6040 Athletic Beanie
- 100% machine washable
- UltraVac liner stays dry against your skin and channels moisture away
- DriSmart technical shell provides rapid moisture evaporation
- Deep enough to cover the ears but easy to wear above if temps warm up
- Easy to stash in pocket and great alone or under helmets
6040 Athletic Beanie
Fits good and not too heavy.
I've ridden motorcycles for 25 years, sport bikes and dual sports alike, with a side of snowmobiling for fun. I also enjoy winter hikes, snowshoeing and snowboarding.
I despise wearing helmets without a liner and have tried everything from baseball helmet liners to random beanies to balaclavas. They've all worked just fine, for the most part. What sets SweatVac apart is threefold:
First, they have a large gap with no stitching on the forehead. If you commute to work on a motorcycle you'll quickly find that most beanies leave a sharp pressure line on your forehead. These pretty don't and if they do, it's in your hairline and invisible. If you get to work and go straight into a business meeting you'll quickly find this little thing is actually big thing. I should note that I'm probably wearing them backward, with the logo art at the back and the brand name on the side, specifically to avoid any forehead imprinting.
Second, they fit over the ears and forehead enough to readily let the helmet slip on without grabbing your hair or ears. Technically this might make the helmet a little bit warmer but I've ridden from PA to CA in massive rain-storms, 90 degrees and 100% humidity in Alabama or Mississippi or whatnot, and below freezing riding in snow with everything in-between. Any extra heat isn't an issue. And if you're getting really hot, dip the beanie in the water, put it on wet, let it drip down your face and neck and then ride. The cool wicking effect is glorious. Also - the beanie gets gross, not the helmet. Riding in the dirt the cap will show all the grime and sweat, but the helmet itself is pretty much clean.
Third, I tend to run really hot so I do winter hikes in summer gear with some softshell or wind/waterproof layers for extra protection. While I normally hike in a fully brimmed hat sometimes it's nice to hike with some ear protection and this works well, especially because it wicks and dries so quickly. It's also thin enough I can either toss it in a pocket or even put a hat on directly over it.
I've now purchased two of these and 3 of the skull caps: The original black one, then the tie-died version (was on sale but also visibility when solo adventuring is handy, so a bright hat combined with a bright helmet can help people find you in an emergency). Two of my friends are getting into off road car racing (mint 400 type of thing) and in my opinion needed helmet liners so I bought them the skull caps (before I realized that they're a bit smaller, don't cover the ears as much, but possibly enough) and a ventilation version for me as a test for hikes/runs. Note that the skull caps are smaller than the beanies, with stitching lower on the forehead which may leave a red pressure line. TBD how the skull caps perform for my purposes and the red lines aren't an issue for racing so they'll probably be fine.
You absolutely can find cheaper versions elsewhere online at the usual spots and they'll probably work well enough, but if you need quality, comfort and specific traits such as the helmet liner issue, I've never found anything better and haven't ridden in anything else in years. Given that I'm still using my original liner years and 10's of thousands of miles later, durability isn't a concern, they haven't even lost their stretch, now that I think about it.
Just tried on my new Beanie. I have a small head and it fits tight, which I like, and it will probably stretch over time like my previous ones. Although its advertised to fit over your ears when cold, which it does, if you don't need it to cover your ears there is a pile of material on top of your head. It looks a little "dorky" and may interfere with helmet fit and comfort. I will find out after a few rides. I took off a point for this.
I got the carbon color beanie, which is dark gray. I misplaced my last black one, so this should be a bit easier to see if misplaced. So far I've used 3 beanies for cooler weather, mainly biking, or under a ball cap to keep my ears warm. This is the best one because:
- It's larger (longer?) than needed, which means I can pull it way down over my ears to keep cold wind out.
- It fits snugly, and prevents wind from blowing under it to my ears.
- It's not overly thick, which means it works well under a bike helmet or a ball cap.
I haven't had it long enough to find out if it is warm enough for sub-freezing days, but then I didn't buy it for the dead of winter. I'm happy with the beanie and would buy it again.
Perfect for running in cool weather. I have several of them.