Triathletes (as opposed to dedicated swimmers) may wonder how important a simple swim cap can really be to your gear. Well, there are some great benefits to wearing a swim cap, but in order to make the most of it you’ll need to choose something high-quality.
A low-quality swim cap will make you feel dragged down and warm. The best swim caps for triathletes, though, will supercharge your performance in the water to a surprising degree.
Coming in at number one is the TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Swim Cap. You can find it in a multitude of colors, it’s a comfortable, wrinkle-free fit, and it’s durable enough for long-time use.
Read on to find out which other products get our thumbs-up!
Top 3 Best and Favorites
TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Adult Swim Cap
Speedo Solid Silicone Cap
Swim Elite Silicone Swimcap for Long Hair
1. TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Adult Swim Cap
This cap is nothing fancy, but it’s perfect for what it does. There are 10 different colors to choose from, so no matter what color your triathlon suit is, theres a cap to match. It’s also quite affordable, so you can even get one in each color if you’d like!
One of the big thumbs-up features of this cap is that it’s wrinkle-free. Silicone caps tend to wrinkle less than latex ones in general, but it’s hard to appreciate a wrinkle-free swim cap until you’ve had one and gone back to a wrinkly one.
It’s also pretty durable, although if you put extra pressure on the seam while taking it on and off there’s always a chance of them splitting. Just be careful and it should last you a good long time.
Although it’s a one-size-fits-most, it may be too tight and uncomfortable for swimmers who happen to have larger-than-average heads.
- No wrinkles for a frustration-free swim
- Many colors available, something for every swimmer
- Silicone is quite durable
- May be too small for large heads
2. Speedo Solid Silicone Cap
This swim cap is much like our first one, only it comes in a range of almost 30 different colors and patterns! There really is something for every taste here.
It’s 100% silicone and feels soft and stretchy on the head. The material is quite pliable and should withstand plenty of on-and-off, but take care removing it and replacing it nonetheless.
It only comes in one size, so some swimmers may find that it doesn’t quite fit snugly enough, or it’s a little tighter than they’d like.
- Close to 30 colors and patterns to choose from
- Pliable and stretchy
- Soft and comfortable on the head
- Only one size, so may not fit some swimmers
Best for Long Hair
3. Swim Elite Silicone Swim Cap for Long Hair
As pretty as it is, sometimes long hair can really get in the way of a great sporting performance!
This swim cap is designed to be a foolproof solution for long-haired swimmers. After all, they ought to be able to streamline themselves just as well as those with short hair.
Extra material in the top allows space for plenty of hair, in a ponytail or a bun. Some customers have reported their hair being soaked after a swim, but it’s a simple case of making sure the size is right for you and ensuring the logo is in the front when you put the cap on. If you have it on backwards it won’t work as effectively.
We like the ear flaps, which are a thoughtful touch and work as expected without being uncomfortable or getting in the way.
As a bonus, the swim cap is allergy-free (containing no latex) and odorless.
- Ear protection flaps
- Allergy-free, and odorless
- Comes with a clear ziplock bag
- Comes with a nose clip
- If it doesn’t fit your head well, the ear flaps may roll up and water will get into both your ears and hair
Top Colors and Styles
4. Arena Poolish Moulded Caps
If you like something a little funkier and eye-catching, then one of these could be the swim cap for you. Choose from almost 40 brightly colored, boldly patterned designs. You’ll definitely stand out in the pool or lake with one of these on your head.
The material (100% silicone) is soft and feels comfortable around the forehead. The cap is thin and elastic, but still durable as long as it’s looked after properly.
In addition to looking cool and being easy to spot in the water, you’ll be super-streamlined with one of these non-wrinkling caps on your head.
- Close to 40 designs to choose from
- Soft silicone material
- No-wrinkle for extra hydrodynamics
- Cap may ride up on some heads
Best Lycra Cap
5. Speedo Lycra Solid Swim Cap
While silicone is the most popular material for high-end swim caps, Lycra is worth a mention. It’s lightweight and quick-drying, as well as super-comfortable.
The paneled design accommodates long hair as easily as it does short hair. An elastic band around the bottom of the cap ensures a snug fit with no escaped hair.
It’s also quite breathable, so it allows excess heat from the head to escape easily. As a bonus, it has a 6-month warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
- Paneled design for long hair
- Lightweight fabric
- 6-month manufacturer’s defect warranty
- Tight fit, may be too uncomfortable for some
Top Silicone/Lycra Blended Cap
6. Taddlee Swim Cap PU Fabric Silicone/Lycra Swimming Hat
A silicone/Lycra blend is another material option you have for swim caps. This mix enhances the durability and stretchiness of both materials while keeping your cap thin and comfortable.
It covers the ears fairly easily, which gets a thumbs-up for protection. The soft mix of fabrics also means that it’s not sticky or hard to get on your head, and doesn’t pinch or pull hair like more conventional caps tend to.
Although it claims to be waterproof, customers have reported that it isn’t. If you’re looking for something to keep hair out of your face, this will do the trick! If you want something to keep your hair dry, perhaps not.
It gets a big smiley face for comfort though, being one of the softer more hair-friendly choices out there.
