Are you tired of subpar winter hats? Do you need a hat that is the warmest of the warm? Look no further than the enduring trapper hat. It locks out the sharp winds and bitter cold hour after hour. It comes in a variety of material choices like supple fur, luxurious sheepskin, and quilted fabric.
Trapper hats are a wildly popular product due to their distinctive style and trademark earflaps. They keep your head warm and windproof in the most grueling of winter weather.
With a long history as the top choice in head coverings for people who live in colder climates or work outdoors in frigid temperatures, you can’t go wrong with a trapper hat to keep your head warm & cozy.
For more information on this winter wonder, keep reading this guide. I will cover everything you need to know about the best trapper hats available.
What Are Trapper Hats?
You have seen a trapper hat even if you didn’t know it at the time (come on, who doesn’t know Elmer Fudd?). Imagine an aviator hat and an Ushanka (more on those later) merged. That’s the trapper hat. It is a winter hat that has attained global fame for its easily recognizable appearance.
It typically features loads of fur, including a fold-up fur visor, and side flaps. This distinctive design keeps your dome encased in warmth, and your ears, cheeks, and throat as well. The straps on the end of the ear flaps allow wearers to tie the ear flaps together in front for warmth or tie them in the back for more of a ski style.
Check out this iconic pic of cousin Eddie, from the popular movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, sporting a black trapper hat.
History of the Trapper Hat
The trapper hat has a long and complicated history. The exact origin of this insulated hat is uncertain. What we know is the trapper hat gets derived from the Ushanka hat. To provide a background on the trapper, we must first talk about its ancestor.
Ushanka hats began their journey in the Slavic Balkan countries and Northeastern Italy. Over the centuries, they have moved through Russia, Canada, the United States, and many other countries worldwide. As time went on, different countries and regions began to put their spin on this well-loved winter hat. The changes in materials, adjusting of the ear flap lengths, and alterations to the chin strap have brought us the trapper hat design that we know today.
The Ushanka hat is most notably associated with the Russian military or the KGB. Canadian and U.S. versions get more frequently tied to frontier fur trappers. This association is where the name trapper hat hails from.
You will hear these hats referred to as Ushanka, bomber, aviator, or trooper hat.
What to Look for When Buying a Trapper Hat
Before you go out and purchase a fur helmet, it is critical to determine what your specific needs are regarding your cold-weather hat. You will need to take into account the material, crown style, brim, and chin straps. A city hunter should also consider color for safety.
Higher-end versions will be made entirely of sheepskin or fur, like rabbit or fox. Sometimes, you can even find it in wolf fur (this is not a license to stand on a cliff and howl at the moon). You can also find it in quilted fabric, polyester, leather, and other material options. There is also a product known as “fish fur.”
If you are morally against wearing genuine fur, fish fur is a material option. One thing to keep in mind, fish fur is not as warm as the real thing but will give you that fur look.
The shape and style of your trapper hat is a matter of personal preference. Be sure to choose the crown that you find visually appealing and that complements your face shape.
Brims come standard on most trapper hats. They remain folded up unless there are harsh winds, in which case the wearer could fold the flap down for protection. You can, however, purchase a trapper hat without a visor or brim. If you are in areas with extreme cold or high winds, I would recommend getting the brim option to protect your face.
If those situations are not a concern for you, you could be comfortable with either option.
When doing your research on the best trapper hats for you, you will discover the widest variety of options when it comes to chin straps. You can get straps that buckle, snap, clip, tie, Velcro, or have an adjustable feature.
Color is particularly crucial if you purchase a fabric or polyester trapper hat. If you are a city hunter or winter sports enthusiast, you may want to go with a bright color like orange or green to make you easily identifiable. Primary or fun colors are considered casual wear and are great for weekend activities. If you’re looking for something with versatility or a classy option to wear out during cold weather, blacks, browns, and grays are your best picks.
Those dark colors can get worn anywhere.
How to Wear a Trapper Hat
Trapper hats can pull off a variety of fashion styles, including punk, classic, casual, and elegant. Here are some tips on how to wear your trapper hat. If you are against an authentic fur hat, you can always substitute a hat with good faux material instead.
- Long black jacket or overcoat with a large fur black trapper hat
- Jeans and a t-shirt with a fur vest and fox fur-lined trapper
- A classic suit with a dark-colored trapper real fur hat
- Wear an all-black or white trapper if you have blue or green eyes to make them pop
Material: Faux leather and faux fur
Faux leather and faux fur
Material: Genuine shearling leather
Genuine shearling leather
Material: Lamb leather and rabbit fur
Lamb leather and rabbit fur
Material: Rabbit fur
Material: Faux rabbit fur and wool
Faux rabbit fur and wool
Material: 100% Natural sheepskin
100% Natural sheepskin
Material: Faux fur and wool
Faux fur and wool
Material: Faux fur and acrylic
Faux fur and acrylic
Material: Sheepskin and rabbit fur
Sheepskin and rabbit fur
Material: Leather and rabbit fur
Leather and rabbit fur
The 10 Best Trapper Hats for Men of 2021
1. Ultrafino Ushanka Trooper
- Faux leather
- Faux fur
- Water-resistant and repellant
- Made in the USA
- Dry clean only
Animal lovers will appreciate this trapper made with faux materials in a Russian trooper hat style. It is handmade in the USA, with meticulous attention to detail, by a small company located in Seattle, Washington.
This hat can be worn with the flaps up, flaps down and tied under the chin, or partially down for ear coverage. The inner lining is a quilted fabric with static resistance for additional insulation and comfortable wear. Although the fur is faux, it has the same soft-touch as genuine fur.
2. Sterkowski Genuine Shearling Leather Trapper Hat
- Buckle closure straps
- Genuine shearling leather
- Natural shearling lining
- Daily wear
- Sterkowski quality
You can tell at one glance that this trapper hat got designed in the bomber or aviator style. Made with natural sheepskin, this ergonomically shaped hat with ear flaps covers your head, cheeks, and ears. You can expect high quality from the family-owned Sterkowski brand.
For all my fellas out there who require a larger size hat, this particular model comes in sizes through XXL.
3. FUR WINTER Lamb Leather and Rabbit Fur Trapper Hat
- Button closure straps
- Lamb leather components
- Rabbit fur components
- Handwash only
- True to size
Designed for warmth and fashion, this fur trapper hat with lambskin material has a classic look about it. It has a fleece forehead pad with a quilted lining for the crown. If you are a city hunter, this hat is a good option to keep you warm during those cold-weather hunts. It is also a great pick for outdoor sporting events.
4. Rabbit Fur Ushanka Winter Hat
- 100% rabbit fur
- Satin lining
- Top-quality materials
The Ushanka Company makes this trapper hat with luxurious 100% fur straight from Ukraine with comfort in mind. The satin lining gets filled with wool, flax fibers, cotton, and viscose rayon for added warmth during those frigid winter days.
If you are in-between sizes, be sure to purchase the larger of the two.
5. Stormy Kromer Northwoods Trapper Hat
- Lamilite insulation
- Brass snap closure
- Wool blend outer
- Made in the USA
- Faux rabbit fur lined with trim
This 6-panel constructed trapper hat features a wool-blend exterior with faux fur trim and lining. It has quilted Lamilite insulation to keep your noggin as toasty as a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, peppermint, chocolate shavings…mmmm so good).
Stormy Kromer has been in business for over 100 years creating works like the windproof 6-panel cap. The company has grown leaps and bounds over the years and now offers a variety of hats in numerous colors, sizes, and materials.
6. Lambskin Specialties 100% Sheepskin Mountie Trapper Hat
- 100% Natural sheepskin
- Made in Canada
- Plush sheepskin lining
- Suede exterior
- Tie closure
Here is a traditional sheepskin trapper hat fashion. It is handmade in Canada with authentic shearling sheepskin for comfort. Fully lined with sheepskin to keep you extremely warm while providing breathability. The exterior is the reverse side of the sheepskin and is genuine suede, which creates a natural water and wind-resistant barrier.
The ear flaps can be worn down or up and secured with ties.
7. Sterkowski Lumberjack Trapper Cap
- 100% wool
- Snap closure
- Padded cotton lining
- Faux fur
- Sterkowski reputation
This Sterkowski hat gets made from 100% Shetland (not ponies, WOOL) and realistic-looking faux fur that is soft and light. This bomber hat style trapper has a cotton-lined padded crown with snap fasteners on the ear flaps.
