The best swim caps to wear in pools and open water

Wherever you’re swimming, whether it’s your local leisure pool or in open water, a swim cap is an essential piece of kit. Swim caps ensure you remain streamlined and help reduce drag in the water, so they’re a handy tool if you’re looking to keep your time as tight as possible.

What’s more, they also help protect your hair from chlorine damage and, while there are swim shampoos and conditioners available, wearing a swim cap helps to keep your hair as dry and tangle-free as possible.

Hygiene is another factor to consider, and it’s compulsory to wear swim caps at some swimming venues, so it’s a wise idea to have an emergency swim cap in your bag so you’re not turned away.

And if you’re still not convinced, swim caps are an important part of swim safety. Brightly coloured swim caps increase your visibility in open water so it’s a good idea to wear one. We’ve included plenty of vibrant options in our list so you’re sure to be easily spotted.

You might even want to double up and wear two swim caps if you’re in chilly water. If you’d rather opt for a thicker option, take at look at the best cold water swim hats.

Best swim caps for 2022

HUUB Silicone Hat

If you’re after a lightweight swim cap, this pick from top triathlon brand Huub is one to consider. It promises a wrinkle-free fit so you can glide through the water at a fast pace and, with such a bold colour, you’ll easily be seen in the water, making it a safe choice for those open-water training sessions.

Having said that, if you’re not a fan of the orange, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. These include everything from white and red to blue and fluorescent green.

Zone3 Silver Swim Cap

For a professional, sleek look, this silver swim cap from Zone3 has been designed with comfort in mind. With a focus on ensuring it’s not too tight or too loose, this product aims to make the process of putting on and removing your swim cap less of a struggle, so hopefully you can spend more time in the water and less time faffing about in the changing rooms wrestling with your cap.

Aqua Sphere Tri Silicone Swim Cap

If you’d like to go for a more alternative design, or for something that’s not a block colour, this Aqua Sphere swim cap is a stylish choice. It’s made with chlorine-resistant silicone and it has been approved by the International Swimming Federation (FINA), so it’s a top pick if you’re looking for a professional cap for competitions.

Promising a snug and seamless fit, this Orca swim cap is bound to brighten up your pool session. It is made of 100% silicone and is said to be incredibly durable, meaning you can use it again and again without worrying too much about wear and tear.

It’s also said to be entirely seamless to help maximise comfort, while the bright color will also help keep you safe on those open-water swimming sessions. If it’s half as good as some of the brand’s wetsuits, you’re onto a winner with this swim cap from Orca.

You can find more Orca products in our list of the best cheap triathlon wetsuits.

This swim cap from Zoggs is said to be shaped with a superior fit in order to maximise comfort when you’re swimming. It’s available in one size only, and if white doesn’t take your fancy, it also comes in red, pink, blue and black.

Long Hair Swim Cap

This swim cap from Speedo has been designed specifically for swimmers with long hair for a snag-free swimming experience. If you find that you often get yourself in a tangle and don’t have enough room for your long locks, this Speedo swim cap could be a simple solution.

Soul Cap

Soul Cap creates swim caps that are suitable for swimmers with voluminous hair, meaning this large swim cap should be ideal for swimmers with weaves, braids, afros, curls and hair extensions. The brand claims the cap’s extra room means that your hair can comfortably fit in the cap while being protected from harsh swimming pool chemicals.

If you fancy going for a more unusual design that’s likely to turn some heads in the pool, Funkita could be the brand for you. This light blue swim cap with its loud branding is a fun choice that is sure to liven up your swimwear wardrobe.

In need of more swimming equipment? Check out our guide to the best swimming goggles for triathlons.

Blue Wave Print Silicone Swim Cap

Another quirky design, this Nabaiji silicone swim cap comes in one size and promises enhanced glide in the water. Due to its stretchy nature, this cap is suitable for both kids and adults, making it a handy piece of kit that’s likely to be well used.

Looking for training tips? Check out how to warm up for a swim.

Best swim caps for kids

Speedo Junior Plain Molded Silicone Swim Cap

This straightforward yet colourful Speedo swim cap looks to be a top choice for regular swim training sessions. It aims to improve kids’ hydrodynamic performance and protect their hair and scalp from the negative effects of chlorine.

Lahtak Swim Cap

This bright blue swim cap is said to be ideal for kids and teenagers who have long hair, dreadlocks and braids. The loose-fit design aims to make the cap comfortable to wear so young swimmers aren’t left with a tight cap that presses ponytails and buns to their heads in an unpleasant manner. The caps are made of hypoallergenic silicone so they should be durable and appropriate for an active swim session.

Zoggs Character Silicone Junior Swimming Cap

A fun and adorable pick kids are bound to love. This clownfish silicone swim cap from Zoggs features a non-slip inner surface so it should sit comfortably and securely on your child’s head when they are swimming. With such a unique design, you should be able to spot your kid in an instant when you’re tying to find them in the pool.

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