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Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome > Owner Review by Shawn Wakefield

Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome
Owner Review by Shawn Wakefield
April 27, 2009

Reviewer Information

Name: Shawn Wakefield
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Hat Size: 22.5 in (57 cm) - US 7 1/8 (Med)
City, State, Country: Tishomingo, Oklahoma, United States

Backpacking Background: I started camping and backpacking about 25 years ago as a teenager in the Boy Scouts. I have more recently gotten very interested in backpacking again, and I really enjoy going lightweight now. My wife and I take frequent backpacking trips together, and our kids (all under 13) go occasionally. We like to hike in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas for short trips, but enjoy Wyoming and Colorado for longer trips. My current pack averages 18 lb (8 kg) including water and three days' food.

Product Information

Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Listed weight: 1 oz (30 g)
Weight as delivered: 0.9 oz (25 g)
MSRP: $15.00 USD
Material: 100% polyester microfiber fleece
Color: Available in Black, Tiger, Grill, Lava, Blue River
Color as delivered: Lava

Product Description

The Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome is a fleece hat, sometimes called a beanie. The manufacturer's website describes it as a: "Lightweight, snug dome for use under a helmet or hood." I have not used it under a helmet, but I have used it under the hood of a wind or rain jacket. It is made out of very lightweight polyester fleece. The bottom band that covers the ears is a double layer of the fleece material. The Mountain Hardwear logo is on the front. There is a seam up the back of the hat to the top, and then four more seams near the top to gather the fleece material into the dome shape. The hat comes in one size.

Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome Front
Front View
Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome Top
Top View
Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome Inside
Inside View

Field Use

I have used the Micro Dome hat on my last five camping trips for a total of 9 nights. Temperatures at night got as low as 22 F (-6 C) on a four-night trip, and below freezing on three of the other trips. I have worn the hat many additional days when on short hikes, out walking, or just outside in the cold and wind. I would estimate that I have worn the hat on parts of at least 30 days.

I don't like my head to get cold when camping or backpacking, so I have worn the Micro Dome several times for most of a day, especially when just around camp or not doing much physical activity. I have worn the Micro Dome while sleeping for 8 of the 9 nights I have been out with it. Even when sleeping, the seams are not bulky enough to bother me during the night. It does a great job of keeping my head warm when in my sleeping bag.

When out walking or doing light activity, the Micro Dome blocks the wind and keeps my head warm without any problem. I have worn the Micro Dome under the hood of my wind or rain jacket without any problems. It is still very easy to hear while wearing the Micro Dome, and it actually reduces wind noise in my ears versus not wearing a hat.

The fleece is very soft. While other hats I have tried were too tight, had scratchy fabric, and were too bulky, the Micro Dome is comfortable and soft. I have also not noticed a lot of sweat or dampness in my hair or under the hat, so I believe that the Micro Dome does a good job of wicking moisture away from me as well. It covers my ears well when it is pulled onto my head, but after some activity it can move up slightly and expose part of my ears. This is not a big problem, as I can just pull the hat back down snug again. This would not be an issue if I were wearing it under a helmet that held it in place.

One of the best features, at least for me as a lightweight backpacker, is how little it weighs. At less than 1 oz (28 g), it is one of the lightest hats I have seen. I carry only the Micro Dome on trips with me now, as it does the job very well and does not weigh my pack down when I am not wearing it. If I get warm, I can fold it up, and it is small enough to put in my pocket and keep right on walking.

I have washed and dried the Micro Dome about a dozen times during the winter season, and it still looks very good. I cannot detect any fading, shrinkage, or other issues. I washed the Micro Dome in a washing machine with other clothes of like colors, using cold water and regular detergent. I dried it in a dryer with other clothes on medium or low heat.

Things I like:
1. Lightweight
2. Very soft
3. Comfortable for sleeping

Things I don't like:
1. Could be a bit larger to cover my ears better


The Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome is a very soft, extremely light, fleece hat. It keeps my head warm in temperatures below freezing, and it is very comfortable while wearing to sleep at night. For me, it is a great combination of weight, fit, comfort, and cost.

- Shawn Wakefield

Read more gear reviews by Shawn Wakefield

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome > Owner Review by Shawn Wakefield

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