It's so hot, I'm genuinely considering buying this cap with 'sweat-activated cooling'

The enticingly named Columbia Coolhead II is a trail running cap that's designed to get cooler as you get hotter

Columbia Coolhead cooling cap
(Image credit: Columbia)

If you're in the UK especially, you might be at the point of this heatwave where you're looking for absolutely anything that'll take the edge off. Enter the Columbia Coolhead II cap. While hats are excellent for keeping the sun off your head and providing some shade for your face, when it's really hot, or you're using them for exercise, they get sweaty and uncomfortable fast. Columbia aims to solve this issue by adding some innovations specifically designed to wick away moisture and actively keep you cooler when you sweat.

Aimed at trail-runners in particular, the Coolhead II cap employs such definitely-not-made-up technologies as 'Omni-Wick' and 'Omni-Freeze ZERO' to chill your bonce in the heat. Columbia has also deployed some of these technical fabrics in its activewear. There's a cushioned sweatband that runs around the base of the hat. See those little blue dots? Those apparently react with your sweat to lower the temperature of the fabric. 

The rest of the cap uses fabric that's designed to actively disperse body heat, and accelerate the process of wicking moisture away, too. Finally, the cap had an antimicrobial treatment to protect against bacterial growth and keep things a bit more hygienic. There's a hook-and-loop back adjustment to help you get the fit right, as well as a packable cape for extra protection if you want it.

Columbia Coolhead cooling cap

(Image credit: Columbia)

Does it work? Well I haven't had a chance to test one out myself yet, but my approach with things of this ilk is that you should temper your expectations a bit. It's not going to feel like you've got your head in a fridge. However, a look through existing reviews shows it's still highly rated. It's flagged up as being a great summer cap, and quite a few comment praise it for being lightweight and especially comfy – a few people said they felt like they weren't wearing a cap at all. And at this point, I feel like anything's worth a shot, really.

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton

Ruth runs T3's Outdoors editor (think camping, hiking and adventure sports) as well as running the site's Wellness channel (covering sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing). Due to some unfortunate timing, she joined the T3 team just as COVID-19 'joined' the UK, which means she hasn't managed to get to many industry events IRL yet – although she has enjoyed seeing the rest of the UK get as on board with camping and general outdoorsing as she is. She has also tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and will talk at length about them to anyone who'll listen.