- Stylish design
- Covers the ears
- Doesn’t pinch or pull hair
- Soft and comfortable
- Not waterproof
Best Wrinkle-Free for Long Hair
7. TYR Long Hair Wrinkle-Free Silicone Adult Swim Cap
When you’ve got a whole lot of hair under that cap, it can be easier for the cap to ride up or wrinkle, making it uncomfortable on the swimmer’s head and creating extra drag. This one is designed to both eliminate wrinkles and keep long hair under control.
It has an interesting asymmetrical shape, which is said to help keep hair under control while it’s under the cap.
It just about covers the ears, and TYR have worked on a new contoured cut around the ears for extra comfort.
- Asymmetric design to help keep long hair in place
- Provides ear protection
- 100% silicone construction
- 4 colors to choose from
- It’s fairly tight around the forehead and may cause pressure headaches
Top Ear Protection Swim Cap
8. Lahtak Swim Cap Ear Protection 3D
Protecting your ears while in the water is another essential thing that can easily be forgotten. While earplugs can be used, choosing a swim cap that offers some ear protection is a good idea, especially if you’re prone to ear infections or problems.
This cap should not only keep your ears dry, but your hair should come out of it perfectly dry too.
The ear padding is thick but not uncomfortable. It has a low back for maximum coverage, and a 3D ergonomic design makes it easy on the head and skin.
Some may find that this doesn’t keep their hair or ears dry! That’s thanks to the “one-size-fits-all” design, which, as we all know, isn’t always accurate.
- 3D ergonomic design
- Great ear protection
- Keeps hair dry, for the most part
- 180-day money-back guarantee
- One-size-fits-all may not actually fit all
Best Reversible Swim Cap
9. Swim Elite 2-in-1 Premium Silicone Swim Cap
A reversible cap is an awesome gift for the swimmer in your life! With 4 different color combos, there’ll be something for everyone to keep them from getting bored with one color.
It’s made from silicone and is durable enough to withstand being turned inside and out a lot. As an extra bonus, it comes in a protective bag so you can keep it safe when you’re not in the water.
It does specify that it’s best for short or medium-length hair, so it’s important to note that if you have long, thick hair this cap may not work well for you.
- Two colors in one
- Silicone design
- Comes in a protective bag
- Some customers report it slipping up as they swim
Top Neoprene Swim Cap
10. NeoSport Premium Neoprene 2.5 mm Sport Cap
Open-water swimming in cooler weather, or even cooler water, calls for giving your head a little extra warmth. If you’ve donned a wetsuit to keep your body warm, you should probably also think about your head, and a neoprene swim cap would be a good thing to add to your gear.
It’s much warmer than other materials, and softer too. This particular option is constructed with flatlock seams to add an extra element of comfort and reduce chafing.
It features an adjustable chin strap that’s secured with Velcro so you can get a snug but not tight fit. More than one customer mentions needing to sew the strap to fit properly.
One of the best things about this cap is that it comes in four sizes. No one-size-fits-all! Choose from small to extra-large.
- Adjustable Velcro chin strap
- Flatlock seams for added comfort
- Comes in four different sizes
- Soft and comfortable
- You may need to do some sewing work as the Velcro strap seems to sit a little out of place
Don’t think that a swim cap is a pointless or inconsequential piece of your kit! You may be surprised at how much difference a really high-quality swim cap can make to your movement in the water.
Here are some of the questions we see most often about swim caps to help you choose the right one for you.
What Material is Best for Triathlete Swim Caps?
Many swim caps are crafted from latex. It’s affordable, lasts a fairly long time, and is actually surprisingly breathable.
Latex is one of those materials that can cause some terrible reactions, though. If you’d prefer to stay away from latex, there are other swim caps out there that use silicone, Lycra, neoprene, or other synthetic blends instead.
What Are the Benefits of Latex and SiliconMaterials?
The material you choose will be personal preference, but here are some benefits of each of these two choices:
Latex swim caps are generally cheaper than silicone ones. Despite being more affordable, they’re quite durable as long as you look after them properly. They’re also more breathable than one may think.
Silicone swim caps may be more expensive than latex, but they may be the only option for those with latex allergies. The good news is that there are some great benefits to choosing silicone over latex!
Silicone doesn’t wrinkle the same way latex does, making it a snugger, more streamlined fit on your head, with less chance of movement.
Silicone caps also tend to last longer than latex, although this also depends on how well you look after it.
Because of their sturdy, snug design, silicone caps are really good for swimmers who have to tuck a lot of hair up under that cap!
What Other Materials Are Available?
If you’re not keen on either latex or silicone, you may find some swim caps made from neoprene.
It’s not nearly as breathable as latex, but it’s a really good option for keeping your head warm if you swim in the cold. We lose most of our body heat through our heads, so it’s a good cap to have in your gear if you suffer from a cold head while out on the open water.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Swim Cap?
You may be wondering why to even go with a swim cap, especially if you have short hair or even a bald head.
There are certainly benefits to going for a cap over a bare head, including:
- Protecting your hair from chlorine/dirt/debris.
- Keeping long hair away from your face.
- Protecting your skin from chlorine/dirt/debris (if you’re bald).
- Making you more streamlined.
Yes, wearing a swim cap makes you more hydrodynamic even if you have no hair! The skin is not nearly as smooth a surface as the cap, so you may be surprised at how much easier you slice through the water with a cap on.