Best Beanies for Running Reviewed and Tested – 2021

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
The North Face Bones Recycled
Test Winner: The North Face Bones Recycled
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Shopping for the best beanies for running is a pretty daunting task because there are just so many to choose from! In our experience, we found that not all beanies are created equal. While some may offer great style for casual winter wear, they may not be ideal for your longer trail runs. Runners need gear that traps heat and wicks away sweat. We made sure to select beanies that are super lightweight and thin enough to layer under other gear such as hoods, headphones (a real necessity to get you pumped for a chilly run!), ear muffs, and running sunglasses.

In this guide, we have provided a detailed list of the best beanies for running to keep you warm and dry when heading out for a nippy trail run.

Standout Picks

This is an excellent cold weather beanie that provides a secure and comfortable fit for most runners. It prevents overheating from happening while also ensuring you remain warm during your runs.
This highly affordable beanie is comfortable, lightweight, and has moisture-wicking properties. It has a unique design that covers the ears for a lot of warmth despite the thin material.
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If you want a basic beanie that does its job, looks great, and feels good while you're wearing it, this is a great choice.
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This product is a unique option that provides you with hands-free lighting. It's a perfect option for all runners--especially those of you who enjoy running in low light conditions.
This lightweight hat is perfect for fall and winter runs when you need a little extra warmth but don't want to carry a lot of extra weight. It also has Under Armour's Storm Finish to make it weather resistant against snow and rain while remaining breathable.
What runners love most about this design from Under Armour is that it is lightweight, yet it really traps in heat. The stretchy materials sewn into the fabric mean it will not shift around while you are running, and it helps to wick sweat away from the skin to keep you warm and dry no matter how hard you train. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
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If you’re looking for high-end performance, Pearl Izumi is generally a brand you can trust.
If you are looking for something that offers up a bit of style on top of functionality, the Creator II from Adidas is worth checking out. This simple design boasts the classic 3 adidas lines along the brim, and a subtle reflective Adidas logo on the front to keep you noticed when running in poor lit outdoor conditions. It’s a cinch to pop into the washing machine, and comes in at an affordable price point.
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Heating out into some pretty cold temperatures? If so, this design from Smartwool will work overtime to keep your head nice and toasty when the temperatures drop. It is composed of super warm materials that lock in heat and wick away moisture without weighing you down. It may cost a little bit more than some of the others that we have seen, but the quality of materials used makes it well worth it for extremely cold temperatures.
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Even though this option is what a lot of football players wear under their helmets, it can also be a great choice for runners. The form-fitting material hugs the user's head comfortably and also wicks away moisture.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Size

It is of the utmost importance to get the right sized beanie for your head.

If the fit is not right you will not get all the benefits that your beanie has to offer and you will spend more time trying to adjust it for a comfortable fit than you will actually focusing on your run or your workout session! Sizing is important which is why we made sure every beanie on our list is sized accurately and that they all are made to be easily worn and adjust as needed.

Fit and size are two of the most important factors to consider with all pieces of athletic wear. If what we are wearing doesn’t fit properly our runs can quickly become uncomfortable and much less enjoyable. Running beanies often come in “one size fits all” sizing, but it’s still important to try them on and ensure they don’t fit you too tightly or too loosely because each brand is a little bit different. The last thing you want is a beanie that you have to keep adjusting or that gives you a headache because it is far too tight.

Ideally, a beanie will fit snugly to your head to keep in the warmth and keep the hat from bouncing around or otherwise getting jostled during your run. Just be sure that it doesn't fit too tightly and cut off your circulation.

Comfort

Along with getting the right size and fit, you will of course want your running beanie to be comfortable.

This is one of the key factors we looked at when we were testing the popular beanies on the market to find the best ones for our list! When you are comfortable your runs go better, you perform better, and you get better results so we made sure to keep comfort front and center among the criteria we used t come up with this top 10 list.

With this type of product comfort usually comes from the material the beanie is made of as well as the fit, breathability, and protection it provides. The design and size that the company uses also makes a difference. Many beanies also have moisture-wicking properties so you don’t have to run with a soggy piece of material glued to your head.

Inherent in the design of a good beanie is a good amount of comfort simply because a snug fit holds in the heat, which is the number one purpose of this type of product, but it also is comfortable since there's just something about a part of your body being softly swaddled that just feels good. This doesn't mean, however, that all beanies are going to be comfortable which is why this is one of the factors we focused on during our research, only adding products that reviewers found to be comfortable.

