The Monton Fourth Field Ear Protection Cap (a bit of a mouthful) is a functional and useful bit of winter kit but not without issues on sizing.
Pros: Soft fabric, super warm, useful ear protection, reflective piping on peak
Cons: Sizing is on the small size for a one size cap
The cap is made from Italian MITI Stelvio breathable fleece fabric - akin to the Roubaix fleece you may be familiar with - it's soft and warm while not getting too sweaty when the air temperature warms up a little and during the winter months – and indeed in to a cold spring – a cap like this is indispensable.
Despite using a fleece material it is small enough to fit under your helmet with no issues and when on is comfortable and snug. It resists the elements well too, it's windproof by design and it certainly ticks that box, with no hint of the cold creeping in on the head or ears, which are nicely covered by the dropped section below the brim which covers your ears and a portion of your neck.
Although it's not waterproof, and it does soak up water when the taps are fully opened the Stelvio fabric still does a great job of keeping the warmth in when wet. Other details I liked were the understated looks – no garish logos here; and the reflective piping around the peak. How useful it actually is I'm not sure, but it's certainly a bonus over no reflective detail. As with any peaked cap, it did a decent job of keeping the rain off my glasses making visibility in the rain a bit better.
So, all good, but I did have an issue with it. It's sold as on-size-fits-all, as with most caps to be fair but it was on the small side. I wear a medium or large size helmet, but the cap was a tight fit from the off. Once on it felt OK and at least being snug wouldn't move around too much which I don't like, forever adjusting the position of the helmet on my head. Being snug meant absolutely no adjustments to helmet fit either, other than a slight loosening of the ratchet to allow for a few millimetres of fabric. In use though it was fine for the first hour but the tight feeling eventually led to a headache, which meant having to remove the cap for relief, not great when the temperature is near freezing and the wind howling. It's a shame as it's a nice bit of well-made and decently performing winter kit, but unless you have a small head, try before you buy.
In value terms, the retail is £36 which I think is a bit expensive, however Monton currently have it on sale for £22, which is much more reasonable and brings it closer to the Lusso Repel which Stu liked so much when he reviewed it recently which sells for £19.99.
Good, well made winter cap with useful features, but beware of the sizing before you buy
road.cc test report
Make and model: Monton Fourth Field Ear Protection Cap
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
A winter cap designed for warmth and ear protection from the cold, with a peak to help keep the rain off your glasses.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Italy MITI Stelvio black breathable fleece fabric
Designed for cold winter weather
Windproof & Thermal
Fits perfectly under cycle helmet
Reflective strip round brim of cap
Unisex - one size
Very nicely made with neat seams and roubaix style fabric for warmth.
It did it's job well, keeping your head and ears warm while the peak keeps the worst off the water off your face.
So far, so good, no issues at all.
The fit for me was rather snug, but when pulled on it covered the head and ears well, the peak sitting higher on the forehead which I prefer.
Here is where the main issue lies - it's a one-size-fits-all cap but it is somewhat on the small side. My head measures 57
cm so not even the largest helmet size, but the cap was tight - uncomfortably so after a while.
It's not noticeably heavier than a standard cloth cap.
The soft fabric and neat seams mean it's comfortable on the head and ears, not noticing it's there after a while - if you've got a smaller head you won't have any problems at all. On longer rides it did start to become uncomfortable for me.
At it's RRP it is a little on the high side, but Monton themselves are selling it direct at the time of review for £22, which for a useful winter/early spring bit of kit seems reasonable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It washed well, being thrown in with the usual loads of riding kit and drying without going stiff or ruining the soft feel of the fabric. The reflective piping is still looking good too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a warm winter hat it was great at what it was designed to do. The fleece fabric kept my head toasty, and the dropped ear and nape section did a grand job of keeping my ears and back of the neck warm too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the understated look, soft fabric and the reflective peak detail and when worn, the warmth it provided.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing isn't as universal as you would hope, leading to pressure headaches over time due to the snug, if not tight fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes - for the first hour or so.
Would you consider buying the product? Only if there was a larger size available.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - with caveats on sizing.
Use this box to explain your overall score
A tricky one to mark, the Monton is a useful and warm winter cap that performs really well, the build and fabric are great - and if it fitted comfortably on longer rides it would easily be an 8, but is not suitable for larger head sizes without discomfort on longer outings so it drops a point
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman AirPro Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives,