The Ride Aquazero Skull Cap is different from most in that it has a water-repellent band around the forehead to provide extra protection from the elements. That band is also wind-resistant.
The rest of the skull cap – the red stuff – is a Super Roubaix fabric so it provides loads of warmth. The black fabric is AcquaZero (there's a 'c' in there, although Ride don't use it), a material that used to be exclusive to Santini but no longer is.
AcquaZero feels like a normal brush-backed fabric, stretchy and breathable like Super Roubaix. The difference is that AcquaZero is highly water-repellent and it doesn't absorb much moisture. Rather than soaking in, raindrops tend to roll off. It isn't fully waterproof but you'll be surprised at how much water it keeps out. 'Ooh,' you'll say, 'that's highly water repellent, that is.'
This AcquaZero is far more wind-resistant than other versions we've tried. It keeps out much more cold air than the Super Roubaix fabric.
It makes a lot of sense to use AcquaZero for tights, for example, because there it can stop road spray soaking in – or, at least, less of it soaking in. Here, it only comes in useful when it's actually raining and you're only going to wear a skullcap when it's very cold. In those circumstances, it does mean your forehead stays drier.
To me, it's more useful that the AcquaZero panel is wind-resistant, keeping the cold air off your forehead. Other manufacturers do something similar with other wind-blocking fabrics.
So, whack this on underneath your helmet and it'll keep your head really warm, providing most insulation for the exposed section at the front. Most rides I do are training rides and it had to go down close to 0°C before I used this. If you're riding at a lower intensity or you have a stop-start journey through town, it'll come in handy when the temperature is a few degrees warmer.
Skull cap with a water and wind resistant band to keep your forehead warm and dry; a bargain price
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Make and model: Ride Aquazero Skull Cap
Size tested: Red/Black
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?
Ride list these features:
"- UK designed and Italian hand-made
- Front: Aquazero Pro soft shell water repellent material
- Rear: Super Roubaix insulated material, fast wicking and comfortable
- Mutli-panel Anatomic Fit"
They don't mention the fact that the front panel is highly wind-resistant. To me, that's more useful than the fact that it's water-resistant.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
AcquaZero is an Italian fabric with a treatment that makes it highly water resistant. It lasts well through repeated washing.
It's well made although I'd prefer flat-stitch seams throughout for use under a helmet.
It does a good job, the wind-resistant front panel keeping your exposed forehead warm even in icy air.
Fine. Skull caps usually last well. No moving parts, see?
Flat-stitched seams would be more comfortable under certain helmets – not that it was ever particularly uncomfortable.
You can't get many skull caps cheaper than this, especially not with a high-tech wind and water resistant front panel.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a fine job
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The wind resistance at the front.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd rather have had flat seams throughout.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It does what most other skull caps do with that little bit of extra protection on the front. It scores an 8 overall courtesy of an excellent price.
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.