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10 Best Running Skull Caps Reviewed & Tested

last updated Oct 07, 2018

To borrow a phrase from WebMd: “The real reason we lose heat through our head is that 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 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 are a million hats to choose from, and there’s also skull caps — a sleek and high performing alternative.

The best options are made from breathable fabrics—like polyester, nylon, and spandex—that can stretch and ensure a secure fit. They work well to keep you cool and dry and they are designed to wick away sweat. They also help prevent skin irritation and painful chafing problems.

When choosing, look for odor resistance features (if you have longer hair), strategic air ventilation capability, moisture-wicking fabrics, and built-in thermal heat retention capability (for colder weather).

Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1598
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
24
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated: October 6, 2018
By Kelly Lowis:

With this update we upgraded to the new layout which makes finding the best skull cap for you that much easier. You can now navigate through the page much easier and faster. Don't forget to check out the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Sorting Options
Materials Comfort Breathability Size Protection By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Materials
95%
Comfort
95%
Breathability
94%
Size
94%
Protection
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$15.97
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Materials
94%
Comfort
94%
Breathability
95%
Size
93%
Protection
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$15.99
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Materials
93%
Comfort
93%
Breathability
92%
Size
92%
Protection
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$22.05
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Materials
92%
Comfort
92%
Breathability
91%
Size
91%
Protection
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$16.99
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Materials
91%
Comfort
90%
Breathability
90%
Size
90%
Protection
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$24.00
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Materials
89%
Comfort
90%
Breathability
89%
Size
88%
Protection
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$26.95
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Materials
87%
Comfort
88%
Breathability
87%
Size
87%
Protection
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$9.95
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Materials
87%
Comfort
86%
Breathability
85%
Size
86%
Protection
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$34.99
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Materials
83%
Comfort
84%
Breathability
83%
Size
84%
Protection
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$22.00
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Materials
80%
Comfort
82%
Breathability
82%
Size
80%
Protection
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$11.95
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Adventurologist Skull Cap
  • Nike Pro Combat Hypercool
  • Pearl Izumi Barrier
  • Under Armour Mesh 2.0
  • SweatHawg Shorty
  • Icebreaker Pocket
  • Tough Headwear Skull Cap
  • Craft Active WindStopper
  • Saucony Unisex Omni
  • French Fitness Revolution Skull Cap
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Skull Caps

1. Adventurologist Skull Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Adventurologist Skull Cap
Materials
95
Comfort
95
Breathability
94
Size
94
Protection
95
best offer for today
$15.97
Pros:

Made out of stretchy comfortable material

Unisex

You get two for the price of one

Wicks away sweat

Wind resistant

UV protection built in

Good all year round

You can wear it for many different reasons

Cons:

Some customers have said the universal fit is kind of small if you have a bigger head

This skull cap comes in a pack of two for the price of one. It is unisex so it's a perfect fit for man or women. It is made out of 90% polyester, and 10% spandex so it flexible, and stretchable so it fits just about everyone. This versatile hat is good for any adventure, no matter the weather. You can use it for a Helmet Liner, Thermal Cycling Beanie, Running hat, or a workout cap. This ultra lightweight, and breathable hat works great during the winter to keep your head nice and warm. And it wicks sweat away so it will keep you nice and dry during your workout.

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About the Product:

- Made with fast drying material of 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex
-UV Protection and wind resistant that won't slow you down
-The hat is all black and comes with two hats for the price of one
-Comfortable, soft fit that won't irritate your skin
-Stretchy material so it will fit most people
-This Skull Cap has moisture wicking material helps regulate body temperature and channels perspiration away from the skin and eyes to keep you dry, and comfortable while your're active
-If you have any problems or issues they will refund your money or replace it.

2. Nike Pro Combat Hypercool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Nike Pro Combat Hypercool
Materials
94
Comfort
94
Breathability
95
Size
93
Protection
93
best offer for today
$15.99
Pros:

DriFit moisture wicking properties

Flat lock stitching to reduce chance of irritations

HyperCool zones for increased ventilation

Cons:

A bit constrictive for some

Much like UA ,skull caps are very much the territory of a company like Nike. Their flagship skull cap is called the Combat HyperCool, and it is predictably quite good. It’s made from Dri-FIT fabric and comes with layered ventilation zones to make sure you stay cool and as dry as possible. This is one of the most minimalistic skulls caps out there, and it has a relatively thin construction. Despite its lack of bulk this cap will keep you pretty warm, and you can count on it in all but the most extreme conditions. Very reasonably priced (by Nike standards) there is a lot to like about the Hypercool.

