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The Kostume EDIT002 Unisex Cycling Cap is made from recycled materials, and graphics aside, has some genuinely nice features that broaden the appeal and extend its use through the seasons. Despite liking its design, materials and construction, I've found it wicks slower than some favourites in warmer weather and it doesn't pack down quite so conveniently.
It's the familiar polyester and elastane throughout, and a good bet, given the material's properties. Look inside and you'll find a five-panel design with reinforced low-profile seams for durability, a Bluesign- and OEKO TEX-certified perforated mesh for efficient heat transfer, a fast-drying front panel continues the moisture-managing narrative.
Finally, there are two different sustainable natural elastics. One is organic cotton with natural rubber, and the other recycled polyester with recycled rubber. Construction is very neat and to a high standard throughout, with the ponytail port an unexpected and welcome touch for longer locks. The peak is generous, yet neatly sculptured and holds its position securely if you've flipped it up.
The exterior doesn't feel synthetic in the way some blends can. The print is designed by Alice Irwin and has a limited production run of 350, and if the pink tones aren't to your taste, there is another with blue and yellowy-green tones.
Kostume lists two sizes, medium – which it calls 'regular' – and large. Regular, according to its guide, should be fine for a head circumference of 55.5cm, while the large has a 62cm circumference. I found the sizing accurate – the regular feeling bespoke for my 54cm bonce. I also reckon there's enough give in the elastic to comfortably accommodate 57cm heads, too.
Kostume's assertion that the five-panel, low-profile construction makes for a sharper aesthetic and comfortable fit beneath helmets seems more than marketing puff, especially compared with traditional cotton blends. I've tried ours beneath trail, gravel/commute and more aggressive road lids with comparable comfort, not a hot spot to report. However, its slightly thicker fabric makes it less conducive to being stuffed inside a jersey pocket.
By the same token, I wouldn't say it was markedly superior to designs such as the Showers Pass Elite. Coming from this and its Atlas stable mate, I've felt noticeably warmer when the temperature's been at a moderate 20-23 degrees and dampness lingered longer.
Given 30 minutes of steady exertion, I had a damp head but at that point, the perforated panels started to do their work. This was most apparent beneath heavier lids weighg around 300g, helmets aimed at gravel, commuting and touring duties. Again, we're not talking boiled brains and it's superior to cottons by some margin.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, wicking was faster when I wore this beneath lighter well-vented lids such as the Abus Aventor. It's also worth noting that have a thick shock of hair. On a related point, Kostume hasn't marketed it as a season-specific model, so some heat retention may be very welcome through winter – and I also think it saved me from being stung when a bee caught a lift home in my helmet.
While the material isn't waterproof, the cap's fabric and seams kept the worst of the rain out for about 50 minutes during some unexpectedly wet outings. Then, given a break in the cloud and a moderate breeze, the outer fabric goes from damp to touch-dry in around 40 minutes. A product such as Motorex Protex Waterproofing Spray held the elements out longer still.
The fibres also do a decent job of managing odours. I've worn ours for ten consecutive days and ten long rides before tossing it in the wash – though I wouldn't wear it so long if I wasn't testing it! By that point, there was some low-level funk but not in wallpaper-stripping territory.
The peak's shape and profile offers excellent defence from sun, rain, dust and blustery winds, without impairing view of conditions ahead, or when checking over the shoulder. Worn backwards in strong sunlight, it has also offered decent protection to the neck.
Along green lanes and trails, it also gave greater protection to my face from rogue branches, brambles and other thorny foliage. Want the peak out of the way completely, just flick it up and it'll stay put.
Several weeks and after hundreds of mixed terrain miles, the cap is still packet fresh, not so much as a loose thread. Not that I'd expect less from this end of the market but reassuring just the same. I've stuck steadfastly to 30-degree machine washes and line drying. Minimum, cool specific detergent for the machine and soap flakes/mild soap for hand washing. From the machine, it's bone dry in around 60 minutes, given the more intensive rinsing when handwashing, 90 minutes or so.
The £35 price puts this is at the steeper end of the market, though it's not outlandish. The Showers Pass Elite is now £28 and employs a highly effective, waterproof fabric, although the seams aren't sealed, so water will eventually find its way inside, but Mike rated it for its excellent protection and good looks.
The £19.99 Prendas Ciclismo Lisboa Rain Cycling Cap has a waterproof DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, taped seams, retro-reflective detailing and an anti-bacterial lining. However, having used one longer term, I've concluded it's better suited to the cooler seasons and it can only be hand washed as machine washing will strip the DWR coating.
I think the Kostume EDIT002 Unisex Cycling Cap is a solid all-rounder with some nice touches. Whether it will be right for you, or a better fit than others discussed here will depend on your budget, hair length and perhaps how important the limited-edition print is.
Capable cap with some lovely touches and fabric but its hot-weather wicking is good rather than great.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kostume EDIT002 Unisex Cycling Cap
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
Kostume says: "For such an iconic garment, the humble cycling cap has been largely left behind when it comes to product innovation. Not any longer. Wave goodbye to helmet hotspots, and say hello to admiring glances."
My feelings: "Nicely designed cap with some unique touches, although doesn't wick as efficiently as some when it's very warm."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low-profile 5-panel design fits under most helmets
Bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® certified 100% recycled perforated mesh to aid heat transfer away from the head
Fast-drying recycled front panel for sweat management
Reinforced low-profile seams to add strength without bulk
2 different sustainable natural elastics – organic cotton with natural rubber and recycled polyester with natural rubber
It's nicely designed and well-executed cap.
Particularly good fit beneath helmets. Generally very comfortable, although doesn't wick as fast as some in very warm conditions.
Wearing and washing well. No reason to believe it won't serve a long while, with basic care.
The five-panel design has ensured a uniformly good fit and the medium felt comfortably snug for my 54cm head.
Bang on for me but there's a sensible amount of give, catering for slightly bigger heads, too.
Its 40g weight is hardly noticeable when you're wearing it but it is a bit heavier than the likes of the showers Pass Elite and Atlas Cycling Caps, if that's an issue for you.
Generally very good but I've found the wicking prowess less impressive than some during very warm rides.
At the upper end of the market but the price is by no means outlandish.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to live with and washes very well at 30 degrees – both in the machine or by hand.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Kostume Unisex Cycling Cap has lived up to its hype. Fit is particularly good, especially beneath a helmet, and for me at least, the peak was perfectly proportioned – offering just the right amount of protection from wind, rain, wind, and strong sunlight, without compromising peripheral view. It will also flip up and out of the way. Worn backward, it offers a reasonable amount of protection against strong sunlight. The fabric is a little thicker, which may come into its own during the cooler months, but I noticed it wicked slower than some in very warm conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Peak, fit, the fabric has a nice feel – and the limited edition livery all agreed with me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a dislike, more an observation, but the fabric doesn't wick as efficiently as some.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Gore Shakedry cap costs £39.99 and fully waterproof, breathable and lighter than the Kostume. Then of course, there's the Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap, which comes in at the same price as the Kostume cap, looks good and offers great protection.
The Prendas Ciclismo Lisboa Rain Cycling Cap has a water-resistant DWR treatment, taped seams, retro-reflective detailing and an anti-bacterial lining, and it costs just £19.99. However, having used one longer term, I've concluded it's better suited to the cooler seasons and can only be hand washed, as machine washing will strip the DWR coating.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – for the most part
Use this box to explain your overall score
Nicely designed and executed cap that covers most bases very well indeed, though there are several others that could challenge it when it comes to weight and wicking.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)