If you can keep your head, hands and feet warm, you can ride in nearly any winter condition. And of these three sensitive areas, your head is arguably the most important, thermostatically speaking. The scalp is laced with blood vessels, so heat loss is particularly rapid.
Of all the helmet liners I've tried over the years, Do Wrap's Winter Beanie and Winter Stubby come closest to perfection.
They're almost identical. The Beanie is a simple stocking-type hat with four pleats in the top for a good fit. The Stubby has a small tail hanging an inch down the back, primarily for style points but also handy for pulling the hat off after a ride. The Stubby also has a slightly different pleat configuration, but it didn't seem to fit any differently than the Beanie.
One other Stubby feature is noteworthy -- a small section of stretch material by the tail. This helps the hat fit a wider range of heads. The Beanie doesn't have this feature and while it fit my medium noggin fine, it might be tighter on folks with larger craniums.
I didn't need to change helmet pads to accommodate either hat. The material is thin but warm. Both models are made of the machine-washable technical fabrics CoolMax, Transpor and DriSmart. They wick perspiration from skin to keep you drier and, hence, warmer. The material is a bit thicker over the ears to keep them toasty even in a wicked windchill.
The advantages of these hats aren't limited to cycling. I also wore them for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. My wife used the women's "Wickie Winter Hat" ($20) with similar success. When I go riding, hiking or backpacking in the mountains next summer, I'll tote one so I'm ready for changeable high-altitude weather.
Do Wrap also offers summer-weight, sweat-management caps and headbands in a variety of colors for men and women. All have a "100% Unconditional Guarantee."
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred's full bio.