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About the Product:

- 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

3. Pearl Izumi Barrier

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Pearl Izumi Barrier
Materials
93
Comfort
93
Breathability
92
Size
92
Protection
92
best offer for today
$22.05
Pros:

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

Cons:

A few weren't crazy about the tight fit

Here we’ve got another skullcap that really excels when it comes to blocking the wind. The Barrier Skull Cap from Pearl Izumi has a windproof front panel keeps your forehead well protected from the wind. Made from an indestructible single layer that lays nicely against the skin, expect a comfortable fit. This is a great option for men, and for women as its ergonomically cut to not conflict with a ponytail. Best of all it kills it when it comes to warmth, moisture transfer, and the resistance of odors. Overall a solid choice.

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About the Product:

- 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!

4. Under Armour Mesh 2.0

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Under Armour Mesh 2.0
Materials
92
Comfort
92
Breathability
91
Size
91
Protection
92
best offer for today
$16.99
Pros:

Super lightweight

Moisture managing properties wick away sweat

4-way stretch material for a conforming fit

Produces very little drag

Cons:

The fit seemed a bit short for some

Under Armour’s penchant for making good quality compressive gear makes them a shoein in the skull cap category. Their Mesh Skullcap 2.0 does not disappoint. The Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat and keeps your head dry. Plus you’ve got 4-way stretch material fabrication that allows you to move and offers a little support. Every once in awhile (especially if you size something wrong) Under Armour goes a little heavy on the compression for our taste. Not the case here. Highly recommended.

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About the Product:

- 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

5. SweatHawg Shorty

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
SweatHawg Shorty
Materials
91
Comfort
90
Breathability
90
Size
90
Protection
91
best offer for today
$24.00
Pros:

Provides decent moisture control

Hyper-absorbent material in the brow to keep sweat out of the eyes

Good choice for cooler weather

Cons:

A bit bulkier than some others

Skull caps are often worn for the purposes of warmth, but this is far from their only utility. Working as an absorbing entity is equally as important in some cases. If you tend to sweat a lot, wearing a skull cap it one way you can work to remedy this. As the name implies the SweatHawg is a skull cap designed to suck up as much sweat as possible. This skullcap combines powerfully wicking stretch material with a high-absorbent brow band to stop excess perspiration. We’ve experienced this cap to stand behind its identity and when it comes to dealing with sweat this is one of your best options.

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About the Product:

- 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.

6. Icebreaker Pocket

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Icebreaker Pocket
Materials
89
Comfort
90
Breathability
89
Size
88
Protection
89
best offer for today
$26.95
Pros:

Provides lightweight insulation

Snug, low profile design, perfect for running

Reversible, dual layer construction

Improved fit

Cons:

Only 2 color choices

If we’re being honest this hat is probably on the borderline between a skull cap and low profile beanie — the truth is it’s too good to leave off. We’re extremely partial to products made from Merino Wool (as you’ll know if you’ve read some of our other posts) and the Pocket Hat from IceBreaker is 100% Merino. As the name implies this hat has a slight build and easily stows in your pocket. It’s a fully functioning, breathable, and odor resistant hat made from non itch fabric that will softly protect your head. If your priority is to be comfortable you probably aren’t going to do much better than this hat.

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About the Product:

- 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

7. Tough Headwear Skull Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Tough Headwear Skull Cap
Materials
87
Comfort
88
Breathability
87
Size
87
Protection
88
best offer for today
$9.95
Pros:

Made from quality fabrics

Lightweight

Breathability and wick factor

Will FIT all heads

Good for all outside sports

Cons:

Some runners prefer a cap which does not cover the ears.

This is a great skull cap which can cover your ears, be used for running or worn under a helmet, good for skiing, snowboarding, football, riding. Nice light-weight properties, very comfortable, good stretch factor to ensure secure stable FIT, one size works for all head sizes. A top performing cap with super breathability.

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About the Product:

This cap will fit securely for all heads due to designed in stretchability, good for all outdoor sports, comfortable and light, made from fabrics which give solid breathability.

