BikePortland.org

Product Review: A warm winter cap from Bella Capo


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A functional hat that also looks nice off the bike.

I love hats! As someone who bikes almost every day year-round, hats do many things for me. They keep out the elements (rain and sun being my biggest threats), they soak up my sweat in summer, they keep me warm in winter, and they also hide my sometimes disheveled hair.

I’ve worn hundreds of hats over the years, and it takes a lot of little things to go right for one to become a keeper. For the past few weeks I’ve been wearing one that has become my go-to this winter.

The Bella Capo winter cap is made in Italy for Portland-based Cyclone Bicycle Supply (suggested retail is $35.98). Unless you’re in the industry, you probably haven’t heard of Cyclone. That’s because they’re a parts and accessory distributor that sells to bike dealers and other retailers all over the country. All the Bella Capo caps stocked by Cyclone are made just for them by hand from a source in Italy.

Their winter hat is a gem. On the fabric front it’s a mix of nylon and wool. It’s got cozy ear flaps that fit all the way over my ears and — most importantly — they stay in place when I move. I’ve worn the hat in temps of 30-40 degrees. For me, it’s just the right warmth for 35 degrees or so and up (when I wore it to Mt. Hood in sub-freezing air and wind chill, I put another warm beanie cap over it). The outer fabric is also water resistant. I’ve worn this cap throughout the rain, sleet, and snow we’ve been having in Portland and it hasn’t failed me. I’m not sure how it would hold up to sustained rain, but the drops it has seen so far have beaded up nicely on the fabric.

Here’s a quick little water test I did this morning…

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I switch between a lot of different modes throughout the day: In the morning I might be a bike commuter, then I turn into a reporter and sales manager, then I might throw on some lycra and do a training ride. The Bella Capo winter hat is a rare piece of my kit that works in all those environments. It doesn’t look too technical so I don’t look like a “cyclist,” yet it functions like one when I need it to. It’s warm enough to wear in near-freezing weather, yet still slim enough to fit nicely under my helmet (as you can see below).

As for the bill/brim, it’s not as big as a traditional baseball cap, but it’s a tad larger than typical cycling caps. The size is also worth mentioning. It only comes in one. I have a large head, about 7 and 3/4″, and it fits very comfortably on me. I can wear it for hours and it doesn’t leave any marks on my forehead.

This cap is definitely a keeper. It will hang proudly next to my other hats* — but will mostly be off-the-hook and on my head.

You can find this hat locally at Pedal Bike Tours (133 SW 2nd Ave). If you want to carry these in your shop, visit CycloneBicycle.com

*Other winter hats I’m wearing are the Skyline Cap by Showers Pass and the Country Winter Cap by Rapha.

— This product was provided to me by Cyclone Bicycle Supply who we’ve partnered with for a series of reviews. All opinions are my own.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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