SweatHawg Helmet Liner Review

by Brian Mullin on April 5, 2014

I have been using the SweatHawg helmet liners for close to a year now, and I
have found them to be very functional in keeping sweat from dripping
down into my eyes during a ride, which is something that profuse
sweaters or people with no hair deal with no matter what the weather is
like. The SweatHawg is an ultra absorbent helmet liner that comes in two
versions, the $20 standard drop in version, and the $22 hook and loop
version, which replaces the helmet’s normal padding. The liners are made
in Oregon using a hydrophilic polyester fabric from Germany.

The
cycling market is saturated with various pieces of apparel that attempt
to dissipate perspiration from you head during exercise, including
helmet liners, bandanas, headbands and skullcaps. The skullcaps and
liners have the additional benefit of providing some sun protection,
which helps prevent long term skin damage. Any of these head and helmet
designs should prevent sweat from dripping down into your eyes and onto
your sunglasses, by absorbing, retaining and dissipating the moisture.
Not only will it provide a function for profuse sweaters, but it’s great
for bald, balding and shaved heads. I have always been a helmet liner
or skull cap rider, since I want something to protect my skin from the
sun and absorb sweat.

The
SweatHawg fits over the front and top part of the helmet and head, and
almost like 2/3 of a skullcap. The main heavier absorption material
covers the forehead and rolls back towards the temple (9″ brow cut),
helping to subdue sweat from dripping down to the eyes. The rest of the
liner is made from a lighter mesh material for wicking purposes, which
tapers backwards in a teardrop style design.

Impressions

I
don’t feel like a profuse or heavy sweater, but I always have minimal
hair or a shaved head, so I don’t have anything to help with sweat
absorption from my head and brow. I need something besides the thin
padding in helmets to help with excess moisture, otherwise it drips into
my eyes and onto my sunglasses. Riding a bike in the beastly Colorado
sun and during hot weather means everyone is going to sweat, so having
an efficient and functional system to help with sweat absorption and its
dissipation is a necessity.

The
standard version of the SweatHawg liner just drops into the helmet on
top of the existing padding, and is aligned with the front edge, and
then you hold the sides of the liner while placing the helmet onto your
head. Surprisingly, it stays reasonably well in place, and it didn’t
seem to cause any undue movement issues, even on the roughest trails. I
found that it did a good job of absorbing sweat, but that it didn’t
offer a tight enough fit around the brow, so on occasion, sweat would
drip from the liner onto my sunglasses. Keeping it positioned properly
greatly helped the issue, although it didn’t totally alleviate it.

The
hook and loop version of the SweatHawg liner replaces the front set of
the helmets padding, and attaches onto the existing Velcro connectors.
The front of the brow section on the liner has a rougher finish than the
standard version, so that the Velcro connectors have a better surface
to adhere onto. This system works like a charm, and it didn’t move out
of place at all, since it became part of the helmet. In addition, this
design meant it fit snugly against the brow, so there weren’t any gaps
like the standard version would occasionally get. On long rides, even in
the hottest conditions, this model did an incredible job, and it kept
the sweat out of my eyes and off the sunglasses. I was amazed how much
moisture that it collected without dripping, though I never did measure
how much it could hold. When I took a break, I would sometimes pull it
out of the helmet and slap it against my thigh or a rock to extract out
excess moisture, making it more comfortable to wear and use. I did
notice one odd thing when I was really sweating hard or the liner was
heavily saturated; sweat would dribble down right in front of my ears or
sideburns. It was more of an annoyance than anything, and it
fortunately still didn’t drip into my eyes and sunglasses.

My
personal preference for the SweatHawg is the hook and loop version,
since it fit better, and its snugness meant I didn’t have any sweat
dripping issues. Unfortunately, if your helmet doesn’t have a removable
liner, like many uvex helmets, you’re stuck with the standard version.
Depending on the design of the helmets padding system, the Velcro
version might work perfectly or require some padding tweaks or not work
at all. The standard version does a great job, but requires a bit more
fiddling to work properly. The SweatHawg’s thick brow material doesn’t
ventilate as well as a more normal wicking material of a skullcap, but
the tradeoffs for the decreased chance of sweat dripping into your eyes
is well worth it. I mostly tested these liners in the high mountains and
desert environments, where it tends to be drier, and moisture
evaporates quicker. I am not sure how it might work in more humid
locations? In any conditions, once the level of moisture gets too large;
you can push the front of your helmet while bent forward to squeeze out
the excess moisture. Even when it was warm out, I never felt overheated
when using the liners, since once they had moisture in them, they had a
cooling effect on your brow.

Bottom Line
The
SweatHawg helmet liners do a great job of absorbing perspiration, and
they’re excellent sweat dripping stoppers. When worn and fitted
properly, they prevent or slow sweat from dripping into your eyes and
onto your sunglasses, and the amount of moisture that the front section
can hold is significant. The hydrophilic material is comfortable,
durable and washable, and I haven’t had any wear issues or fraying
during my long term use. You can easily rid the brow pad of excess
moisture by pushing on the front of the helmet or removing the liner and
slapping it on something. I liked the hook and loop version better,
since it had a snugger fit in the helmet, and had fewer issues with
minor dripping. Fitting might be an issue with some helmets, depending
on their design and padding layout.

The SweatHawg helmet liners
aren’t perfect, but they do a fine job of sweat management, greatly
dissipating or preventing unwanted dripping to your eyes, and at $20 and
$22 for each version, they’re a bargain.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Excellent sweat absorbers
  • Hook and loop works close to perfect

Cons

  • Standard version can occasionally drip if not snug against the brow
  • Fitting issue in some helmets (both versions) – Hook and loop might not always fit
  • Just a helmet liner – can’t be used like a skullcap or headband

For additional information visit  https://www.sweathawg.com/

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