inexpensive cold weather headgear, for outdoor exercise?
November 12, 2013 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find some inexpensive, machine washable headgear for cold weather exercise?

I'm really dreading running in the cold tomorrow (but dammit, I will do it), but I need some better headgear than the baseball cap and wide cotton headband I wear now. I'm looking for something that:

- is machine washable, and will stand to last through regular washes after every use or two. I sweat a LOT from my front/back hairline, even in the cold.
- is not too bulky, but will hold my longer than shoulder-length hair if I put it in a bun or tuck it under.
- covers my ears and helps keep them warm
- ideally covers a good portion of my forehead
- keep my head/ears warm when it needs to be, yet draws away my gross headsweat
- is inexpensive. Preferably not more than $15/piece, as I'll likely want to get a few in quantity

I'm not some ultra runner or anything, but I go jogging 3-4x a week for about 30 minutes, with some time spent walking outside on both sides of the runs.
posted by raztaj to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And maybe... something that is slightly feminine looking?. A lot of running things looks like Serious Super Industrial Mangear. Not necessarily looking for hot pink and covered in daisies, but something that looks slightly feminine might be nice!
posted by raztaj at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2013

It's about twice your asking price, but this is the best thing for keeping your head and ears warm in winter. I stuff mine in my bike helmet over the winter.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2013

I see you have "beanie" in your tags. Another search term you might want is toque. Kind of a regional terminology variant.
posted by phunniemee at 9:42 AM on November 12, 2013

You can probably find this Carharrt 2-in-1 fleece headwear for less than what Carharrt is asking ($16). Gempler's has it for $13.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:46 AM on November 12, 2013

I just wear headbands like this one. I have maybe three that I've bought at the end of the season over the years. And you can flip it so you can wash it after every other run instead of every run.
posted by kat518 at 9:46 AM on November 12, 2013

A little expensive for you, but I run in this guy in the winter. I like how it's stretchy and lightweight on top, and a little warmer in the ear region. It also stays put with activity more than some heavier hats. I have also had good luck with very basic lightweight fleece beanies, which may be cheaper.
posted by juliapangolin at 9:51 AM on November 12, 2013

Target and Old Navy are good places to find cheap athletic hats.
posted by mskyle at 9:57 AM on November 12, 2013

I've been really excited about the Buff ever since I discovered them. It helps that the original demo video is pretty charming.

My local REI carries a limited selection of them, but there are a bazillion different patterns (ranging from fish scales, to graffiti, to attractive patterning), so there's sure to be one that suits your taste. I've got my eye on the wool Buff, which costs little bit more, but the original version is just $20, and yes, totally machine-washable.
posted by redsparkler at 9:58 AM on November 12, 2013

In the winter, I wear this when I run. It does a great job at keeping my forehead and ears warm, wicking away sweat, allowing excess heat to radiate (after I've been running and working up a sweat). I am able to put my hair in a ponytail with this on. It's not bulky at all. When I'm done with my run, it goes in the wash. I love mine and have a few of them. It's a little more than what you wanted to spend, but they're well worth it IMO.
posted by ATX Peanut at 10:02 AM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a merino Buff which is really useful for this kind of thing - again, a bit more than you were looking to pay but they are both quick drying after washing and amazing at wicking sweat, so you may not need more than one - also look out for them in sales
posted by tardigrade at 10:45 AM on November 12, 2013

My husband has two Buffs, a merino one and a normal one. He bikes in the normal one every day and has done so for like five years now (adding the merino one in winter) and runs in it quite often too. Super long lasting, very versatile. He machine washes them both once a week or so and they dry overnight (we don't have a dryer). They come in all kinds of colours and patterns, including a lovely berry red one I've been eyeing that's very pretty without being over the top girly. He raves about these things and they're perfect for what you're looking for.
posted by shelleycat at 10:48 AM on November 12, 2013

Chiming in to say I use Buffs too! They come in a variety of colors/patterns (even girly ones!) and materials. I have a regular, thin poly material one for chilly weather, and a fleece-lined one for really cold weather. They are amazingly versatile - you can wear them as a headband, balaclava, scarf, hat, or anything in between.

They're near, but maybe slightly over you $15 price point. Completely worth it in my opinion. Check your outdoor stores, REI, and Amazon.
posted by geeky at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2013

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