I’ve made a lot of these insulated hoods with varying styles of construction. This is a really easy do-it-yourself (DIY) project, especially if you can use pieces from a fleece blanket that already has a nice hem that can work as a channel for a draw cord.

I love DIY projects that are simple to construct. Hoods and balaclavas can get complicated when you want to build them with fitted contours, etc. I’ve found that a simple tube works remarkable well and with the “face hole,” it allows me to wear the hood around my neck, or pulled up and over to be a beanie.

I’ve sewn layers of fleece or added insulation between outer layers to create very warm winter hoods that were absolutely roasting hot. In three-season backpacking, I’ve found that using a single-layer hood/balaclava works wonders at keeping warm.

The 3-layer Insultex version I made weighs only 5 oz (142 g). The single-layer fleece versions weigh around 2–3 oz (57–85 g).

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A blurry shot in the early morning. This shows my 3-layer insulated hood. SUPER hot. I used Velcro® Omni-Tape® to attach the front.

A blurry shot in the early morning. This shows my 3-layer insulated hood. SUPER hot. I used Velcro® Omni-Tape® to attach the front.

I prefer to use elastic shock cord for the draw cord. This allows me to pull the hood over my head without having to release the cord lock. It feels less claustrophobic to me in the middle of the night.

I prefer to use elastic shock cord for the draw cord. This allows me to pull the hood over my head without having to release the cord lock. It feels less claustrophobic to me in the middle of the night.

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Since this shell fabric doesn't stretch, I made this hood wider and used the Velcro tabs to make it easier to put the hood on.

Since this shell fabric doesn’t stretch, I made this hood wider and used the Velcro tabs to make it easier to put the hood on.

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This is the simple, single-layer fleece hood with a cord lock.

This is the simple, single-layer fleece hood with a cord lock.

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I made this hood with a more fitted taper around the neck and an extra strip of fabric in front to enclose my nose better.

I made this hood with a more fitted taper around the neck and an extra strip of fabric in front to enclose my nose better.

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Here is the fitted hood cinched up. The trimmed neck comes down at an angle, which reduces weight and also removes excess fabric bunching around my neck.

Here is the fitted hood cinched up. The trimmed neck comes down at an angle, which reduces weight and also removes excess fabric bunching around my neck.