I travel a lot and often forget to pack my eye mask because it’s so flimsy. The back section of this snug, warm beanie is split so that you can turn it around and use it as an eye shield that provides greater eye coverage without the fuss of uncomfortable elastic bands at the back. There is a small pocket in the rim for stashing things, like a couple of sleeping pills for a long flight. And there is also a drawcord in the rim that you can pull tight to make the beanie into a small bag.
I suppose you could modify a beanie with a (nose)slit, but I am not the most adept seamster. Arguably, if I could find a tight knit beanie I would be willing to try and mod it, but this one has been the best find in my opinion, because of its fit as much as its additional features.
I can be quite persnickety about beanies. I have two other beanies — one is Polarfleece(r) that I only use for camping because it has a fold-over brim that isn’t exactly fashion-forward. The other is a surf-brand beanie I bought easily 10 years ago, which features a tight knit and snug fit. I ardently looked for a replacement for at least three years before I found this very comfortable Patagonia beanie. The Patagonia beanie fulfills both roles I need a beanie for: camping (Iwore it recently at a mountain biking race in the Vermont backwoods), as well as urban wear (I wore it last week in cool weather in downtown San Diego).
I really like the tight-knit fabric and can nap/sleep fitfully while traveling. I have used it flying from California to Carolina and then again up to NYC and Vermont, but I fly trans-Atlantically at least once a year and am really looking forward to using this beanie on one of my longer 16-hour trips.
[Unfortunately Patagonia is no longer manufacturing this beanie. If you find a comparable beanie from another manufacturer, please let us know -- SL]