One of the best ways to stay warm on cold winter rides is with a hat or headband. Having long hair, I find it's often difficult to fit a hat on under a helmet, but Sportful's Women's Headband provides the ideal solution to warm the ears while leaving airflow through the helmet and keeping hair out of your face.
It's a bright and colourful headband to look at, and putting it on, it is also soft and comfortable. It keeps both hair and sweat off the face when riding. The thin, fleecy fabric doesn't impede hearing and has kept its softness through several washes. It has effectively kept my ears and forehead warm on cold winter rides.
The feature setting this apart from the majority of headbands on offer is what Sportful calls a 'Ponytail port'. This is a relatively simple slit in the rear of the headband which a ponytail can be threaded through. All helmets have slightly different adjustment systems, but when wearing my own helmet, the material over the hair was perfectly positioned to prevent it from tangling in the adjustment dial. Having also tried several other helmets on with the headband, it was well positioned to keep my hair out the way of each of those too.
The headband comes in a single size and stretches over the ears without being uncomfortably tight. It's also lacking in bulky seams, with the neat, raw-cut edges meaning it is light and slim, fitting easily underneath a helmet.
The only issue I found was the difficulty of sitting your glasses over the band, but a well-fitting helmet solves this. Otherwise, it does everything you would expect from a headband and more.
Does everything you would expect and more
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Women's Headband
Size tested: Uni
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?
Sportful says that with its luxuriously soft fleece inside and raw-cut edges to easily fit under your helmet, this headband will keep your ears covered and forehead toasty on colder days.
I found it to be warm, breathable and very comfortable, doing everything the manufacturer says it will.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ThermoDrytex Plus fabric
Raw-cut edge to easily fit under helmet
Raw-cut edges are very neat and slim.
Warm and breathable as expected, plus the ponytail loop stops hair getting caught up in my helmet's dial adjuster.
One size, fairly stretchy and not too tight.
Very thin and light, yet still warm.
Really comfortable to wear and stops hair getting tangled up in my helmet.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Didn't stretch when washed and the fleecy lining kept its softness.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The fleece lining is soft and comfortable and adds an extra bit of warmth for the ears on chilly winter days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Love the extra feature of the 'Ponytail port' as I am constantly getting my hair caught in the dial adjuster of my helmet, and this was a perfect solution to the problem while also being cosy and warm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No particular dislikes.
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
It's soft, warm and comfortable with a bright colour scheme and a couple of great extra features.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.