Gadling Gear Review: Winter hat and gloves

Seattle was recently choked by the kind of snowstorm that we’re not supposed to get. It was followed by an ice storm, something I’ve never had the joy and/or terror to experience. It was also great gear testing weather. I unpacked my snow gear and the big parka, the long underwear, and wrapped my hands and head in SmartWool’s “Snowflake Pop” knits.

I like hats with earflaps because well, they keep your ears warm. Even though I’ve rabbited on much too much about how I love SmartWool, I didn’t believe that the hat would not be itchy and that it would not keep the wind off. I was wrong, it’s super soft and my ears did not itch. It totally gave me hat hair, but whatever, pretty much every one in my city has hat hair right now. As for warmth, it was a frigid 28 degrees F and I was pelted with freezing rain and I was certainly warm enough. Caveat — I was wearing the hood to my parka to keep from getting too wet. I’ve been wearing this littlle hat regularly since the temperatures dropped. I only have one wish for it — the braids on the ends of the earflaps are a little short. Sometimes, you want to tie those things up so your ears aren’t covered. When I turn the earflaps up, they stick out and I look like Yoda. Not a good look.

The matching knitted gloves make for a cute set, but they’re not as weatherproof as I needed them to be. They got damp on the finger tips while I was taking pictures of the ice and my hands got cold. The wind bit through as well, the knit isn’t tight enough to really keep the weather out. The following day I wore them with a pair of glove liners (mine are from Icebreaker and no, you can’t work an iPhone in them) and that made all the difference. If I wanted to stay warm, I had to keep stuffing my hands in my pockets. The gloves are good for cold but not wet — blustery day at the bus stop? Okay. Rain and sleet and snow? Not so much so.

SmartWool’s Snowflake Pop hat is $45.00, the gloves are $35.00. They come in a couple of different colors — a cranberry, a turquoise, and black. There are (ooooh!) matching socks, too, if you have to go all crazy with your winter accessories and need to match them all the way down to what’s inside your boots. In short, good stuff for cold; you’ll need more if you’re going to be in wet weather.