After trialing the Halo Skullcap ( http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=3990.msg19663#msg19663
), I have reluctantly returned it. The problem was the elastic headband rode over the top of my ears and after riding with it for awhile, it hurt so bad it made my teeth itch and took all the fun out of riding. The feeling was akin to having a pair of glasses with temples/earpieces that pinch at the ears...but on the outside
of the ears.
Continuing my search -- and keying off Mylesau's and JimK's suggestions (thanks, guys!) -- I think I have found the ideal solution for my needs: A visorless Dry Cool Buff Pro in fluorescent yellow: http://www.buffusa.com/professional/collections/dry-cool-buff-reg-pro/styles/dry-cool-buff-reg-yellow-fluor
Cost was USD$16 + postage. A version is available with 3M Scotchlite stripes for nighttime visibility, but I decided against that option after a company rep confirmed the stripe did not breathe and made the buff less flexible. I decided on the neon yellow for daytime visibility, to prevent loss, and to match my sun-protecting jerseys ( http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_524336_-1___202490
). All my cold-weather gear is black to better absorb the sun's warmth, so the yellow jersey will likely be covered by black when I am in camp and need a more stealthy appearance to avoid attracting attention. The full range of Dry Cool Buff Pros is shown here: http://www.buffusa.com/professional/collections/dry-cool-buff-reg-pro/styles/filter/construction
I plan to wear the buff primarily configured two ways -- as a sun-protecting cap with neck tail, and as a sun balaclava with full coverage over my ears and cheeks (see attached photo). The tag on with this model buff promises 95% UV protection. As a bonus, it has been treated to resist odors.For me
, this model Buff is much more comfortable than the Halo. It is simply a tube of not-so-tight knit Coolmax fabric with no elastic bands or seams of any kind. When one is as follicly challenged as myself (I'm bald as an egg up-top), things like seams are a real problem and lead to painful embossing of my noggin. This thing is just thin, smooth knit fabric; even the edges are unhemmed.
For a video showing the different possible configurations with this buff, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOxbjujEjO8&feature=endscreen&NR=1
This will greatly reduce the amount of heavy/bulky sunscreen I normally carry to avoid burning, should feel cooler compared to nothing at all, it can't hurt to have that much more neon yellow up where a driver can see it, and the buff can be treated with insect repellent. Now, I just need something to protect my nose.