When I first started triathlon training, I was a bit uninformed about my hat options. I started with a basic visor, probably a promotion from a bar, which was a bit problematic. First, it’s a bit strange to wear a brewery hat during a half marathon and second, the hat just wasn’t designed for running. I started thinking about my options: I could stick with the beer hat, making light of my slow pace and Clydesdale weight class or I could pick up a 70’s style sweatband. Surely, I thought, Ironman finishers didn’t wear sweatbands… I started looking around for a decent looking solution to the sweat in the eyes’ problem. Enter Headsweats. I noticed a few finishers in a local race wearing neat looking hats and visors; thick sweatbands, breathable looking fabric, good designs. Being male, I have an innate aversion to asking anyone for advice or directions. I overcame my fear of not knowing everything, broke down, and asked a fellow competitor what they were wearing. “Headsweats…(uncomfortable pause)…What else would I wear?” Fearing that I appeared to have three heads, I said, “Of course, I just hadn’t seen the visor model…That’s awesome.” So, before my race gear hit the washing machine, I’d ordered two visors.
You tell me. Honestly, it’s a visor. It’s not haute couture or anything, but it’s a good looking visor. The seams and stitching are well done. No loose ends or missed stitches. The terry inner band is thick enough to hide the stitches attaching the band to the hat. The embroidered logos on both of my visors are tight, no loose threads.
Comfort and Fit:
First off, the hat is light. I’d guess it’s about half the weight of my previous beer hat. Now, as much as I wish the weight of my old visor was slowing me down, it’s not true and I haven’t noticed any miraculous speed increases. I do notice that I forget about the visor on longer runs.
I have a pretty big head and the standard visor fits well. The visor is one size fits all and features an elastic pull cord to adjust the fit. The clip holds the elastic fast, no need to adjust during a run or a race. The terry band is very soft, though a bit thinner than I expected. This doesn’t impact the sweat wicking ability on a normal run, but for anything over 10 miles or so, I notice that the hat gets saturated and needs to be wrung out. Still much better than other hat options.
I’ve used Headsweats for more than a year now and haven’t replaced either visor yet. I one visor for training, three to four runs a week and the other for yardwork. The yardwork visor is covered in dirt and yard junk that won’t wash out, no matter how I try. But, the visor is still in one piece and the sewing isn’t coming loose. The training hat is in much better shape. I rinse it out after every run and let it drip dry. About once every two weeks, I toss it into the wash for a deep cleaning. The embroidery and stitching holds up well and the colors haven’t run at bit. I’d be lying if I said it looked ‘as good as new’, but it’s holding up really well, considering how much use it gets.
After more than a year, I’m very pleased with these visors. They do what they’re supposed to do. Absolutely great at keeping the sweat and sunscreen out of my eyes. I haven’t used the Coolmax Classic, great for use under your bike helmet, but I’ve heard good things. I can, however, highly recommend the visor or hat for any sweat producing activity. As I mentioned above, the terry can get saturated during a long run, but it’s easy to shake the sweat out and keep going. I’ve only noticed this problem above 10 miles, and I sweat quite a bit, so it may not be a problem for you, depending on your sweat volume. Even with the sweat saturation problem above 10 miles, I still highly recommend the Headsweats visor if you’re active outdoors, be it triathlons, marathons, casual running, or yardwork.