents age here. They stand up and talk to each other, only stopping now and again to do a fake laugh or nod seriously. Idiots. Before long, you’re getting on with the serious business of running around, hiding under the table, and practicing your slide tackles on the kitchen floor tiles. A boy called Max spills cola in a woman’s bag and for some reason you end up getting told off. “Sit here, eat your tea, and stop showing me up!” shouts your mum, handing you a paper plate. On it is a slice of cold pizza, half a scotch egg, and a spoonful of something you’re assured is called peas pudding – which, it transpires, tastes like the smell of belly buttons.

Fast forward 15 years. It’s Wednesday, which is your double shift at Scotties in Mayrhofen. A ruddy-faced man at the bar orders a bottle of wine, which probably means he’s a journalist here for the comedy festival. “I’ve got to ask.” he says in a posh-yet-charming West Country accent, “Why have you got a hat on indoors?” gesturing towards your Planks Peace beanie. You think better of an eye-roll as you point out that you’re in a ski town, where it’s cold. “It’s rather lovely” he replies, patronisingly. “It reminds me a bit of peas pudding. Although, you’ll be too young to know what that is”. “Who’s your pal?” asks Annie with a smile. “Some belly-button eater, here for the festival” you reply.

8) Anti Hero Stock Eagle Label Cuff Beanie – £15.39

What is it with skateboard brands and bright orange beanies? This time it’s the good folk at Anti Hero. Their orange beanie screams Hi Vis Jacket more than the great outdoors, but it’s exactly that smash-mouth nature we love about this hat. Oh, and that chunky knit and two-tone badge please the eyes as much as the cover pleases your otherwise cold head.

Where You Would Wear This

Confidence is a funny thing. Often misread as arrogance, it’s really nothing more than the embodiment of self-love. It’s knowing the qualities you bring to the world, and letting them show without the slightest flutter of shame or awkwardness. And confidence is supposed to open doors, but despite being strong, and warm, and bright – qualities anybody should fall in love with – you find yourself still on the shelf, unloved. Unwanted, even.

But one day, that all changes. Seemingly out of nowhere, Ryan walks into your life. He’s literally everything you’ve been looking for. He’s cool, interesting, he’s got great style, impeccable taste and, most importantly, a cold head. Yes, he’s happily married to Claire, but you don’t care, Ryan is the one for you. Together, you and he will be unstoppable.

“Name a more iconic couple – I’ll wait” the tweet will read, above a picture of you and Ryan together. You’re aching for action. Your heart races as Ryan takes you firmly in his strong hands. How you’ve longed for this embrace. Commandingly, he wastes no time sliding his hand inside you. You let out a sharp intake as break as he spreads you open. You have never felt more alive. And then it happens. Slowly, tenderly, Ryan pushes himself inside you. His head presses against your chunky-knit interior. Sitting perfectly on top of his once chilly head, you and Ryan become one, the perfect union of man and beanie.

9) Carhartt Acrylic Watch Beanie – £15.99

Carhartt have somewhat cornered that highly-desirable workwear aesthetic here in the UK, and their Watch beanie proves ever popular, and for good reason. Made from 100 per cent acrylic, it’s incredibly warm and very durable. It’s also one of the longest beanies out there that doesn’t boarder on novelty, so you can really crank it down over your ears when the mercury drops.

Where You Would Wear This

“No mayte. We ay ‘aving the football on in e-ya,” the bloke behind the hotel bar tells you. “It attracts the wrong crowud” he adds, before disappearing before you get chance to order a drink. You head back to the table where Joe, Deggsie, and Pete await your findings. “Wrong crowd?!” exclaims Pete furious at the lack of football, and unafraid to be vocal about it, emboldened now he’s had a quick glance around the room to ensure no staff are about. “Do we look like the wrong crowd?” he adds. You resist the urge to point out that, in his wanna-be sports-hipster uniform of Adidas Berlin trainers, black jeans, ironic Liberty X t-shirt, Sergio Tachinni top and bleached white, bowl haircut, beneath the Carhartt Acrylic Wash beanie perched on top of it all, Pete looked like part of the wrong crowd for just about everywhere.

“Come on Joe, get this sorted out. It’s your fault were here” insists Deggsie. He’s being a bit of a dick, but he’s got a point; this is on Joe. “Look, we’re here now, let’s make the most of it.” suggests Joe, indignantly. “Make the most of it? Make the most of what? This is meant to be a lad’s holiday. Football. Beers. Laughs” Deggsie fires back. “I just misheard!” protests Joe. “What, so you misheard, but then thought Walsall was in Poland did you?” shouts Deggsie.

The argument is loud enough to attract the attention of the receptionist. Seconds later, the hotel manager – a stocky, former military looking sort – approaches you, the bar tender from earlier scuttling behind him. “Is there a problem, gentleman?” booms the manager. “See, Mr Townsend” said the bloke from the bar. “It’s the football crowd. Always trouble, ay they.”

10) The North Face Ski Tuke Beanie – £22.49

Bobbles and bright orange? It takes a big old name to pull this off, but The North Face are the brand to do it.  Made from 95 per cent acrylic, five per cent elastane, The North Face Ski Tuke beanie is a bold, unapologetic force in the beanie world.

Where You Would Wear This

The rain’s starting to soak through your fleece. You can feel your polo shirt getting wet. “For the last time, take that hat off. It’s not uniform” says Karl, the assistant manager. Despite the fact it’s the only thing keeping you warm, you reluctantly slip your North Face Ski Tuke Beanie off and slide it into your trouser pocket. For the last half an hour, you and the rest of the staff have been stood on the carpark, in the rain, practicing a fire drill. “I know this isn’t ideal” barks Karl “but when we get the new fire system, we need to make sure we know what we’re doing”.

Looking back, you regret voting to swap the parent company that used to run the store. At the time, the bosses who wanted the change promised so much: an extra two days holiday each year, Christmas bonus, lower KPI’s and an extra 15 minutes break for every shift over six hours. Turns out that they never really promised that at all. They just said it would be possible if you swapped. Part of you wishes you’d never voted to change things. Not everything was perfect before, but at no point were you ever asked to do fire drills in the rain because the new company didn’t really have a procedure in place for fire safety. They never told you that at the time though, did they. Do you ever feel like you’ve been lied to?

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