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Reviews > Clothing > Hats > MEC Charge Toque > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

MEC Charge Toque
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
March 15, 2012

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 26
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
Head Circumference: 21.25 in (54 cm)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Image Courtesy of MEC
MEC Charge Toque

Product Information

Manufacturer: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
Manufacturer's URL: www.mec.ca
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Model: Charge Toque
MSRP: CAD 14.00
Sizes Available: Small/Medium, Medium/Large
Size Reviewed: Small/Medium
Colours Available: Black, Blue Ink
Colour Reviewed: Blue Ink
Listed Weight: 43 g (1.5 oz) size Small/Medium
Measured Weight: 41 g (1.4 oz)
Measured Height: 17.1 cm (6.8 in)
Measured Circumference: approximately 50.8 cm (20 in) at the bottom

Description

The MEC Charge Toque is a fleece toque with a polyurethane surface coating. It is “fleecy” on the inside and smooth on the outside. The surface coating is intended to give the toque abrasion resistance, water resistance, and wind resistance. The toque is stitched with flat-lock seams. The inside of the band of the toque is made of a soft material. The body of the toque is made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex, and the tag tells me that the toque is made in Canada.

Field Conditions

I purchased the MEC Charge Toque in late 2010 and it has been my primary headwear for active pursuits in the winter since then. I have worn it for Search & Rescue, cross-country skiing, running, ski touring, and snowshoeing. In total I have worn it for about 40 day trips as well as several overnight trips. I usually wear it alone but in very cold weather I have worn another toque overtop of the Charge. I have worn it under a snowmobile helmet on one occasion, and also under my climbing helmet. I have worn it in sunshine and snow, in temperatures between about 5 C (41 F) and -30 C (-22 F). After washing it I have always laid the toque flat to dry.
Spending winter in the Charge Toque
Use Collage

Review

Comfort & Fit
The Charge Toque fits me well. It’s fairly snug, and with my small head it’s about as good a fit as I’ve ever found in an adult-sized toque. It fully covers to the bottom of my ears when I pull it down. However, it does creep upwards when I’m doing activity, so I have to pull it down frequently. It was relatively comfortable under a snowmobile helmet, though in that case I was just wearing it to make the helmet fit (it was too big), and it’s very comfortable under my climbing helmet. The combination of my climbing helmet and the Charge was so comfortable that I didn’t want to take my helmet off when I was done needing it!

Warmth & Snow/Wind Resistance
The Charge is great for doing active stuff outdoors! It’s warm enough down to about -15 C (5 F) at moderate activity levels on its own, and after that I find that I need to add another layer. It also breathes well. For high intensity activities like cross-country skiing, I am comfortable wearing the Charge at temperatures up to just above freezing and after that my head starts to feel a little sweaty.

The Charge does an excellent job blocking the wind, either created from my own motion or naturally. In really windy conditions I can feel a chill from the wind through the toque, but no actual wind getting through. The Charge also sheds snow very well. Even in wet snow (read: slush), I’ve never had the toque soak through or even had the outer layer wet out.

Durability
The toque has held up well to use and washing. There is some minor pilling on the seams but otherwise it looks as good as new.

Summary

The MEC Charge Toque is a great toque for winter activity. It is reasonably warm and breathes well during high-intensity activities. Water and wind resistance add to the versatility of this toque.

Thumbs Up:
Good breathability
Good wind and snow resistance
Good durability
Comfortable under a helmet

Thumbs Down:
Not always warm enough
Creeps up when I’m doing activity



Read more reviews of MEC gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Hats > MEC Charge Toque > Owner Review by Andrea Murland



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