Columbia Heat Beanie review: a comfortable beanie that stores heat well

The Columbia Heat Beanie is a light, breathable hat with technical smarts beneath the hood, making it ideal for active outdoor pursuits in cold weather

Columbia Heat Beanie
(Image: © Columbia)

Advnture Verdict

Great at trapping warmth, but still breathable, the Columbia Heat beanie is packing a bit more technical expertise than your average beanie, and is ideal for wearing during outdoor activities through winter and the colder ends of spring and autumn.


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    Very comfortable

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    Stays put during activities


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    Oversized logo

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First impressions

Columbia are rightly proud of the Omni-Heat thermal reflective material they use to line the inside of their winter clothing, including this Heat beanie designed for use during outdoor-activity such as hiking and hill walking. The technology uses small silver dots to trap and reflect body heat effectively, keeping your head significantly warmer, but the nodules are so small and light that they don’t add bulk, and the hat is still breathable if you sweat.

The inside earband of the Columbia Heat Beanie is lined in a soft fleece, which is very comfortable. Our one complaint is that the Columbia brand name and logo are pretty prominent. If you don’t like looking like a walking brand endorsement you might want to go for a more subtly designed hat.


RRP: $15 (US)/ £22 (UK)
Gender: Unisex
Sizes: One size
Materials: Acrylic
Colours: Black and ancient fossil / Mountain red and big gem

In the field

This lightweight beanie is ideal for use for during hiking adventures and winter sports, such as cross-country and downhill skiing, and other faster-paced adventures. It fits snugly on the head, rather like a skullcap, and sits neatly under a helmet. It also works well when worn with a headlamp.

We’ve been testing out this simple cap on trail runs and when walking at night with a headlamp, and have been impressed with how light it feels to wear – you’ll barely notice you have it on. The Columbia Heat Beanie is particularly good for early starts and late finishes, when the temperature drops significantly, but you might find it too hot once you’ve warmed up during intense activity – fortunately it’s light and easy to stash when that happens. It’s a nice hat to reach for again when you’ve finished exercising, as the thermal reflective lining instantly traps in your body heat and warms your head and ears. The fleecy earband is particularly snug.

Sian Lewis

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog,, champions accessible adventures.