A well-chosen beanie makes an unmistakable mark on any ensemble. Whether that suave is smart or rugged, useful or aesthetic, it’s always pronounced, and pretty much always positive. There’s so many shapes this versatile bit of gear can take. Beanies for men make a great detail for everything from a tactical hunting getup to a coffee date. Unless it’s professional or scrapbook-worthy, beanies are at home in any scenario, offering far more benefits than the simple act of keeping your head warm. Those looking for the beanie as a style accent will find all kinds of interesting options around, where those seeking more pragmatic benefits will marvel upon the fabrics and features out there today. No matter what setup you’re finishing off, we’ve rounded up the best beanies for men to tie up those loose ends in style today.
What exactly is a ‘beanie’?
In my mind, the beanie is sort of a talisman to the millennial generation. Achieving a level of almost archetypal infamy, any buzzword like ‘beanie’ or ‘flannel’ is bound to be overused to the point of utter meaninglessness. So let’s be clear about what a beanie is, because it’s simply not just any old hat. Mirriam-Webster, popularly regarded as a leading source on what words mean, states that a beanie is “a small round tight-fitting skullcap.” That means a simple cap that fits close to the head, the way even the slouchiest beanie still holds close to your head to stay on.
Originally favored by blue collar workers for its ability to keep hair out of the eyes, beanies also were a rite of freshman hazing at some universities like Gettysburg College and Rutgers University. However, some sources cite that around the 1990s beanies fell into a more favorable, fashionable position, eventually crescendoing into the celebrity beanie fervor that seized pop culture through the first decades of the new millennium.
The beanie is here to stay. Check out these options and find your fit today.
The Best Beanies for Men to Buy Right Now
Casual Cool: Patagonia Better Sweater™ Fleece Beanie
Purchasing from Patagonia always feels like a wholehearted win—the company crafts garments of incredible quality with attention to their environmental impact without sacrificing their own flair of distinct style. While Patagonia might come to mind as a top contender for a more tactical-type award, their Better Sweater beanie actually just ranks one of the smartest looking on the market. Its recycled polyester sweater blend knit attains a balance between ease and structure, and the range of colors available amongst these knitted beanies hats create enticing tension against that classic logo.
The Workhorse: Carhartt A18 Watch Hat
Like the beanie itself, Carhartt catapulted from not-so-long-ago working class favorite to streetstyle darling. Today the company marries intentional aesthetics with their lifelong commitment to integrity in design throughout every product, including the A18 Watch Hat. This one of the best mens beanies promises to stay secure and keep your head warm through all working conditions. Furthermore, its durable acrylic material washes easily and can withstand the elements. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice style—Dick’s Sporting Goods stocks it in 16 colors right now, including this eye catching powder blue.
For Charity: National Geographic x Parks Project Legacy Beanie
It’s great when you can use a purchase as an opportunity to also do some good. The full range of apparel from Parks Project contributes to global conservation efforts—this particular collaboration with National Geographic supports “the global nonprofit National Geographic Society in its work to protect and illuminate our world through exploration, research, and education.” You can learn more about their mission here. Not only does that iconic logo front and center on the beanie immediately evoke an air of intellectualism, this lightweight mens beanie has is built to grow with you. Crafted from 100% breathable cotton with a twill cotton patch, it’ll start snug and loosen up to your particular head shape over time. Its clean, classic design promises to withstands any shift in styles that may lie ahead.
Pom Pom: Marshall Winter Hat by Marmot
While many rightfully hail the beanie for its straightforward versatility, every garment deserves the opportunity for a little whimsy. Pom poms and beanies go together like snowstorms and cozy nights in—it’s just natural. Securing around the head in that skull cap fashion, this winter beanie from preppy staple Marmot still classifies according to our standards! The jacquard knit and ribbed cuff create enough warmth for those snowstorm nights you do venture out. Sticking to a serious color like this suave black allows almost a tongue-in-cheek juxtaposition of whimsy and stoicism, an edgy allure and comment in its own right.