The inner lining gives light thermal retaining qualities.

Made from quality fabrics, Spandex for a stretch at 11%, Polyester at 89% for light, durable secure comfort. High performing breathability working in conjunction with solid wick-ability. This cap can also be worn under helmets.

Best of all this is offered at a very affordable price.

8. Craft Active WindStopper

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Craft Active WindStopper
Materials
87
Comfort
86
Breathability
85
Size
86
Protection
87
best offer for today
$34.99
Pros:

Flat lock seams reduce chances of irritation

Engineered fit

Hexa-channel fiber enhances moisture control

Blocks the wind

Cons:

Some hoped it would work better against stronger winds

If a hat has “windstopper” in the name and plastered on the front of it you know there must be something to it. And in this case there is. Craft Active has produced a hat that stands up to the harshest of conditions, and is a trusted brand when it comes to top quality base layers. There are two primary ingredients in the cap’s material: air-channeled polyester which expels extra heat away from the body, and filament yarns which move moisture away. The microclimate created within this hat is ideal for endurance training and race day performance. The price is a bit higher, but the results are more than than worth it.

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About the Product:

- 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

9. Saucony Unisex Omni

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Saucony Unisex Omni
Materials
83
Comfort
84
Breathability
83
Size
84
Protection
83
best offer for today
$22.00
Pros:

Secure, insulating fit

Reversible construction

Ideal choice for cold weather

Moisture wicking properties

Cons:

Some found the fit a little short

Built with runners in mind (men and women), the Saucony Omni Skull Cap is an efficient and durable way to keep you head warm. You may end up getting a little bit of hat head, but the insulation offered will be more than worth the ruffled hair. This cap fits nicely (not to rigid or loose) it deals with moisture in an efficient way, and it adds more visibility to your body for nighttime training. If we had to go with one skull cap recommendation this might be it, if for no other reason than it’s incredibly broad appeal.

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About the Product:

Material Breakdown is 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

10. French Fitness Revolution Skull Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
French Fitness Revolution Skull Cap
Materials
80
Comfort
82
Breathability
82
Size
80
Protection
80
best offer for today
$11.95
Pros:

Fleece lining

Heat-retaining in cooler weather

Breathability

Wickability

One size strecthes to securely FIT all

Cons:

Some runners are not into fleece linings.

Great for running, cold weather sports, football, very light and nicely comfortable with a quality fleece lining. Built from stretch fabric to ensure a reliable FIT and providing nice breathability, good for warm weather but also giving thermal retention capability for cooler weather.
This cap FITs like a second skin giving very nice secure comfort and gives nice style.

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About the Product:

Use for all outdoor sports in warm weather and even cool weather due to thermal retention characteristics. The inner lining is fleece so you are assured skin comfort, stretch factor ensures secure hold and FIT.

Breathability performance is very good and backed up by good performing wick-ability. This cap will FIT all wearers comfortably and securely.

This cap can be washed as often as needed and it will retain FIT and performance.

It is also very affordable and a great price for a quality hat.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Looking into the material used to make the skull caps is an important factor when you're trying to find the best skull cap.

The material that is used in making any valuable item should be one that can easily tap out moisture leaving you dry and well, by so doing it will increase the level of comfort once you have the item on, in this case ,you will need a material that will be stretchy enough to give you a snug fit and also one that can guarantee moisture tapping in case it is during the sunny season, you also need to ensure that the material selected has SPF that can protect against harmful rays of UV. Your head is just as important as the rest of your body and by having it well-protected means you are taking well care of yourself. Material Is one of the major factors that one has to look into when buying an item, materials are different and they both play very different functions, They also vary in prices and quality, ensure you are through with this so as to be satisfied and safe.

Comfort

Comfort is also high on our list because while you're running you want to wear something that is comfortable not scratchy or irritating.

This is what everyone looks for on a daily basis. Putting on something that can guarantee comfort is a step closer to a healthy mind. Comfort relates to the material in question and the quality, as well as the inseam used to make the said item, if the item made, is of great quality and material it is more likely that the comfort of that item will be great. The skull caps are made of materials that ensure they are comfortable on the head as they are used to provide protection. The great fit will also bring comfort in place, ensure that you get what is right for you. The materials that the skull caps are made of mostly expand and contract depending on the weather and situation at hand.

