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by The Professionals at blueseventy

October 30, 2010

Open water swimming is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. What was once a small group of fanatics swimming in the early hours of the morning has transformed into an Olympic event with a global following.

Whether you are new to swimming or have been in the sport for years, open water is a great way to mix up your day-to-day swim routine. However, few of us are fortunate enough to have warm waters to swim in year round so gear to keep body temperatures up is key.

Most swimmers are familiar with the generic latex or silicone swim cap primarily used to keep hair out of the face or protect hair from harsh chlorine and chemicals. Swim caps can also provide a layer of insulation against cold waters. At rest between 20% and 30% of body heat lost is through the head. Head heat loss increases as temperature decreases and activity increases. So – the colder the water and the harder you swim – the more heat is lost through your head. This can be prevented through insulated swim caps made from neoprene or other treated cloth designed to create a thermal layer to reduce head heat loss.

Insulation provided by a latex or silicon cap is not significant enough to be a real difference maker but many of the neoprene or insulated thermal caps on the market can be worn over a traditional swim cap to give you the extra layer needed in colder water temps. Many wetsuit manufacturers offer neoprene caps that cover the ears with a strap under the chin for a secure fit. Things to look for in a good neoprene cap are the thickness of the rubber, ear coverage, and how the fit is with the strap under the chin – Is it easy to breath in? Do you feel restriction in your jaw?

The Neoprene Skull Cap offered by blueseventy is a popular gear choice for triathletes and open water swimmers that compete and train in cooler temps. The 3mm neoprene is a high quality Yamamoto rubber with a flexible panel down the center for a comfortable fit. The chinstrap is composed of the same flexible rubber to prevent restriction in the jaw, but still keeps the cap securely down over the ears.

More information on the blueseventy Neoprene Skull Cap can be found at