Lightweight cap made from 'technical' fabrics - but it falls down as an upgrade to the humble cotton cap
With the promise of technical fabrics and an enhanced fit, the Altura Podium Cap looks an interesting upgrade to a standard cotton cap – sadly this isn’t the case.
You can’t really mess with the traditional cotton cap – once you’ve found a brand that fits you well, then caps are generally economical and have a good lifetime before they need replacing, and some of us hold onto good caps for as long as possible.
The Altura Podium Cap boasts a ‘multi paneled construction in a lightweight fabric with breathable Draft Venting breather zones’ – which boils down to different fabrics and panels used to try and keep your head comfortable. The cap also claims to have an ergonomic 3D fit for improved comfort – but in truth it felt just like a regular fitting cap, and if anything a little close.
Out riding in a range of temperatures, I always came back and found a degree of moisture build up in the cap. Despite not being windproof (as advertised), the fabrics aren’t great at letting heat and moisture escape, so you’re presented with the possibility of either getting too warm, and the elasticated band getting soaked in sweat, or catching a chill when that sweat cools down.
Ultimately, there doesn’t seem to be any real benefit to the cap’s technical construction. It doesn’t offer bad weather protection like, for example, the Sportful Fiandre NoRain Cap, and doesn’t work any better than a regular cotton cap.
Otherwise, the peak is robust and has lived up to being stuffed in a jersey or left crumpled on the floor post-ride, and seems to resist being washed well enough.
There is also some smart detailing on the peak for visibility, as well as a reflective panel on the left of the forehead – though this is largely covered by the helmet, if you’re wearing one.
The main issue with the Altura Podium Cap is the cost of it at £16.99. You can get several simple cotton caps for this price and Altura’s effort offers little advantage. It is light and the fit is ok, but there’s no real reason to deviate from the cotton cap norm.
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