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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.
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.
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.
A great cap for rubbish weather
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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?
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.
Ideal in the rain, cold or dry.
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
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.
About the tester
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 worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.