Cold weather headwear questions

This topic has been covered before and I have read the posts, but I still have questions.

First, I want to order the Kokatat Surfskin Balaclava but I have a not-small head and a lot of hair. I’m on the edge of the small size, but the large is enormous. I also have a small face. Does this thing have any stretch at all - enough to stuff a hair bun inside? Is it true to size as stated by Kokatat?

Second, my dry suit does not have a hood. I wish I had thought to ask Kokatat about adding one when I had the p-zip added, but I’m not sending it back to them again anytime soon. Does anyone make a stand-alone hood that would be good to wear over other headwear? Or should I just plop a wool cap on over the balaclava? I have plenty of those.

My head’s not small 7-3/4 in racing helmets and I use largest one XL? I’ll see if I can find it to stretch it. Hood on drysuit is great with it.

My head is within the small size range, but at the top of the range. This does not take into account a hair bun. The large will just be too large. Thanks for checking if it has stretch. That will help.

Buy from certain vendors you can return for free.

Amazon has them

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Thanks for the video. Looks stretchy enough, but I think I’ll buy both sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit. I hope one of them fits.

I don’t shop on Amazon - too many worker abuses for my comfort. I wish my small local shop carried these as that is always my first preference.

Does it block wind, do you know? I wonder if wearing a wool hat over it would be warm enough. I’ve avoided the coldest weather for paddling, but plan to paddle until the waterways freeze solid this year.

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It’s warm, blocks wind. I wear my hood or Kokatat gortex hat. I paddle to 30° 20 mph wind.

If you buy anything from china or other third world countries you’re talking real abuse.

They’re committing suicide at Fox factory all the time making phones. They locked the windows.

This confuses me. Are you implying that because abuses in China and other countries are worse than those in the US that one should be okay with abuses by Amazon? Because I care about all of these abuses, FYI, and I shop accordingly.

Thanks for the help with the balaclava. I think it’s a good choice.

Throw a preserver to the one most in need. People can quit with millions of job openings here unlike other countries. They can still here too.

So in other words, you are fine with worker abuses in the US. Got it.

There are recourses here unlike third world. OSHA, Labor department, strikes, unions and freedom of movement.

Whatever you’ve got to tell yourself to justify worker abuses I guess…

Enjoy your balaclava and all the gear you bought from CHINA

Bye hope your bun fits underneath.

I employed up to 90 union bricklayers and laborers at one time. Cost for a bricklayer now with all labor burden is over 120 per hour. I’ve done my part.

Getting off topic a bit here, don’t you think? What was the original question? It’s my opinion that this kind of ethics debating ruins the whole spirit of the forum. Just a reminder to maybe stay focused, no offence. Please don’t start bashing me now, I won’t respond. It’s why I gave up on other forums I used to visit. I was gonna try to contribute something constructive but, nah. I’m out.


Here’s a pro-tip for you: when a topic you don’t like has gone quiet, reviving it with a holier-than-thou post is not the flex you think it is.


A fair comment and covered in the community guidelines under “keep it tidy.”

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Getting back to the original question, hoods for scuba diving are available in a broad range of sizes and thicknesses. O’Niel’s “Psycho” hoods is great for paddling and is available in 1.5 or 3mm, with a drawstring for adjusting the face fit:


I have a 3mm Psycho hood and love it. Never wore it with the drysuit but with wetsuits that didn’t have a hood built in. It made a big difference in staying warm, especially on my skinny, cold-prone neck. Just keeping cold spray off my neck felt better.

I don’t know how well a hair bun would fit inside, though. Cutting the hair is an option, I suppose.

And I agree with Troy.


I’m devastated I’ll never know.