Company Spotlight: Kora and a review of the ShoLa 230 Esker Hat

Run Oregon sometimes receives products to review. Here are our impressions of Kora's ShoLa 230 Esker Hat: Company: 
Himalayan nomads have been wearing yak wool for centuries, but we're the first company to develop this astonishing fibre into high performance technical fabrics for outdoor adventurers. Unlike some outdoor clothing brands, we don't buy our fabrics. We make them. We've spent years perfecting our fabrics through our in-house development programme Hima-Layer - and we design our clothing with the same meticulous attention to detail. Our garments are tested extensively in the laboratory and in the field. Our Adventure Ambassadors have trialled our gear in a wide range of environments, including a ski tour in the Alps, an expedition to Arctic Greenland and a cycle trip across Europe.

Within the past few weeks, our weather has definitely taken a turn for the cooler. After a summer and fall of warm temperatures, I really didn’t get around to thinking about cold weather gear until recently. To me, one of the more underrated items of running gear is a beanie. I know not everyone is a hat or beanie weather, but it is almost a staple for me in the cool autumn and winter evenings – both while running and while just being out about.

Shola 230 Esker Hat

The ShoLa 230 Esker hat is a simple, yet really warm beanie. The hat itself is made from pure yak wool – a relatively unique wool in the apparel world. It doesn’t feel too different from other wool, but really does the job well. The wool is actually sourced from nomad families in the Himalayas near the Qinghai Tibet plateau.The product is billed as “exceptionally warm and windproof, yet breathable and moisture-wicking too.” I would have to agree with that claim by using this within the last few weeks. I first wore it while doing some very simple yard work, and noticed just how warm it kept me. Seeing as it wasn’t even full-on cool weather at that time, I almost had to pull it off as it was keeping me super toasty. It is lightweight enough to fit under a hat or visor despite its warming qualities.

The design and colors of the hat are simple enough on first look, so it can be worn on any cool occasion. There is one vertical stripe that goes halfway up one side which is described as depicting the Himalayas and the colors of the locals Tibetan prayer flags. That is a great little local touch.

Specs:

  • 66% more breathable and 40% warmer than merino wool
  • Double layer of fabric for added wind proofing and comfort
  • Wicks moisture efficiently and allows sweat vapour to escape from your skin, so you won’t overheat or feel clammy
  • Built-in, 40+ UPF protects your scalp
  • Feels soft like cashmere – and there’s no itch
  • Naturally odour-resistant, so it will smell fresh for longer
ShoLa is more than just hats though, as they offer some cutting edge baselayer shirts and pants from the same yak wool that are sure to keep you warm this winter.
About Matt Rasmussen (1612 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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