Full disclosure: I was given the cap by the nice guys at Team Våga on the promise of some feedback… so here’s my thoughts so far!
Up till now my headgear of choice for running has always been a buff/tube scarf. They are versatile, can be rolled down to cover ears, worn as a sweat-band, stuffed full of ice on a hot day, twisted to make a hat or worn as a scarf. I’ve also got quite a few of them as they’re a common race freebie. I admit I hadn’t even heard of Våga until I saw they were sponsoring the Blair Castle Trail Weekender. I had checked them out on social media beforehand and popped over to their stand in the event village to say hi! We had a good chat about their background – how they set up during the pandemic last year, based out of the lake district – and I’ve also since read that they support Mind and are a carbon-positive company, so definitely a great bunch 👍 When they offered me a chance to try out one of their caps it would have been rude to refuse!
All of their caps have pretty much the same basic design – with a shorter peak and a much shallower crown than a traditional baseball cap which apparently makes it easier to wear with a ponytail / tied back hair (not that I’d know)! The idea of the short peak is that it’s enough to shade you from the sun, without cutting in to your line of vision when on steep terrain. There is some variation in material, with some lighter/more breathable and some thicker/more windproof. I’m a bit of a sucker for neon-coloured running kit so I picked the White/Black/Neon Yellow one, which is a fully breathable, technical fabric. I promised to give it a good trial run during the Full Tilt Ultra the following day as it was expected to be hot!
I have to say I liked it and have become a bit of a fan! There is plenty of adjustment via a clip buckle at the rear so it fitted fine, and there is a handy little ‘pocket’ for the tail of the adjustable strap to avoid having anything flapping around at the back. As promised, the short peak seemed to keep the sun out of my eyes without blocking my view and the breathable mesh kept the sun off my head without overheating. Even when the wind got up near the top of Carn a Chlamain it stayed firmly on my head. The cap also doubled up as a scoop for tipping water from a burn over my head during the second major climb of the day!
I’ve been wearing the cap for all of my runs this week too. It’s been through the wash a couple of times with the rest of my kit as the material does absorb a lot of sweat! I found that the fabric stretched out a little after the first wash and I had to cinch the strap a bit shorter. The only real gripe I’ve had is that if you’re running into a headwind (particularly if it’s gusty), the cap can feel a bit unstable as the wind tugs at the peak. I’ve had one ‘blow-off’ incident, and adjusted the fit a little bit tighter again. Running intervals today into a strong headwind I did have to adjust the cap mid-run, and also tilt my head further down than I’d like to stop it catching the wind which isn’t great for running form.
Overall definitely a great addition to my running gear collection – and thanks to Team Våga for providing a cap for review. On winter and/or windy days when I want to keep my ears warm I’ll definitely be switching back to the buff, but on hot days with little wind when the main concern is keeping the sun out of your eyes and off your head the Våga wins hands down. Definitely gets a recommendation from me – expect to see me wearing it a lot this summer!