Materials

A range of materials are used today in running beanies and each one has its one set of pros and cons.

We made sure to consider them both as we tried and tested the beanies that finally made our list. We did our best to include a range of material options here for you so no matter what your wants and needs are and what personal preferences you may have, you should be able to easily find a beanie that works for you.

The material clothing is made of is always an important feature to consider. If you are running in hot weather you will want a beanie that is well ventilated and offers breathability so you can stay dry and cool during your runs. Polyester beanies are the best choice for hot weather because they have moisture-wicking and breathable properties that will best suit your needs in the heat.

Durability

All running gear takes a lot of abuse from at times daily use.

The frequent use of many pieces means that they wear out faster and need to be replaced sooner. While this is a natural part of wear and tear you want to make sure you are buying gear that is as durable as possible so you get your money’s worth out of it before replacing it. The RunnerClick team made sure that every beanie on this list is durable and reliable and made to last!

Durability ensures your item will last you a long time and that you will get the use you need from me. Durable beanies balance out the money you spend on them and make them worthwhile. There's no point in purchasing a product that's just going to fall apart after only a few weeks of moderate use.

Breathability

The last factor we looked at when choosing our top ten beanies for running was how breathable the materials were.

While beanies are usually worn to help you stay warm in chilly weather, it is important to maintain good airflow. With no airflow you will overheat and sweat and be uncomfortable. Beanies that are made with breathable fabric allow some air exchange to occur so you stay comfortable while you are out on your run.

Although there are exceptions, people generally only wear this type of hat to run when it's cold outside. Since 80% of our body heat escapes out of our head, even in cold weather the addition of a warm hat can make things really toasty. Add in the body heat you generate from running and it's easy to very quickly heat up and start sweating. If the sweat that's on your head just stays there under your beanie, it can actually lead to you getting cold and even hypothermia in extreme cases.

Because of this, we looked closely at how breathable each product on our list was so that you can make a choice that's good for you.

Top 10 Beanies for Running

1. The North Face Bones Recycled

The North Face Bones Beanie
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This is an excellent cold weather beanie that provides a secure and comfortable fit for most runners. It prevents overheating from happening while also ensuring you remain warm during your runs.

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It is made of microfleece, which will keep you comfortable and warm while also providing you with adequate protection. This simple beanie is a bit pricey but its durability and numerous color options make it worth the investment and put it at number 1 on our list.

This beanie is made to be comfortable and durable. It is a good investment and with proper care, it can last for a good while.

As far as cost, this beanie is pretty standard in price. This makes it a great option that is in the price range for most users.

2. Tough Headwear

Where to buy
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Tough Headwear
Skull Cap Helmet Liner & Running Beanie Hat
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This highly affordable beanie is comfortable, lightweight, and has moisture-wicking properties. It has a unique design that covers the ears for a lot of warmth despite the thin material.

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It is versatile which means you can use it for running or as a helmet liner for additional warmth under your helmet.

It is small and compact enough to stuff in your pocket if you want to take it off and comes in fluorescent color options for increased visibility.

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3. Nike Pro Combat

Where to buy
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Nike Pro Combat
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If you want a basic beanie that does its job, looks great, and feels good while you're wearing it, this is a great choice.

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In terms of bang for your buck, it’s going to be challenging to do much better than the NIke Pro Combat Skull Cap.

This cap excels in moisture management, never accumulating pools of sweat or feeling stuffy. It also has a nice snug fit around the ears. Overall it’s a solid choice.

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4. Panther Vision

Where to buy
Panther Vision POWERCAP 2.0 Headlamp LED Beanie Cap
Panther Vision POWERCAP 2.0 Headlamp LED Beanie Cap
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This product is a unique option that provides you with hands-free lighting. It's a perfect option for all runners--especially those of you who enjoy running in low light conditions.

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This beanie is made of compressed fleece and provides adequate warmth and comfort during each of your runs. It comes in lots of color and pattern options and is highly durable as well as being easily washable and meant to last.

This beanie provides battery-operated lighting that allows you to see up to 72 feet away, all hands-free. It provides 48 lumens of light output.

This option is highly affordable, especially considering its additional hands-free lighting feature. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

5. Under Armour Coldgear Reactor

Where to buy
Under Armour Men's ColdGear Reactor Elements Beanie
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This lightweight hat is perfect for fall and winter runs when you need a little extra warmth but don't want to carry a lot of extra weight. It also has Under Armour's Storm Finish to make it weather resistant against snow and rain while remaining breathable.

