Stuff I Use: UnderArmour Primaloft(R) Ridge Reaper Hunt Beanie

Yep. I’m picky about the stuff I wear and the stuff I use when I’m fly fishing. I have very little patience for gear that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, or makes me uncomfortable, or just generally sucks (like this awful lamp). A winter hat seems like something that’s so simple, it shouldn’t require much thought. Therein lies the beauty of the UnderArmour Primaloft Ridge Reaper Hunt Beanie: it’s warm. It’s comfortable. It does what I want it to do.

For starters, I like to wear a ball cap when I’m fishing, even in the winter. The visor keeps the sun out of my eyes and precipitation off my glasses. On those really cold days, I like to wear a ski-type hat over the ball cap. My issue with previous hats was that they were too snug or too small or not warm enough. The last thing I want to be doing out on a river when it’s 20 degrees is be futzing with my hat. So the Ridge Reaper, even though it’s one size, is stretchy and roomy but snugs down nicely around my head and ears with no fuss.

New hat: the UnderArmour Primaloft Ridge Reaper Hunt Beanie.

Cosmetically, I like that the logo is understated. I’m not a fan of high-visibility, high-contrast logos, and as an outdoors person, you can understand wanting to blend in. According to the UA website, the yarn in this hat is breathable and water resistant, and it has a double layer knit lining. Sounds perfect. Like most UA products, this is more than I’d like to pay. $40 for a hat? But, as with so many other things, my eventual cost-per-use will make me forget the price, as will the hat’s performance and comfort.

Price: $40

Rating: *****

A post-steelhead-landed victory shot, hat under the hood. A warm angler is a happy angler.

Stuff I Use: UnderArmour ColdGear Base 4.0 Crew

Regular readers of currentseams will know that I tend to run cold. So when it comes to winter fly fishing (a very poor choice of hobby for me) I need all the warmth I can get. I’d been using an old-school UnderArmour ColdGear compression-style mock neck as a base layer for years, but it was getting a little sketchy, so now was a good time to explore new options.

The UnderArmour ColdGear Base Leggings have served me well for a couple years now and I love them. So migrating to the UnderArmour ColdGear Base 4.0 Crew seemed like a no brainer. (It was.) Here’s the gist, taken from the UA site: “UA Base 4.0 is a men’s baselayer built for extreme cold weather and lower activity. It uses a unique pattern that’s designed to trap heat without adding bulk. Think long underwear, revamped for today’s top athletes.”

At $80, this top isn’t cheap. Quite frankly, I’m a value guy. So if something costs more than I’d like to pay, but it does what it’s supposed to do and I use it a lot — never underestimate the power of amortization — I’m going all in. This version is far warmer than my previous UA top. My only complaint is that I have sensitive skin (wool is out unless I have a solid base layer) and the brushed grid interior on this shirt bugs me just a wee bit. Not to worry — I just wear a breathable UA crew t-shirt beneath and I’m good to go.

Price: $80

Rating: ****1/2

Why is this man smiling? Besides holding a beautiful fish, he’s not shivering even though it’s below freezing. Beneath all of this is my ColdGear Base 4.0 Crew. Full disclosure: I am not connected to UA in any way.

Stuff I use: Under Armour Cold Gear Base Extreme Leggings

If there’s anything worse in fishing than being cold and miserable (OK, throw in not catching, too) I’ve yet to experience it. That’s why Under Armour’s Cold Gear Base Extreme Leggings are hands down the best lower body bottom layer I’ve ever owned. I bought mine in 2018; this year’s model is called the ColdGear Base 4.0 Legging.

Ya done good, UnderArmour!


There’s a lot to love, starting with the fact that these things actually work. I’m the kind of guy who runs cold 24/7, so already I’m at a disadvantage before I step into the water. I wore these last year in all kinds of miserable conditions with a fleece pants overlay and stayed mighty comfortable in my 3mm neoprene waders.

Features you may be interested in: UA Scent Control Technology (and let’s be frank: that’s something we all could use in our nether regions); soft, brushed grid interior (very comfortable); fast-drying wicking material; working fly (yup, nature is going to call at some point). Be advised that the “Find Your True Fit Size” app on the UA site is fallible; it told me I was an XL and they hung on me like a cheap suit. I swapped ’em out for an L and we were warm and happy.

Price: $80

Rating: *****

Water’s cold, steelhead bite’s hot, legs are just right with the Under Armour ColdGear Base 4.0 Legging (hiding somewhere beneath it all). If you fish in cold water/cold weather conditions, you need these leggings.