Sugoi Skull Cap : Helmet Friendly, Super Warm
...with a cut that adheres to the contours of my head without bunching up and seams that are wide and flat enough to be unnoticeable..(more... )

Ibex Meru Hat : Cool Comfort

If I may unburden myself for a moment, I'm obsessed with hats. While it's not quite as intense as my Jones for athletic footwear, it's an obsession I wrestle with daily. Knowing that, you can better understand the longing I experienced when I spotted Ibex's Meru hat while browsing online one day. (If you're a writer on deadline, outdoor gear web sites offer a great way to procrastinate.)

Of course, I thought this stark, minialist hat, with the Ibex logo stitched mid-forehead looked cool. Naturally, I had to confirm for myself that an exercise hat made from superfine New Zealand Merino wool was, as Ibex's claimed,"soft, quick-drying, and lightweight." Would this wonderous natural fabrice provide the regulating, moisture-managin propterties that a serious cross-training hat-crazy tester craves?

After many sessions with this lightweight form-fitting hat, I can gleefully paraphrase Madeline Kahn's oft-quoted line in the movie Blazing Saddles: "When it comes to Merino wool, it's true, it's true!"

I started wearing my Meru this winter, and still use it on chilly spring days while running, paddling, and biking (it fits easily under a helmet). While it would take too long to fully explain the intricacies of my outdoor lid rotation, know this: because the Meru only covers the top-third of my ears, I found it was ideal both for "warmish" winter runs and paddles and for really cold days when I planned to go hard and didn't want to overheat.

Because the Meru is so lightweight and compressible it fits easily in a jacket pocket and can be whipped out as needed - even to use as a base layer when my thicker chapeau isn't getting the job done.

Bottom LIne: This comfortable, moisture-wicking next-to-head hat is warm, versatile, and cool in a sport-specific, disenfranchised bass-guitarist kind of way.--J.G. (May '06)

Price: $25

Manufacturer's Site:


To build a stable, strong core, you have to work both abdominal and back muscles. You'll also have to lose excess weight before you can see your beautiful new muscles.

For complete info on abs training, read: The Little Abs Workout Book.



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