Review: Skulltec gel-filled beanie

We sometimes are offered opportunity to review products, usually running-related ones. Some are unrelated, or so at first it would seem, but, hey, we’re running to work here, gang; we’re doing something outside the norm. We can look at some seemingly-unrelated-to-running products and review them in that light.

And so I offer for your consideration Skulltec.


Hall dons the Skulltec and becomes a French Popeye with a claimed 25-percent reduction in likely brain injury.

Skulltec is like an old-timey football helmet, only rather than leather and fire-retardant filling, it is composed of three rectangular gel inserts (made from 100 percent soybeans, I’m told), stuffed into a synthetic beanie. There are two mesh vents between soy-gel slabs for ventilation. Skulltec was not uncomfortable on my dome but felt incredibly awkward.

The beanie purports to be a “new and innovative safety product that fits comfortably under any sports helmet and lessens physical impact drastically.” Its site shows high-impact and extreme sports in action, first and foremost hockey, but also football and white water rafting. Also from the Skulltec site:

Sports suggested for usage: Football, Hockey, Baseball, Cricket, Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, Ice Skating, Cycling, Motocross/Motorcycles, Skateboarding, Skydiving, MMA, Boxing, Cheer, Gymnastics, Wake-boarding, Boating, Jet Skiing, Kayaking, River Rafting, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Racquetball, Basketball, Shooting, Hunting, Rock Climbing, Spelunking, & Jumaring!

The cap can also be utilized in the Medical, Construction, Military, Police and Emergency Fields. Areas of specific interest are: Epilepsy, Brain Surgery, Elderly, Newborn, Oil & Gas, Fracking, Demolition, Excavation, Structural, Field Battle, Heavy Equipment Operation, S.W.A.T., Coast Guard, Fire Personal, and State Employees.

You, like me, likely had this reaction to the list above: “What is ‘Jumaring’?” and got thee to Googling post haste. You also noticed running was not included on this list of recommended sports. I fit two of these categories: cyclist and State Employee. Naturally, I tried it with my cycling helmet, but Skulltec would not fit underneath it: too thick. I took a few laps around the neighborhood with Skulltec as my helmet.

My head began sweating very quickly, more so than under my helmet regularly. Too, I again felt awkward. I’ve no problem riding without a helmet and will do so in the neighborhood, or for short stretches, but there was something about Skulltec that made me feel out of place. I attribute this to its being something new, but to which I would in time become accustomed.

Hall cannot mask his feelings.

Me, too, buddy. Me, too.

As a State Employee, I sought to test its impact. Inspired by this product video and others like it, the first thing I did upon receipt of Skulltec was don the beanie and bashed myself in the head with a stapler. I don’t know how that product tester’s hand escaped being pulverized to a mangled claw, because my head felt for the day’s remainder like it exuded cartoon lightning bolts. (Caveat: this is neither a typical State Employee activity, nor is such action indicative of the sense or quality found in State Employees — at least in my state, and at least in my agency.)

In the end, short of testing this through Mixed Martial Arts, S.W.A.T., Cricket, or the Elderly, I am unable to render a testimonial or opinion on its efficacy in reducing brain injuries, or in protecting that precious goo. I can say with certainty that it has application to neither running nor run commuting. Josh is expecting a newborn come July, though, so we’ll see how it works with Newborn.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: we received Purinize for free from Purinize as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.)

By |2016-10-22T20:26:37+00:00May 30th, 2014|Categories: Gear, General|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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  1. alaskaadam June 7, 2014 at 12:21 am - Reply

    This was AWESOME! Thanks for the cerebral review. My wife was quite dubious when I told her that my laughter was inspired by a product review.

    • Kyle
      Kyle June 12, 2014 at 10:56 am - Reply

      A friend suggested this gel beanie might find another use: freeze or refrigerate it, then don it to cool down after running home in the hot summer sun. I’ll let you know how that works out.

  2. Bill June 12, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I am not sure, but I can’t remember ever seeing a sport where someone intentionally hits themselves in the head with a stapler (and wouldn’t think that would be very wise)? I don’t believe that is what an added protection device would intended to be used for?

    • Kyle
      Kyle June 12, 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

      To my knowledge, you are correct: in no sport, professional, amateur or recreational, does a stapler enter into play as a bludgeon; however, my attempt was to simulate blows that might be delivered in other sports, like hockey or rugby, and, as I wrote, emulate the deferment of the bone-crushing blows in the demonstration video. Probably an ill-conceived notion and, as you know, it went poorly.

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