Like most other caps produced these days, the new Aqua Sphere Volume Long Hair Cap is made from 100% silicone for durability and offers 100% UV protection. It’s an easy choice for folks with long hair of average thickness, but if you have extremely thick and long hair, you might be better off with a sized cap – like the All Star Bubble Cap – as the Volume Cap is considered “one-size-fits-all.”
As expected, the design features a roomier “pocket” at the back of the cap where a bun or pony tail would be tucked under, as well as overall “extra volume” for those with thick hair that can’t be contained at the back of the cap in a bun. But, don’t expect any miracles. If the Speedo Long Hair cap won’t fit over your hair, this cap won’t either. The biggest (and possible only) difference between the two is the textured underside featured on the Aqua Sphere Volume Cap.
Renowned for its technical prowess and unheard-of streamlining capabilities, the Speedo FastSkin 3 Cap is the world’s first swim cap to feature IQ Fit Profile technology. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all model, Speedo crafted this cap to accommodate the subtle differences in users’ head shape with head mapping data. But, does this feature really translate to more comfort, improved hydrodynamic performance, and a better overall fit? Here’s what experienced swimmers had to say:
The FastSkin 3 Cap is consistently rated as one of the most effective and best fitting swim caps available. Although some users don’t jive with the ultra-tightness of the cap, competitive swimmers seem to agree that the FastSkin3 cap fit well, eliminating gapping and bunching. This cap stays in place without constant adjustments, reduces drag, and won’t slip or slide up during any portion of your swim. Not only will the Speedo FastSkin3 give you a competitive edge, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your swim cap is working as hard as you are. Speedo (and long haired users) recommends that swimmers with thick, long, or unruly hair use the FastSkin3 Cap in conjunction with the FastSkin 3 Hair Management System.
The retro-inspired Speedo Aquatic Fitness Cap may look like it’s straight out of the 1930s, but the updated design and higher quality materials make this cap chic and modern, to say the least. Here are my thoughts on this latex fitness cap:
If you’re constantly struggling with a loose, ill-fitting, slip-prone swim cap, then the Speedo Aquatic Fitness Cap might be just the upgrade you need. Fitting snugger than traditional silicone or thin latex caps, this thick cap tightly hugs the curves of your head. And if that’s not enough to keep the cap firmly in place, it’s also equipped with a chin strap for extra security. I found that the Aquatic Fitness Cap stayed soundly in place during my water workout.
The cap is designed to fit over the ears, but I have mixed feelings about the effectiveness of this feature. While some users found that the flaps help keep water out of their ear canals, I found that they did little to keep my ears dry (though that wasn’t really my goal). And while this cap, does help keep water out of your hair because of it’s snug fit and underside ridges, it’s important to remember that no swim cap is designed to keep hair 100% dry.
Also important to note is that this Speedo fitness cap runs small, at least in comparison to other, sized versions. Wearers with thick hair and larger heads had a hard time stretching the thick, latex fabric. And because this cap is a one-size-fits-all product, people with larger heads might have a hard time making this cap fit comfortably and stay seated properly. If you do have a larger head or long or thick hair, you might be better suited with a more flexible, sized bubble cap, like the All Star Crepe Bubble Cap.
With so many types of swim caps to sift through, finding your perfect match can be confusing – not to mention difficult. To help you out, I’ve assembled a quick guide to assist you on your hunt for the perfect fit, function, and form you want in a swim cap.
Great for: Competitive swimmers and those with longer hair
Silicone is the most common material used in modern swim caps. Known for its extreme durability and strength, the material is able to form to the head for a sleek fit and won’t lose its elasticity over time. Silicone also claims not to snag or pull hair like other swim cap materials can, though I’ve had my share of “ow!” moments even in silicone. All in all, it’s a comfortable choice for almost any type of swimmer.
Great for: Competitive swimmers who like variety
Latex is probably the second most common material used in swim cap production. Many swimmers prefer the fit and feel of latex over silicone. While it’s less durable than other materials, latex is thinner and lighter, which allows it to work nicely in warmer environments. Plus, latex swim caps tend to be cheaper than most others, making them ideal for swimmers who enjoy having options on hand.
