Choosing the Best Swimming Caps – Capping it All Off

swimmer-1434868_640There is a whole different array of swimming caps and types all over the internet the main worry is what is the best one to choose and how do you know. As an avid swimmer, I use a cap for a variety of reasons. I only swim in indoor pools. However, I’m also a hydrogen peroxide enhanced blonde so I know the chemicals in indoor pools can turn me from Rapunzel to Shrek so the use of a swimming cap is great for me.

There are a lot of different chemicals used in indoors pools including chlorine to keep the pool water clean and safe for everyone’s use. For instance, chemicals like can greatly affect the health of your hair especially if you a swimming in this type of water frequently as it can increase the damage to your hair.

On the other hand, if you prefer to swim in open waters like the sea a swimming cap can also help to protect your hair against the damage that salt water could cause and any other chemicals that could be present in the sea. So, a swimming cap is best used whenever you swim.

If you are looking to get into competitive swimming it is not secret that wearing a swimming cap will make you faster this is because it reduces drag from your hair. Silicone swimming caps are used by a majority of all professional swimmers. This is because the smooth and round surface reduces the resistance and drag when swimming thus improving the speed and performance of the swimmer.

Another benefit of wearing a swimming cap is the obvious but sometimes overlooked, it keeps your hair dry. Now although no swim cap can guarantee dry hair every time you swim, proper use and selection of cap can help with this most of the time. Wet hair is a big and time consuming problem for swimmers with long hair as it can take hours to dry long hair again. Some swimmers even use two caps in to solve this problem.

Choosing a Swimming Cap

Swimming caps can be made from a variety of different materials and all have different properties, so how do you choose the best cap for you?

  • Silicone Swimming Caps – silicone swimming caps are the most common, because silicone is extremely durable. It’s popular among most competitive swimmers as it’s long-lasting. It is also easiest to remove and doesn’t pull on hair when it is removed.
  • Latex Swimming Caps – latex is a thinner material than silicone, however it is less durable and has to be taken care of properly to last. Latex swimming caps are however lighter and more breathable, making them more suitable for swimming where water temperature is quite warm and where overheating may be a factor. Latex swimming caps are cheaper than other types of swim caps but due to their thin properties are not likely to last if some others.
  • Polyester and Lycra Swimming Caps – for comfort the then look no further than polyester and lycra swimming caps. The softer fabric doesn’t pull or catch on hair and gives an easy fit. The only hold back with Polyester and Lycra caps are that they are completely porous and therefore your hair will get completely wet.
  • Bubble swimming caps – bubble caps are normally made from latex rubber and have quite a retro look, these types of swimming caps are good for people with longer hair as they give more of a generous fit compared to some other types of caps. The thicker material used to make these are ideal for swimming in open water as they keep the head warm. Bubble caps also tend to cover the ears as well as scalp ideal for adding warmth and blocking out Nosie.
  • Neoprene Swimming Caps – as more and more people compete in triathlons and open water swimming the rise in neoprene swimming caps has risen with it, that’s because this swimming cap are nearly thermal and keep the swimmers head warm when swimming in open and cold waters. Neoprene is what is used to make scuba diving wetsuits, the way it works is that it allows some water in and keeps this water close to your body making it heat up and insulate.

So, what’s the best swimming cap for you to get there is so many on the market now and knowing what you want is the key. If you’re looking for something long lasting and use in the pool. Then you should be looking at the ‘Original Silicone Swimming Cap’.

It’s a durable silicone swimming cap, made with extra thick material to protect the cap from tears. It has design grips on the head to stop the cap riding up as your swimming either for leisure or competitive. The cap also cover your ears of that it can protect you from painful ear infections.

