Desert Hat

When To Wear A Desert Hat

Whenever you contemplate running in hot climates wearing a desert hat might be a very wise idea. Prior to the ultra event I did in the Sahara desert I researched all kinds of equipment that I considered useful.

Especially deciding on the right clothing required me to explore many different products. If you are already familiar with adventure stage races you know that most runners prefer to wear those special running caps.

Let's find out why:

  • They are made of an UV protective nylon membrane
  • They have a neck and sun shield for extra sun protection
  • The material is breathable and lightweight
  • They are ideal to use in challenging weather conditions
  • They are available in water proof versions
  • They are machine washable


These running caps can be purchased in outdoor shops although you might find a wider selection in most running stores.

Many colors are available, the most popular ones being light brown, off-white and black. Just like any piece of clothing a running cap specially made to wear in challenging weather conditions just has to fit right.

Always make sure to try on various sizes and models.

This hat by Chaskee is very practical and versatile because the neck protector can be tucked away into the attached zipper pocket.

If you prefer darker colours this cap by The North Face might be a good option. Its material is slightly more compact whereas the neck protection is simply put on the velcro strap inside the cap. It can be taken off completely.

Therefore the hat serves as a conventional cap, too.

What other options do I have if I don't want to buy such a hat specially?

One option is to simply stitch a piece of fabric onto your running cap. The other one is to use a buff and cover the head, ears and neck with it.

You obviously don't have a separate shield but wearing sunglasses on hotter and sunny days should provide enough UV protection.

The third alternative is to wear your running cap and use a buff around your neck. In my race through the Sahara desert I would wet the buff and turn it by a quarter every fifteen minutes. This had an extremely cooling effect on my neck.

An all-in-one running hat can be considered useful but is certainly not an absolute necessity.

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