Exploring the geography and nature during cold winter requires good travel gear. It is crucial for your safety and your comfort, simply because the winter conditions are too hostile for the human body. Many winter accessories are important, and one of them is the accessory that protects your head- your winter headwear. This is the winter hat. Today, there are many kinds of winter hats, of various brands and models. But now, I am going to write about the best and most unique hats- the woolen winter hats Vilmark.
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Our experience in the winter mountain
It was during one of the cold winter waves that bring freezing winds and snow, especially in the mountain. We were in Bulgaria, a country with a rich variety of mountain terrains- forests, alpine peaks, gorges, and meadows. And we wanted to hike one of the highest peaks in the Rhodope Mountains- Mt. Golyama Syutkya (2186 m), covered by wild taiga forest and in this season- with almost 2 m deep snow.
Before our hike, there was a warm wave that raised the temperature in the mountain to above 0°C, which caused partial melting of the snow. So we decided to wait for the coming cold wave that should freeze the snow and bring another snow layer on it. Thus, the old layer would firm and we would walk on the snow without sink too deep. That’s what happened according to our expectations.
Our winter gear
So, we walked wearing three-season hiking boots with gaiters (yes, although they are not four-seasons with harder soles, they can be used too), clothes in layers, high-quality winter gloves, and proper headwear- winter hats.
I still wore my old winter hat, but my friend brought the new woolen Vilmark hats. We wanted to make a test. And the weather was proper for this purpose. In the lower parts of the mountain, it was quiet, without wind, but cold- around -8°C. While we ascended on the slope, my head started sweating, but his head did not.
Then, about 100 m below the peak, a wind appeared, and the temperature dropped more- probably under -12°C. I stopped sweating, but I had to adjust my hat often, in order to protect my ears better. But his woolen hat protected him perfectly. He didn’t need to do anything, just enjoyed the surrounding winter beauty. He didn’t feel hot, nor cold, but just comfortable. And it remained like that until the end of our hike, for about 5 hours.
The perfect winter hat
We knew what is “the perfect winter hat”, or at least how it should look like and how it should be made. The essential factor for “perfectness” is the material that it is made of. And in the case of hats, as well as most of the other kinds of clothing, this is wool. In other words, the perfect winter hat should be made of wool.
What makes wool so good is its natural features- it is not a chemically-made product, but it is something that animals in the nature “wear” during their whole life. There are various kinds of wool, but some of these kinds are distinguished by their high-quality, like Merino, mohair, fine wool, and Alpaca wool. And these kinds of wool are the materials that the best winter hats are made of.
There are many kinds of woolen winter hats today, but now I present some of the newest ones, those that we tested in the mountain- the woolen hats of the Vilmark brand. Now, there are three kinds of Vilmark hats that are already on the market, and there will be more soon. So, let’s take a closer look at them.
Vilmark woolen hats
Vilmark is a Bulgarian brand, specialized in mountain equipment, such as hiking boots and many more. The astonishingly beautiful nature in Bulgaria is a great place to test their products, particularly the mountainous regions, featuring a great variety of terrains. At the same time, they incorporate some of the authentic traditional technologies, used and proven by the locals for hundreds of years. And this can be said and applied to their new winter woolen hats.
Let’s start with the first one.
Merino and eco wool winter hat
Merino wool is one of the finest kinds of wool existing in the market and one of the best for hiking in the mountain. It is soft, with good breathable features. If the weather is too cold, the hat with Merino keeps the warmth on your head. And if it becomes too warm, it has a cooling effect. Even if the weather is wet, this material still keeps its functions.
The hat is combined with the other kind of wool, the so-called eco (fine) wool, which is more traditional, but at the same time, it is still enough soft for the skin, without irritating the skin. The final result is comfortable winter headwear, providing a comfortable temperature for your head.
Merino and Mohair winter hat
This hat is more proper for women. Mohair wool is another soft and fine fool, but it is taken from Angora goat. This material is a bit fluffier than Merino and other sheep wools. As a result, it looks more like a female hat.
But Mohair is only 50% in this hat. The other 50% is again Merino. Thus, the hat combines Mohair’s softness with the excellent Merino features. And it makes this headwear look elegant and beautiful.
Eco wool winter hat
This hat is made entirely of eco (fine) wool. It is derived from a more common kind of sheep and is a descendant of the old traditional coarse wool used by our grandmas for winter clothes. But the eco wool is its much finer and soft version.
The eco (fine) wool has almost the same feature as the Merino and Mohair but is a bit coarser than them. The coarse feeling is almost unnoticeable, but some people with more sensitive skin still can feel it. However, the good advantage of this wool, compared to the other two kinds above, is that the eco woolen winter hat is more durable, keeps its shape longer time and the material doesn’t form small pellets like the Mohair after two-three years of use.
All of these hats are seamless, i.e. they don’t have the beginning or end of the threads. They can be present in various colors and ornaments, and if you want to buy a hat, you can order it according to your preferences.
More hats soon!
These three hats are only the first of the winter headwear series from Vilmark, and there will be new models very soon. The new models are expected to be made of another kind of wool- Alpaca wool, which has even higher quality.
In addition- if you want to hike in the mountain during winter, forget about cotton materials, whether it is a hat, a shirt, or underwear. Avoid artificial chemical materials too. These materials have much lower quality features and can be even toxic. But the wool is the best material in the mountain, for every kind of clothing, and the winter woolen hats of Vilmark are masterpieces in the hiking equipment.
Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.