Review – Headsweats COOLMAX® Super Duty Shorty
Recently, I was asked to review the Headsweats COOLMAX® Super Duty Shorty. This beanie is designed to keep sweat out of your face while still being highly breathable. The only problem was that I received the product just before one of our coldest weeks of what has been a relatively mild winter. However, I was not keen to postpone the review until warm weather allowed a proper test. Luckily, with the exception of the hottest summer rides, I tend to sweat the most when I’m riding my rollers, and the lakes of sweat that form on the garage floor are mostly from that dripping from my head. So for the ultimate torture test I geared up with a long sleeve jersey rather than my normal sleeveless base layer, put on the Headsweats, turned my fan one setting lower than normal with it aimed it at my chest rather than my head, and started a Sufferfest training video.
The lightweight fabric of the one-size Shorty is quite stretchy allowing a snug fit without feeling tight. The Shorty derives its name from the fact that the tail on this beanie is shorter than that found on the Classic models. However, I did notice the tail brushing my neck while standing, but the tail seemed to disappear while riding. In my opinion, the tail is just the right length for its functionality. Though I didn’t wear my helmet during the roller session, which may not be a bad idea, I did put on the helmet prior to the ride to check the fit of the beanie. The Shorty was not noticeable under the helmet, with the 2” COOLMAX® absorbent terry fabric headband around the forehead even enhancing the comfort of the usual contact area between the helmet and head.
As anyone that has done any of the Sufferfest videos knows, they definitely work you. At 85 minutes long, Local Hero is the longest video, giving the most sweat-time. In the ultimate leap of faith, I didn’t even bother with a towel, meaning I was either going to be extremely pleased with the Headsweats or extremely upset by the end of the workout. 20 minutes into the video, my core was soaked even though the fan was directed at it. However, there was not a single drop of sweat running down my face. It wasn’t until 47 minutes into the workout that the first drop of sweat ran down my nose. By the completion, there were only 4 drops of sweat on the floor from my head. Usually, this area looks as if I dumped a water bottle after even the shortest ‘Fest vid. I can happily say that the Headsweats allowed a towel-free workout.
To test the breathability of the product, because the last thing you want on your head during a hot ride is something that is going to restrict airflow, I dipped my head into the air from the fan. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I had nothing at all on my head. The breathability was fantastic.
An additional benefit of the Shorty is that it provides a SPF of 20, helping keep the noggin’ protected from the summer sun.
Headsweats makes a wide-range of products for all seasons, has both athletic and casual headwear, and even has officially endorsed IRONMAN® and Tour de France® themed offerings. You can see their entire collection at www.headsweats.com As someone who sweats a lot, I’m definitely looking forward to using the Shorty when the summer heats up. For now, I’m liking that they take a little of the unpleasantness out of riding indoors.
I’ve had the Gear Shorty since the beginning of last summer and it works exactly as Alex described.