2XU Run Cap

One of the best things about running that helps to explain its consistent popularity as an active pastime is the fact that it can be done nearly anywhere. People can run in man-made environments like a sidewalk or well-manicured lawn, or they can run in natural settings like a hiking path or mountain trail. With modern exercise technology, people can even run in place at the gym or in the comfort of their own home.

In order to accommodate the versatility of running, many products have been created and a lucrative industry has formed. The most obvious example of this is the creation and distribution of footwear: jogging shoes, training shoes, trail running shoes, road running shoes, and so on. But any experienced runner knows that footwear is only the tip of the iceberg. After all, running is an activity that engages the entire body; it makes sense that accessories for the rest of the body can have a positive effect on the experience.

2XU is a company that specializes in ancillary running equipment, with their compression gear being some particularly impressive examples of their expertise in these departments. Their Run Cap is a refreshing take on the ubiquitous baseball cap design, only optimized for running outdoors. There are enough features baked into its deceptively simplistic design to allow for a much more enjoyable running session than what many outdoor runners may have thought was possible.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Fantastic breathability
  • Decent color options
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Cons
    • Cheap looking
    • No children sizes
    • Key Features
      As an article of headgear, the 2XU Run Cap is designed to be worn over the user’s head. It looks and functions in much the same way as a traditional baseball cap since it is made from a short skull cap with an adjustable strap in the back and a rounded rim in the front. The cap serves a few purposes: it can hold the wearer’s hair back and out of the way of their eyes, it can deflect sunlight that could otherwise disturb their scalp and hair, and it can absorb sweat and other forms of moisture. The brim on the front of this cap serves a few purposes as well since it can shield the wearer’s brow and eyes from the sun when positioned in front, and shield the back of their neck when positioned in the back.

      The logical conclusion based on the design of this product is that outdoor environments are the most appropriate for its use. The cap and brim are extremely effective at shielding the wearer from sunlight without weighing down their head or looking visually unappealing. However, the secondary benefits provided by this cap make it useful indoors, such as when running or performing exercises in a gym. Finally, this cap is more suited to running than the basic baseball caps and “dad hats” it most closely resembles thanks to some design quirks implemented by 2XU, such as a sturdy nylon construction and mesh side vents.
      While the type of headgear that the 2XU Run Cap’s design was inspired by isn’t exactly bad in terms of breathability, there was certainly room for improvement. It’s not uncommon to hear people who wear baseball caps, fitted snapback, or dad hats complain of odor or matted hair after wearing them for long periods of time. These problems are only exacerbated by the introduction of physically strenuous activities such as running, so it’s fortunate that 2XU went to great lengths in order to make their product well-ventilated.

      The first design aspect that improves this hat’s airflow is the material used in its construction. Ordinarily, this style of hat will be made from a thick fabric reinforced with stiff paper or plastic in order to retain its shape. The 2XU Run Cap uses a thin layer of nylon instead, which means that it can facilitate airflow to a much more significant degree at the expense of its firmness. This material also has moisture wicking properties, which means that “hat hair” can be avoided due to effective sweat management.

      Traditional baseball caps and snapbacks also rely on tiny eyelets added to the sides of the top cap for ventilation, which is a very ineffective manner of doing so. What this 2XU product does instead is opts for several small vertical strips of mesh material along the top which function as air vents. These are far more effective at letting air flow in and out, although it does look a bit tacky as a consequence.
      There’s a strong case to be made that the most important aspect of any article of clothing is the comfort. No matter how well it protects the wearer or how good it looks or how effective it is at improving their performance in a particular activity, an individual simply won’t want to wear it if it isn’t comfortable. For that reason, it’s a good thing that the 2XU Run Cap doesn’t skimp on this important feature.

      Nylon may sound like a rough material to those who have seen it used for applications other than apparel. It’s a common material used to create tarps, parachutes, ropes, and other textile-based products that need to provide excellent durability. None of these products are particularly well-known for being comfortable or soft to the touch, so the stigma makes sense. However, the nylon used in the design of this running cap is much softer than the kind used for the aforementioned products, since it is intended to be worn on the body. Additionally, 2XU’s performance enhancing features such as air vents and moisture-wicking technology provides enhanced comfort as secondary benefits. The end result of these design decisions is a product that is so soft, lightweight, and breathable that wearers might forget that they had it on their heads in the first place.
      One element of the 2XU Run Cap’s design that is relatively unchanged in comparison to its stylistic influence is the way in which sizing is handled. For the most part, baseball caps like these are sold in a one-size-fits-all format with the assumption that it will fit the majority of adults’, or children's, heads. In order to provide some accommodation for small discrepancies in circumference, these hats will have a belt strap or stretchy rim with the aim of maintaining a stable and comfortable grip.

