In the warmer months of the year I wear my Paramo Cap. However, in the recent very cold winter weather it wasn't really warm enough. I have read many reviews of the Lowe Alpine Cap, which seems to be a classic winter hat. The only drawback was the price of around £35. I didn't want to spend that much on a hat I would probably only wear for a limited period of the year. Luckily, I found it discounted to £15 in a GoOutdoors sale, so I ordered one.
Recently I succumbed to a TGO subscription offer, which included a Trekmates Ice Cap. The rest of this post is a comparison of the Paramo, Lowe Alpine and Trekmates caps.
Lowe Alpine Cap.
I have been wearing it every day since early November and it has kept my head warm and dry in all sorts of wet and cold conditions. The outer is made from Goretex with fully taped seams and keeps out the wort of the rain and snow. The inner is lined with warm fleecy material and there is a small peak, which can be fastened out of the way using a press stud.
<div class="photofloatr"> <p><a class="fancybox-thumb" rel="fancybox-thumb" href="/images/LoweAlpineCap.jpg" title="Lowe Alpine Cap."> <img src="/images/LoweAlpineCap.jpg" width="200" alt="Lowe Alpine Cap."></a></p> <p>Lowe Alpine Cap.</p>
- Waterproof and very warm.
- Warm ear flaps. These can be folded inside the cap if you don't want to use them.
- Adjustable fit.
- Too warm for much of the year.
- There are loops for a chip strap, but to strap is provided (unlike the Paramo).
- Peak could be a bit larger.
Trekmates Ice Cap.
The Trekmates Ice Cap is a very similar design to the Lowe. Hardly surprising that they chose to copy such and excellent design. I got mine as part of a TGO subscription offer. The outer is Goretex Paclite and the inner is a fleecy material similar to the Lowe.
<div class="photofloatl"> <p><a class="fancybox-thumb" rel="fancybox-thumb" href="/images/TrekmatesIceCap.jpg" title="Trekmates Ice Cap."> <img src="/images/TrekmatesIceCap.jpg" width="200" alt="Trekmates Ice Cap."></a></p> <p>Trekmates Ice Cap.</p>
Overall the cap is lighter than the Lowe and as such I may be able to wear it outside the winter months.
- Similar design to the Lowe, so has all the benefits of this design.
- Overall lighter than the Lowe Cap, so could be more useful in warmer weather.
- Broader peak than the Lowe, giving better shielding from the sun.
- Loops for a chin strap, but none provided.
- Only available in a single size.
The Paramo is made from Paramo's own fabric. It's available in a range of sizes and is waterproof if treated with Nickwax TX.
<div class="photofloatr"> <p><a class="fancybox-thumb" rel="fancybox-thumb" href="/images/paramocap.jpg" title="Paramo Cap."> <img src="/images/paramocap.jpg" width="200" alt="Paramo Cap."></a></p> <p>Paramo Cap.</p>
- Very light (80g).
- Long ear and neck flap for protection from rain and sun. These can be folded inside the cap when not required.
- Good range of adjustments, including elasticated neck and face volume.
- Good size peak.
- Poppered chin strap with big tabs making it easy to undo with gloves. Lowe and Trekmates take note!
- None really, but it isn't as warm as the Lowe and Trekmates caps.