Also called thermal headbands, ear warmers are an indispensable gear if you’re planning to do your run under cold temperatures. They are also great alternatives to bulky and uncomfortable ear muffs. If you’re interested in looking for the best ear warmers for running, then we’ve got you covered in this article.
Other than providing insulation for your ears, thermal headbands are also useful in absorbing sweat on your forehead so that they don’t trickle on your eyes, in keeping your hair tucked and away from your face, and in letting you enjoy your music without allowing cold air to pass through. We consider these as we make our recommendations.
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Here Are Some of the Best Ear Warmers for Running:
JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers
This muff headband features a curved design that widens by the ears and narrows a little at the back where the two lines meet. It is made of 75% fleece and 25% polyester. And measuring 5.9 x 19.6 inches and weighing 1.44 ounces, this elastic ear warmers can be worn by kids and adults of all genders.
It comes with a money-back and replacement guarantee and is available in black, dark blue, and gray.
- The ear section is wide and can provide good coverage for the ears.
- The material is not that thick. It may not be enough for very cold weathers.
Tough Headwear Headband
This muff headband features a black strip with a slim white line with zigzag detail that doubles as a reflector. It is fashioned from 94% polyester and 6% Spandex. It weighs 1.76 ounces and is suitable for men and women.
- It has a snug fit to it but not that tight to compress your ears.
- The reflector is a thoughtful integration to the muff headband. And it’s great that it’s well incorporated into the design—not the usual one-strip reflector.
- With only 6% Spandex into the fabric, the headband isn’t that stretchy.
- The large labels inside and out of the headband can be uncomfortable.
Noosa Life Ponytail Headband
This navy blue ear warmer features a headband that tapers to the front—4.5 inches long at the back and 2.5 inches in front. It runs 9.75 inches long and weighs only 0.32 ounces. This muff headband made from high-quality fleece comes with a dedicated hole at the back to let a ponytail through.
It is available in three variants. Choose from a black, pink, or lime trim.
- It comes with a hole that accommodates a ponytail which helps the headband to stay in place during your exercise.
- Its tapered design is also great for providing a generous cover over the ears when doing outdoor sports or exercise during the cold months.
- It is machine-washable.
- While the tapered design that provides ample coverage for the ears is great for cold seasons, it is unnecessary for warm seasons. So it doesn’t make an all-season headband.
- If you’re sporting a ponytail, then you will have to keep it in a low position so that the headband fits well over your head.
- Running 9.75 inches long, it may prove to be too loose for some people and too small for a few.
The JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers, Tough Headwear Headband, and Noosa Life Ponytail Headband all have sport different designs. The Tough Headwear version is more like a typical headband in shape; whereas the other two are wider on the ear area, providing more coverage on the more sensitive part of the head.
The Tough Headwear Headband, however, comes with a reflector which is cleverly integrated on its print. While not everyone will see the need for it, this safety feature can come in handy for people who often go out at on a cold night.
As for both JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers and Noosa Life Ponytail Headband, the main focus of their design is to provide extra coverage for the ears. Thus, they make great alternatives to uncomfortable ear muffs.
A unique feature that puts Noosa Life Ponytail Headband an upper-hand over the other—or the two even—is the dedicated opening at the back for a ponytail. However, the way it’s positioned only allows for a low ponytail. You may find that to your liking or not. As it is, if you sport a ponytail and you use the opening, then it is helpful in keeping the ear warmers in place.
Lastly, all three designs are versatile. Both men and women can use them. Kids and adults can also wear them although some heads may find the fit too loose or too tight, regardless of the material having a stretch blend to it or not. All three comes in one size only, which can be a good point to consider for design improvements and greater versatility.
All three ear warmers work great in keeping the cold at bay. The JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers and Noosa Life Ponytail Headband provide more warmth than the Tough Headwear Headband can. Still, all three will have to be, at some degrees of negative weather, used with other running accessories like a hat to keep the ears warm effectively. This will depend on individual tolerance for cold temperatures.
Aside from warming the ears, these headbands are also good in keeping the hair away from your face as well as in absorbing the sweat on your forehead.
Noosa Life Ponytail Headband is the most expensive of the three; whereas, JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers and Tough Headwear Headband are cheaper options with only a dollar difference between them.
If you are looking for the best ear warmers for running, then you can place your bet on any of the three. But if you don’t mind paying a little extra, then the Noosa Life Ponytail Headband is one that we’d highly recommend. It marries function and design quite well. We particularly love the ponytail opening even if it only accommodates a low one.
Still, you’ll be happy with either the Tough Headwear Headband or JoeYoung Fleece Ear Warmers, especially if low or high ponytails aren’t an issue. Plus, you’ll love that they come at a more comfortable price point.