Don't you love when you find something fabulous that you weren't even looking for?
When I got my MEC Slipstream jacked last year there was a lot to love about it. But there was one feature listed on the product description that I'd never heard of - a balaclava style hood. Essentially it's just a tight fitting hood.
At first I wasn't sure I loved it because, honestly, it looks kind of goofy. But as I used my jacket I realized that it added a whole new level of functionality. Not only was it a close fitting hood that fully covered your head yet never impeded your vision (how is that so rare?) but because of the tight fit it can be worn under things - like bike helmets, toques, and climbing helmets.
Ultimately it keeps me from having to carry/own extra items (like an ear cover when I'm biking) and adds an extra layer of coziness (a fleecy hood under your toque on a cold ski day keeps that back of your neck nice and warm).
And since I'm a dedicated function-over-fashion girl, the balaclava hood gets an enthusiastic thumbs up!
How about you? Did you ever find an indispensable piece of gear when you least expected it?