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Los Angeles-based Swrve prides itself on making cycling gear that doesn't scream 'Cyclist'. How this comes across in that most cycling of cycling gear, the casquette, is in a classic design that could be paired with jeans and a shirt and not look screamingly odd. That's not to say the honey four panel cycling cap lacks in the technical stakes, mind.
The first thing you notice putting the cap on is the deep fit. Even on my relatively large head the seam comes down to my ears, when pretty much all my other caps sit well above. The elastic at the back feels perfectly tensioned to keep the cap in place, should you be wearing it sans helmet in a stiff breeze. The one-size-fits-all take might then be a tad deep or loose on a smaller head, particularly one lacking hair.
The second thing you notice is the brim. It's quite the over-engineered feature, being both thick and stiff. It responds well to being shaped, holding a new design and able to be remodelled without any memory effect. Swrve says that it's 'unbreakable', which bodes well for longevity – I've had any number of cap brims eventually die after being aggressively shaped or sat upon one too many times.
The brim is a perfect width for me at two inches, protruding long enough to keep rain or sun off glasses, but able to be flipped up without looking silly. The combination of a larger fit and thicker material means the brim doesn't 'snap' up or down the way most caps do, which you may or may not appreciate. While thinner brims can lose their 'snap' after a while, the Swrve take on things is that if you need it up or down, you mould it to the desired shape and it stays put. So possibly less one for the crit racer needing instant one-handed up/down brim action, more for the randonneur willing to sit up or pause road or trailside to get the perfect shape.
The organic cotton is a relatively heavy fabric for a cap, so should stand the test of time, regular washing, and so on. It doesn't feel overly insulating, and absorbs a good amount of sweat when you're working hard.
With this 'honey' colour cap you get a choice of purple (more dark blue) or red racing stripes, good for Vanity Watts if nothing else. Swrve also does the cap in blue, black, dark grey and red base colours, with appropriately contrasting stripes, so you should be able to find one to match your desired look.
Price-wise, it's much the same as the £19.99 Chapeau! Cotton Cap 3 Stripe, but you don't need to spend that much if you're OK with some synthetic materials but still want the plain look: one of the £12.99 Prendas range might suit.
These days, most cycling caps are synthetic, and tout waterproofness or breathability as key features. It's heartening to see modern brands like Swrve reinvent classic looks in traditional materials, with modern takes on brim function.
Stylish and comfortable, with a shapeable brim for that perfect look
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Swrve honey cotton four panel cycling cap
Size tested: One Size
Tell us what the product is for
It's for people wanting the classic casquette look, in natural materials.
A traditional 4-panel cap made with a organic 7 oz cotton twill
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Swrve lists these features:
super strong brim is shape-able and will not crack
elastic back for a perfect fit
one size fits most
A organic 7oz cotton twill is a bit heaver than the industry standard. There made to last and can be washed in the machine. They will work with a helmet keeping the sun and rain out of your eyes.
The brims can be shaped and will not crack even after years of use and abuse
THE FINAL PRODUCT
on or off the bike, these caps will keep up with you on any adventure and are easy to have in a pocket so there there for you when needed.
MADE IN USA
It's very well assembled.
Fits me perfectly, brim does exactly what it should.
The heavier fabric and construction makes for what should be a very durable garment.
Personally a great fit for me. Perfect.
There's only one size – so if you have a small head, this might come up loose.
The heavier material and thicker brim were always going to mean this isn't a featherweight item.
Very comfy for me with a larger head.
On a par with other cotton caps.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washes bright and clean, doesn't look used at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Can't fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The deep fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pretty much average for 100% cotton.
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
The price is on the premium end compared with synthetic or mixed caps, but is pretty much middle of the road for 100% cotton, especially given its made in the USA origin. Fit and features are spot on, at least for the larger-of-head. It's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.