First Lite Brimmed Beanie Review

First Lite Brimmed Beanie Review: First Lite is a company that makes functional clothing that helps hunters carry The Load Out and go farther and Stay (in the field)- just a little bit longer.

BrimmedBeanie ASAT

The First Lite Brimmed Beanie Review

The Brimmed Beanie was thrust into popularity by Steven Rinella on the show MeatEater.   I watched Steve sport the Brimmed Beanie on all sorts of adventures and once I saw it I knew that I had to have one.

Steven Rinella sports a First Lite Brimmed Beanie
Steven Rinella sports a First Lite Brimmed Beanie

The Brimmed Beanie (BB) is constructed using five panels of a single layer of First Lite’s merino wool- their fabric of choice.  The lower panel forms the hat’s signature ear flaps.  The seams are flat sewn allowing the hat to lay flat when worn and to prevent  rubbing.  The beanie is neatly embroidered with the First Lite logo.  It retails for about $36 and is offered in exactly one size and five patterns including pine, orange, First Lite Fusion, dry earth, and ASAT.

The Review

I got my first Brimmed Beanie in ASAT camo with the MeatEater MeatEater Logologo embroidered in orange.  (Yeah, I’m a geek.  So what?)  Anyway, since the Brimmed Beanie comes in one size, that was the size that I ordered.  The one size fit my 7 1/8″ melon just fine and when it arrived, I admired myself in the mirror while I messed with several variations on how the hat could be worn.  This fun came to a screeching halt when my wife announced that I looked like an elf and thereafter referred to my brimmed beanie as my “elf hat”.  Undaunted, I proceeded to wear the brimmed beanie in public every chance I got.  I even wore the hat hunting, too.

The Fit

First Lite Brimmed Beanie ReviewAs aforementioned, the Brimmed Beanie is a one-size-fits-all deal and the merino fabric seems to stretch and adapt quite well.  Now, about the brim…  I insist on a brim for all hunting hats- for one, they block the sun, and two, the brim casts a shadow over my Casper-white face providing an extra measure of concealment.  The BB features a brim constructed of flexible plastic covered in a layer of merino and it requires some break-in.  At first, I found that after wearing the hat for about an hour or so, the back of the plastic brim  would bite into my forehead requiring an adjustment for relief.   However,  I found that by flexing and molding the brim to the curvature of my forehead, the brim bite all but disappeared and after wearing the hat a few times it became quite comfy.

Modes Of Operation

The cool thing about the BB is that it can be worn in a variety of manners allowing for a wide range of temperatures and styles.  When it’s cold outside or when sedentary, I’ll wear my BB gangster style- down low with my ears covered.  When it’s warmer or when active I’ll roll the sides up as high as needed to Regulate my body temperature.  Wearing the sides flat over my ears did limit my hearing by a few decibels but this is a tradeoff that comes with any lid that has ear flaps.

Itch Free

I know some folks become immediately concerned about itchiness anytime the subject of wool is brought up, but First Lite’s super fine blend of merino wool is anything but.  Don’t worry about The Itch.

I’m a skeptical guy.  I distrust things like the stock market, extended warrantees, “10% more for free!“, and fabrics that keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  But, I am here to say that the BB is  in fact a three-season hat.  While I’ve never dared to wear mine to the beach, I’ve rocked it in comfort on spring turkey hunts, fall bow hunts, and on chilly days in the late season.  When paired with First Lite’s Wind River Balaclava, the BB kept my head warm on the coldest days.

Posing in First Lite gear

I liked the BB so much that I ordered three more in dry earth, fusion, and orange.  One problem though; as much as I liked the orange, it was more of a burnt orange and it would not measure up to Pennsylvania’s blaze orange regulation so I had to send it back.    First Lite accepted the return without a hitch and I was happy but I’m still longing for a blaze beanie.  Author’s note:  Since my order it looks like First Lite may have modified the color of the orange hat to more of a true blaze orange.

The YH Scoreboard

  • Positive style and function
  • Merino wool is three-season fabric
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Makes me feel like a MeatEater
  • Orange color does is not a true “blaze” orange
  • Wife and/or girlfriend may make elf comments

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