Thursday, June 13, 2019

Move Free Designs Summit Cap Review

Article by Peter Stuart, Sam Winebaum, and Michael Ellenberger

Move Free Designs Summit Cap ($30)
Move Free Designs website:

Peter: The Move Free Summit cap is a great little hat. It’s more than that though--it’s also the creation of a really inspiring runner who is a joy to follow and who is working to share his joy of running and nature to a wider audience.

The runner is Patrick Caron and if you don’t know him you should. He’s a beast. He is a 21 year old ultra runner from New England, he runs as a sponsored professional for Salomon and helped found and is the coach of a non-profit called the Boston Bulldogs:
A co-ed 501(c)3 non-profit running club established to provide an anonymous and safe community of support for all those adversely affected by addiction - those in recovery, their families and friends, the clinical community and the community at large”.
In addition to all of that he’s working on building out the longest running streak (thinking decades down the line), ran a 2:29 in Boston this year (as a workout while in the midst of what was probably another 100 plus mile week).
Patrick at the 2019 Boston Marathon Photo Credit: Adam Pulzetti
And he works at Marathon Sports. He’s got a bunch of ultra wins and course records and, as I said, he is all of 21 years old. Total. Stud. Oh, did I mention that a portion of all of the proceeds will be given back to organizations that help to protect the environment? I mean, who is this guy?

So, he’s great--and he’s made this cool hat. What’s cool about the hat and how cool can a hat actually be? Well, we’ll tell you. Here are the bullet points:
  • Made in the U.S.A (100% Handmade in California)
  • Adjustable Back w/ Reflective Drawcord & Bead
  • Max Dri Moisture Management Technology
  • Elastic Circular Sweatband
  • Anti Microbial Treatment
  • UPF50+ Sun Protection
  • Ultralight & Packable
  • Polyester Fabric
  • Size: One Size Fits Most

I really like the hat. I have a small head and most hats look ridiculous on me.
The Move Free Summit cap looks a bit more like a cycling cap than a running hat at first--but it has its own little design elements that make it an incredibly functional little piece of gear.
The material is thin and comfortable and keeps sun off your head without really feeling like it heats up or retains heat too much. It holds ice cubes nicely if you need to cool down and keeps your head nice and cool once it gets wet. The elastic drawcord on the back allows you to tighten down as much as you need and it stays put. Add to that a snappy little visor on the front which provides just enough of a brim to keep rain off your face without looking silly. I’ve gotten a ton of comments on the Move Free Summit Cap when I’ve worn it. It’s different, so it sticks out for the hat shape and material alone. Add to that a really nice design with mountains, the Move Free logo and the words “Move Free” on the underside of the brim--visible when you pop it up.
It’s a perfect little hat that works great, helps support a great cause and puts you firmly in the camp of supporting a runner who is going to be slaying mountains and ultras for many years to come. Get one!
These are likely the first two Summit Caps in Utah
Sam: I first ran into Patrick when he volunteered (pre Salomon sponsorship days) to write reviews for RoadTrailRun. Bright and totally dedicated to his goal of becoming a pro ultra runner, eschewing college for now, he packs more into a week than most of us can in a month of Sundays from over a 100 miles per week week in week out, to working in a running store, to his non profit efforts with the Bulldogs, and now entrepreneurial pursuits.
He has dominated the New England ultra scene for several years shattering records, often in road race flats or even spikes without the spikes, always with a smile and he is only Recently he won the North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain in New York coming close, despite a bit of off track to the course record, against which many top runners have measured themselves. Salomon now has him tackling major European mountain races with last year a 4th at Germany’s biggest race the 101 km Zugspitz despite heat, long sustained climbs and altitude all new conditions for this hearty New Englander, more used to setting the FKT on the infamous Pemi loop in New Hampshire which he did in 2018 being the first runner under 6 hours (5:45 and more than 20 minutes under the prior record) on this unrelenting 31 miles route with a great deal of rocky technical terrain.

