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Ciele Athletics Performance Headwear Review
A Doctors of Running Team Editorial

Ciele, like Goodr with sunglasses or Tracksmith, Rabbit, and others in the apparel world, has become one of the first things runners think of when they think running performance hats. Over the years Ciele has grown into one of the industry's go-tos for quality headgear on the run. Their bright, varied designs help provide some seriously good styling, while soft materials and a large range of designs offer runners a wealth of choices. In this review, we check out some of the Ciele line to explore a few of the stylings offered by the brand to help make your buying decisions a little easier.

Ciele Items Tested in this Review
GOCap Badge + Athletic


FSTCap 2
Style Seen Above: All Over Print
Price: $60
Material: COOLwick recycled performance fiber (polyester)
Unique Features: cycling-style short brim, UPF 40+, front/back reflectivity

Andrea Myers, Contributor
: I appreciate the cycling aesthetic of this short brimmed running cap. The brim provides enough coverage to keep the sun or water out of my eyes, but doesn’t block my field of vision the way some full size brims do. The COOLwick material is incredibly lightweight and breathable and really disappears on my head. I like the plastic buckle in the back, which makes getting the hat on and off around my ponytail easier than caps without this feature. The tightness of the band is also adjustable, but because the band does not stretch, it takes a few tries to get it dialed in. Even though Ciele says this is a smaller hat, I found the hat to be a little deep for my head, and experienced some rubbing on the tops of my ears. I like that Ciele includes reflective detailing on the front and back of the hat to improve visibility in low light conditions. I used this hat for a few rainy runs in 40F weather and found it to provide just enough warmth and plenty of eye protection from the rain. Due to its very lightweight material, I would expect it to perform well in warmer temperatures for those who prefer hats over visors for those conditions.

Positives: Very lightweight material, nice adjustability with buckle and strap. The short brim looks nice and still provides sufficient facial coverage.
Negatives: Ear irritation due to the cap being a little too big for my head.

GOCap SC Athletics
Style Seen Above:
Price: $45
COOLwick recycled performance fiber (polyester)
Unique Aspects: UPF 40+, pilable soft brim for packing away, standard brim

Megan Flynn, Contributor: The Ciele GoCap SC Athletics hat is a lightweight, moisture-wicking, breathable hat designed for performance and with runners in mind. The COOLwick fabric works to absorb sweat and quickly dries. The breathability of the material sets this hat apart, as it allows heat to evaporate from the head and prevent overheating on hot summer days. There are reflective details in the front and back of the hat for improved visibility during night or early morning runs. The brim provides adequate protection from the sun with UPF +40 along the brim, front panel, and back panel. The brim has a soft-curve and is easily adjustable to conform to the shape of your head. Going off that, the hat itself is adjustable with a tab at the back and a spot for the extra material to tuck in securely. This hat is a favorite and shared with multiple people in my household, which means the size has to be adjusted pretty often. Not a deal breaker for me by any means, but I do wish it was easier to adjust the hat size as it takes a bit of time to feed the material through and then secure the extra material in the slot within the fabric. Another important feature is that the hat is machine washable so can quickly be cleaned and ready to go for the next run!

Positives: The material is very breathable and lightweight, it provides adequate protection from the sun, and dries quickly. The soft curve brim allows the hat to fit more comfortably. It’s machine washable
Negatives: Size adjustment takes a bit of time to feed the extra material through

GOCap Badge
Style Seen Above: Hillside
Price: $50
Material: COOLwick recycled performance fiber (polyester)
Unique Aspects: UPF 40+, pilable soft brim for packing away, front/back reflectivity

David Salas, Senior Contributor: The GOCap is Ciele’s go-to design for running hats. The aim is to provide a lightweight piece of headwear that is good at wicking moisture and keeping you cool. The SOFTflat brim on this model is specifically designed for easy packability, so you can take it on the go pretty much anywhere in any container. The material itself is very comfortable and soft on skin/head. The brim and back panel also has UPF +40 protection. Aesthetically the hat is also pleasing with a balanced performance and casual color scheme. The weight of the hat is 62 grams. Lockdown from the strap is quite good. The material on the strap is also textured and really keeps it from sliding. The one thing you need to be a little careful with on this one is locking it down too tight because it doesn’t stretch there like most hats. Overall, this is a great piece of headwear and has easily become one of my favorite go-tos. The only thing I really notice is that the brim has a tendency to hold water compared to the rest of the hat. It doesn’t really cause me any problems with running, but an observation for a potentially more streamlined version. 

