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10 Best Running Skull Caps Reviewed & Tested

last updated Jan 06, 2019
If you’re training in the winter (or summer for that matter) you need some good protection for your head. There are a million hats to choose from, including 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. When choosing one, look for odor resistant features (if you have long hair), strategic air ventilation capability, moisture-wicking fabrics, and built-in thermal heat retention capability (for colder weather).

In a Hurry? The test winner after 24 hrs of research

icon
Tough Headwear Skull Cap
94.6/100 our score
Materials
97
Comfort
92
Breathability
95
Size
95
Protection
94
Tough Headwear Skull Cap
Why is it better?

Made from quality fabrics

Lightweight

Breathability and wick factor

Will FIT all heads

Good for all outside sports

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Tough Headwear Skull Cap
Test Winner: Tough Headwear Skull Cap
Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1598
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
24
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By EJ Callanan:

With this update to our buying guide we added four new products: the Baleaf Thermal, Halo Sweatband, Mission Enduracool, and SLS3 skull caps. These options all come highly recommended by real world users. We take pride in updating our buying guides often, so thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you again soon.

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
97%
Comfort
92%
Breathability
95%
Size
95%
Protection
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$9.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Materials
97%
Comfort
94%
Breathability
95%
Size
86%
Protection
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$10.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Materials
89%
Comfort
95%
Breathability
95%
Size
86%
Protection
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$14.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Materials
89%
Comfort
90%
Breathability
98%
Size
84%
Protection
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$24.83
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Materials
85%
Comfort
90%
Breathability
92%
Size
83%
Protection
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$15.97
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Materials
85%
Comfort
85%
Breathability
82%
Size
90%
Protection
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$11.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Materials
85%
Comfort
90%
Breathability
85%
Size
75%
Protection
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$16.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Materials
85%
Comfort
83%
Breathability
90%
Size
80%
Protection
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$15.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Materials
85%
Comfort
81%
Breathability
75%
Size
80%
Protection
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Materials
80%
Comfort
82%
Breathability
80%
Size
85%
Protection
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$13.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Tough Headwear Skull Cap
  • Baleaf Thermal
  • Mission Enduracool
  • Halo
  • Adventurologist Skull Cap
  • French Fitness Revolution Skull Cap
  • Under Armour Mesh 2.0
  • Nike Pro Combat Hypercool
  • Pearl Izumi Barrier
  • SLS3
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Skull Caps

1. Tough Headwear Skull Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Tough Headwear Skull Cap
Materials
97
Comfort
92
Breathability
95
Size
95
Protection
94
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:

  • Fits securely on all heads due to a stretchable design
  • 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%
  • High performing breathability working in conjunction with solid wick-ability
  • This cap can also be worn under helmets
  • Offered at a very affordable price

2. Baleaf Thermal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Baleaf Thermal
Materials
97
Comfort
94
Breathability
95
Size
86
Protection
97
best offer for today
$10.99
Pros:

Thin yet insulates well

Comfortable

Keeps ears warm

Quality product and company

Cons:

Runs small

Not as thick as pictured

Not for use in freezing temperatures

This product is designed for cyclists but is a great option for runners as well. It's thin and comfortable and covers your ears to keep them warm on cold days. Made with synthetic materials it is breathable and fleece lined for comfort. It runs small so if you have a very large head it might not be the best option for you.

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Materials and Comfort

This one is made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. This mix makes it breathable while also allowing it to fit to the users head. Customers rated it as being very comfortable, both under a helmet and on its own. The fleece lining does a good job of adding to the softness.

Breathability and Size

For a winter cap this one is quite breathable and customers were happy with this aspect of its design. One problem we encountered in our research is that it runs small and only comes in one size, so if you have a large head this might not be the best option for you.

Protection

A fleece lining helps keep you warm, but some wind still gets through. This is best for temperatures down to the mid to high 30's Fahrenheit, but if you regularly run in colder temperatures there are better options.

3. Mission Enduracool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Mission Enduracool
Materials
89
Comfort
95
Breathability
95
Size
86
Protection
91
best offer for today
$14.99
Pros:

Extremely breathable

Unique design actively cools you down

Durable

5 different colors to choose from

Cons:

Runs small

This product has a unique design that helps keep you cool through evaporative cooling. It's meant for the user to get it wet before wearing and then the water keeps you cool as it slowly evaporates. Staying cool can help your performance and endurance, so this is a great option for runners and other athletes who exercise in hot weather.

Read more

Materials and Comfort

This one has a perforated mesh at the top of the cap for extra breathability that is made of 100% polyester, while the rest is made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex to give it some stretch. Users were impressed by the comfort of this product.

Breathability and Size

This one is highly breathable due to its synthetic materials and the perforated mesh at the top which really lets your head breath while wicking moisture to the outside air where it can dry naturally. Like many products of this type this one runs a bit small.

Protection

Designed for use in the heat, this option doesn't offer much in the way of a barrier against cold and wind.

4. Halo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Halo
Materials
89
Comfort
90
Breathability
98
Size
84
Protection
85
best offer for today
more shops
$24.83
Pros:

Silicone sweat blocker keeps sweat out of eyes

Highly breathable

Quality product, no durability issues

Cons:

Runs small

Expensive

This is a great option for people who sweat a lot when they run. It has a thin silicone strip on the inside that stops sweat from dripping down your forehead and into your eyes. It's also extremely breathable and lightweight.

