The Bjorn Daehlie Ambition race hat is a lightweight wool knit hat with a mesh top and soft terry cloth front panel for moisture management and amazing comfort. When this hat arrived I will fully admit that I did not know the brand or the person behind it.
Bjorn Daehlie is a cross country ski legend. He has 8 Olympic gold medals for cross country skiing and many, many more for World Champion competition. So he knows winter and winter clothing. As I was cutting off the tags from the hat I saw this printed on the hang tag:
“Form follows function, and our claim Pure Function references everything we do. Purity through focus, and function through experience. That is how we build our brand.”
Like his athletic endeavors, Bjorn seems to be focused on function and form. With the tags off it was time to go running!
It’s always interesting to see how “athletes” react to bad weather. Some catch up on Mad Men, some head to the gym and run the belt of boredom and the rest of us put on our cold weather gear and go about our business as usual. The art to training through the winter is having the right equipment.
As long as my head and hands are warm I can usually run through most conditions without too much bulky clothing. On group runs I am usually the one wearing the least amount of clothing. I feel it gives me an advantage to not be burdened with layer upon layer and then having to tie them around my waist or stuff my pack full of gear as the temps rise. This is where the Ambition hat comes in as not only a great fitting and comfortable hat but a performance booster.
If you’ve read any of my other reviews you know I am critical of performance and comfort. If a toe seam rubs the sock goes in the trash. If sun glasses slip they are given away. Running ultras is hard enough. There is no room for B-grade equipment. What I liked about this hat from the start was the fit. I have a big head and while it stretched a bit to get over my dome it did not feel tight once in place. Some hats let me feel the seam work (a.k.a. future irritation spots) right away, this hat did not.
Running in the snow with temps in the teens I felt the warm of the Ambition hat but without the dampness of lesser quality lids. As most of us know from winter running, it’s great to be warm but sweat too much the cold will set in on you. Warm and dry=great! Hot and sweaty=trouble. It was on these same runs my new Garmin Fenix crapped out and filled the watch face with fog.
The lighter knit mesh on top was letting just the right amount of heat and moisture out of the hat. As time went by the majority of the moisture was pulled through the fabric and settled on the outside to dissipate. Sure some of it turned into small ice patches but that was on the outside and not on the inside near my skin.
The terry cloth on the inside was so soft and cozy I found myself grabbing this hat for my running and errands around town. I didn’t want to take it off!
Another nice benefit from this hat is it’s sleek for those of us that wear sunglasses on the outside of a beanie. My sunglasses never moved or felt bulged out of place from too much material.
If you are looking for a great winter running hat I would highly recommend the Ambition. The materials, fit and feel are too good to pass up. I could find no flaws in the materials or design of this hat. That was Bjorn’s goal and that is how he is building his brand.
This hat can be found at most quality ski shops for $30 USD. It comes in White, Blue and Black, One size fits all.