The Best Running Skull Caps Reviewed & Tested
Searching for the best running skull caps? Take a look at the top choices for 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying one in a store!
I’m sure that most everyone has heard the phrase “you lose most of your heat through your head” at least once and probably a lot more often. Sometimes it even gets really hyperbolic, with people throwing out stats like 70% or 80% of your heat evaporates here. Is this the truth or is it an long told fable?
Well, like so many things in life it isn’t black and white — the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
On a purely logical level it wouldn’t make sense that we lose that high a percentage of heat through our heads. The head accounts for such a small surface area that its rate of heat loss would have to be exponential to lose that much total heat, when compared to the rest of the body. Not surprisingly it doesn’t.
In the following we’ve taken a thorough look at skull caps and selected the most optimal for runners. Herein are reviews, details, and discussion — all you need to know about skull caps. Enjoy!
Ergodyne 6630 High-Performance Cap
- Simple and to the point, high-performing skull cap, that is efficient and comfortable
- Made from HiCool fabrics that work as a great thermoregulation aid
- All synthetic, sponge and elastics are designed for max absorption
- One size fits all
- The colors are unique and varied: blue, Lime, Stars & Stripes, camouflage, barbed wire, mexican flag, red western, skulls, and of course flames
- Practical design
- Many colors including high visibility options
- Excellent temperature regulation
- Universal size fits small for some
Nike Pro Combat Hypercool Skull Cap
- Made from 87% Polyester and 13% Spandex
- Strategically located Nike Hypercool zones allows for unimpeded ventilation
- Nike Dri-FIT Fabric makes sure that athletes stay cool, dry and comfortable at all times
- Premium fit and zero distractions with
- Nike Pro Combat Jock Tag for maximum brand recognition
- DriFit moisture wicking properties
- Flat lock stitching to reduce chance of irritations
- HyperCool zones for increased ventilation
- A bit constrictive for some
Pearl Izumi Barrier Skull Cap
- Made from 100% polyester
- Windproof panel combined with high grade thermal fabric, provides extremely warm full head coverage
- Performance engineered for the the body in motion, won’t constrict or slip easily.
- Proudly manufactured in the USA
- Has 4 core fabric technologies (Transfer, Barrier, Thermal and Softshell ) — in tandem these work together to deliver optimum performance
- Pearl Izumi product has a reputation for high quality and they offer a lifetime guarantee with their products, not too shabby!
- Ideal for colder weather
- Engineered for motion, so a great choice for running
- Comprised of fabric technologies such as Transfer, Barrier, Thermal and Softshell for optimal protection
- A few weren't crazy about the tight fit
Under Armour Mesh Skullcap 2.0
- Fabric breakdown: 84% Polyester and 16% Elastane
- Comes in 6 color options,
- Has an eye catching UA design
- Signature Moisture Transport System ensures you stay nice and dry
- 4-way stretch fabrication and ergonomic seams make for a comfortable fit
- Ultra-soft on the skin, ultra-lightweight won’t create even the smallest bit of drag
- Super lightweight
- Moisture managing properties wick away sweat
- 4-way stretch material for a conforming fit
- Produces very little drag
- The fit seemed a bit short for some
SweatHawg Shorty Skull Cap
- Primed for sweat control.
- Hyper-absorbent material in the brow to stop dripping and keep your eyes clear
- Ultraviolet protection, also provides a bit of warmth in cool weather. Shorty version comes down to cover your ears.
- Made in the USA.
- Provides decent moisture control
- Hyper-absorbent material in the brow to keep sweat out of the eyes
- Good choice for cooler weather
- A bit bulkier than some others
Icebreaker Pocket Hat
- Dual layered and reversible
- Odor resistant, fights bacteria and sweat accumulation
- Slim, low profile and snug fit hat
- Two colour options available
- Offers lightweight yet extremely powerful insulation
- New (based on feedback and redesign) and improved fit
- Provides lightweight insulation
- Snug, low profile design, perfect for running
- Reversible, dual layer construction
- Improved fit
- Only 2 color choices
Craft Active WindStopper
- Made from 92% Polyester and 8% EPTFE
- Flatlock seams won’t irritate and move smoothly with the body
- Engineered fit and superb drying properties
- Has a hexa-channel fiber (yarn) resting against the skin, which enhances moisture transport, and improving thermoregulation
- Protects your body in mild and windy/cold conditions, won’t overheat
On the exterior, a brushed fiber offers extra insulation
- Flat lock seams reduce chances of irritation
- Engineered fit
- Hexa-channel fiber enhances moisture control
- Blocks the wind
- Some hoped it would work better against stronger winds
Saucony Unisex Omni Skull Cap
Material breakdown: 92% Polyester 8% Spandex
- Gender neutral fit
- Keep warm in chilly weather with secure fitting skull cap
- Completely reversible hat offers two elegant color options
- Four way stretch means it fits tight to the head and secures the ears/neck area
- Thermal fabric manages moisture efficiently
- Stitches in reflective logos are there for extra visibility
- Secure, insulating fit
- Reversible construction
- Ideal choice for cold weather
- Moisture wicking properties
- Some found the fit a little short
To borrow a phrase from WebMd: “The real reason we lose heat through our head is because most of the time when we’re outside in the cold, we’re clothed but not wearing a hat.” It’s the difference between simply covered skin and not covered skin. Research has more or less shown that the head loses heat at the same rate as any other part of your body.
So, there’s that myth busted. This does however leave the the task of making sure our heads are well covered in cold weather. If you’re training in the winter (or summer for that matter) you need some good protection for your dome. There’s a million hats to choose from, and there’s also skull caps — a sleek and high performing alternative.
Whether you’re training in the bitter winter cold or blasting summer heat skull cap can do quite a bit to help your body thermoregulate itself. There is a reason a lot of NFL players wear them for a competitive advantage. Running bands can be another solution, however we’ve found their lack of full coverage to provide less benefit when it comes to staying warm or remaining cool. Be sure to pay close attention to sizing, the last thing you want is elastic constricting your head. So that’s it, these are are our top eight — cheers to warm ears and a sweat free brow!