Great for: “Wild” swimmers who enjoy cold water
Rubber, which was one of the first materials ever used in swim cap production, is making a come back in today’s market. The material is thicker than Latex, yet not as pliable. Popular rubber styles include the bubble caps, which are great for colder swimming conditions (or for anyone who chills easily). Many rubber swim caps are also available with a chin strap to help keep the cap perfectly in place.
Great for: Recreational swimmers looking for comfort
Lycra swim caps are, by far, the most comfortable swim caps to wear. The material is fairly durable and is designed to last a long time. To keep Lycra in prime condition, you’ll have to rinse it with a chlorine-neutralizing solution, or risk losing elasticity. The only draw back of Lycra swim caps is that they are porous and will allow water to flow freely through the cap. Because they don’t streamline the head nearly as well as other, thicker materials, Lycra swim caps are best suited for recreational swimmers.
Great for: Open water swimmers who need protection
Made from the same material as wetsuits, neoprene swim caps prevent heat loss from the head. These types of caps are perfect for people who swim in cold lakes, oceans, or any other chilly body of water. Triathletes and endurance swimmers often rely on these types of swim caps to keep their head as warm as possible in chilly Pacific waters or northern lakes.
A swim cap can provide months, and sometimes even years of use to a loyal owner. But if improperly cared for, a swim cap could quickly become sticky, worn, or worse yet, moldy. If you’re not sure how to care your newly acquired swim cap, read through the swim cap care manual below.
Swim Cap Care
1. Ripped Caps. Often the victim of nails and hair accessories, swim caps are easily torn by sharp objects. The usual culprits are bobby pins, long or jagged fingernails, and sharp jewelry. Cut or file your nails and remove any rings or hair pins before proceeding with your new cap.
2. Chlorine Wear. When swim caps come into contact with pool water – especially heavily-chlorinated water found in public pools – breakdown begins to occur. Some materials, like silicone, hold up a bit better than their fabric and rubber counterparts, but are still susceptible to chemical damage. When you’re finished with your swim, be sure to rinse the entire cap with fresh water (hose or tap water is just fine) and pat it dry completely. Or, leave it to dry in a place that’s not humid and that does not receive direct sunlight.
3. Sticky Caps. Leaving a cap in the sun can cause irreparable damage. Rubber and latex caps are particularly at risk for sun and heat damage due to their composition, and should never be left in the sun for long periods of time. The resulting “sticky” or “melted” feeling is just that – a melted swim cap. Store your cap in a cool, dry place to ensure it’s longevity.
4. Moldy Caps. Stowing away a damp cap prematurely is just asking for mold growth. As we all know, mold thrives in a warm, damp environment and your swim cap will surely become breeding grounds for bacteria. Dry your cap completely before storing, and even add a little baby powder to the inside to ensure that your swimming cap won’t harbor mold.
Swim cap care is not rocket science, but it’s easy to let it fall by the way-side. Follow a swim cap care guide like mine and you shouldn’t only need to replace your swim cap every season rather than every month.
The All Star Bubble Swim Cap with Strap is an updated version of a tried and true design. Harking back several decades, the swim cap’s retro design is a great fit for fitness, recreational, and even competitive swimmers.
The All Star Bubble Swim Cap soft material is covered with small dimples. These dimples, or ‘bubbles’ allow the cap to stretch and contour to the curves of the head. This results in a more comfortable, snag-free fit that can adapt to most head sizes. The creped material is designed to slip on easily and won’t pull hair, making it ideal for swimmers with sensitive scalps or long hair.
The Bubble Cap is available in a wide range of colors and three different sizes –small, medium, and large –, which help swimmers, get an ultimate customized feel.
Unlike other caps that might rip and tear, the All Star Bubble Cap is very solidly constructed. The unique three-piece design includes the pliable, dimpled material, a strong strap fastener, and an adjustable chinstrap. While the head material is strong, the grommeted strap fastener is anchored to the material and helps keep the chinstrap comfortably and securely in place. All three of these features combine to create a well-built cap that can easily withstand the tugging and pulling caps are constantly exposed to.