Downtown: Striped Wool Beanie by Paul Smith
The beanie is an innately stylish piece of gear no matter how it comes to life for you. Maybe because of this, a stylish beanie shopper really has to go out of their way to find beanies for men that work as real statement pieces. Fashion-forward and highly respected menswear leader Paul Smith has achieved this feat with aplomb through their jazzy striped wool beanie, available through luxury menswear platform MR. PORTER. This plush wool winter beanie synchronizes rich mustard and forest green hues in an eye catching duo exciting for any manner of apparel. If you’re looking to maximize the most fashionable capabilities the beanie offers, look for unexpected colors and fabrics of vigorous texture.
Most Hardcore: Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Beanie
From color theory to political parties, many people believe that spectrums are really just circles. By that logic, it’s possible that this puffer jacket for your head is perhaps so hardcore that it’s really the ultimate fashion statement. This gear’s sure as hell gotta be useful for those situations where you need the utmost protection, no questions asked. Outdoor Research’s 650-fill down puffer beanie has got to be the best winter hat out there, replete with a durable acrylic exterior that resists snags and other threats, remaining ultra light all the while. The product reviews are hot with discourse—some say this thing looks silly, others think it’s kind of cool. Nobody, however, denies the completely unbeatable utility of this bit of gear.
Team Spirit: NBA Tip Off Edition Beanies by New Era
Listen, you gotta rep your teams somehow, and all these beanies for men are prime real estate for showing your support. While this marks another area of the beanie market where you gotta toe the line between cheesy and pleasing, reliable fan store New Era has released an NBA Tip Off line with beanies for the top basketball teams. This one-size knit beanie comes in your choice of team colors with a warm fleece lining and silicone team shield on the front. The official NBA logoman embroidered on the back solidifies its air of authenticity, showing that you care enough about your team spirit to invest in quality gear to celebrate it.
Tactical: Men’s UA Tactical Stealth 2.0 Beanie
Most people know Under Armor for the company’s close association with so many elite world athletes, but this updated version of their diehard beanie proves an unbeatable fit for the most sophisticated tactical ensemble. Built from ribbed acrylic knit fabric, this traditional cuff beanie also wicks sweat away with ease. Under Armor has just changed the classic to feature a tonal logo so you can still wear it with virtually every uniform. One reviewer from Rosebud wrote, “I live in South Dakota and we get some pretty harsh winters, my job consists of outside work mostly and I needed a good head cover. I wore this during the coldest days (-39 degrees) and it kept my ears and head warm. I would recommend.” Not so bad for a monolith.
Fleece Fiend: REI Co-op Polartec Fleece Beanie
If you’re a true fleece fiend, then you know there’s no fabric that truly parallels fleece’s soft touch and satisfying texture. I find fleece to be one of the most pleasurable sensations known to humanity, created from pure comfort. REI’s Polartec fleece extends the benefits that much further, sourcing recycled fleece to help minimize their environmental impact. With a marked attention to detail, REI has even designed this fall or winter beanie with minimal seaming, driving its comfort all the way home. Of all the beanies for men, this one offers the path of absolute least resistance to direct, unabashed beanie bliss.
For Adventures: Merino Beanie by Badlands
For a no-nonsense piece of gear that pledges to offer quiet assistance through all your adventures, look no further than this Merino Beanie by hunting accessory manufacturer Badlands. It’s flat out one of the best beanies for men available at your fingertips right now. “We actually made our Merino sheep wear itchy wool hats for a year, just so they could experience what we’ve been going through all these years,” writes their punchy product description. “The result? The Badlands Merino Beanie. It’s like a little miracle: warm, soft, moisture-wicking wool, with none of the itching. You won’t find a more comfortable beanie than this.” At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. All of life is an adventure—even finding the best beanies for men. Savor the path’s endless opportunities.