Speedo Moulded Swimming Cap

To kick things off we have a model by the household brand that is Speedo. This is a basic model of cap, but does have some good features and is suitable for the everyday swimmer. Available in a variety of colors, this probably isn’t something that is going to last you a lifetime, or work well for outdoor swimmers, but for the average everyday indoor swimmer, Speedo’s moulded swim cap does a decent job.

i-Swim Pro

If you have longer hair and are looking to have a comfortable fitting cap as you are swimming, have a look at the i-Swim Pro Silicone cap.

Like a bubble cap this has a retro look on the outside claiming that this bubble design helps displace the surface tension of the water as you are swimming. Meaning that your speed can be increased as the resistance is reduced. The material is made from silicone material and the seal still protects hair from maximum chlorine and water damage.

If you’re an open water swimmer looking for the best thermal cap from swimming then this might be the cap for you. This particular cap is made from neoprene and comes with a built in chin strap to ensure that the cap stays in place tightly when swimming also providing ear coverage for protection in open waters.

Using Your Swim Cap

Now a swimming cap is only as good as how you put it on, if you put a swimming cap on incorrectly it may increase drag or make your hair wetter than needs to be. So to properly place a cap on there are a variety of different ways. To make sure that the cap is protected and has a long life when putting it on and looking after the cap ensure that fingernails are not sharp or ripped and is stored away from the zip of a bag to ensure that the swimming cap material isn’t snagged or can be torn. This also goes with keeping it away from jewellery or other sharp objects.

If you’ve got longer hair its best to place it in a bun or a pony tail to make it easier for you to keep all of the hair in the cap avoid using bobby pins and hair bands with a metal clasp as these could get caught when trying to put a cap on and could possibly damage the cap.

It is a matter of preference whether you want to wet your hair before placing the cap on most swimming pools have clean water showers before you enter the pool area this s the best water to use as it doesn’t have the chemicals in the water that the pool does. If you wet your hair prior to putting the cap on it is easier to ensure all wispy bits of hair and placed under the cap.

If alternatively you want to put your hair dry in the cap. Some people like to put talcum powder into the cap prior to wearing it the best way to do this is to put it in the cap and rub the cap in between your hands ensuring that the talc is spread evenly throughout the cap.

Now, to put the cap on your head the fun bit. Hold the cap wide open so you can see the inside ensuring your fingers and thumb are on the inside of the cap making a sort of L shape with both hands. Now starting at your forehead, slowly pull the cap from your forehead over your hair and down towards the bottom of your neck. The cap should be tight, against your skin but comfortable. Once the cap is on if there are any bots of hair that your missed that you can carefully push these under the cap by lifting it slightly with your fingers.

To make sure that your swimming cap lasts a long time you need to look after it well so make sure that you always give the cap a quick rinse off after swimming use fresh water to do this this will help get rid of any of the chemicals used in the swimming pool. Then dry off your cap either with a towel or hanging it to dry make sure that your cap is stored in a cool dry placed. Caps made from latex or silicone will ruin them.

Summary

So to sum up there are a lot of different choices in regards to choosing the right swimming cap for you. From competitive swimming to leisure there’s lots to consider so when choosing your cap do your research know what you’re looking for and look at suggestions in order to make your informed decisions.

Happy swimming!

Best Solo Canoe – Which Canoe is for You?

kayaking-1149886_640A solo canoe, as you probably already know, is a type of canoe with just one seat, designed for solo adventurers out on the sea or on lakes and canals. The canoe will likely have its seat at the very center of the canoe, and of course will be designed to carry the weight of one individual. Many models can be converted to tandem canoes, but in today’s reviews we’re looking at the best for a solo adventurer.

Choosing a solo canoe depends on the activity you want to use it for, as well as your own preferences and of course your build. There are a ton of water sports and activities which can involve a canoe, and this means different models are made with different uses in mind. You may well need a solo canoe for short trip, cruising, fishing, sport, and in many different water settings such as on a lake or river, from open calm lakes to whitewaters with choppy conditions. 

