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Verdict: 
A great cap for rubbish weather
Weight: 
36g
Sportful Fiandre NoRain Cap
8 10

The weather comes in many forms, but the most unpleasant is rain. You know that of course, and you probably also know that there have been some significant clothing advances that make dealing with adverse weather much easier. One such is Sportful's extremely useful Fiandre NoRain cap, which shelters your head under a special layer of water resistant fabric.

We've tested waterproof caps here at road.cc in the past, and while they do indeed help to keep your head dry during a downpour, they usually suffer from poor breathability, which eventually means you overheat and the resulting discomfort renders them unusable in all but the coldest and wettest weather.

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Sportful's Fiandre (Italian for Flanders) range uses a proprietary fabric with a water-repellent technology that ensures rain beads off the surface. All seams are fully sealed, and Sportful describes it as a 'fully waterproof cycling cap for extreme conditions'.

I didn't find it to live up to those claims, and water does get through the fabric eventually, but it keeps you protected from the rain for much longer than a regular cotton cap. Where the cap really scores is that it deals not only with the rain, keeping your head drier than without a cap, or indeed a cotton cap, but that it also prevents overheating.

I found it dealt comfortably with a wide range of weather conditions and temperature fluctuations, making it a great cap for the changeable, and unpredictable, spring weather. I've even worn it when there's been no hint of rain on the horizon.

> Check out our guide to the best cycling kit for spring

It's an extremely useful thing at this time of year. The cap has been a regular part of my outfit for any rides where it looks like rain is forecast, and I've comfortably worn it for five or six hours in changeable conditions.

It fits really well, much like a high-quality cotton cap, and slips under a helmet no problem. The peak is robust and about the correct size for a cycling cap – helping to keep rain out of your eyes, but also able to be flicked up when you've got your head down.

At £32 it's not cheap compared with a simple cotton cap, but nevertheless it's something I'd definitely recommend buying.

Verdict

A great cap for rubbish weather

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sportful Fiandre NoRain Cap

Size tested: One size fits all

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Fully Seam sealed

One size fits all

All weather protection

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Sportful says:

This is your ideal fully waterproof cycling cap for extreme conditions. Fits under your helmet to keep the worst of the rain and wind off your head.

Sportful have taken the traditional cycle cap and given it a twist for wet weather with an all waterproof construction. Ideal as part of your Fiandre collection so you can ride through the very worst of riding conditions. The fabric used is waterproof and windrproof while seams are sealed to prevent any water seeping in.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Ideal in the rain, cold or dry.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Works well in the rain, and also works when it's not raining as you don't have to fear overheating.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great fit and ideal for unpredictable weather.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Very good headwear for unpredictable spring weather that avoids overheating.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

8 comments

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fukawitribe [2002 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sounds good... Quick question David - as you did the Showers Pass eVent review, just wondering if could you give an idea how they compare, in particular breathability ? Cheers.

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Disfunctional_T... [240 posts] 1 year ago
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The NORAIN Shell fabric from which the cap is constructed is "not 100% waterproof, but keeps most water outside the fabric"... so how does that add up to their claim of a "fully waterproof cycling cap for extreme conditions"???

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David Arthur @d... [814 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

fukawitribe wrote:

Sounds good... Quick question David - as you did the Showers Pass eVent review, just wondering if could you give an idea how they compare, in particular breathability ? Cheers.

 

The Sportful cap is more breathable than the Showers Pass cap - it's comfortable even on dry rides worn instead of a cotton cap

Avatar
acjim [31 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Hi David, I may have missed this but was wondering if you've had to wash the cap? I generally chuck my cotton ones in the wash which gets my "funk" out - could I do the same with this one?

#sweatybastard

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Chuck [590 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks good but with my big 'ed the lack of sizes means it's virtually guaranteed to be too small

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [814 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

acjim wrote:

Hi David, I may have missed this but was wondering if you've had to wash the cap? I generally chuck my cotton ones in the wash which gets my "funk" out - could I do the same with this one?

#sweatybastard

 

Yes it's been through several 30-degree washes and no problems to report

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [638 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Did it let water in before you washed it, just out of interest? Might be solved by re-proofing it if it's been washed in normal detergent.

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David Arthur @d... [814 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sportful has care instructions for its NoRain fabric here http://www.sportful.com/productcare and there's some useful related care info on the Gore-Tex website which applies to other similarly treated clothing http://www.gore-tex.co.uk/remote/Satellite/content/care/restoring-water-...