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Craft, being Swedish, know a thing or two about keeping warm in proper winter temperatures, and this expertise shows with the Craft Active Extreme Windstopper Skull hat. Made from the same material as the base layer we have recently reviewed, it is a small, thin, and light beanie-style cap which fits under your helmet keeping winter at any from your skull.
The hat is made from a thermal material which does a thorough job of insulating the head from the coldest of climes, but its the Gore Windstopper which is this hats party piece.
Whether you are starting the day or in the middle of a hard training session the Windstopper fabric does a splendid job of keeping the icy blasts off of your head, complementing the thermal fabric and ensuring that you don't get brain freeze.
It's particularly useful when you are working up a sweat, as the windstopper prevents the wind and sweat from combining on your head and turning your forehead into a rapid freezing unit, this is most evident on the longer descents that come right after the sweat-inducing climbs. Whilst not an issue in warmer temps, where the chilling is welcomed, on cold rides the freezing temps can make the difference between enjoying the descent and wanting to pack it all in and go home again.
I've been using the Craft Active Extreme Windstopper Skull hat for a couple of months now, and whilst it doesn't have a peak like a traditional cycling cap or hat would, it's comfort levels are superb. The material is thin enough to add very little bulk to your head, so, unless you have a particularly tight helmet, you should be able to wear it under your helmet without a size change (as someone whose head is right not he M/L border I appreciate being able to wear this under a M helmet). So far it has provided comfortable heat levels down as far as -2, and it felt like there was plenty more potential for temperature drops before its limits were reached.
It dries quickly, and is simple to wash - useful as it can get a bit smelly after a few heavy rides - and at a penny under £25 (look around obviously and you will find it for a lot less then list price) it represents good value for money - for me it's an essential piece of kit.
Well priced, comfortable and ultimately a solidly performing piece of kit.
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Make and model: Craft Active Extreme Windstopper Skull hat
Size tested: L/XL
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?
For those who either like to, or have to, go out in the colder conditions the Craft Active Extreme Windstopper Skull hat is winter companion to help get through the chilly rides.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Active Extreme hat is made of thin, lightweight and elastic micro polyester and Gore Windstopper panels. The Gore Windstopper panels are placed in exposed areas providing wind protection and freedom of movement simultaneously. Active Windstopper provides optimal body-temperature management throughout any workout in fair, cold and windy conditions.
No loose threads, stitching is neat and tidy.
An excellent thin garment to provide some cranial protection from the colder weather.
Very little weight, barely noticeable.
Soft material, flat-lock stitching, and just loose enough to be comfortable without being saggy.
I wear mine nearly every day, and when I don't it can be found in my pocket. Cost/wear is tiny!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
At keeping the wind off of the head, it's great. At insulation? Likewise!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Personally I like that it does its role whilst being so thin and light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes i have already as a present for a friend.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - absolutely.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Comfortble, effective, and good value for money!
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: Rapide RC4, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: Rapide RC4
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: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries