The cold weather is finally here, which means we can really put Rapha’s winter hat through its paces. The spoiler? It’s fantastic.
RRP – £40
Website – www.rapha.cc
It’s been a few months since Rapha’s ‘winter hat’ arrived on my doorstep. How lazy of me to wait until now to write about it, you might think. My excuse? Winter has only just knocked on the door.
The weather has simply been too warm to test the hat properly. Until recently, if I left for a ride with my ears tucked snugly under its particularly cosy ‘ribbed ear guard’ it was off and in my back pocket within 10 miles.
This truly is a hat for the coldest of days; it can be used at no other time. And when I left my house this weekend for my first imperial century of 2016, I was thankful for that.
Clearly, we’ve established that Rapha’s hat does exactly what it says on the tin. And it does it well. But that’s not where this story ends.
I’ll leave the decision of aesthetic appeal where it belongs (in your hands) and get down to the nitty gritty. Basically, that this snuggly winter cycling cap is pure joy to wear.
Made from Rapha’s favourite material, Sportwool, the cap is comfortable and performs admirably well. Constructed of multiple panels, the hat is designed to be one size fits all and easily stretches over my ample dome.
Indeed, the fit truly is exceptional. And while the cap has, until recently, been uncomfortably warm, it is now showing itself to be expertly constructed and the fabric just the right amount of breathable.
We all know where this is going. Rapha is responsible for some of the finest mass market cycling apparel on the market. You cannot fault it here.
The Rapha winter hat is made very well indeed. There’s no chance of me accidentally ripping its peak off like I’ve done with a few other caps. And while I still prefer to hand wash it, I’ve no doubt that it would stand up well to general washing.
Frankly, it still looks as good as the day it arrived.
But as ever, there’s a sticking point. At full price, this hat costs £40. That’s more than almost every other winter hat on the market, and I have seen similar items around for as little as half the price.
Now, I’m not saying those garments would perform as well. Inevitably they wouldn’t, but price is always something to consider.
In this case? I’d say the initial outlay is worth the benefits. You need to stay warm during winter, or training becomes unbearable and this cap will do the job particularly well.