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Sweatband Shootout: Halo vs. Gutr

Mon, Jun  18, 2007 - By Mike Muha

I don't perspire, I sweat. It stings when it drips into my eyes and it splatters on my sunglasses. I've had some success using cotton bike caps and running hats: as the hat saturates, the sweat drips off the end of the brim instead of in my eyes.

But sometimes you just don't want to wear a cap under a helmet on those 90 degree sunny days. I've tried regular sport headbands with limited success. They saturate then start dripping into my eyes. But I've been using testing two products that claim to keep the sweat out of your eyes: the Halo and the Gutr.

The Halo

I picked up a Halo from Hammer Nutrition. The Halo looks like a normal but lightweight sweatband made of Dryline fabric. On the inside is a 7 inch length of "Sweat Block", a rubbery material that runs along the forehead. As you begin sweating, the Halo absorbs the moisture. Some of the moisture evaporates. Once saturated, the Sweat Block redirects the sweat to the side of your face.

Sweat Block redirects sweat away from eyes to side of face.

The Halo fits easily under a helmet and looks like a normal sweatband when running bareheaded.

The Halo greatly reduced the amount of sweat getting into my eyes compared using a conventional sweatband. I still had to wipe my eyes occasionally while wearing it but far less frequently. I also noticed the inside of my sunglass lenses still get splattered from sweat on my face.

You can machine wash the Halo. The Halo also comes in several different versions including a bandana and tie version.

The Gutr

I'd heard about the Gutr from a friend long ago but never knew were to buy one until Chi-Town Sports started carrying them. The Gutr has a minimal look - just a narrow translucent PVC band around the head. The front of the Gutr is shaped like a U-channel to collect sweat. At 7 1/8 inch long, the channel is slightly longer than the Sweat Block on the Halo. (If you look at the photo to the right, you can just see the gutter profile on the far left).

There are three elastic closure bands (the red bands in the photo below) to customize fit. Each end of the Gutr headband has Velcro adjustments to further customize fit.

The Gutr is thicker than the the Halo, so Gutr provides some helmet wearing tips:

  1. Put the sweatband on first.
  2. Loosen the helmet locking system.
  3. Position the back of the sweatband higher than normal.
  4. Fit the back of the helmet over the back of the sweatband.
  5. Ensure the back of the sweatband is secure within the helmet.
  6. Tighten the helmet locking system.
  7. Position the front of the sweatband below the front of the helmet.

(These instruction also make it easier to fit a helmet over the Halo)

I found the Gutr very comfortable to wear, both with and without a helmet. Because the Gutr is so narrow, it felt cooler under a helmet than the Halo.

The Gutr provides excellent sweat channeling capabilities. During a recent 4 hour bike ride in 80 degree weather, I noticed an occasional drip of sweat going down the side of my face, well away from the eyes. When I got home, I was surprised to see no sweat splatters on the inside of my sunglass lenses.

With both the Gutr and the Halo, looking down causes sweat on the side of your face to roll toward your eyes. Don't look down!

Recommendations

If you want a fairly normal looking headband, the Halo is a good choice. It's light and quite effective at channeling sweat away from the eyes.

If you want even better protection from sweat in your eyes, the Gutr wins. I was surprised how well it works and how comfortable it is to wear. Recommended.

Halo, looks like a normal headband but redirects water to the side. Gutr, minimalist, light, does not block air from entering under the helmet, cooler, more effective at transferring sweat to the side

Where to buy: