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The GripGrab AquaShield Waterproof Cycling Cap does exactly what it says on the label, doing a great job of keeping your head dry in the rain while being almost as breathable as a standard cap. It's pricier than one, though.
The humble cycling cap has a multitude of uses, from protecting your head from the sun, keeping the glare out of your eyes and – to a lesser extent – keeping the rain off. In fact, a standard cap does a very good job.
GripGrab's version is made from a 100% nylon and uses an AquaShield durable water repellent (DWR) coating to keep the water out. GripGrab claims the cap has a waterproof rating of 15K, which I'd say is realistic, as in some thundery downpours it resisted any ingress for at least an hour.
The 15K, by the way, means the fabric has been tested to resist the pressure of a 15,000mm (15 metre) water column before it starts to leak. If my calculations are correct, that's around 21psi of pressure. That's mid-scale in waterproofing terms.
Whether you wear it on its own or under your helmet, water beads off the outer surface. In heavy rain that does mean it can run off and drip down your neck, but the rest of you is likely to be wet anyway.
Rainwater beads off the peak too, but the peak is large enough that it drips in front of your glasses, so it's no big issue.
Breathability isn't bad considering the coating – GripGrab says its rating is 40K, and I certainly didn't find things get any hotter than I was expecting. Breathability tests are far more varied that waterproofing ones and aren't standardised, however, so that 40K rating is arguably not all that meaningful.
The fabric will soak up a reasonable amount of sweat before it gets overwhelmed, though, so it was only on stormy humid days that I found it too warm to wear. It was a hot and very humid spring period for the test, mind you, and in typical May/June temperatures it would be comfortable. It'll be ideal for use in the autumn too.
It comes in two sizes – S/M and M/L – and its construction is thin and light, so you only need to wind out your helmet's cradle a few millimeters for it to fit underneath.
At £29.95 it's pricey compared to a standard cap, which typically come in at £15-£20.
Also similar, the Sealskinz's Waterproof All Weather Cap is slightly cheaper at £25.
Most caps do a good job even in the wet, but if you're looking for proper water resistance then I recommend this GripGrab. It offers good weather protection and decent breathability, and the price is in the right ball park too.
Stands up to even heavy rain without issue, yet is breathable enough for warm days too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab AquaShield Waterproof Cycling Cap
Size tested: M/L
Tell us what the product is for
Grip Grab says, "The GripGrab AquaShield Waterproof Cycling Cap is an essential addition to any cyclist's kit drawer – for those wet days of spring and autumn, and even summer – thanks to its exceptional breathability."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Weather protection
* Extremely breathable
* Moisture management
* Optimal under helmet fit
* Reflective detailing
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
GripGrab recommends a handwash only, and that worked fine multiple times.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It offers good waterproofing, and breathability isn't majorly hampered by the coating.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Keeps the worst of the rain out.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Water can run off and travel down your neck.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It sits between the Showers Pass and Sealskins caps mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does the job it is designed for, plus it is well made and priced well against the opposition.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!