The Bike List

Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat £45

Tested by Nik Cook, tester for The Bike List

I loved the Rapha Hardshell Jacket which I reviewed and, as winter really starts to bite, can confirm that it continues to impress in sleet, snow and sub-zero conditions. When riding in foul conditions though it's your extremities that can really let you down so, with a Rapha hat, glove and overshoes combo, am I able to keep logging pre-Christmas miles?

Our cycling friends over in Belgium know a thing or two about cycling in foul weather and, if you haven't tried a Belgian style winter hat for winter riding, you're definitely missing out on the best tool for the job. Unfortunately traditional winter hats, although fine for grinding out long and slow miles, can get a bit too toasty if you up the intensity a bit and the one thing guaranteed to chill you in the cold is excessive sweat. If you do like to ride a bit harder or just have a warm head like me, the Pro Team Winter Hat is a brilliant solution. Fleecy ear panels keep your delicate lugs toasty and the water resistant softshell main panels provide a decent level of insulation and protection from the weather. However a breathable rear panel does a brilliant job of channelling heat and sweat away from your head. Even if you get sucked into a club-run hill battle, you won't be arriving at the café  with a damp and sweaty head. Even on slower pace rides, I've found it plenty warm enough down to near freezing and I'm hardly blessed in the insulating hair department. I have had larger headed mates who've found the one-size a tad tight but for me its spot on. Yes, you can get cheaper winter hats but for my sweaty noggin, I'm yet to find a better one.

Rapha Winter Gloves review £85

Rapha Deep Winter Overshoes review £70

At a glance

Verdict High quality and effective protection for your head from the cycling über brand.

Rapha says:

Constructed from a softshell fabric with a durable, water-resistant treatment, the Pro Team Winter Hat offers insulation against the cold while allowing sweat to escape. Traditional winter hats can offer too much insulation for the hardest rides, leaving riders with sweaty heads - this sweat can run into the eyes, or become uncomfortably cold when it reaches exposed skin. The Pro Team Winter Hat uses a breathable rear panel to release heat from the back of the neck, and the shaped ear flaps provide insulation without impairing hearing. The hat is shaped, with a quarter-panel construction and fabric darts - more like a Rapha Cap than a winter hat - designed to reduce excess material around the ears and neck.

Key features:

DWR treatment
Tailored fit for riding in the drops
Brushed back fabric for comfort
Ventilation panel
Protective peak and contrast earflaps
Reflective details