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Materials and Comfort

This product is made with Halo's special Dryline fabric which is synthetic and very breathable, also it is moisture wicking so it moves moisture from your head to the outside air where it can dry naturally. Reviewers were happy with the comfort, although those with larger heads wish it had more stretch to fit them better.

Breathability and Size

This is one of the most breathable options on our list. If you look closely at the picture you can see the perforation on the fabric that shows just how much moisture will be allowed to escape instead of being trapped next to your skin and hair. Unfortunately, this one size fits all option runs a bit small, so if you have a large head or a lot of hair this one might not be your best option.

Protection

This is designed mainly to keep the sweat out of our eyes while running in the heat, not keeping you warm when it's cold.

5. Adventurologist Skull Cap

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Adventurologist Skull Cap
Materials
85
Comfort
90
Breathability
92
Size
83
Protection
91
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:

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's 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!

Read more

About the Product:

  • Made with fast-drying material comprised 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
  • Channels perspiration away from the skin and eyes to keep you dry and comfortable while active
  • If you have any problems or issues they will refund your money or replace it

6. 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.
86.4
French Fitness Revolution Skull Cap
Materials
85
Comfort
85
Breathability
82
Size
90
Protection
90
best offer for today
$11.95
Pros:

Fleece lining

Heat-retaining in cooler weather

Breathability

Wickability

One size stretches to securely fit all head shapes

Cons:

Some runners are not into fleece linings

This cap is great for running, cold weather sports, and football. It's also very light and nicely comfortable with a quality fleece lining. Built from stretch fabric to ensure a reliable fit and providing nice breathability, this French Fitness cap is good for warm weather but also gives 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:

  • Useful for all outdoor sports in warm weather or cool weather
  • The inner lining is fleece so you are assured skin comfort
  • Stretch factor ensures a 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
  • Can be washed as often as needed and it will retain fit and performance
  • Very affordable and a great price for a quality hat

7. 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.
85
Under Armour Mesh 2.0
Materials
85
Comfort
90
Breathability
85
Size
75
Protection
90
best offer for today
more shops
$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 shoo-in 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 a while (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

8. Nike Pro Combat Hypercool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Nike Pro Combat Hypercool
Materials
85
Comfort
83
Breathability
90
Size
80
Protection
80
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

9. Pearl Izumi Barrier

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Pearl Izumi Barrier
Materials
85
Comfort
81
Breathability
75
Size
80
Protection
92
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Ideal for colder weather

Engineered for motion, so a great choice for running

Comprised of fabric technologies 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.

Read more

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 body in motion; won’t constrict or slip easily
  • Proudly manufactured in the USA
  • Has 4 core fabric technologies: Transfer, Barrier, Thermal and Softshell
  • Pearl Izumi product has a reputation for high quality and offer a lifetime guarantee with their products

10. SLS3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
SLS3
Materials
80
Comfort
82
Breathability
80
Size
85
Protection
80
best offer for today
$13.99
Pros:

Designed in Germany

High quality, durable materials

Reflective logo

Warm and breathable

Fits large heads

Cons:

Not as thick as expected for a winter cap

This option is thin yet warm and has a fleece lining for insulation and comfort. Flat seams enhance the comfort and won't chafe, and it's pretty breathable for how warm it is. It also has a reflective logo to help you be seen when running in low light situations.

Read more

Materials and Comfort

This option is made from a breathable and lightweight material. The company takes great pride in their products being designed in Germany, and the attention to detail shows, with flat seams that won't chafe your head, and a soft fleece lining that enhances the comfort factor.

Breathability and Size

It is advertised as being breathable, and it is, but reviewers didn't find it to be extremely so. Finally we have a skull cap that isn't too small and is designed to fit athletes with regular to large sized heads.

Protection

Designed to be used in the cold, this product will keep you warm although on super windy days some breezes might pass through it.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

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

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

This factor is relative to material, you need to get a material that will be able to provide you with great ventilation since 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, 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, so these caps will provide protection 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 materials that get rigid and tough when you have tension or pressure. They are also 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.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Hair Up or Down?

If you have long hair, finding a place to fit it while wearing a skull cap or beanie can be a challenge. For most of these tight-fitting skull caps, you will likely want to keep your hair down and brushed behind your ears. It may be possible to tie your hair up into a bun for some larger versions but this will increase the likelihood of sweat and "hat hair," in addition to giving you the appearance of a strange bulge on the back of your head while wearing it.

Be Mindful of Allergies

Although they are rare, some individuals may suffer from an allergic reaction when they come into contact with some of the textiles used to make these beanies and skull caps. In particular, wool is a common allergenic material, although polyester and nylon can potentially trigger a reaction as well. If your head feels itchy or your scalp turns red and uncomfortably warm, you may be suffering from such a reaction.

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 decided by the 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 weekends with friends 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 gear 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 loose 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 away 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, Quora, Sports and outdoor, Aug 22, 2016
  2. Michele Stewart, Quora, Jul 04, 2016
  3. Brian Walker, In Training, Health and Medicine, Jan 06, 2017