Bondi Bands vs Active Bands

There are two types of sweat/head bands I have worn, and many people have asked which I like more…so here is my response.

The first type is the Bondi Band. I came across the Bondi Band when I was walking around the expo at the Boston Marathon. No, I’ve never run the race (how silly) but I do have a best friend who lived in Boston and I happened to visit him race weekend. I bought a black band with a white cookie on it and the phrase “One tough cookie”.  I wore it to every race there after, freaking out if I couldn’t find it.

What I loved about my Bondi:

      Thickness. I was able to keep it over my ears in the fall, before it was cold enough for a hat. Also, it covered my hair and forehead so fly-a-ways stayed put and sweat stayed out of my eyes and eyebrows.

      Material. Not only did it cover everything and keep sweat at bay, it was breathable. I didn’t feel like I had a sweat balloon waiting to pop on my head

Colors/designs. Anything and everything a person could want is an option.

Over the years I tried both the heavy wicking Bondi and the more decorative lycra light wicking. Personally I like the heavy wicking for running longer distances, but have been known to wear my decorative one to 5Ks and especially the gym. I discovered last year I can also wear my Bondi backward, with the thick band at the nape of my neck. Why would I want to do that? Well, because the bottom holds my hair up and protects it from splashing, while the top provides a place to wipe my fingers…when I’m at a water aerobics class!

Now the downsides….it seems the more popular they’ve become, sometimes the quality is not what it once was. Or maybe it’s just a sizing change? At any rate, my newest Bondi is nothing like my original. My original (which again is well worn and loved) is still just as tight as the day I brought it home. On the other hand, my newest one feels stretched out. It doesn’t sit as snuggly around my head, and it seems like the band is cut wider too, which sits funny. I need something for my forehead and the start of my hairline, not my entire face and entire top of my head.

I have also noticed, the fabrics seem thicker and don’t breath as well as some of my older versions. An easy solution (I found) is to fold the Bondi. Simply lift the part closer to your eyes onto the part higher on your forehead. The material still wicks and there’s more breeze on the skin. Of course if you want people to see the design this doesn’t work…and if you’re like me and using it to hold your earbuds in place, this won’t work. (Now I use YURBUDS so I don’t have this issue).

Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to use and buy more Bondis, I’m currently eyeing the “Single and accepting applications” band.  I just hope they go back to their old ways. Or at least create 2 sizing options, perhaps “standard” and “petite”?

Bondi Bands can be found at just about any expo for a larger race or at their website. They are always offering great deals too, such as buy 3 get one free or 5 for $25.00. IMHO they’re incredibly reasonably priced. Oh and yes, they’re on Facebook and Twitter.

The next type of band I tried is the Active Band. Active Bands I found through a friend’s blog.  There was a lot of hype about Sweaty Bands, but I couldn’t drop 18 dollars on a headband! (Even if they are from Ohio too) From the pictures it looked like Active Bands were the same product for a far lower price. When they started following me on Twitter I wanted to give them a chance. When I tweeted I wish they had giraffe print, and they WROTE ME BACK, saying they’d look into it…and a week later it was in stock…I HAD to give them a chance.

After a while of following them on Facebook and Twitter, I jumped at the chance for a free shipping + 40 percent off deal around the 4th of July.

One stipulation was you had to order at least 3 bands. I went for the thick giraffe print, the thin giraffe print and a multi-dot in thick. Unfortunately, the images on the website do not do these bands justice and it’s hard to make a sell based on how little they reveal.

Shipping was super fast, especially for being of the free variety, and I already knew they were in tune with their customers. As soon as I got my package I was in love with the coloring. I also noticed the underside of the band is a velvety material and I wondered how hot it would feel. I knew if the thick didn’t keep my happy the thin wouldn’t either, so I opened the thick giraffe first.

The first thing I did was try to wear it around casually. Immediately I felt like it was crushing my brains. I hate anything tight on my head. I was massively disappointed. The trio sat on my dresser for days on end while I pouted. Then, I decided to give it another chance. Maybe I was dehydrated and cranky? Maybe I need to just get used to it. Again the band went on around my head, and this time it didn’t hurt. For a few days I wore it here and there, never noticing it budge. I even changed my shirt and it didn’t flip off or budge. Finally I took it for a run.

Based on pictures I’ve seen it’s supposed to worn like a head band, with the crown of your hair showing. This may help keep hair away, but I need to keep sweat out of my eyes too. I chose to wear mine closer to my forehead.

On the 3 different runs I wore my band, every single one of them I had the same issue.  It didn’t control enough of the sweat. When I sweat I sweat A LOT. Not just a small amount near my hairline. So although that part stayed under control, the other 45 million miles of forehead I have before my eyebrows was a water park. I can say I didn’t feel overheated, so the velvet wasn’t a concern. Oh, and if I pulled it down to cover more of my forehead, it felt weird in the back and my hair wasn’t as controlled.

Additionally, after the run, I noticed it leaves a line where I kept it on my forehead. This is not cool, as I don’t like looking as if I feel asleep in study hall. I had a picture, but in my infinite awesomeness I deleted it from my phone. Oops.

That being said…I still enjoy the bands. They’re much cuter and easier than my Bondis for the gym or when I may not sweat as much.

There you have it…my takes on the two types of bands I’ve worn. Yes, I bought all on my own. No, neither company asked me to do a review or is compensating me.

However, if SweatyBands would like to get in on the excitement. I would more than happily take one of the Rock N Roll bands to wear at Chicago this weekend or VA Beach Labor Day weekend. Ya know I’ll get noticed since I’m a member of Team Marathon and Marathon Bars are a partner in the events!

One thought on “Bondi Bands vs Active Bands

  1. I have a band I bought, and I forget who it's made by, but the underside is like a velvet material, and it stays in place amazingly, but heck if the band is useless for sweat. I bought it for yoga to keep my hair out of my face, but since it doesn't absorb anything and doesn't help keep sweat coming down my forehead, I ended up using it just for general fashion and whatnot… I think I might check out Bondi Band. I'm pretty sure the yoga studio sells them… Thanks 🙂

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