It was no surprise that he would add a run gear company Move Free to his week. I have worn the Summit Cap at the Boston Marathon, on my daily runs in New Hampshire and Utah , and on our recent 13 day Swiss trek.
The moisture management is outstanding, and I know as I sweat a lot.  The sweat band is highly absorbing with a non binding slightly elastic fit on the forehead The firm but flexible and thin plastic brim is somewhat loosely covered with the hat material top and bottom allowing great evaporation across the broad surfaces there, always a key feature
The stretchy fabric can also make it a sort of skull cap with visor in cooler conditions as well. And yup and in heat I put ice cubes under it at Boston and they melted nice and easy and never poured water into my eyes or moved. I kept touching my head to see if they were still there.
The stiff flip up visor is just long enough to cover the top of sunglasses or regular glasses from sun and rain.
The rear shock cord and pull I have never had to adjust once fitted and is handy to use to clip to a pack. It stuffs down super small. So far despite the very light fabric the wear characteristics have been outstanding and the design is cool, striking, but not to loud.  
Michael: Ah, summer running. The weather gets warm, the layers are shed… and the sun and bugs come out! Having a hat for those long summer miles can make a huge difference in making you more comfortable (and more safe) when the temperatures get hot. 
Enter the “Summit Cap" from Move Free. It’s light, it’s bright, it’s made in the USA, and it’s (just about) exactly what you want to put on before you head out the door. One of the best things I can say about it is that I hardly remembered I had it on, but I sure realized when I didn’t. The cap incorporates a drawstring mechanism to modulate sizing which is functional, though leads to a bit of an oversized loop hanging off the back for my smallish head. It certainly makes it quick to adjust and it manageable even while running. Moreover, the style of the cap makes it entirely packable - you’ll basically never have an excuse to not have the Summit Cap with you. Plus, I’ll say this - I really, really like the design. It’s quirky (and certainly noticeable), but it doesn’t tread into being obnoxious. It’s just a darn well-designed cap from head to… head?

What isn’t perfect? While the bicycle style hat is trendy, and certainly fits a lot of heads, but the shortened brim of the hat means you sacrifice some sun protection over a traditional baseball-style hat. To counter, Move Free provides that the cap provides "UPF50+ Sun Protection,” but those who like to wear a hat backwards to keep the sun off their neck may still need to look elsewhere. And, if you’re not a fan of letting everyone know what brand you’re wearing, you may need to keep the brim down; while I like the massive “MOVE FREE” text hiding beneath the front brim, it certainly isn’t subtle.

Regardless of quirks, the Summit Cap is one I’ve repeatedly pulled on as the temperatures get warmer, and I look forward to leaning on it more and more over the course of the summer!

What’s next for Move Free? New designs are coming! Comment what you would like to see next below and we will get them to Patrick!

The current Summit Cap design is available from Move Free Designs here

Reviewer Bios

Peter Stuart
My running career got off to a slow start…in high school I was told I ran like a race walker and was thus relegated to race walking on the track team. I got back into running about 15 years ago and then into triathlon. Triathlon really rekindled my love for running, so about two years ago I hired a coach and really focused on the half and full marathons.  I broke a bad habit of putting in tons of moderately hard miles (and no or hard ones) and after plateauing at 3:25 (with some disastrous marathons in there), this past year I brought my marathon under 3:00 and my half under 1:25. Along the way I’ve developed a bit of a shoe problem.

Michael Ellenberger
Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon. Michael is a gadget and running nerd, and has pipe dreams of running the Olympics Trials marathon standard. His pre-race breakfast is, and will always be, Pop-Tarts.

Sam Winebaum, Editor and Founder

Sam is a 1:38 half marathoner on a good day and didn't mind at all going into his 60+ age group in 2017. He has been running for 45 years and has a very dated marathon PR of 2:28.  Update: maybe he can still run fast as he clocked at 1:35 recently and last year a 3:40 Boston Marathon qualifier, surprising him.  He runs 30-40 miles per week along the New Hampshire Seacoast and on Park City, UT trails. Always a geek Sam was the Senior Contributing Editor for Wearable Fitness Technology and Music at Competitor Magazine and has also written for Motiv Running and China Fire Bulletin.


George said...

Looks like maybe he did a little studying of Buff's run caps that have been out a couple years now haha. Ah well, I'm sure there's only so many ways to make hats.

azer89 said...

Yay, another streak runner! my streak is about one year longer than his but I'm 9 years older, anyway, super inspiring guy and good luck for his journey!