While not the most technical piece of headwear we’ve ever tested, the Lost Lager II from Columbia is a reliably warm beanie that covers your ears and works well during frosty walks in freezing conditions, and also as an après ski hat. Too lumpy and chunky to be worn under a helmet, it has a slouchy, laid-back look, and being made entirely from recycled polyester it retains its thermal properties even when wet.
Made from recycled materials
Retains thermal properties when wet
Loads of color options
One size only
Too chunky to wear under a helmet
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Meet the reviewer
Pat has hiked all over the world, his adventures taking him to Mont Blanc, the roof of Western Europe; the Norwegian Alps; the highest peaks on Australia; and New Zealand’s Great Walks – among others. He’s an experienced tester of hiking footwear and gives each pair a thorough thrashing before reviewing.
Columbia Lost Lager II Beanie: first impressions
Congratulations to Columbia for the most intriguing name for a hat I’ve ever encountered – Columbia Lost Lager II is a moniker we assume came about during a Friday afternoon ‘ideas’ session in the local watering hole, after someone misplaced their drink for the second time.
• List price: $25 (US) / £22 (UK)
• Gender: Unisex
• Sizes: One size
• Materials: 100% Recycled Polyester
• Colors: Stone Green / Nocturnal / Metal / Ancient Fossil / Black / Chalk & Varsity Patch / Night Wave & Varsity Patch / Fuchsia Fizz & Heritage Patch / Warp Red & Varsity Patch / City Gray
• Compatibility: Cold-weather hiking and trekking, snow sports
I’d be tempted to buy this beanie based on the name alone, but it also has some pretty decent attributes that make it a useful head warmer during outdoor pursuits ranging from winter hill hiking and trekking to various snow sports (although it’s better suited for après ski / boarding wear than when you’re actually on the slopes, for reasons I’ll go into below).
Pleasingly made from 100% recycled polyester, the Lost Lager II Beanie is available in a veritable rainbow of attractive colors – although, for some reason, the options do vary according to what side of the Atlantic you are on, with the US site offering a larger range, while UK customers have a slightly more limited selection of pastel hues.
To find out how it measures up to the best cold weather head gear and hiking hats on the market, I pulled it over my ears and went adventuring.
Columbia Lost Lager II Beanie: in the hills
I’ve been wearing the Columbia Lost Lager II Beanie while hiking in the French Alps during the past fall, and walking around the hills, tors and trails of South West England in the midst of winter, and it’s been keeping my head and ears wonderfully warm.
This large beanie comes in one size only, and the fit is relaxed, as befits the laid-back après snow sport style Columbia are aiming for; it’s far too chunky to be worn under a helmet, so is definitely designed for wear once you’ve finished on the slopes.
Beyond winter sport resorts, it can also be worn while hiking in the hills and winter trekking – but it’s a relatively heavy hat to carry around when you’re not using it. With a reasonably modest-sized brand logo on the front, the Lost Lager II beanie comes down over your ears, and can be rolled down to cover your entire head and face if you so wish (so long as you don’t mind behind apprehended as a potential bank robber).
Admirably it’s made entirely from recycled synthetic material (rescued polyester), which is both good for the planet, and also means it retains its considerable thermal properties even if you get it wet. The Lost Lager II Beanie doesn’t have an inner lining, and won’t keep your noggin dry, but will keep it extremely warm.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.