So, what makes a good Canoe? We’ve got a few different criteria for trying to decide the very best:

  • Durability. This almost goes without saying, you need something that is not going to get scuffed, scratched and even broken easily. Modern technology and materials mean that canoes can be tougher than ever.
  • Portable. Is it easily portable and relatively lightweight? Nobody wants to feel like they’re lugging a ferry out with them, a canoe should retain some flexibility and portability in spite of being durable and hard-wearing.
  • Speed. Not always top priority, but for some of us, a canoe that will cut through the water and help us travel at a fair speed will be a big plus point.
  • Comfort. Trust us, you’re going to want something that doesn’t get too sore after a long day sitting in it.
  • Storage. So many of the uses for a canoe, fishing or otherwise, require some sort of storage, which is something most of the models of solo canoe have on offer. Storage means how much weight they can carry as well as space. Nobody wants their cargo to sink the canoe!

We’ve explored some of the top options in the world of canoeing, which work perfectly for just one person. Canoes, as with a lot of different water sports equipment, are not cheap! It is well worth doing a bit of research up front to make sure that you are happy with the decision you make.

The following solo canoe reviews are based on our own experiences, and those of other consumers who have purchased the canoes and shared opinions.

The Grumman 12’9” Solo Canoe:

This is one of the best solo canoes that are very easy to control and it glides across the water with ease using a solitary or dual bladed paddle. It weighs under 50 lbs, but in spite of this it boasts a large carrying capacity of over 500 lbs, meaning it is a great choice for those who will be carrying equipment around with them (if you’re looking for a solo fishing canoe, this could be your answer). This canoe is described by the manufacturer as being as strong as nails, and it is hard to disagree. The clever craftsmanship and aluminum design mean that it remains tough whilst still being fast and maneuvrable. It is much lighter than many high capacity kayaks, at 48lbs. Though it is certainly not one of the cheapest canoes you will come across, it is worth your consideration. A quick look at other reviews of the Grumman will show how happy most of those who purchase are with their decision. Well worth the money if you have the budget.

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 119 Solo Canoe:

Into the realms of affordability now. This particular solo canoe is efficient, lightweight and constructed for years of use, even coming with a guarantee. It has a rigid design as well as comfy, long-lasting nylon seats. It is made for solo use and is suitable for use with a doubled blade paddle. It weighs around 49 lbs and reports of even large fishermen and canoe enthusiasts using it with no worries at all, so sturdiness is not a concern. For comfort, ease of use and value for money the Discovery 119 scores very highly and is worthy of recommendation.

The Classic Hornbeck:

Hornbeck are a manufacturer whose boats and canoes tend to be mostly used for fishing and birding. Their 12′ solo canoe is very responsive and quick, and feels slick when you are paddling. Although being described as a solo canoe here, this model can be used as a tandem and extra foam seats and backrest mean it can quickly be converted to a tandem canoe. One of the speediest canoes we’ve looked at. These are custom made, and don’t be shocked to see the price quickly mounting, these are certainly more of an expensive model of canoe, and are great for more advanced users, rather than beginners.

Wenonah Canak

The Wenonah Canak is really interesting, and has been described as a cross between kayak and canoe (hence being called a Canak). It has a large capacity and still offers portability and ease of use. It is one of the fastest of all canoes currently on the market and is designed to withstand heavy equipment and lots of cargo, as well as choppy weather conditions! It has slip on covers which keep the water out, so it comes with convenient dry storage, always good for those long days on the water and making it a great choice for campers who need to keep a lot dry.

Conclusion

The fact is that in spite of our guide, this isn’t going to be the easiest decision to make. The difference between the cheapest solo canoe and the most expensive is absolutely huge, and you need something to fit your budget as well as offer all the features you need. Inevitably, the kayak vs canoe debate is bound to come up, as people look at a kayak or inflatable kayak as an alternative. If you want portability, this could be wise, but if it is stability you’re looking for, canoes are hard to beat, especially if carrying cargo. Evaluating which features you need can go a long way to deciding what is the appropriate canoe for you!