Warm, water resistant, breathable and comfortable, the Rapha Pro Team hat hits all its most important objectives, but the fit could certainly have been improved in a couple of areas.
Decent level of warmth
Fairly water resistant
Fits easily under helmet
Loose ear flaps
Bridging the gap between the classic cotton cap and the more thicker Belgian style hats for hardcore rides in Arctic conditions, the brand new Rapha Pro Team Hat is designed for the sort of chilly damp conditions you can expect to encounter in Britain at any time between September and April.
The main body of the hat is constructed from a softshell fabric which has been given a durable water resistant (DWR) treatment. This seems to place the Pro Team hat alongside the new Pro Team softshell jacket we reported on recently, with the hat offering a good level of warmth down to around 0ºC with basic protection against showers.
For a reasonably warm hat, the quarter-panel construction of the main body is impressively thin, meaning that we could easily fit it under helmets without too many adjustments and without the helmets sitting uncomfortably high on the head.
Thankfully, unlike cheaper options such as the Prendas Windtex cap, the warmth of the Rapha Pro Team hat doesn’t translate into a lack of breathability, with the softshell fabric performing well in this regard, and a rear ventilation panel aiding air flow. This makes this hat a natural choice for rides starting early in the morning where the temperature is set to rise throughout the day.
The only qualms we had with this Rapha hat concerned the fit. Perhaps our testers just have particularly elongated heads, but we found the cap a little tight at the front. This isn’t to the point of being uncomfortable, but the mark left on the front of your head for a couple of hours post-ride may prompt a few odd looks.
The flaps over your ears could also have been tighter, and were prone to flapping in the breeze, letting in unwanted cold air. Not a major issue as you’re likely to look for a thicker hat for truly cold conditions, but something we’d prefer not to deal with in a £45 hat.
Head over to the Rapha website (opens in new tab) for more details.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.