Open waters swimmers are often seen with a swim cap or beanie, but have you ever wondered why? Well, there are three main reasons why wild swimmers wear swim hats when swimming. These are
1: Extra visibility
Yip, wearing a brightly coloured swim cap can help other water users and even rescuers see you more clearly in the water. If you swim with a tow float for increased visibility a brightly coloured swim cap can help you level up your visibility game. Bee seen, be safe.
2: Keep the hair dry
For whatever reason, be it it is too cold for wet hair, or you’ve just watched it or you just don’t want river or sea water on your hair, then a tight silicone cap can help keep your hair dry when you are swimming.
Like me, you may have the misconception that most heat is lost via your head. I recall someone informing me in my childhood that a large proportion of your body heat is lost from the head, thus requiring you to put on a hat, I never questioned it, it was common knowledge. But a speedy search on Google revealed it was false. Stupefied! In any case, open water swimming can produce a cold head and a nice beanie or neoprene cap can help keep your head warm. Open water swim caps become extremely popular in the winter. Read on to see the best swim cap for cold water swimming.
Swimmers Head Gear Options.
There are three main types of hats or headgear that swimmers put on their heads to keep them warm, keep their hair dry and increase visibility when swimming. These are the best swimming caps and hat options.
1: Neoprene Swim Cap
Features – Good for warmth, and visibility (depending on the colour options). These are made from neoprene and come in a variety of options, including smoothskin or yamamoto neoprene (smooth neoprene that glides through the water), these swim caps also come in different thicknesses from 1mm to 5mm, depending on the insulation you require. Headgear such as neoprene swim caps are mainly used by wild swimmers, cold water swimmers, winter swimmers, triathletes and those swimming the front crawl, who plan to submerge their heads. Depending on the fit they can potentially keep your hair dry, however, they can be layered with a silicon cap to make sure your hair is kept dry. Neoprene swim caps often come with a velcro chin strap to keep the cap in place and are the best option for cold water swimming.
Neoprene swim caps are the best swim cap for warmth and winter swimming.
2: Silicone Swim Caps
Silicone swim caps come in a variety of colours including bright yellows, oranges, greens, and pinks which are all great colours to increase your visibility, and many brands even have high-vis options. However, most silicone swim caps are used to 1: Provide a small amount of heat and 2: keep your hair dry when swimming. if you have long hair or lots of hair and you wish to protect your hair then the silicon cap is the way to go. This is also the cheapest option.
3: Beanie hat.
The classic beanie hat, bobble hat, big bobble hat are often seen worn by wild swimmers. These hats are best for breast stroke and recreational activities, bobble hats are better suited for joyful activities, socialising, ice bathing and general relaxed swimming activities, i.e. having a great time in the water. These are the original swimming beanie, the original cold water swimming hat and winter swimming hat! The hats can increase visibility and depending on the materials can have some exceptional thermal properties, keeping your head warm. However, most beanies are not waterproof and a waterlogged beanie can lead to a cold wet head. So choose your beanie carefully.