Too often, balaclavas are shapeless, saggy things that flop around and inhibit breathing. The Adrenaline—made with a poly-wool blend for good wicking, insulation, and stretch—is a welcome change. The key is a paneled design—with a strip of Lycra around the face for a tight seal—that enhances fit and makes it a cinch to pull the Adrenaline up over your nose, or down under your chin as a gaiter.
“The precise fit of the mesh panel in front let me breathe easily even on steep ascents,” our tester reported after wearing it on blustery Berthoud Pass in Colorado. $25; 2.3 oz.; junior, S/M, L/XL; chaoshats.com