I often get asked by friends and readers what my favourite piece of cycling kit is. Sometimes, it’s not so easy to single out those products that leave a lasting mark on my cycling, but there are a few standouts. Kit without which I know my cycling wouldn’t be half as enjoyable.
The first in this possibly regular series of articles is Rapha’s Winter Hat. There are many hats available that all do the same job of keeping your head and ears warm, but Rapha’s offering is one that I’ve found myself wearing more often than any other for the four or five years I’ve had it.
First released in 2006, the classically stylish Winter Hat draws on Belgian cycling fashion for its inspiration. A seven-panel design with extended sides to cover the ears and a low back to keep the back of the head covered up, and a short peak to keep that autumn sun out of your eyes.
Made in Italy from brush-backed Sportwool fabric (70% polyester, 26% wool, 4% elastane), it’s plenty warm enough even for the recent sub-zero temperatures of the past couple of months, and the sides can be turned up if it gets too warm. It’s thin enough to be worn comfortably under a helmet too. Inside is a mesh lining which helps to prevent the build up of sweat.
Rapha sent me one of these hats to test when they first came out, and I’ve been wearing it every winter for the past four to five years. It’s seen some harsh weather and has never failed to impress me, and remains in good condition. In the right conditions I really wouldn’t consider leaving the house without it.
Get yours at www.rapha.cc/winter-hat