Best Beanies for Running Reviewed and Tested – 2021
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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Keeps you warm
Lots of color options
Top 10 Beanies for Running
1. The North Face Bones Recycled
Keeps you warm
Lots of color options
Not very soft
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.Read more
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
Budget friendly pricing
Can be prone to fading
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.Read more
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.
3. Nike Pro Combat
Budget friendly pricing
Flat seams, rests smoothly on head
The fit is a little tight
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.Read more
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.
4. Panther Vision
Lots of color and pattern options
Not very breathable
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.Read more
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
Possible durability issues with lining
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.Read more
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
No interior seamlines
Great moisture management
It may fit too tight for some
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.Read more
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.
7. Pearl Izumi Thermal
Quality manufacturing, ergonomically shaped
Higher priced option
If you’re looking for high-end performance, Pearl Izumi is generally a brand you can trust.Read more
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
Excellent moisture management
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.
9. Smartwool Merino Sport 150
100 percent Merino wool
Will not shift
Cold wash only
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.Read more
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.
10. Adidas Football
Simple and effective
The style isn't for everyone
Doesn't fit bald people well
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.Read more
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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although it seems silly to choose a piece of athletic apparel based on appearance, it's actually a good idea. While it's not the most important factor, studies show that people who like the way they look in their running clothes run farther and more often than those who don't like how they look. So don't make it your first priority, but don't be ashamed of looking good either.
Beanies are perfect for running in cool and cold weather. But that doesn't mean you should wear the thickest, warmest one you can find. This can actually lead to overheating and sweating, which in cold weather can be dangerous and lead to hypothermia in extreme cases. We recommend having a couple of different beanies of varying thicknesses and insulation values so that you can wear the one most appropriate to the temperature outside.
Once you have found the beanie that is best for you and that meets your needs for running and working out, it is best to buy several of them. Having more than one beanie on hand means they will last longer because there are more of them to absorb the wear and tear. You will be doing less laundry because you will have more available when you need them. And having multiple beanies in different colors allows you to change things up and keep your gear and your look fresh and stylish all season long!
When the time comes that you need to wash your beanie, it is always best to follow the care label for the individual beanie as the washing and care instructions can vary from one brand to another depending on the materials used and the style of the beanie itself. As a general rule, hand washing is usually a safe bet and you can air dry your beanie to help preserve its shape and to keep it from getting stretched out in the wash or from shrinking in the dryer.
Other Factors to Consider
SPF is another protective feature your beanie can provide you with and many beanies provide additional UV protection from the sun, which is highly important if you are outside a lot. Many materials also protect against odor and ensure you have a clean and healthy atmosphere for your hair and head. Lastly, if the material is rigid in any way then the beanie is not ideal for running. Runners need flexible, stretch materials that will constrict them in any way.
When compiling our lists and suggestions, we always make sure to take all types of budgets into account. So, if you have a specific price point in mind it’s important to make the best selection for you within what your budget allows.
Surprisingly, there are some heavy beanie options available out there which is due to the materials they are made of. Lightweight options are the best options for runners because they won’t weigh you down and have a “barely there” feel to them. We found most runners steer clear from those heavier options unless they absolutely need some of the features they provide.
While you are searching for the best running beanie to add to your running gear collection, you may want to take a moment to stop and think about style. Beanies come in many different styles and designs so you should have no problem finding a look that fits your style and flare and likes. From the design of the beanie itself to the style and design and colors, we did our best to give you a wide variety of styles to choose from here on our list of the top ten beanies for runners just like you!
While we are talking about style, we also have to mention color for a moment! The color of the beanie you choose can end up being more than just a fashion statement. Your beanie can actually help you stay safe by making you more visible. If you enjoy early morning or nighttime runs or end up running in rainy or foggy conditions, visibility is usually greatly reduced. A brightly colored beanie can reflect light and help you stand out in the darkness so you are more easily seen by drivers and other pedestrians while you are out for a run!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why are beanies a good option for running?
Beanies are good for running because unlike hats they provide warmth and allow you to cover your ears. They are manufactured with materials that will keep you warm and are also trendy, versatile, and provide a more secure fit.
q: How often should I wash my beanie?
This depends on how often you go running in it. However, it is recommended you wash your beanie once a week, per the directions on its label.
q: How long before I need to buy another beanie?
This also depends on how often you were your beanie out on runs. Frequent use may require you to change your beanie every 4-5 months, while less frequent use means you may be able to wait longer. Replacement also depends on how well you take care of your beanie.
q: Do I buy beanies depending on the season?
Yes, this is an important thing to consider. Cold seasons require warmer options that will retain moisture while hot weather requires more lightweight and breathable options that ensure you remain cool and dry.
q: What's the best way to care for a beanie?
Each product is a bit different so it's hard to give you a standard answer here. Each one will come with care instructions, however, and we recommend you follow those closely. It's also not a bad idea to air dry your beanie because any shrinkage in the dryer can adversely affect the product's breathability by tightening the weave so that moisture can't pass through.
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