Whenever I complained about being cold as a kid my Dad had one response: “Put a beanie on”. He wouldn’t even listen to me unless I had a noggin-shaped tea cosy pulled snuggly over my ears. Kathmandu’s “Khusi” beanie sounds like it’s for keeping your Oolong Chai warm, but it’s actually a Nepalese word. It means “happy”.
What Makes This Beanie “Happy”?
The first thing I noticed on the Khusi Beanie Kathmandu gave me was the tag. “Hand knitted in Nepal/By people like Sabina” it says. Basically, Kathmandu has employed a group of Nepalese women to use their traditional knitting skills to produce these beanies.
This is great for two reasons: It provides an income for families in a particularly tough part for the world and socially, it empowers women, whom often find it tough to find work in Nepal, primarily due to cultural issues.
I’m pretty psyched on this. Nepal was hit by a pretty ruthless earthquake in 2015 which hurt both infrastructure and tourism (as well as people of course). It’s also pretty cool to see the company supporting the region it’s named after. I’d love to see much more of this from Kathmandu in the future.
Check out the 30 second video below for a weirdly well-produced snapshot of the ladies in action.
But Is The Khusi Any Good?
You could make pants that pull puppies out of crevasses but if they’re not good pants, you’re not gonna save many puppies.
The Khusi has a shell made completely of lambswool. I had to look this up, but lambswool is the short wool from the first shearing of a sheep; it’s naturally softer and springier than normal wool. There’s only one size and I found it a little tight around the temples to begin with on my average sized dome, but it loosened up within a few days.
Inside there’s a 10cm wide band of polyester lining that covers the cross section around your ears. I actually love this. You need a lining in properly cold conditions to stop wind coming through the rather large holes in knitted wool, but completely lined beanies often get far too warm. Especially if you’ve got a full head of hair.
As it is, the Khusi’s as warm as the detectives sussing out Cardinal Pell. I can’t wear it in my frigid apartment, but it was the perfect match for a night out on Mount Solitary last weekend.
Stylistically the patterns and colours are pretty relaxed, it works just as well with urban outfits (I feel kind of dirty using that phrase but i’m not always in lightweight poly). There are a few “Kathmandu Green” highlights that seem out of place on my red, black and grey beanie, but they don’t look too hard to remove.
Kathman-do Or Don’t?
Reviewing a beanie isn’t hard, but I was pretty impressed with the Khusi. It looks good, keeps my head toasty out bush and breathes well thanks to the natural wool. And it supports a whole crew of Nepalese ladies. If you’re looking for a great beanie this winter, the Khusi will definitely put a smile on your face.
Need Some Winter Inspiration?
A Mighty View from Mueller Hut (NZ)