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Castelli Head Thingy



Versatile winter essential that can be double as a neck or head warmer

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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The Castelli Head Thingy is one of those beautifully simple products that you didn't realise you needed in your life until you give it a go. Now I can't live without it for early morning and evening rides.

Essentially, the Castelli Head Thingy - great name - is a tube of material that can be worn in a number of ways. Slipped on over your head it can be worn around the neck, or raised and lowered over your face and ears as you see fit during a ride. Or it can be pressed into service as a beanie or balaclava, with a little careful manipulation, to keep your head warm. Let your imagination run wild and you could wear it as a skull cap, headband...

So you see, it's quite a versatile bit of kit and is one of those essential items of clothing all cyclists should have in their winter kit bag. The fact you can wear it in a number of configurations does go some way to offsetting the cost, because in many ways it's three or five garments in one.

However you decide to wear it, the Softlex fabric does a sterling job of completely blocking the wind and thus keeping normally exposed skin around your head and neck protected. I've found it most useful worn around the neck where, with it tucked under the jacket collar, it prevents cold air from sneaking inside your top.

The fabric is soft next to the skin and manages to deal with moisture (sweat) build-up well, keeping you dry no matter how hard you're riding.

One size fits all and it happily goes through the washing machine on a regular wash.


A versatile winter essential that can be double as a neck or head warmer. test report

Make and model: Castelli Head Thingy

Size tested: One

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?

We have all seen something similar a tube of warm wicking fabric that can be used as a neck warmer, Hat, balaclava, bandana, skull cap, headband, sling, etc... Well this isn't much different apart from two crucial key points; Its made of Softlex fabric so its cosy stretchy and moisture wicking, and it features our Scorpion and word marks something no other heady thingy in the world can claim...

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Cosy, stretchy and moisture wicking Softlex Fabric

Multiple configurations give you an adaptive protective option.

Machine washable



The fabric is very soft and comfortable and blocks wind.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,


David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Gkam84 | 11 years ago

Having got one of these. I have to say, if you invest in one piece of headgear, this has to be it.

Just it just looks like a buff/snood, but its far superior, You know I'm not one for advising spending money on things if you don't have to, but I would pay for this.

I've been using it as a skull cap, it warmest thing I've ever had on my head, no wind, cuts out all wind noise, stays totally dry and I've been using it in heavy snow today.

Go get one now, you will not regret it  26

PhilRuss | 11 years ago

[[[[[ WHAT? 18 nicker? I think I'll cut 6" off a leg of these old, not near the top end.

horizontal dropout | 11 years ago

Is there any reflection in your scores (number of stars) of value for money? I'd say this is £2.99 for the item and £15 for the marketing. I bought a similar "thingy" for £2.50 and very useful it is too but I can't imagine the Castelli is 7 times as good.

Roastie | 11 years ago

I guess the benefit is that this is windproof? Still not sure that is worth nearly £20!

michophull | 11 years ago

It's a snood then.  22

nbrus | 11 years ago

Probably made by 'Buff' ... cheap copies don't stretch as much as a real buff, so if you have a cheap copy and find it tight, then try a genuine buff ... expensive, but much more comfortable.

pj | 11 years ago

definitely a buff by any other name, with the corresponding price hike associated with the Castelli scorpion. i don't see how 'scotflex' makes it different to the stretchy, soft one I got free on the cover of a cycling magazine which has been doing a grand job for the past two years.

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