Sportful W Headband review
An under-helmet, ponytail-compatible headband designed to keep your ears warm but your head sweat-free
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A great spring or autumn piece to protect the ears when there is a nip in the air, which although is marketed as female specific would work for either sex, ponytail or not.
No seams at front or sides
Compatible with ponytails
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Cold ears can quite frankly ruin a good bike ride, and the moment when it's warm enough to forgo the winter hat can be a tricky point to predict.
The Sportful W Headband is an ideal compromise at this weather junction, keeping ears warm while preventing overheating, filling the winter hat-to-cap gap nicely.
Construction and fit
Constructed using Thermodrytex Plus, a low-profile yet warm fleece fabric made from 84 per cent nylon and 16 per cent Lycra, means the Sportful W Headband is very stretchy and soft.
This Thermodrytex fabric is also coated with a silicone finish, which adds an element of water repellency.
With raw-cut finishes and no seams at the front or sides, the W Headband fits easily under a helmet with no pinch points or digging in.
The 'Ponytail Port', as Sportful calls it, enables the W Headband to sit centrally and flat since hair is simply posted through the slot at the rear.
When on under the helmet and riding, it's really easy to forget it's even on your head. At temperatures around the double-digit mark, it provided the perfect balance of warmth and breathability.
The incredibly soft fleecy fabric, although secure feeling, left no residual marks on my forehead.
Although the W Headband covers the entire ear, there was no difficulty hearing traffic, although wind rush was somewhat reduced.
Rather than beading, any water does soak in to the fabric, making it feel wet to the touch on the outside but failing to penetrate the inside, leaving me warm and dry.
This is a really easy piece of cycling apparel to wear, ideal for when there is still a nip in the air. As it rolls up so small it can just as easily be popped in your back pocket should things warm up.
At £11, the W Headband doesn't look like much but on a cost-per-wear calculation it's really excellent as it's just such a useful item in spring and autumn.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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