– Sweathawg Helmet Liner: Quick Review- by c_g
Sometimes it is the little things that give you the greatest pleasure. For years I – and likely many of you as well – have learned to live with burning eyes and sweat dripping on my glasses obscuring vision … I think most of you know what I am talking about. Only days before our trip to dry and hot Arizona we were contacted by John Rahm the founder and man behind SWEATHAWG if we were not interested to try out his new SWEATHAWG anti dripping helmet liner and of course we were on it right away. SWEATHWAG is a kind of semi-liner only covering the forehead and front part of the skull – the brow area is a multi layer cloth consisting of a fleece-like inner, ultra absorbent core and fast wicking external, while the upper portion is a thinner net-like fabric.
Depending on the helmet you want to ride it with there are two versions available. We received the Hook and Loop version, which basically replaces the helmet’s frontal padding and is held in place by sticking to the now exposed padding Velcro – super easy to mount and stays in place with no further attention required. On our POC Trabec helmet we rode most of the time it was a thing of seconds to mount.
Alternatively there is a thinner version ,that passively sits between the helmet (now with padding still in place) and the skull. It takes a bit of attention when putting on, but then stays in place with no fussing…. and with more than 4 weeks of experience with the SWEATHAWG, I can attest: It really works!! Wear properties are really nice and just like promised, I had not one single drop of sweat getting into my eyes or dripping onto my glasses. Even after hours of extended riding on the already pretty hot Sedona trails, or after 2hr of climbing in Flagstaff with sweat pouring out of me … nothing!
My initial concern about overheating also faded away very soon. Somehow the moisture from sweating actually works as a cooling agent (just as intended by our body) and I never noticed any overheating at all. To enhance this cooling effect one can moisten the cloth when setting out (which I did when doing a mid day ride) and the cooling effect immediately sets in.
During the official MAGUARA Press Camps which Grannygear and I attended, I wore the SWEATHAWG underneath a UVEX XP CC helmet – still with very good results, but after a couple of hours of hard riding I would eventually feel sweat coming though and burning in my eyes. I am not sure, but my guess ist hat to make the UVEX fit my head securely, I needed to tighten down the width adjustment pretty hard … which may have kept the SWEATHAWG from working at its best absorption capacity. It was still by far better, than with the stock padding ( I did try tht, too), but it also wasn’t 100% perfect as before with the POC helmet.
Back at home I did check another property of the SWEATHAWG – how it affected a helmet ?s fit. I have a MAVIC Notch helmet, that I never got to sit firm on my head – it would always wander onto my forehead (no issue with the helmet – only an incompatibility between my head ?s shape and the helmet) … and to my positive surprise with the SWEATHAWG in place the helmet suddenly sat there snugly and firmly … plus no more sweat in my eyes. I love it.
Another nice attribute of the SWEATHAWG is that it also keeps insects off your head in case your helmet doesn ?t have a insect net already. Also, when riding in the cooler climate we currently have here in Germany – even when humid. The SWEATHOG does not create the same nasty clammy sensation when put on again as do humid standards padding. About 2 weeks and countless multi hour rides later, the SWEATHAWG still did work fine, but its salt lines clearly indicated the need for washing – simply hand or machine wash cold, press excess water out (it is recommended not to wring out forcefully) and let dry – no special care needed.
Considering the Hook and Loop version’s retail price of only USD 22.- (or. USD 20.- for the thinner version, plus a minimal shipping fee for international customers) the SWEATHAWG is one of the simplest and cheapest way to enhance your positive ride experience.
For me personally SWEATHAWG is one of those simple yet wonderful discoveries that make my rides more enjoyable. It sits there, completely obscured from anyone to notice, yet has such a great effect, by keeping one more annoyance completely away from me. My experience has shown: The SWEATHAWG does a wonderful job of keeping sweat away from my eyes and in one case has even improved a helmet ?s fit for me. It does not work 100% perfect with every helmet (my experience at least) but it is a significant improvement over any stock padding regardless. After having ridden my sample for more than 4 weeks now I cannot see myself going back to not riding one … unless I have to.
My verdict: Get one or two for yourself