View Full Version : Swim Caps

July 13th, 2005, 05:20 PM
Does anyone know the difference between silicone and latex swim caps? Does one work better than the other? Are there better caps to use for practice and for meets? Which kind of caps do you prefer to use?

July 13th, 2005, 05:36 PM
Hi Liana,
I just went from regularly using latex to a silicone cap. I used to love the latex ones, and they're fine if you use some conditioner in your hair they won't pull as much, but they don't last as long either. The silicone one I just bought stretches really easily and is easier on my hair. I also just like the way it fits better.

I think on the whole it's an individual call just depends on what you like. The latex ones are pretty cheep so it can't hurt to just try one out to see if you like it.

I have no experience with the lycra ones..?? anyone esle tried using these?

July 13th, 2005, 05:39 PM
silicone - last longer, more expensive, not as much warning before they die
latex - cheaper, less durable, get really funky (gummy, discolored spots) towards end of life, maybe a little stretchier, more variety of designs

July 13th, 2005, 10:17 PM
Its funny latex ,lycra or silicon..thats all there is to caps..and thats what most swimmers think. Really theres more and latex caps sometimes get a bad rep because everybody thinks of the typical cheap thin "raceing caps" that pull hair roll up rip ect. theres many more latex caps that are great for lap swimming, I perfer the bubble crepe cap with the old fashion strap. Easy to slip on and protective plus no pulling hair and available in real head sizes. . Lately they been worn by English Channel swimmers male and female as they are channel legal and some of the San Francisco Bay "Alcatraz Swim Team" swimmers are wearing them in bright Yellow as they can wear the one cap year round and also train for channel swims with the same style cap.

See the "Swim Cap Guide for details on caps "more then you want to know" quote by "Emmit Hines"


Lots of links too see the swim band link to keep hair dryer under a swim cap.

July 14th, 2005, 02:02 AM
I've tried to go silicone (I have a very pretty Speedo silicone composite cap) but it just didn't work out. It just didn't stretch enough. Actually, Speedo latex doesn't fit me right either. Tyr latex fit comfortably enough (I have long, thick hair so I need something with a little more give in order to get it all stuffed up in there.) I have to wear a cap or else my hair is a nightmare!

July 14th, 2005, 05:15 AM
Lycra caps aren't bad... Cheap and cheerful. I used to wear one ages ago. They don't really protect the hair and don't reduce drag, though.

July 14th, 2005, 08:42 AM
Where I swim it is too warm to wear a cap - traps the heat in. In meets I prefer silicon. Have no idea if it works or not. I have always thought caps would reduce drag so the one that fits the smoothest on your head would be the one for you. That is silicon for me.

July 14th, 2005, 09:44 AM
Just how much will these caps stretch? I have never worn one, but am planning to participate in an open water swim next month where they are required. I wear hat size 7 7/8 and have not been able to find anything in the past 40 years that fit except a couple of hats that are custom-made.

July 14th, 2005, 02:49 PM
I have a lot of long hair so I prefer the silicone kind because it is easier to get all of my hair in it. They seem to stretch pretty well but I find that after a couple of months they have become too stretchy and need to be replaced. I don't like the feeling of the cap sliding back. Plus the latex caps do get kind of nasty especially if it's a pale color. Not wearing a cap would be a complete disaster for me...

July 14th, 2005, 03:09 PM
I feel like a spaz, what the hell is my cap made out of?? I will have to go home & check. It's something I have never used before but I love it! There were those cheapo kind years & years ago I used to use but there were kinda crappy.

July 14th, 2005, 09:20 PM
I prefer the Silicone caps for practice since they seem to last longer but they slip more. For meets I use Latex, they stay on better.

July 18th, 2005, 02:31 PM
I checked, I checked!!! Silicone! It's great so much better than what I had before.

July 19th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by Donna
I prefer the Silicone caps for practice since they seem to last longer but they slip more. For meets I use Latex, they stay on better.

yes I've noticed since I've started with the silicone that it slips more as well.. hmm good idea to keep a latex one for meets!

July 19th, 2005, 03:49 PM
Silicone is a much better insulator than latex, so it is a better choice if you are swimming in very cold water.

July 23rd, 2005, 06:48 PM
I'm having a problem recently with my caps getting all curled and out of shape in between my swims. It's really really frustrating...anyone have any ideas on how to make it not curl up while I'm in the water?

July 23rd, 2005, 10:38 PM
I voted for latex. the Bubble Crepe strap caps are made of latex rubber and thats my cap but I dont know what"other " in the pool would be, Latex caps are available in thin race style rubber, pool or tank style rubber caps, molded rubber caps, bubble crepe rubber caps, and decorated flower petal rubber caps over a prior mentioned base cap. Then there are Silicone caps and fabric caps like lycra. What is "other" ???

July 31st, 2005, 08:04 PM
I like the lycra...especially when my hair is long. I use latex too.

August 1st, 2005, 07:15 PM
There's a funny thing about swim caps. I don't need to wear them in the pool, yet I own 5 of them. All but one of them was given away free at swims, and all are latex, which seem to work just fine.

August 9th, 2005, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by ljodpundari
Just how much will these caps stretch? I have never worn one...
Well let's see... I bought a Speedo silicone in January and it lasted through 100 hours of swimming. The chlorine and heat in the pool do make it stretch but it was about a month before it no longer felt like it was cutting off my circulation.

Mine started to get air bubbles and then tiny pockets of water about a month ago. So about 6 or 7 months of swimming at least 2 or 3 times a week wore it down.:)

August 12th, 2005, 03:31 AM
I wore lycra ones way back about 20 years ago. Really to keep the hair out of my face. Since then I just braided my hair. Thsi spring I bought a silicone cap and yes, the slipping bugged me. I couldn't do a 500 w/o stopping. After about two months it ripped. Maybe it was faulty, or I didn;t get my hair wet enough before putting it on. I bought a different silicone one that fits much better. I have a lot of hair, too. This one doesn't slip either. I'll have to go back and get more. I've gotten used to not having loose hair covering my mouth, etc., and don't like to go w/o one now.