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ExOfficio Sol Cool Headband

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: ExOfficio Sol Cool Headband headband

This thing actually works to keep you cooler and it also stops sweat from dripping into your eyes. Not sure how it works, but if you are hot this will help keep you cooler.


  • comfortable without being too tight

Let me first state that I do not like wearing a headband. Never did. Doubt I ever will. So with that bias out of the way, I'd like to talk about a new headband that is very different than those terry cloth headbands that can be had for a couple of bucks. This was a $12 piece of fabric with a promise.

Not sure exactly what the material is, but I'm guessing it's spandex or supplex or some similar combination. Its soft, smooth and stretchy and generally very comfortable against your skin. The material is also, somehow, infused with the chemical Xylitol, which is a mint like flavoring used in some brands of breath freshening gums and breath mints. Apparently the sweat generated by your body is soaked into the material, where it mixes with the Xylitol, and creates some sort of a chemical reaction.

Ex Officio, the maker of the headband, proclaims that the chemical reaction cools your head by a full 5 degrees. Oddly enough, they do not make the cooling claim on the tags attached to this headband, but it's on their website and some of their advertising materials regarding some of their clothing that is made with Xylitol infused fabrics.

I don't know why, how, or whatever, but I can report, this thing ACTUALLY WORKS.

My hottest trial with this headband did 5 miles in 95 degree heat with my wife. She was also wearing one. They come in black and several colors. As far as working as a headband, I can say that not a single drop of sweat rolled off my brow and into my eyes or dripped onto my glasses. But hey, any headband can do that.

But what this really did was cool my skin/my head everywhere that it came in contact with my body. The cooling effect seems to work best on the shade side of your head if you are in strong/hot sunlight. I've never used it indoors so I don't know how it would work on a basketball court, but out on a hiking trail it does work.

All that said, I still am not a big fan of headbands. If I was a fan of headband I would take this with me to the UK for our upcoming East to West hike across England. But I prefer a towel and a hat. Will I use this? Yes, on really hot days I will continue to use this magic cooling headband.

FWIW, I have no idea how long its cooling effect will last. I know that the bug repellent clothing is typically good for 70 wash cycles. So I suspect this is similar, it probably will work for a full summer and then fade in effectiveness? But that is just a guess.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12

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Price MSRP: $14.00
Reviewers Paid: $12.00
Product Details from ExOfficio »

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