I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I wear a lot of hats. Indeed I’ve written reviews of hats before, and many of my regular followers, readers, and clients will be all too familiar with my range of woolly numbers knitted especially for me by Emily Poleson in Shetland. So, it would take either a very brave or a very stupid hat manufacturer to try to oust one of Emily’s gorgeous creations from my head.

Enter two new hats sent to me by Snugbug. They asked me to choose a couple for review from their very extensive list, and I went for what I thought would be the most practical for my mountain-based activities. I chose the Baked Beanie, and the Red Stripey Beanie.

Snugbug Baked Beanie
Snugbug Baked Beanie
Snugbug Stripey Beanie
Snugbug Stripey Beanie

The thing I really like about Snugbug as a company is that they are UK based, in Northumberland actually, and that all the hats are hand crafted in Nepal using 100% wool. They don’t splash their brand or logo all over the hats either – as they themselves say, “we think you’re grown up enough to not want to be a walking billboard for any brand – so our only external branding is a simple discrete Snugbug icon”. I really like that, as it is hard to NOT be a walking billboard these days, regardless of how grown up you are.

Snugbug also have a happy-workplace ethic, and are rightly proud of the fact that they pay their Nepalese hand knitters a proper wage for the job they do whilst also providing a safe and hygienic working environment, and I for one applaud their efforts.

So, what of the hats? Do I like them as much as I like Emily’s? Well, yes, and no actually.

First the Baked Beanie. For me it has immediate appeal. I like the toned-down, natural colours. The hat fits well, is chunky and rustic, and had a surprise in the form of a polyester fleece lining. Extra warmth and with the added benefit of not being itchy like most woolly hats. For £15 I think the Baked Beanie is an absolute steal.

I’m a bit less keen on the Red Stripey Beanie. Mine is actually very, very red indeed, whereas in the photograph on the Snugbug website it looks dark and cool. Sort of burgundy, rather than bright scarlet. I guess it’s just a bit too red for my own tastes. It’s actually quite a big hat too, and fell over my eyes a bit which is a shame. Still, if you want a really red hat, and have a slightly bigger head than mine, or a lot of hair you want to tuck up there, this would be the hat for you. Priced at £16, and having the same polyester fleece lining benefits as the Baked Beanie, it is amazing value for a very good hat.

Yes, yes, ok. I do love the Baked Beanie. I wear it almost daily at work. I occasionally wear the very red Stripey one too, on days when I’m feeling like being the most prominent person on the mountain and I think I can get away with it.

I’m not going to compare them to Emily’s hats though, as that would be unfair as her’s have a certain ‘Shetland-sentimentality’ value about them and are each unique, but I am certainly a convert to Snugbugs. Next time I’ll just choose a more subdued colour for my beanie!