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Pearl Izumi Unisex Thermal Headband review: a splash of warmth with a big dose of comfort and performance

This low profile, lightweight headband contains all the practical details you want from your headwear in an exceptionally comfortable piece for your cool weather trail runs

Pearl Izumi headband
(Image: © Pearl Izumi)

Our Verdict

Pearl Izumi is geared towards cyclists, but their thermal headband is ideal for trail running, combining a low profile meant for fitting under a helmet, high visibility and a ponytail hole with great sweat wicking properties and a touch of warmth on cool days

For

  • Breathable and sweat wicking
  • Thermal
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • High visibility color and reflective details
  • Ponytail hole

Against

  • Only one size available – but with good stretch it should fit all heads

Pearl Izumi Unisex Thermal Headband: first impressions 

Pearl Izumi is one of the best cycling apparel brands around, but this headband makes a perfect trail running companion whether you’re seeking sweat management on warm days or a little lobe warming on winter runs.

This bright yellow band with reflective details  is high visibility meant for road riding, so if your trail runs take you along any trafficked areas or hunting territory, you’ll be glad for the protection. It is extremely lightweight and stretchy, so you can wear it for hours without really noticing it. It stays in place when you’re on the run and is wider around the ears for more warmth.

Speaking of warmth, it is thermal but not thick, so it keeps you warm on cold days without being bulky, and is breathable enough to be used as a sweat wicker on warm days too. With a handy ponytail hole, you can use it comfortably with long hair and it’s wide enough to cover most of your part line if you’re seeking sun protection. Finally, it’s designed with odor protection so you can get lots of use out of it between washes.

For a comfortable and functional all rounder headband that you can wear year-round, look no further than this headband.

Specifications

• RRP: $14.99 (US)
• Sizes available: One size
• Unisex: Yes
• Materials: Polyester (90%), Elastane (10%)
• Colors: Screaming yellow
• Best use: Trail running, hiking 

Pearl Izumi Unisex Thermal Headband: on the trails 

Pearl Izumi headband

My first reaction when I pulled on this headband was how comfortable it is compared to practically every other headband I’ve tried (Image credit: Pearl Izumi)

My first reaction when I pulled on this headband was how comfortable it is compared to practically every other headband I’ve tried. It’s stretchy enough, not too tight and not at all scratchy, and frankly if I’m going to be running for hours wearing it, that’s what I want.

Getting out on the trails with it was not disappointing. It’s thermal so adds a little warmth on cool days without making me overheat and the width around the ears keeps the breeze out which is mostly what I want from a running headband. All that said, it’s light enough and breathable enough to work all through the summer months too.

It is meant for cyclists so it’s really low profile to fit under a helmet, and means it works great under your beanie on a cold hike. This also means it’s bright yellow with reflective details which wouldn’t be my first choice from a sartorial standpoint, and since I tend to run on trails not roads it’s not the first thing I look for. That said, I’ll definitely be wearing it on my bike rides and I do appreciate having the extra visibility on the trails during hunting season. 

I was thrilled that it has a ponytail hole as many running headbands don’t and this means I don’t need to keep re-tying my hair every few miles.

All in all, I can’t think of any good reason why you won’t love the performance of this headband on your next trail run.

Here’s how it performed:

Sizing

One size fits all. 

Fit

Snug but not at all tight, and stays in place when you move. 

Comfort 

The most comfortable headband I’ve tried, I can wear it for hours and it doesn’t pull my hair, give me a headache or scratch my skin. 

Temperature regulation 

Thermal fabric provides warmth on cool days, but isn’t too warm for summer. 

Breathability 

Manages moisture perfectly. 

Durability 

Well constructed with double-stitched seams. 

Here’s where we tested the Pearl Izumi Unisex Thermal Headband:

The Whangie is an unusual-looking rock feature in the Kilpatrick Hills, and boasts wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies.

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.