Sealskinz probably think I've vanished with their beanie hat. They sent it to me over a month ago and the inevitable happened; it stopped raining!
I like to use a product in its proper environment before passing comment on it. The Sealskinz Beanie Hat is dear compared to other beanies, so I wanted to make sure it lived up to its claims. True, it keeps your head warm, but a £3 beanie hat will keep your head warm if the weather's mild.
“Stick your head in a bucket of water!” came the suggestion from one colleague. Apart from the immense pleasure that would give to anyone watching, I can't think of any reason why an angler might stick his head in a bucket of water (actually, as I was typing that I thought of some angling friends who probably would do it just for fun!).
No, I waited for real rain. And waited. And waited....
My neighbours must think I'm mad. The first day it rained, I stepped out of my house full of the joys of Spring. The dog couldn't believe her luck....another walk! Little did she know that this one was for my benefit. And my head stayed dry. I knew it would. I'm familiar with the Sealskinz brand and just love the fact that the products do exactly what they say they'll do.
The Sealskinz Beanie Hat, to look at, is just like a well-made beanie hat. It's a tight woven material with a tasteful logo on and, as far as beanies go, it's pretty stylish. What makes the Sealskinz hat so different, though, is that is contains a Porelle membrane, making it windproof, breathable and, most importantly, waterproof.
Let's break each of those features down and see how they benefit anglers:
Windproof – there are various figures bandied about, and I'm not going to pretend to know the correct one, but a lot of your body heat is lost through your head. In cold conditions, your body will put a lot of effort into keeping your head warm. Why? Well, the majority of us have a brain somewhere in there and it needs to be warm! (I say 'majority', as I'm still thinking about those mates who would probably stick their heads in buckets of water). Being windproof and insulated, the Sealskinz Beanie keeps your head at a pretty even temperature. Without it, you would be constantly cooled down by the wind. Not the best scenario when you're fighting the elements, especially in the middle of Winter.
Breathable – I cycle, and when I do, I wear a helmet. This helmet has 'slots' cut into it so that there is air-flow to my head. Without them, I'd sweat like a carp angler 'guesting' overnight on a gangster's lake. By 'breathing', the Sealskinz Beanie doesn't turn your head into a sweaty mess.
Waterproof – do I really need to explain that? Okay. When you're stuck outside for hours at a time, it isn't pleasant being soaked through. Aside from the fact that the wind will chill a wet angler quicker than a dry one, it just feels horrible. I hate fishing in the rain, but when I do, I try to make it as comfortable as possible.
Looking around the internet, the Sealskinz Beanie Hat seems to sell for about £18, including delivery. If you're thinking about getting one, don't compare it to cheaper ones. It might look similar, but it's a totally different animal. Buy it for what it is – a well made, serious piece of clothing for an outdoor enthusiast. You may well need to visit a proper outdoor shop to buy these hats.
One last thing – I've used Sealskinz products before and they've lasted far longer than cheaper products. Pound for pound, they offer excellent value.
To compare the prices of various Sealskinz products, please CLICK HERE.