Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hats off! Pearl Izumi Fly In-R-Cool Review

Ok... really, a hat review?  Yes! First of all, hats are an important running/trail running accessory. Especially up here in the high-altitude Colorado Rockies...   BUT, even more important to guys like me that are follicly "challenged".  What hair I do have on my head is a poor excuse, so its much easier to just keep a clean shaven pate.

best. movie. ever. 

Besides a bald head, I also sweat...   a lot.  I've literally sweated like a steam billowing locomotive at -35F (-37C for my Canadian friends.. hmm.. that's pretty close).  I'm sure you all wanted to know that... anyway, my point is without any hair to catch it, a hat becomes even that much more important.

So needless to say, I run with a hat all the time.  I've got a basic Nike mesh cap, and an Adidas Adizero running hat, and they both work ok.  But, this week I've had the opportunity to try out a very cool running hat from Pearl Izumi.

I've known Pearl Izumi from the past as a company that makes some great bicycling clothing and accessories, but I didn't realize that they also had running products, including shoes (unfortunately nothing too minimalist yet). Check out their site for the cool stuff they have.   The model I tested is the "Fly" with In-R-Cool technology.  From their website, here are the specs:

The Men's Fly In-R-Cool® Cap is out lightest weight run cap and features our In–R–Cool® technology to keep you cool and dry in the hottest conditions.

•P.R.O. Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool® technology provides optimal skin-cooling effect and
moisture management when you perspire
•Perforated bill saves weight
•Silicone prints grip sunglasses
•Reflective elements for low-light visibility
•Black bill underside protects eyes from the sun’s reflection
•0 mm drop from back to bill in a true minimalist design  (ok.. I added this one) ;-)

As you can see here, this hat is super light weight, with a stretchy "one size" fit. Generally these don't always work for me as I am at the end of the spectrum where some generic sizers like these are still too small for me. Yes, I have a fat head.  However, this hat still fit comfortably which was great.

Here are the cool silicone prints on the hat for holding sunglasses in place.  Initially I thought they wouldn't do much, but they really did make a difference.  Running on trails, I have a tendency to take my sunglasses on and off, depending on how much shade I am in.  Perching my glasses on this hat while running through the darker parts of the trail worked out great. My shades stayed locked in place much better than with my other hats. 

Most importantly to me however, was the moisture management qualities of this hat.  This hat stayed cool, and wicked away a lot of moisture.  Best of all the head band kept any and all perspiration from dripping down into my eyes.  For this reason alone, I give kudos to Pearl Izumi for a great design. Another great feature is that because of the light weight material, I can rinse this hat out, and it dries really fast. 


And.. if you aren't crazy about the black, they have a few other cool colors.

Ok... so the tough part.  The hat retails for $25, but you may be able to find it for less if you poke around.  Generally I have spent $10-$15 on a hat (since I'm cheap), but in the case of the Pearl Izumi Fly, it is certainly worth it to spend a little more, as you certainly get what you pay for in this model.

Finally, any avid trail runner will love this sign.  Given a choice, I'd be on the trail any time!

Have a great week.. and happy trails!



  1. dude, you sold me and my folically challenged head! i forgot my hat the other day for a hot/humid run and I was blinded by sweat in my 2nd mile! this one looks like they figurrred it out!

    btw, - marshal ulrich's run across USA was sponsored by pearl izumi. he ran in their shoes, of couse he first cut out the toe boxes :). so now it's Salomon shorts and this hat - i'm getting more professional(looking) all the time! ;)

  2. Good stuff Jeff. I almost never run without a hat (only when I forget to pack it in my gym bag). Thanks for the great review. I've wanted this hat for a while now but can't find it in Canada. Next time I got to the US, I'll be sure to pick one up.

  3. Pearl Izumi has yet to disappoint. I've never been one to sway towards one brand (the sales rack always works best for me) but I'm becoming a real fan of all their products.

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