Positives: The mesh material is comfortable and breathes pretty well throughout. Lockdown on the head is really good. Weight is really lightweight and the hat is easily packable. Great for easy days and long runs.
Negatives: It does seem to hold some moisture. Nothing excessive, though I will place it on a mat after my runs to dry. I have not noticed it has any effect on comfort or weight when sweating.

RDCap Frame S
Style Seen Here: Frame S Perta
Price: $50
Material: COOLwick Fabric and REPREVE recycled performance fiber
Unique Features: UPF 40+, knit mesh,  reflective front/back, classic cap fit/brim

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor
: This is the most comfortable and stylish cap I own. There is a combination of two types of materials with a mesh on the top and more stretchy knit material on the side panels, which helps it mold well to my small head. Overall, Ciele brimmed caps fit my smaller head better than any other brand. This is mostly due to the limited depth of the cap which allows it to sit above my ears very well. I know other members of our team wish it was a deeper cap, so it certainly depends on your head size and shape. The hat is very secure on my head for easy or harder efforts and wicks sweat away very well. This is also the hat I use most to double for daily casual wear. The brim can be flipped up which has some reflective properties, and the strap in the back is secure and does not slip once finding the appropriate size. 

Positives: Style and comfort are top-notch. Very comfortable side panels with the knit material, depth works well for my head type.
Negatives: The knit on the side panels did have minor pilling/stringing in the first week, which makes me consider longevity. However, the cap has a lifetime guarantee through Ciele. 

VTBeanie Q-Air
Style Seen Here: Stadium

Price: $45
Material: Polartec Power Air Fabric
Unique Features: it's a beanie! light reflective detailing

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: I’ve been using this Ciele beanie as we approach winter here in Wisconsin. Temperatures in the mornings have dipped into the 20s at this point during my running times. So far, the beanie has held up well temperature-wise but can tell that this won’t suffice for much colder than the mid 20 deg F for me. There was one day when it was a wind chill of 16 and this beanie just didn’t quite cut it. So for moderately cold temperatures, it works great for keeping my head warm without locking in too much heat that would generate excessive sweat. It is very comfortable overall, but there is some minor scratchiness from the seam just on the lower part of the hat. It fits my head well and has enough elasticity that it would also fit people with larger head sizes. I also appreciate how lightweight it is and its stylistic appearance, making it appropriate for more than just running. Again, I’m finding it most appropriate for mild to moderate cold and will need something more robust for the deeper times of winter. 

Positives: Fit, overall comfort, style, breathability for mild cold, and warm enough for moderate cold
Negatives: Some scratching from the seam, not thick enough for more extreme cold

Style Seen Above: All Over Print – Run Mountains
Price: $75
Material: COOLwick mesh

Unique Aspects: UPF 50+, pilable soft brim for packing away, sun protection

Ryan Fluguar, Contributor: The Ciele BKTHat is designed for all around sun protection. The material is fairly breathable and well made. Ciele is known for their high level of craftsmanship and the BKTHat is no exception. I enjoyed the option of throwing the hat in the washer when finishing a long hot run so it was clean for my next run. Following washing, I would hang the hat dry and it was ready for the next morning. Similar to other bucket hats I have used while running, it performs best for easy and long runs when the pace is slower. This is because  it tends to pick up wind easily and has the potential to come off. There is an elastic cinch in the back of the hat that can be adjusted to get the best fit. Coming in at 90 grams, the BKTHat is heavy. This is not an issue during easy runs but may become an issue when picking up the pace for sprints. I found myself frequently reaching for the Ciele BKTHat during easy long runs, walks with the family, and yardwork.

Positives: +50 UPF protection for hot summer runs. Good 360 degree neck and face coverage.
Negatives: 90 grams can feel heavy during sprints and faster paced runs. The brim can easily catch wind and has the potential to fly off.

Interested in Trying Ciele?
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You can also head over to Running Warehouse here.

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