Breathability

You want a skull cap that is breathable with good ventilation because when you run you tend to get hot, and you don't want sweat to start pouring down your face.

This factor is relative to material, you need to get a material that will be able to provide you with great ventilation, skull caps are made for that purpose to protect your head and that means even during sunny days they need to be able to tap out moisture leaving you dry and cool all day, a material that will only protect from sun is not enough you will need one that will be able to deal with your sweat to give you a comfortable experience and skull cap does that. Make sure that you try it on when at the store and never feel shy to ask questions before finally buying it as the more questions you ask the better chances of getting the right thing.

Size

This factor here is one of the major things that one must consider when making a purchase as failure to do so might result in disappointments. We also like to inform our clients in terms of size ensure that you buy it in a store that you can always return if need be but to avoid all that in the first place just make sure you try it on first before the final say, as this is a way to know if it will fit perfectly.

The size of any wearable matters, if it didn’t am sure it wouldn’t be here as a factor, you need to pay great attention to the fact that the size of any wearables will either make you comfortable or uncomfortable. it is you to decide which side you fall in, just like any other cap you need to pick the size that gives you a snug fit as that will make sure you are well taken care of and it won’t be small either loose on your head.

Protection

Have the best protection by putting these caps on, unlike ordinary caps that just protect from sun, these ones do a double job to ensure you are well taken care of to the end. That is why we were eager to introduce you to these caps as we are sure any runner has the encounter of going in places that might be risky and they also fall from time to time and this here will protect us from falling.

The primary reason why they are called skull caps is to protect your skull from injuries that might arise when you fall or when hit, they are made of material that gets rigid and tough when you have tension or pressure, they are made of gel pads that help anytime pressure is applied to them by forming a protective layer that will ensure that they reduce the injuries that might have raised from the process.

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t value items that last long? Well we do not, we try our best to ensure that what we put on the list is durable as the durability of any item is key. Durability is brought in the picture when the material quality is right, also durability can be achieved by taking great care of what you own, by making sure that you give yourself the allowance to visit the stores. Skull caps are made of great materials and by so doing they are able to last long if well taken care of. Ensure that you maintain the cap well, follow the washing instructions and making sure that you get it all sorted out in a great manner.

Style

This is sorted by an individual as different styles and designs are appreciated by different people. Luckily the skull caps manufacturers had everyone in mind, they have been able to meet everyone’s need to their best. With the rise in the fashion industry in the world, it is no doubt that the skull caps haven’t been left behind with their designs. We have been able to look into depth the different styles that would suit anyone and tried to incorporate them into our list too. People with different taste are able to be satisfied, apart from that skull caps can be worn when chilling on weekend with a friend and this is one of the reasons why you need to own one.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why are these caps important to own?
a:

The caps are very vital to have especially if you are an athlete as they act as protective gears against UV rays and against injuries that might arise. Having this in your closet makes you come out as someone who has a deep sense of fashion too as you can rock them on weekends with your pals.

q: Which is the best size to buy?
a:

The best size to buy is always the one that gives you a snug fit and not a tight one or loses one, since fit determines your comfort after putting the cap on, do not think twice in making sure you get the right size, do not think of getting the best style if the fit is not right either.

q: Is the whole cap covered in gel pads?
a:

Not really, if that was to be the case then you could suffocate your head in there, they are located evenly on the areas that they can easily protect someone in case of an injury. The gel pads are a significant feature of the skull caps.

q: How do I wash my skull cap?
a:

Most skull caps can be used in the machine, but before you assume that to be the case we would advise you to go in depth and check the instructions given on how to maintain it, which type of water to use and detergents, having the right maintenance procedure can give the clothe a guarantee of long-lasting.

q: Do the skull caps wick out sweat?
a:

Yes they do, they are made with materials that will help tap out excess moisture from your head leaving you cool and dry, most of them if not all have this property of keeping moisture out to prevent sweating that can be very uncomfortable.

Sources

  1. Gautham Battineni, What is the use of skull cap for bikers?, Sports and outdoor, Aug 22, 2016
  2. Michele Stewart, What is the difference between beanie vs. skull cap vs. knit hat?, Jul 04, 2016
  3. Brian Walker, The Curious Case of the Skull Cap, Health and Medicine, Jan 06, 2017