Helps Keep Hair Dry
While no cap is designed to keep hair 100% dry, the All Star Bubble Cap comes about as close as anything available. There are 3 small ridges on the underside of the cap. These ridges help seal out water and keep hair as dry as possible. In addition to the soft ridges, the chinstrap’s solid construction and placement helps further keep hair and even ears as dry as possible. And because the strap helps keep the cap on during rough starts and turns, you won’t have to worry about the cap slipping off and your hair getting soaked while swimming.
RhyneMaiden Bubble Caps recently made an appearance on the scene also. They look and feel exactly the same, and they may very well come out of the same factory.
Looking for children’s swim caps? Speedo, a leader in swimming apparel and accessories now offers a full line of “Critter Creeps” monster caps for kids. These funky, colorful (and sometimes scary!) caps are great for little swimmers. Caps for kids are multi-purpose: they keep hair out of the pool, maintain untangled locks, and help to hold earbands or earplugs firmly in place. Thankfully, Speedo has come out with a fantastically fun alternative to traditional, solid color swim caps.
Each cap is printed on durable, yet lightweight silicone with a unique monster face. The silicone material is ideal for children because it is both sleek and manageable. Many swim caps offer similar results, but silicone is known to be less bothersome when putting on or removing the cap – a great feature for kids! Not only that, this cap is completely latex-free. So no worries about allergies or discomfort. Check out the full line here!
When it comes to finding the right swim cap for your child, there are several options to consider. Kid’s swim caps are often designed to be both comfortable and fun to wear. Water Gear Critter Caps offer just that. The silicone material is easy to slip on and off without the worry of hair-pulling (or tears!). Not only that, silicone is one of the most durable materials. With proper care, the life of the cap can be quite long.
One of the more interesting features of these caps is their design. Each cap is outfitted with an animal character of some kind. Whether it be a fish, shark, or cat, kids go wild for the funky designs! The styles are certainly true to form with ears and dorsal fins adorning the top, making kids feel like a real animal! The Critter Caps are affordable, durable, comfortable, and cute. Downside?
The TYR Happy Fish Cap is nearly identical and feels higher-quality than the Water Gear version.
Another great option to consider is the Silicone Swim Cap by Speedo. This cap is similar to other traditional silicone caps, however, it is backed by the Speedo brand. This 100% silicone cap is soft and smooth with incredible stretchiness which allows it to slip easily on and off. As with other swim caps, this cap does not block water entirely. It simply reduces the drag created by a swimmer’s hair. And although silicone may pull hair a bit, this type of cap is one of the closest-fitting materials available (which serves to reduce drag immensely). With this cap, I was not particularly bothered by the slight pull of the silicone because the pliability of the material made it easier to remove.
One of the greatest things about silicone swim caps is their practicality and low cost. The Speedo Silicone Cap is a remarkably affordable option which comes in a wide variety of colors and, as such, it makes this cap nearly collectible!
The Speedo cap comes in a reusable zippered pouch. It is available in a variety of colors including black, dark teal, deep orange, navy, pink, purple, red, sapphire, silver, and white.
The Barracuda Hot Head Cap is a very unique type of swim cap. The Hot Head is made from neoprene which is the same material wet suits are made from. This cap is not meant to reduce drag for competitive swimmers, but rather to keep your head warm.
It protects the vulnerable head region from heat loss by creating its own insulation. A thin layer of water is allowed to penetrate the cap. As the heat of your body warms the water, the cap holds it close to your head – ensuring a warm, comfortable swim even in open water. This lowers the risk of getting hypothermia. In addition to insulating the had from potentially cold water, it also protects your ears from wind and spray.
The Barracuda Hot Head cap is very comfortable and has a Lycra liner which makes the cap easy to place and remove, without the risk of pulling hair. It also has a Velcro strap which helps keep your cap securely in place, even in rough waters.
It comes in a zippered package and is available in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large. This cap also comes in both black and orange.
While the Hot Head is great for open-water swimming, it is also ideal for many outdoor aquatic activities such as surfing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, and myriad other water sports.This cap is primarily used for protection and keeping your head “hot.” This cap is ideal for swimmers in cold regions, or for open-water swimmers.
This cap is difficult to find these days. The TYR Neoprene Cap functions just as well and is readily available.