Gear review: stuff for my sweaty noggin

I invested in a running hat a long time ago for the following reasons:

1. I sweat. A LOT. It drips down from my forehead into my eyes, and since my sweat is pretty salty, the sweat that gets into my eyes stings. Stinging eyes, if you haven’t already figured out, doesn’t feel very good.

2. I have bangs and my hair is cut in layers, meaning that only 50% of my hair gets secured in a ponytail. Along with the aforementioned sweat, pieces of hair flying in my face = ain’t fun at all.

3. To keep the sun out of my eyes. For whatever reason, I don’t want to get running sunglasses. OK, actually, I have a bunch of reasons, such as: (A) I think I’d look douchey in them, (B) I feel like they’re more bother than they’re worth, (C) I’m actually kinda sensitive to the ones that squeeze your head too tight. Anyway, running caps do a great job of blocking out the sun most of the time.

4. I am vain. I may not appear to care very much about my appearance, but it’s another thing to look disheveled (i.e. “A HOT MESS”) in public. A running hat prevents the hot mess from occurring, IMHO.

These are the items I currently own for keeping my hair out of my face, and may be updated as I accumulate new headwear. Oh, don’t be scared by my photos; I’m sorry if I look a bit psychotic. I never know how to pose for photobooth.

Nike Running Hat

Tried and true, but getting kinda stinky.

This is the first hat I bought; it’s been with me since 2008. As you can see from my photos, it’s the one hat I run in almost 100% of the time. As a result, it’s gotten really stinky. Even with frequent washings, I can’t get rid of the scent of mildew. And I, more than anyone I know, disdain the smell of mildew. So, sadly, the Nike Running hat might have to leave soon.

Cost: $20 (I think)
: White, so reflects the sun well. Fairly simple design (even though I eschew logos). Adjustable velcro flap in the back is easy to use.
Cons: Smelly, but perhaps due to user error/overuse. May also be partially due to thick cotton-like material around the headband (though the rest of the hat is made out of Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric).
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Bondi Band

I wish the rest of the text after SLOW was bigger.

I got this headband from my friend and fellow blogger Laura, who was (and still is!) raising money for Team in Training. Seeing as my hat was getting smelly, I thought it’d be nice to have an alternate headband.

Cost: $8
Pros: Cheap. Light. Dries quickly. Love the slogan; makes me smile whenever I wear it.
Cons: Doesn’t always wrap up all of my layers and bangs (see photo). I wish that all of the text was similar in size, because from far away, all you can see is “SLOW.” Doesn’t exactly boost my morale.
Rating: 7 out of 10

Under Armour Oakland Running Festival Hat

Oaktown!! Woot!

I got this at the expo for the 2012 Oakland Half Marathon. I love the colors. It’s lightweight and hasn’t given even a slight hint of odor (knock on wood). It’s got a handy clip enclosure in the back to allow easier ponytail slip-through. It’s also fits me a *little* better because it’s specifically sized for women.

Cost: $25 ($21.99 online)
Pros: Attractive colors. Lightweight. Not smelly. Dries quickly. Clip enclosure. Fits well.
Cons: A little bit pricey (but a very useful race souvenir). Maybe I could do with less wording, but it doesn’t bother me all that much.
Rating: 9 out of 10 (so far)

UPDATE (5/26/12): Shortly after this post was written, I semi-retired the Nike hat; it’s now on reserve for extremely desperate situations due to its high level of stink. In its place, I’ve gotten 2 more Under Armour hats, one in white/orange, and the other in “deceit” (teal)/white. I did try on a bunch of other brands at REI, but they fit me weird/looked stupid/weren’t as cool as the Under Armour hats. Also, given the intense glare of Sunny California, I might have to get over my feelings about running sunglasses and invest in a pair. Sigh.

Disclaimer: The above review is my personal opinion. I have not been compensated (in merchandise or money) to endorse these products.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Gear
6 comments on “Gear review: stuff for my sweaty noggin
  1. Zach says:

    One thing that might work better than the Bondi band is a HAD. It’s basically a tube of spandex material (yeah, that’s a way to sell something…), but you can use it to make things like do-rags, wider headbands, or things like balaclavas or neckwarmers when it’s cold. It was clearly a company founded by people unaware of how internet search works but “H.A.D. headwear” seems to give plenty of places that carry them.

  2. Laura says:

    I am a Super Sweater too, Jen and the running hat I prefer right now (in other words, the stinkiest one in my drawer) is this Brook’s hat:,default,pd.html
    It absorbs sweat really well, fits like a glove, and the bill is a tad longer to truly blocks the sun- it’s my fave!

  3. […] hotter climates do it.) I decided that I better run with both my hat and my sunglasses, something I don’t usually like to do. The other danger? “Gopher holes” at the start and finish areas, possibly dug by the […]

  4. Douglas says:

    Put your stinky hat out in direct sunlight for a couple of days to remove odor.
    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Howdy! Welcome to my blog!

follow us in feedly
Follow on Bloglovin

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 347 other subscribers
On the docket…

4/28/19: London Marathon

%d bloggers like this: