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Castelli Risvolto Winter Cap



Insulating, breathable winter cap that'll keep your ears nice 'n' toasty

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Castelli's Risvolto Winter Cap provides enough warmth for most winter conditions and comes with a stowable flap to cover your ears and the back of your head.

You can just about wear it under a helmet but you're making life hard for yourself there because it's not especially low profile. No, this is a hat that's aimed at those who ride without a lid.

The Risvolto is made from Castelli's Warmer fabric which is a stretchy, fleece-backed polyester. It's not windproof but it provides a good amount of insulation. It's also very breathable and a towelling liner helps wick sweat away from your head so you don't get all sticky at the first hint of a hill.

The flap is double-thickness fabric and you can fold it up – inside or out – to adjust the temperature. It makes a surprising amount of difference, believe it or not.

Castelli reckon the Risvolto has a temperature range of 6-14°C. They're having a laugh. If you wear this on the bike when the temperature is 14°C, you will poach your brain. 6°, maybe at a push, although I'd say you want to use it at cooler temperatures than that, even, unless you're on the very steadiest of steady rides.

One size fits all, by the way – and there's plenty of stretch in the fabrics so most people will get a comfortable fit. As well as red, the Risvolto is available in black with either a white or red stripe.


Insulating, breathable winter cap that'll keep your ears nice 'n' toasty test report

Make and model: Castelli Risvolto Winter Cap

Size tested: Red, unisize

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?

Castelli say, "Mother knows best. Remember when your mother used to tell you, 'Wear your hat! You lose 90% of your heat through your head.' We still don't believe that 90% number, but we do believe that well-designed headwear is a must. This is a must for cold weather."

How do they know my mother? That's what I'd like to know.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Like most hats, it'll last yonks. There's nothing to rub or wear out. All it has to do is sit on your swede and go through the washing machine. It does both just fine.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

We've had similar-ish hats on priced at about £25. Rapha do a Sportwool one for £35 and a cyclo cross one at £40, so £30 is there or thereabouts.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It does exactly what it's supposed to do

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Warm ears; you can't put a price on that. Well, I say that... it's 30 quid in this case.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I'm sticking with skullcaps because I virtually always wear a helmet

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yup

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

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 technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Mat Brett | 12 years ago

Just to be clear, you can wear it under a helmet, it's just bulky compared to a skullcap and the seams aren't flat. I didn't find it as comfortable if worn like that.

Dr_Death | 12 years ago

I manage to fit mine under a helmet with the ear bit folded down, not when it's up though....

I fold it up and stick the cap back on when in the cafe as it makes it look a bit daft with it down. It's like a convertible cap, two for the price of one if you will. It is bloody warm though, great on the early morning commutes.

Bigpikle | 12 years ago

looks fine to me but shame its too bulky under a lid...mind you I have the Castelli winter skull cap and its toasty warm into the sub zeros and thin enough to go under a helmet easily  4

Simon_MacMichael | 12 years ago

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw that pic was this, don't ask me why:

nbrus | 12 years ago

Not liking that cap much ... people might think cyclists are a weird bunch, if they all wore caps like this one.  22 It might look ok wearing this on the continent, but not in the UK.  1 Better to wear a skull cap and a helmet.

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