First, I'll apologize for the photos you're about to see here. They include my head and face (often times looking drowsy or angry), so consider yourself warned.
Second, this review will be broken down into two main categories: hats and headbands. This portion will cover the headbands while an upcoming review will go over the hats. If you don't already know the difference, a headband is only going to cover your ears leaving the top of your head exposed. In my case, that means my receding hairline is exposed. A hat will cover the top of your head and, hopefully, your ears.
I have two headbands that I run with. I've never been a fan of headbands until this year, so they're still a new concept to me. I've always avoided them because I have a giant head (more on that later) and I'm still a bit self-conscious about my hair-loss. But this year I decided to forget about fashion and go with function. So even though I may look like I have a rubber band around my head, at least my ears are warm.
That's about all the headband keeps warm too; your ears. So I recommend using them for those cold days that aren't too cold. Call it chilly, call it cool, you'll know when it's the right temperature when it's too cold we wear a regular hat and too warm to wear a winter hat. One final tidbit of advice, headbands are easy to peel off as a layer. With a winter hat you have to hold it or find a pocket to stash it in. With a head band you can loop it twice around your wrist and keep on running. It's what I've seen countless women do with their headbands and I never understood why. Now I do and it's because it's smart.
Saucony DryLete Headband
Um, other than the ViZi-PRO color and some small reflective logos, there aren't really any features to speak of. The seams are a bit odd though, as they break the headband into three main parts. Just put the tag in the back and you'll be fine.
Small. For me at least. I've popped several seams on this in an effort to not only get it on my giant gourd of a head but to also make it fit comfortably. So instead of a boa constrictor on my head, I just have a loose elastic feel.
- Machine wash cold with like colour (their spelling, not mine)
- Do not use softeners
- Remove immediately
- Do not bleach
- Line dry
- Do not iron
- Do not dry clean
This headband by Saucony is small. Smaller than I need it to be. In fact, if you look in some of the photos, you can clearly see the seams I have ripped from just putting it on my head. And if you can't see, I've ripped a lot them. The headband still works though, it still keeps my ears warm and allows my head to sweat as my body warms up. It's a nice, thin material that does a decent job of wicking sweat away from your eyes. When the time comes to shed this layer, it fits great on your wrist and, best of all, it's still highly visible in it's ViZi-PRO color.
Reebok Cold Weather Running Headband
Like the Saucony, not really any features to speak of. The bright green/yellow portion is in the back, so drivers should be able to see you, but it doesn't compare to the visibility of the ViZi-PRO.
Much better fit and much more coverage. No boa constrictor feel and no headaches after an hour of use.
I've since removed the tag and labels with the care instructions, but I wash it like the Saucony headband. Cold water, gentle cycle, Sport Wash detergent, and hang dry.
This headband is a bit larger than the Saucony and a bit warmer. Since it's made of a fleece-like material, I expected it to be warmer but it was even warmer than expected. The band is also wider and covers more of your head than the Saucony. Maybe this adds to it's increased heat, I don't know. But I would compare the heat from this headband to some of the lower end winter hats out there.
I've mentioned it a few times already, but I'll make it clear again. I have a big head. For those in the know, I wear a size 7 3/4. That means my head is roughly 24+ inches around. Closer to 25 inches if I include my ears. So size matters to me a lot. You can see my measurements in this gallery if you'd like.