The next product up for review is the Toaster Beanie by Headsweats.
Several years ago, I stopped wearing hats. Most people now days seem to wear them as a fashion statement. Personally, I never saw the point. They just seemed to mess up my hair, what little I have. And I never understood the appeal of the beanie/skull cap. They just seemed to REALLY mess up your hair with their tight fit. Then I got into this little running thing.
Cue the cold, windy weather of Troutdale, Oregon. It didn’t take long after the weather started to change last fall for me to realize that I needed something for my head. A friend from high school, who now works for Headsweats and had been following along on my journey, sent me a couple products to try. One of them was a winter, fleece lined beanie. It took a little getting used to, but I quickly learned to enjoy having it on my runs. It did everything it promised.
A couple months ago Headsweats was having a sale and I figured it was time to add something new. I touched based with my friend who gave me a couple suggestions, one of them being the new Toaster Beanie. I hopped online and read their pitch:
Headsweats® has taken the popular Midcap Beanie and combined its proprietary fabric Eventure™ Spandex with an Eventure™ Terry sweatband to offer the same great features of the Super Duty moisture management system in a light-weight beanie. A great cold weather beanie that you can customize with your team, event or store logo! Eventure™ Stretch Fabric on one side. Eventure™ Knit Fabric sweatband quickly wicks moisture away. Great mid-weight fleece item for colder temperatures. Low profile, technical construction makes it perfect for any winter activity especially for use under a helmet. Machine Washable.
Stretchy stuff, works in cold weather, soaks up my buckets of sweat, light weight and machine washable. Done and done!
When my beanie arrived (quite quickly I might add), I couldn’t wait to try it out. When I first checked it out I was a little concerned. The beanie I was using before was pretty thick and fleece lined. The Toaster Beanie was pretty thin and very light weight. I immediately started thinking this was going to be a spring/fall/cool summer type of headgear. One run in that bad boy quickly changed my mind.
I admit I do a lot of my running at the gym on the treadmill. But I’m usually there around 5:00AM. Given that it is still quite cold out I need to have something on my head to get to the gym. And I absolutely love wearing my beanie. I have it on my head before I even head out of the bedroom in the morning. It’s very comfortable. Snug without being too tight. The lightweight material does a great job of keeping the wind and cold off my head. But wearing it to the gym is not the reason I bought it.
I absolutely love the way the Toaster Beanie fits for my runs outside. It’s very snug where it sits around the head; forehead, ears and back of the head. But it stays relatively loose on top of your head allowing for the top of your head to “breath” so you don’t overheat. It has that fitted feel without being stuffy.
I’ve done a few runs with it with the temperature in the 25-35* range. I have had no problems with it being too lightweight. Not once, even with some wind, have I thought I needed something more substantial. It seems to have a nice temperature range as I’ve also had it on runs in the 40-45* range and still felt comfortable and not overheated. I even took it out once when it was above 50* and still felt great.
The moisture wicking material is no joke! I sweat…a lot! You would think at some point the material would get “full” and you would have run off, but that hasn’t happened once. You can literally wring the water out of the beanie after my runs. I love having a product that does what it says it’s going to do when it comes to keeping the sweat out of my eyes. When I’m done running I just hang it up and it dries pretty quickly. It does get a little “crusty” from all my sweat as the week goes on, but that’s not the beanie’s fault. Once a week I just throw it in with my workout clothes to wash and it’s back to new.
The only negative I have, and it’s nothing to do with the product itself, is that it doesn’t come in more colors. As you can see from my picture wearing the Toaster Beanie (taken at the Roaring River 5K on February 2, 2013), I like bold colors. This seems to be normal for Headsweats though. Most of their products are pretty neutral in color. Can’t please everyone.
The company is very reputable as they are the official headgear of both the Tour de France and Ironman. They offer a wide assortment of headgear options allowing just about anyone to find something they like. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by their prices. When you see big names like Tour de France and Ironman thrown around you can usually expect to see some artificially inflated prices but that is not the case with Headsweats. I paid $22 for the Toaster Beanie and it has been more than worth it. I would not have been surprised to see this priced around $30-35. And the $22 I paid seems to be on the high end for many of their products.
If you run in cold weather, or you’re someone who is just cold regardless of outside temps, the Toaster Beanie by Headsweats is something I would definitely recommend.