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REVIEW: SWEATHAWG’S THIRSTY HELMET LINER
posted by Zach Overholt - July 26, 2013 – 5pm EDT
Exercising in hot weather means sweat. For some of us, it means more sweat than others – so much so that it’s constantly in your eyes, on your glasses, and streaming down your face seriously distracting you from the task at hand.
In addition to the number of other products on the market to stem the tide of perspiration, SweatHawg has thrown their hat into the ring offering a discreet wicking helmet liner. The liner is available in two versions, multiple colors, and is made in Oregon. How does it work? Find out next.
The SweatHawg liner is designed to sit inside any helmet and has an absorbent brow pad that is attached to a wicking liner at the top of the helmet. The two versions of the liner include the standard Sweathawg which is just placed inside the helmet before you put it on your head, and the hook and loop model where you actually remove the front pads of the helmet and attach the liner. The hydrophilic fabric can supposedly hold 10 times its weight in liquid, which in ring out tests after use resulted in about 1/4 cup.
After trying out both models, I have to say I prefer the non-Velcro model. Most of my helmets have one large front pad, and removing them left exposed velcro pieces that weren’t covered by the SweatHawg on the side of the lid next to the cradle straps specifically. The Uvex Ultrasonic CC above and my Giro Aeron work with the Hook and Loop model perfectly, but the Mavic Notch, Scott Vanish Evo, and Bontrager Lithos all have exposed velcro pieces and the Giro Air attack has the velcro reversed so there is nothing for the Sweathawg to hook to. There are helmets out there that will work with the hook and loop model, but you’re probably better off trying it out in person before choosing.
Trying out the SweatHawg will also give you an idea if you will have any fit issues. A few helmets that I have tried it with have been a tight squeeze at the temples since I was at the large end of the size, whereas others had plenty of room.
Does the SweatHawg work as advertised? Yes, mostly.
Obviously, environment has a lot to do with how quickly moisture evaporates, so in desert or high altitude areas like above the performance of the SweatHawg is nearly flawless. Back home for me, in the humid Mid-West, the SweatHawg allows for drip free performance for about an hour before it gets to the saturation point and starts to drip. When it does start to drip though, the rate at which the sweat cascades into your eyes is slowed dramatically than if you were wearing just the helmet.
When it gets to this point, pushing on the front of your helmet or removing the liner and wringing it out will help out quite a bit. Even though it isn’t drip free on my home turf, the SweatHawg still works better than anything that I have tried and has been a part of my pre-ride ritual since its arrival. It’s not the magic bullet for the oppressive humidity of the Mid-West, but I’m not sure what is.
Only on the hottest days in the desert was the liner actually noticeable from a temperature perspective – but removing it meant having the scorching sun right on my dome. Those of us who have a more aerodynamic head (no hair) will appreciate the SweatHawg blocking the sun’s rays and not having to apply sunscreen only for it to run down your face with the sweat.
Overall, the SweatHawg is the best sweat management product I’ve tried. It’s not perfect, but it is more than worthy of the $20/22 price tag. If you’re a super sweater, the SweatHawg is one piece of gear you shouldn’t be without.