Castelli Viva thermal cap review

The Viva thermal skull cap from Castelli is a great way to add some warmth on cold weather rides throughout winter and spring

Cycling Weekly Verdict

A great cap which will see you through most of winter – and plenty of the spring too.

For
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    Light

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    Compact

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    Not sweaty

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Against
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    Might need something a bit heavier for the coldest rides

Well, I thought I’d put this cap away for the year, but with the unseasonably cold weather we’ve had this spring, it’s been out again. It’s a dead simple cap, with a lightly fleeced inside and a lycra facing, with Castelli’s ubiquitous scorpion logo sitting proudly over your forehead.

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The Castelli Viva made of just four pieces of fabric, so there aren’t many seams and those there are are all flatlocked, so they don’t dig in or rub when wearing. The bottom of the cap is a single band with one seam at the back and a raw edge. There is a single piece of fabric on each side of the crown of the head and another piece which goes over the centre front to rear.

Watch our buyer's guide to spring and autumn clothing

The Viva is very comfortable under a helmet and doesn’t take up a lot of room. Pulling it down, I found that it covered my ears comfortably and reached to the nape of my neck at the back. Being so light, the ear coverage does not stop you from hearing what’s going on around you either.

There's good coverage of the ears and the back of the neck

There's good coverage of the ears and the back of the neck

It’s not so hot that it becomes uncomfortable once you warm up and it does not get damp and cold if you do end up wearing it for your entire ride. Being so light and compact, if the sun does make an appearance and you do decide to shed the Viva, you can roll it up into next to no space and stash it in a jersey pocket. I’ve washed it bags of times and it still looks as good as new and dries quickly too.

It’s one size fits all and I found there was plenty of stretch to fit over my largish head. And there are a variety of colours available: white, black, red, fluoro yellow or Cannondale green as well as the blue.

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Paul Norman
Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.