A warm skullcap is a great extra to wear under a helmet or pop in a jersey pocket for later. The Galibier Bedoin Lightweight Beanie is a cool-looking but warm hat, well made and at a good price (particularly for merino mix), but I found it a little on the voluminous side while simultaneously not that stretchy.
Available in a please-all dark grey 20% wool/80% polyester mix fabric, this is a straightforward beanie hat designed to look good as well as keep your noggin warm both on and off the bike. The fabric is double layered, and it's a one-size fit. It has a logo on the front that only shows if you roll it up at the front.
While the beanie looks like it is designed to be roomy, it's a bit of an odd shape, having lots of volume in length but not that much stretch across. The result is that there's a lot of extra unused hat at the top, which is a touch bulky under a helmet, while the main body of the hat is definitely neat for all but fairly small heads.
The 2in turn-up 'cuff' does help take up some of the slack in the top, but not all of it, and it makes the hat even neater across the forehead when it was already on the snug side before turning up. It is possible to fit it under a helmet but it takes a bit of shuffling because of that extra fabric.
My head is 55cm and the sizing bracket suggested by Galibier for this is 53-61cm. The upper end of this would definitely struggle with the width.
Having two layers, it's extremely warm. I actually found it too warm under a helmet (although not sweaty), but those with less hair may enjoy the extra warmth. The merino/synthetic mix does mean that it wicks moisture better than just plain merino, while still having some of the technical elements of wool that make it a good hat – in particular, it's warm even when wet.
It fits nicely in a jersey or jacket pocket for rest stops, and given the extra volume at the top it might suit this purpose best.
Value-wise, it's a few quid cheaper than the all-synthetic Altura Skull Cap at £16.99 but a few quid more than the Lusso Thermal Skull Hat at £9.99. Both of those are designed to fit closer to the head and are more helmet-friendly, though they lack the merino content of the Galibier and the extra breathability and cosiness.
All in all, it's not a bad price, but thanks to the slightly odd shape it's a better choice as a rest-stop hat for occasional under-helmet use than a specifically under-helmet hat. Even then, only if it fits your head shape.
Warm, soft, and cool looking, but a bit baggy up top for under-helmet use and a neat fit at the bottom
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Bedoin Lightweight Beanie
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for
Lightweight warm, breathable and moisture wicking hat for cold weather use on and off the bike.
Galibier says, ' Our BÉDOIN Lightweight Beanie will keep your head warm and comfortable, this winter and next.
'Made from a SportsWool/Polyester mix, our Lightweight Beanie is soft feel and comfortable next to the skin. The Ultra tight knit will beep the wind out and you warm and focused, whatever the weather. The beanie is luxuriously warm and yet highly breathable to keep temperature perfectly balanced even when the going gets tough. The two-inch earband can be folded up to help regulate body temperature, as well as to provide some stylish versatility.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Materials: 20% Merino Wool, 80% Polyester
Merino wool fabric blend
Ergonomic design with elasticated hem, for the perfect fit
One Size Fits Most 53-61cm
It is also worth noting that although the hat itself can be machine washed (at 30 degrees), the longevity of wool mix increases with careful hand washing
Nicely made and finished and nice quality fabric.
Good levels of warmth but the baggier top part makes it less useful as an under-helmet skull cap.
Nicely made and washes well.
Baggy at the top and yet quite neat across the width/around the temples. OK if your head shape suits.
One size only and it's on the neat side around the temples/bottom of the hat for me.
Pretty low weight and very packable.
If the shape suits then it's comfortable off the bike, but too much excess fabric to make it comfortable under a helmet, and larger heads will find the bottom on the snug side.
Not bad value for a merino mix hat that looks quite cool off the bike, but could do with being more useful on the bike too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well. Easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed OK – warm and moisture wicking – although a bit bulky under a helmet and a bit snug across the temples on me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks, nice soft merino mix fabric, warmth, price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too voluminous at top to be comfortable under a helmet, but also neat around the bottom, so a tricky fit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not a bad price – a few pounds cheaper than the all-synthetic Altura Skull Cap at £16.99 and a few quid more more than the Lusso Thermal Skull Hat at £9.99. Those are designed to fit closer to the head and are more helmet-friendly, but they lack the extra breathability and cosiness of the merino content of the Galibier.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was OK.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, the fit was not ideal for my head.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, if they had the right shaped head.
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a well-made hat with a nice cosy feel, but the baggier top section makes using it under a helmet less than straightforward, and the neat fit across the temples means it's only really suited to smaller heads.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.