Available in 300 weight fleece or Gore Windstopper, this hat is a favorite among polar explorers because of it's unique fit, terrific coverage over the ears, and a chin cord that prevents losing this hat to the wind.
This is on my head during every winter trek I go on. In fact, during a storm one night it took me 2 hours to realize that I didn't have my hood up on my jacket.....my head was warm and windproof with this hat. I'll also sleep in it in really cold weather. Put a liner hat or microfleece hat underneath it, and you'll set for any temp. you encounter.
I have had this hat now for 3 winters and man has it been through a lot. The warmth and wind protection are great for any cold day outside. I sleep, eat, and live in this thing when I am in the mountains, plus it hids my hidious bed head. Two things: the stiching holding the elastic closure isn't bomber, and if you are to hear well you'll have to pull the flap off your ears or punch hundreds of little holes in the windstopper membrane covering your ears.
When you have a hairline like mine (not much left on top anymore), you appreciate the value of a warm covering. This one really is my favorite for a smattering of reasons.
1. It is fairly stylish 2. It has the cord that helps secure it to my head 3. It'll work under a helmet and 4., it doesn't make my scalp itch. Not bad for a Northface product. I need to buy a second one (to keep in my car)
This hat is fantastic. Really keeps you warm in tough conditions. It is available in 3 different sizes to fit all types of mellons. The flaps completely cover my ears, and the chin cord keeps it on your head even in a blizzard.
I can't figure out why The North Face would sell the version of this hat without the Gore Windstopper. The 300 weight regular fleece would be useless in bad conditions without your shell's hood up and cinched down tight. Make sure you get the right version.
I purchased this hat for my last outing. I am very happy with its performance. It is so light that I did not even realize that I had it on. The windstopper fabric did its job and it kept the wind out and my head warm. The ear flaps flip up easily for those times when you want just a dome or to be able to hear someone.
I think the description is wrong. The hat is a combo of windstopper around the ears/headband and 300 fleece on the top. This IMHO is exactly the right use of Windstopper, an all windstopper hat would not breathe well enough. The only bad thing I have to say about this hat is that it's too warm for most of my winter outings in the Sierras. Spends more time in the pack than on my head. However, when I do need it I'm glad I have it.
Also the windstopper over the ears can make it hard to hear your climbing partners, but it's well worth it to keep your ears warm.