Field Tested: Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat

Winter is upon us, and for most areas of the country that means cold and damp weather. That also means it’s time to pull out the winter cycling gear, and for those who eschew the indoor trainer to brave the elements, that usually means adjusting your helmet to accommodate a cap.

Ah, the ongoing quandary of too much noggin coverage or not enough. One solution? The Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat, designed with a DWR (durable water repellent) that coats the fabric to keep water out and let warm body vapors escape. What sets this hat apart from others is the hybridization of a cotton cycling cap and a safari/outback hat, creating a curved bill in front to keep rain, mist and reflection off the eyes while covering the neck, especially when hunched over the handlebars. The ear flaps cover what’s needed but don’t interfere with listening for traffic—or other cyclists—approaching from behind.

Northern California’s winter has hit hard, which means biblical rain. I felt like Bernard Hinault blazing away from the peloton in Liège–Bastogne–Liège, fearing no man as I pedaled up Page Mill Road in the nearby Los Altos Hills in the driving rain. Time will tell how durable this hat is after multiple uses and washings, but for now it’s an essentially riding partner. I also fits nicely under my Lazer Genesis helmet after a small adjustment, and doesn’t give me a pressure headache like other winter hats.

One size fits most, available in Black (tested), Green and Red. $65.


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