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The soft fleece feels plush against your skin, and a little bit of elastane in the material blend helps it fit snugly to the head. As with most products of this type, it only comes in one size, but we didn't find any problems with it not fitting customers.

Despite being so warm and weather-resistant, Under Armour's proprietary Storm Finish does a good job of being breathable and moisture wicking. This is especially important for headgear that's meant to be worn in cold weather since having a wet head while it's cold outside can be dangerous and lead to hypothermia in extreme situations.

6. Under Armour Billboard 3.0

Where to buy
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Under Armour Men's Billboard Beanie 3.0
Under Armour Men's Billboard Beanie 3.0
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What runners love most about this design from Under Armour is that it is lightweight, yet it really traps in heat. The stretchy materials sewn into the fabric mean it will not shift around while you are running, and it helps to wick sweat away from the skin to keep you warm and dry no matter how hard you train. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.

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One of the very first things that we noticed about this design lies on the inside of the cap. It has no seam lines that will dig into certain points of your head, making this design comfortable enough to wear all day long.

This design is composed of 100 percent polyester, which means that it is incredibly durable. This knit polyester works to wick away sweat from your head where it quickly dries on the surface to keep your head warm and dry when training in super cold temperatures.

If you are in the market for something simple, affordable, and effective, this design from Under Armour is a great choice.

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7. Pearl Izumi Thermal

Where to buy
PEARL IZUMI Thermal Skull Cap
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If you’re looking for high-end performance, Pearl Izumi is generally a brand you can trust.

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This hat may appear thin at a glance but its high-grade thermal material will keep your head nice and toasty and protect you from harsh winter winds. Overall a nice pick for any cold weather occasion.

Great design that is comfortable and easy to wear, it features a simple design that makes it a popular choice for runners.

8. Adidas Creator II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Creator II Beanie
Creator II Beanie
Amazon Link

If you are looking for something that offers up a bit of style on top of functionality, the Creator II from Adidas is worth checking out. This simple design boasts the classic 3 adidas lines along the brim, and a subtle reflective Adidas logo on the front to keep you noticed when running in poor lit outdoor conditions. It’s a cinch to pop into the washing machine, and comes in at an affordable price point.

Read more

The knit ribs at the base also ensure that this design stays put as you pick up the pace. The fabric of this design is composed of 60 percent acrylic and 40 percent polyester. The higher percentage of acrylic materials is what makes the Creator II so incredibly soft and lightweight. This cap stretches easily on your head, and the blend of polyester and acrylic materials works to wick away moisture from your head so that it stays warm and dry in cold climates.

If you are in the market for a design that marries modest style and function, the Creator II is a great choice. We love that this simple design works to manage moisture when you work up a sweat and it fits comfortably on your head for all-day wear. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.

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9. Smartwool Merino Sport 150

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie
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Heating out into some pretty cold temperatures? If so, this design from Smartwool will work overtime to keep your head nice and toasty when the temperatures drop. It is composed of super warm materials that lock in heat and wick away moisture without weighing you down. It may cost a little bit more than some of the others that we have seen, but the quality of materials used makes it well worth it for extremely cold temperatures.

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This cap is made from 100 percent Merino wool which not only feels light and soft to the touch, but it is great at preventing heat from escaping through the top of your head. It also boasts a longer profile that will keep your ears and eyebrows nice and toasty all day long.

While this cap works overtime in keeping your head warm, it is incredibly lightweight as well. Runners can opt to wear this cap on its own to trap in heat, and it is thin enough to be layered under the hood of your running hoodie or jacket. It offers excellent stretch and fit, which means that it won’t ride up or shift around as you move.

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10. Adidas Football

Where to buy
Amazon Link
adidas Football Skull Cap
adidas Football Skull Cap
Amazon Link

Even though this option is what a lot of football players wear under their helmets, it can also be a great choice for runners. The form-fitting material hugs the user's head comfortably and also wicks away moisture.

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Made out of 100% polyester this option got good marks for being well-constructed and durable. There were a couple of reports of the logo starting to come off or fade over time, but overall this didn't seem to be a very common issue and doesn't affect the performance at all.

This one is super breathable due to being 100% polyester with a fairly loose weave. What this means is that the reason synthetic materials like polyester can wick moisture and be breathable is that they cannot absorb moisture like cotton and other natural fibers can, and instead liquids pass around them to the outside air where they can dry naturally.

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Sources

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Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.