The Prendas Ciclismo Belgian-style Winter Hat is exactly what it says: a Belgian-style hat made in Italy designed to protect your head from the elements with a soft and insulating fabric.
Drawing on the rich vein of Belgian cycling heritage and made in Italy, the hat is constructed from seven panels of a stretchy polyester fabric, with a soft mesh lining. A ribbed knitted flap extends from the sides and drops around the back, providing full coverage for the ears and back of head.
It's discreetly styled with the Prendas logo along the brim of the peak and in a small folded red, white and blue striped ribbon at the back. On the side there's a Fatto a Mano Italia badge, a nod to its Italian manufacter.
It'll fit underneath a helmet, just about, though you'll probably have to re-adjust the retention device and straps a little. To be honest it's a little bulky under the helmet and you're probably better off with a skull cap or similar if you're going to wear a lid.
No, this is a hat better worn on its own, sans-helmet. It's far more comfortable this way, plus you get the full Belgian 'look' going on, providing you are comfortable with how it looks on your head. Not everyone can comfortably carry it off. It demands confidence...
The stiff peak manages the tricky job of being just the right size, not too large, not too small. Just perfect. The sides are just the right length to cover the ears, no more – well, the ears of everyone we got to try it, anyway. You can also adjust the hat during a ride if you're not wearing a helmet. Ears a little warm? Just turn the side flaps up a bit. Peak obscuring your vision? Flip it up out of the way.
Prendas offer it in one size fits all, which is probably fine for most people. I found it ever so slightly tight at first, but after a few rides it seems to have stretched a little, or perhaps I've just become used to it. The fabric is stretchy though so it isn't too restrictive.
After a handful of chilly early morning and evening rides with a range of temperatures from nudging zero degrees, I've found the hat offers brilliant insulation. I've not found my head too warm nor too cold. I thought, with its lack of fancy wind and water resistant fabrics, might struggle in extreme conditions, but that hasn't been the case.
The fabric handles moisture well, the mesh lining manages to avoid any dampness building up in the hat on longer rides. I've been wearing the hat a lot on recent rides and I don't think I'll be taking it off until the spring.
A stylish hat that is incredibly warm and insulating. Best worn without a helmet though.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Prendas Ciclismo Belgian-style Winter Hat
Size tested: One
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?
This classic, Belgian-style Winter Hat has been designed to keep you protected from the winter elements whilst still offering great value for money!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in Italy, it's made of an insulating and stretchy polyester mix, has a soft lining, ribbed knitted rear flap and 7 panel design makes it extremely comfortable.
Extremely well made with a very nice finish.
It's exceptionally warm and maintains a steady temperature no matter how cold it is outside.
It's extremely well made and I can't see any reason why it won't look this good for ages.
You barely notice it on your head.
The fabric is soft next to the skin but I found the fit just a little tight.
Usual value for money from Prendas, you can't argue with the price
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It kept my head lovely and warm and dry on all ride in all weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's unique look, the ear flaps and the peak.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The one size fits all sizing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much so.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
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, mtb,
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.