Heading into the southern hemisphere spring I'm starting to contemplate another summer of having sweat running into my eyes and down my face.

I have a couple of lightweight headbands from Netti (that I can't find anymore) that have been reasonably good. They still get saturated on a long ride though and they're old enough that they're starting to smell.

There's an interesting thread here with some discussion around this area.

I've done some research and seen a couple of options:

Halo Headband


Aside from the incredibly lame website they look like a reasonable option, with a fairly unobtrusive design and also the features to redirect sweat away from the eyes when they get saturated.

Sweat Gutr


This looks like it's very effective, but I'm not 100% sold on having all the sweat running down near my ears. Plus how would it fit with helmet and glasses?

Cotton Bandanna

The general opinion here appears to be that once it's wet, it's useless.

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    Interesting. Now I'm wondering why I never have that problem. I go cycling in high heat and humidity and will come back absolutely soaking wet, but have never had a problem with sweat going in my eyes. I wear a standard cycling helmet and a pair of sunglasses, no sweatbands of any type. Aug 31, 2011 at 12:45
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    @Brian - Do you have big eyebrows? Aug 31, 2011 at 14:13
  • @Mac - Updated the title and removed one sentence from the question, to remove the polling-the-community aspect of this question. Please do feel free to revert my edit if this causes any problems. Aug 31, 2011 at 14:16
  • As a bald guy I need to worry about this since I don't have hair to hold or wick moisture away. Most times, a halo headband (actually their skullcap) works pretty well, if the temps are below 80F or dryer weather, however higher humidity causes it to saturate within 30 to 60 minutes and I find myself having to stop to wring it out regularly. Sweat guttr works okay, yes, you get salty water dripping down your temples, but it's not in your eyes. However, I find that I need to use the tightest bands (or it slips) which make it uncomfortable. My ears hurt a bit when I use them with glasses.
    – Benzo
    Jul 29, 2016 at 18:38
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    Tried a new sweat band type device called wickflow which worked well. Similar to the halo headband but thinner and not absorbent, just wicking and directs the wicked moisture around the front of the band. Found I had to remove my helmet pads and Velcro for best results (not much of a problem since I typically wear a hat or headband). No issues with sunglasses and it doesn't space out my helmet much. Still need to ring it out sometimes in humid conditions, and sometimes it bunches, but less dripping on my face than more absorbent type and more comfy than the guttr.
    – Benzo
    May 31, 2017 at 13:38

7 Answers 7


I have had good luck with Headsweats. They are pretty absorbent and keep my balding head somewhat protected from the sun under my helmet.

  • +1 I have used Headsweats for several years and love them. Besides the sun and sweat benefit, they keep the pads in the helmet clean(er) for a little longer.
    – Gary.Ray
    Aug 31, 2011 at 12:45
  • These work very well for me. Another benefit is that you can soak them in cold water on hot days. Aug 31, 2011 at 14:29

When wearing a helmet (and you're in Australia, so I assume you are) I almost always use an undercap, be it a classic styled cycling casquette, a skull cap or, in winter, a thicker beanie, perhaps with ear protection.

In summer a casquette works well because I find that the sweat does form on the peak, but can then either drip off or evaporate more easily.


Halo headband combined with a "maxipad" (stuck to the inside of the helmet) is what I use. The maxipad can be changed at every stop if need be, but usually one is sufficient for an all-day ride. (And I sweat quite profusely.)

  • Do you use the pad because the Halo on it's own isn't sufficient?
    – Mac
    Sep 1, 2011 at 10:06
  • A Halo has just about zero absorption capability -- it mostly just captures the sweat. The pad can absorb a lot of sweat, 2-3 times as much as a bulky sweat band. The pair work together pretty well -- the Halo catches the sweat and holds it until the pad can absorb it. Sep 1, 2011 at 10:48

I have tried everything to keep sweat out of my eyes while cycling, I have a well ventilated helmet, I've used cycling caps, the plastic 'sweat gutter' device, the halo headband, and the coolmax 'do-rags'. If you are a heavy sweater riding at a high intensity and the temperature is warm and or humid, some people will find that every one of the things I mentioned are completely useless. It comes down to the fact that while road cycling your head is in a down position, and unless you can figure out a way to make liquid flow uphill a device like the sweat gutter or halo headband isn't going to work for some people in some conditions. Anything that relies on absorbing sweat isn't going to absorb enough that you won't need to stop frequently to wring it out (detrimental in competitive cycling- "hey paceline can you all wait for me while I wring out my do-rag?"). I'm working on something that will divert the sweat rather than absorb it, allowing the sweat to run off at the downward edges rather than into your eyes-perhaps a combination of a non-absorbing cycling hat type brim and elastic headband gizmo.

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    It is hard - but remember sweating is your body's reaction to heat. Consider wearing less clothing elsewhere, go for short pants instead of full legs, short sleeves instead of longs, no undershirt, or a lighter thinner top. That gives more skin area to sweat from elsewhere.
    – Criggie
    Apr 29, 2017 at 9:22
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    Also, a helmet with more vents for summer/hot riding can help. Even tilting your helmet back a bit to expose more forehead can work wonders for sweat.
    – Criggie
    Apr 29, 2017 at 9:23

I just use a helmet 661 recon with good ventilation and liner, that absorbs sweat and dries fast. It really helps, sweat doesn't gets at your eyes. And you can get spare liner if you are going to a long trip.

  • What do you mean by "liner"?
    – Mac
    Aug 31, 2011 at 6:04
  • Liners are detachable soft pads on an internal side of a helmet. Am I wrong with their name?
    – zetdotpi
    Aug 31, 2011 at 6:24

I wear the Halo Visorband. It basically looks like I'm wearing a cycling cap under my helmet but without the layer of fabric over the top of my head.

I also use the Headsweat brand headbands which are effective. They make a few style, some thicker than others.

I pull the pads of out my helmet (Giro Atmos) except for the one at the top of my skull.

The thing is, if it's hot enough and the wind is at my back or I get stopped at a light I get sweat in my eyes and once it starts its hard to stop. I make sure I have something in my jersey pocket to wipe my eyes. If I use my bare fingers I make the problem worse!

So for me it's one of the commercial sweatbands and either cotton or microfiber cloth accessible for when the burn takes over.

Speaking of burn, keeping sunscreen and other products away from the area above the eyes helps. It's a trade off of course because this is where we need sunscreen but that stuff in the eyes can be deadly. And that's not hyperbole.

  • Thanks jqning. So the visorband is like the halo headband, but with the visor.
    – Mac
    Sep 8, 2015 at 23:10
  • @Mac well I don't have a plain Halo, so I can't say for sure, but I want to say yes.
    – jqning
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:33

I just had a hot ride. The simplest thing was to unclip and remove my helmet's visor, which allows more airflow to the area above the eyes.

For some reason its always my left eye that catches the sweat, and doing this helped a lot. Also tilt your helmet back a little (but still leave the face protected in event of a mud-sucking fall and slide.)

At stops, I squeegee along my helmet's headband to help remove the sweat soaked into the material.

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