We Put "The World's Best Tuque" to the Ultimate Chill Test

With a worse-than-ever winter coming our way, a $200 tuque might actually be an investment worth making

world's best tuque

While I never excelled in biology, one quasi “fact” stuck with me: 75 percent of your body’s heat escapes from your head. So when I heard about “The World’s Best Tuque,” a super-soft knit hat by local Toronto company Frontier, I was keen to try it ahead of our forecasted colder-than-ever Canadian winter.

I imagined the $195 tuque would be lined with fur and embellished with 14-karat gold beading. But there’s no bedazzling here. Just your average black beanie—but WAY softer. The outer shell is merino wool, and the inner lining is made of a v. soft blend called Qiviut, which is backwoods hiker-approved. “Cool,” I thought. “This will go with everything.”

So it was off to Chill, a downtown ice bar, to give this hat a whirl. I brought my fellow intern Sabriina, who resembles someone born and bred in the snow (think: white-blonde hair and Estonian background), for comparison purposes.

Within the first 15 minutes, our internal temperatures remained pretty samesies. It was deep into the 30-minute mark—cocktails in hand and watching an episode of Laguna Beach on our iPhones, dreaming of warmer surroundings and a date with Stephen Colletti—when I realized my shoulders, knees and toes were all FREEZING. But my ears? Perfectly fine. They weren’t cold at all, but I wasn’t sweating in the hat either. My snow angel partner in crime, on the other hand, was shivering and on the verge of tears. Time to bounce.

The takeaway? Frontier’s handmade-in-Toronto tuque truly holds up. I love its simple style and non-itchy lining. And though no hat is ever going to be able to prevent the rest of my body from feeling frigid  temps, this one is the closest thing to a winter miracle I’ve found.

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