8. Turtle Fur Jostedal Sherpasoft Trapper Hat
- 100% Acrylic
- Knit style
- 100% Polyester fleece lining
- Faux fox fur trim
Here is a medium gauge knit hat in an aviator style made with 100% acrylic. The crown gets fully lined using fleece materials for comfort and heat retention, while the trim is faux fox fur. If you’re looking for a hat that covers your head, face, ears, and the back of your neck, the Jostedal is right up your alley, although I do not recommend it for bowling (unless you are participating in extreme ice bowling).
9. Black Sheepskin and Silver Rabbit Fur Trooper Aviator
- Snap closure
- Sheepskin leather
- Rabbit fur
- Polyfil material
- Sizes run small
There’s nothing like the feel of soft, supple leather, which is what you will experience with this sheepskin trapper hat. The luxurious fur makes the hat like a furnace for your head. If you’re going for that authentic Russian look, you can snap the flaps on top of your head.
One important thing to note is that this particular hat runs a little small, so order a size larger than you usually would. I strongly recommend you measure your head for accurate sizing. This is a nice choice for women as well.
10. Bailey of Hollywood Vernon Leather Trapper Hat
- 100% Leather
- Rabbit fur
- Aviator cap style
Are you a discerning gentleman who seeks luxury in all his products? Then I deliver you the Bailey of Hollywood Vernon trapper hat. This sexy beast of a hat gets constructed of 100% genuine lambskin and real rabbit fur for a masculinely elegant hat. It boasts an exposed heavy stitching detail, a fully lined interior, and D-ring snap closure with an adjustable chin.
If you’re looking to make a romantic impression on a cold winter’s night, surprise your sweetie in front of the fireplace wearing black socks and this black hat…that’s it. You’re sure to stay warm all night *wink*.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Called a Trapper Hat?
The hats were a standard headpiece for hunters and fur trappers. That is how the name trapper hat came to be. Don’t worry, though. If you buy one of these hats, no one will mistake you for a frontier fur trapper.
Are Trapper Hats Cool?
Trapper hats have developed into a fashion product as much as a utility piece. They are available for both men and women today as an accessory or a winter hat for the cold weather months in many colors, designs, and material choices. Even Prada has jumped on this stylish bandwagon and came out with their version of the trapper hat (just don’t look at the price).
You will find the popular trapper hat on the heads of many famous men and women like Jessica Alba, Cheryl Cole, Madonna, Jared Leto, Mickey Rourke, and Jack Black.
How Warm Are Trapper Hats?
Trapper hats are an essential winter headgear for keeping you warm out in the frigid temperatures. Traditionally made of fur, these hats are exceedingly warm. Today, you can find them made out of leather, faux fur, fleece, nylon shell, and quilted fabrics. Some trappers contain additional layers in between the exterior and the lining, known as the interior, to provide an added layer of warmth and protection from the winter weather.
They are a splendid choice for skiing, working outdoors, low temperatures, and anything you need to do outside when it is cold. This hat can get counted on to keep your head nice and warm regardless of what the weather throws at you.
What's a Russian Fur Hat Called?
A Russian fur hat is called an Ushanka. It is easily identifiable by its shape and standard ear flaps, which can be worn up above the head or hanging down as well as tied or fastened underneath the chin. Some individuals also wear ear flaps tied behind their heads, which has become known as the new ski style.
The former provides greater visibility but less protection from the winter cold.
The dense fur on this iconic hat offers some protection against impacts to the head as well.
Why Do Trapper Hats Have Side Flaps?
Those side flaps, also known as ear flaps or earlaps, got created to protect the ears, neck, and cheeks from the bitter cold and are often water-resistant and windproof. They can be secured on top of the head or behind your neck when not in use.
Today, the comfortable trapper hat is a popular product that is available in premium leathers and furs, fabric insulation, polyester, and windproof material in a variety of colors. They are an extremely durable head covering that promises to keep your head, ears, cheeks, and neck comfortably warm for many winter seasons. Did I mention men and women look great wearing it?