      With this running cap, a Velcro strap placed on the rear is used to offer meager customization in terms of sizing. This product is only available in one size that is intended for use by adults. Teenagers may be able to wear this hat comfortably and securely with some adjustment of this rear strap, but younger children likely won’t. This is acceptable in terms of headgear sizing and shouldn’t lead to any issues for the vast majority of customers. Unfortunately, there isn’t any specific sizing information provided by the manufacturer, so any prospective customers will simply need to act on faith if they want to purchase this product online. Otherwise, it is recommended that people who are interested in this cap try it on first if they have the option.
      In terms of running accessories, the need for durability will vary depending on what part of the body they involve. For footwear, a long-lasting build quality is extremely important since they will be subjected to the greatest amount of stress. Pants and underwear are next on the list, considering the fact that the lower body plays a heavy role in the running process. From there, articles of clothing and accessories that cover the upper body and head don’t need to be as concerned with durability, at least as far as running is concerned.

      With the 2XU Run Cap, however, a strong and resilient build was a clear goal in their design process: one that they accomplished expertly. The fact that the entire cap is made from nylon proves that this manufacturer was determined to provide their customers with the most durable running hat possible that still feels lightweight and breathable. Nylon is well-known for its ability to withstand punishment and the fact that skydivers and BASE jumpers entrust the material with their lives is a testament to that fact. On the other hand, the Velcro strap found on the rear of this run cap is less resilient than other common baseball cap rear fasteners such as a metal belt. However, it’s still more than capable of withstanding common environmental hazards that might be encountered during the typical running session, although using it for trail running is not advised.
      The 2XU Run Cap is an accessory in and of itself. It is designed as a supplementary addition to a runner’s wardrobe and certainly isn’t necessary to the same degree as a good pair of shoes or shorts would be. It also isn’t designed to be compatible with any other accessories since it’s only a hat. The closest thing to an accessory that this product provides compatibility for is a hole in the back for wearers to thread their hair through if they have a ponytail. Other than that, there is no real compatibility with accessories or additional accessories provided by this product.
      In their earliest stages of existence, the baseball cap was used for a specific purpose that had nothing to do with fashion. Over time, the popularity of this headgear led to the increased adoption by individuals who appreciated its functionality, which inevitably led to people adopting this product for its aesthetic appeal. The moment where the baseball cap’s driving popularity passed from function to form is when they started being worn backward, with the brim facing the back of the neck rather than over the brow. Now, the 2XU is much like other hats of its kind in that it offers a stylistic flair as well as a common utility.

      Unfortunately, this 2XU product comes at a disadvantage in terms of fashion appeal. For one thing, the fact that it is made entirely from nylon means that it doesn’t retain its shape as well as a high-end snapback, causing it to look cheap in comparison. Additionally, the sizable mesh vents meant to improve breathability come across as tacky. However, 2XU still makes an effort to provide a modicum of stylistic appeal to this product through a range of colorways. The stock option is an all-black build, which is easy to coordinate with other articles of clothing and does a good job obscuring the awkward-looking air vents. For individuals who find this color scheme to be boring, they also offer a bright blue and white variant for some extra flair.

      A third model of the 2XU Run Cap was designed that is mostly black with some bright pink accents. This model is also accompanied by a pink ribbon, the official symbol for breast cancer awareness. It’s a nice touch to provide a product that helps raise awareness but 2XU has not stated whether any of the profits for this product actually goes toward breast cancer research or treatment, which may be concerning to some individuals.
      In addition to making this product breathable and lightweight, the fact that the 2XU Run Cap is made entirely from nylon means that it costs very little to make. As a result, the savings are passed down to the customer by selling this product at an exceptionally low price. A nice snapback or a dad hat can easily cost twice the amount that 2XU is asking for with this product. And considering the fact that the air vents and moisture-wicking technology built into this hat improve its functionality over traditional headwear, the value factor is through the roof. It certainly won’t look as good as a much more expensive hat with a sports logo or city name on it, but it makes for an affordable accessory during a sunny outdoor run.
      Key Features

      • 100% nylon construction

      • Moisture wicking technology reduces sweat pooling

      • One-size-fits-all design with adjustable rear Velcro strap

      • Breast cancer awareness colorway

      • Mesh segments on cap for ventilation

      Bottom Line
      Despite all of the interesting features in the 2XU Run Cap’s design, it’s not a requirement for outdoor runners by any means. In fact, the potential benefits that can be gained for anyone interested in wearing this are minimal and can be easily replicated with a decent pair of sunglasses. With that being said, individuals who appreciate both running outside and wearing baseball caps will find a lot to like about this product and will certainly want to consider making a purchase.
      Where to Buy
      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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