The effects on hearing thresholds, sound attenuation, and consonant discrimination of wearing a balaclava under hearing-protecting earmuffs were studied. This combination is commonly worn during cold weather military operations. One group of 20 normal-hearing adults (10 male and 10 female subjects) was tested. Within-subject measurements were made of diffuse-field hearing thresholds from 0.25 kHz to 8 kHz and consonant discrimination in quiet with the ears unoccluded and protected with the earmuffs alone and with the balaclava worn full face or rolled. Attenuation was derived from the protected and unoccluded thresholds at each frequency. When the balaclava was worn full face, attenuation decreased by 16 to 18 dB, relative to the muff alone, below 6.3 kHz. With the balaclava worn as a cap, there was an inverted U-shaped decrement in attenuation of 18 to 27 dB from 0.25 Hz to 4 kHz. Consonant discrimination decreased by 7% with the muffs alone. These findings underscore the importance of assessing protective equipment under the conditions in which it will be worn.