A few days ago we published our first look at the SweatGUTR system. If you didn’t see our first review, the SweatGUTR is a very different type of sweat control system by Tunnel Vision Inc of Dallas, Texas. As opposed to your standard fabric sweatband that works by absorbing sweat, the SweatGUTR is a small piece of PVC plastic that channels sweat from your forehead and allows it to drip down the side of your face, preventing sweat from getting into your eyes.
We have to thank Greg from SweatGUTR for supplying the samples we’ve been using for a few weeks.
SweatGUTR is available in clear, smoke, camouflage, and will soon be available in a yellow version for cancer awareness. The SweatGUTR is a pretty basic looking piece of plastic. It features two hook and loop tabs that allow you to adjust the fit and three sizes of elastic closure bands. These are very similar to a hair band and connect to the SweatGUTR using the hook and loop tabs on the back. The front of the SweatGUTR features a small channel that moves the sweat from your forehead and allows it to drip down the side of your face.
Comfort and Fit:
It took us a few tries to get the fit exactly right. The goal is to get a snug fit without being overly tight. You shouldn’t feel any pressure from the band, it should sit snuggly on your forehead and not move around, though you don’t want it too tight. After a few minutes of wear, you might forget about the SweatGUTR, it’s pretty unobtrusive once you get the right elastic closure band and hook and loop closure worked out.
It took us a few tries to get the SweatGUTR positioned where it was most useful to us. The instructions suggest placing the SweatGUTR one finger width above the eyebrows and we found this to be a good starting place for getting the fit right. However, we moved the SweatGUTR around a bit to find the ideal location for us and we suggest you try a few different locations to see what works best for you.
If you’re used to a normal sweatband, you know that they are only effective until they get saturated with sweat. After that, your only hope of keeping sweat off your face and out of your eyes is to wring out the sweatband as it saturates. SweatGUTR is completely different. Since it channels sweat from your face, not absorbs it, you don’t have to worry about effectiveness, no matter how much you sweat.
In talking to Greg, he explained that most sweatbands trap a great deal of heat. The SweatGUTR is no different, it’s hard for a PVC plastic band to allow much airflow. What sets the SweatGUTR apart is how small it is. Compared to the other sweatbands we’ve used, the SweatGUTR is about a third of the width. Though it traps heat, the actual amount of heat trapped is much less because of the SweatGUTR’s smaller footprint.
We’ve worn a sweat wicking bandana under our bike helmet for quite a while and have been generally satisfied with the fabric band. However, the bandana covers our entire head, trapping a great deal of heat and preventing the vents in our helmet form cooling our head properly. When using the SweatGUTR, our helmet was able to provide the ventilation it was designed to provide, keeping us much cooler than when using a bandana.
Does it Work?:
In short, yes. Not only does the SweatGUTR allows more airflow over your head during biking, it also provides a great deal of sweat protection. Once we got the SweatGUTR fitted against our forehead, it channeled most of the sweat away from our eyes and down the side of our face. This is a bit of a new experience and, though not unpleasant, it required getting used to. One thing we noticed was how much we sweated below the SweatGUTR. When you have a lot of sweat streaming down your face, you don’t realize where it’s coming from. With the SweatGUTR channeling most of the sweat from our head and forehead, we noticed that our lower forehead and eyebrow area produced a reasonable amount of sweat. We estimate a reduction of at least 90% of sweat on our face though.
If you wear this to spinning class or with our friends on a ride or run, be prepared for a few stares. Though pretty small, the closures on the back are visible and will attract attention. We’ve used this in spinning class and noticed a significant decrease in sweat volume down our face. Before the SweatGUTR it was pretty common for use to completely saturate two gym towels. While using the SweatGUTR, we barely used one towel and it certainly wasn’t soaked.
It takes a little getting used to the feeling of the sweat running down the side of you face. That said, it’s much more comfortable and less distracting than sweat running into your eyes. We would love to see a version of the SweatGUTR with a longer gutter that would channel the sweat behind your ears, though we don’t know if that is possible or if a longer version would work properly.
Aside from getting used to the feeling of sweat running down the side of your face, you shouldn’t really notice the SweatGUTR once you have it on. We really liked the additional airflow through our helmet during our bike rides and noticed almost no sweat on our face during runs up to 10K. We’re really looking forward to the rest of our test proceedure and will report back after using the SweatGUTR in a variety of different situations and weather conditions.