Helly Hansen Wool Beanie review: comfort meets warmth meets style

A warm, wearable, merino wool beanie that’s comfortable on a winter hike and stylish enough to wear all winter

Julia Clarke wearing the Helly Hansen wool beanie
(Image: © Future)

Advnture Verdict

Verging on a perfect the beanie, this one is warm but not too warm, stay-put without being too tight and looks great


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    Warm and breathable

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    Stay-put without being tight

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    Relatively low profile

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    May not be for those sensitive to wool

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Helly Hansen Wool Beanie: first impressions 

A good beanie hat is crucial for anyone who wants to get outdoors year-round, but we all know that for such a simple piece of gear, it can be hard to find the perfect one. With this hat, Helly Hansen has gone all in on a simple design that works on a lot of heads. A simple fold up style adds warmth without bulk and a relatively snug fit means no extra fabric forming a meringue on the top of your head.

The key ingredient of this beanie is merino wool, which is warm and breathable, wicking moisture when you’re clambering up a steep slope so you don’t have to take it off on a cold day. It has all the benefits of wool without being itchy against your forehead, even when you get warm. It’s relatively light and low profile without being too thin and stays put in high winds without being too tight.


• RRP: $50 / £40
• Gender specification: Unisex
• Sizes: One size
• Weight: 2.4 oz / 70 g
• Materials: 100% merino wool
• Colors: Hickory, Terrazzo, Snow, Navy
• Best use: Hiking, Climbing, Winter sports 

We’ve been testing this out in the mountains all winter and rarely get too warm in it, plus we love that its classic style and lack of giant logo which means we can wear it around town too. Merino wool doesn’t come cheap, so in terms of beanie hats it’s on the pricey side, and requires special laundry detergent, but so long as you don’t lose it, we think you’ll be happy with your purchase if you love merino. 

Helly Hansen Wool Beanie: in the field 

Julia Clarke wearing the Helly Hansen wool beanie

I’m a person that wears a beanie year-round (Image credit: Future)

I’m a person that wears a beanie year-round, up a hill, in the house, on cool summer days as well as in winter, so I am always looking for that perfect hat and I have to admit, it’s a challenge. Some are too bulky and itchy, others have loads of extra material that sticks up making me look like a garden gnome, and my all-time favorite slouchy beanie blows away in the wind. I’ve been wearing this hat exclusively for three months now on hikes and around town.

Here’s how it performs:  

Sizing and fit 

This hat comes in one standard size and it’s perfect for me – snug enough to stay put but not too tight – and also on my boyfriend. I can imagine there are some exceptionally dimensioned craniums out there that this wouldn’t work for, but in general I think it’s a good fit for the majority of heads.

It’s got a snug fit – not slouchy, but also not skullcap-style and when I pull it all the way down it comes to the very top of my eyebrows which is nice if there’s a biting wind at a summit, but I usually push it back a little for comfort. It’s also not so bulky that I can’t easily pull up my hood when I’m wearing it.

It’s really flattering on, too, which means I’ve taken to wearing it around town as well as on a hike.

Helly Hansen wool beanie

There's no big logo emblazoned on it (Image credit: Future)


Speaking of comfort, this beanie is 100 percent merino wool. For me, that means it’s pretty comfortable against my skin and doesn’t itch. That said, if you’re sensitive to wool, and even merino, obviously this might itch and you’ll probably prefer a hat made from acrylic or fleece. It’s not as soft and comfortable as those fabrics, but I am able to wear it for hours on end without having to take it off and stuff it in my backpack because my forehead itches. 

Temperature regulation 

I think temperature regulation is where this hat excels for me. It’s definitely cozy on a really cold day, and we’ve had a lot of them this winter. That said, it’s not too thick and I don’t get too hot in it when I get sweaty on a cold hike. It’s got good breathability on those days and wicks sweat nicely. 

Odor control and durability 

Being made from merino wool, I’ve been wearing this non-stop for three months without washing it and it smells fine, which is good because I can’t be bothered washing it separately using wool detergent. In terms of durability, I wouldn’t say that it looks brand new anymore. It looks like a hat I’ve been wearing and carrying in my pack for a few months, but there’s no annoying loose yarn or pilling going on. 

Julia Clarke hiking

It's easy to pull my hood up with this on (Image credit: Future)

Helly Hansen Wool Beanie: the bottom line 

If you are willing to part with a little extra cash for a classic-looking hat that harnesses the magical powers of merino wool then this is the hat for you. If wool doesn’t work for you but you need something really toasty for cool days, you can save a little money with the Helly Hansen Logo Cuff Beanie made from acrylic.  

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.