Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Castelli Viva cotton cap



A well designed cap for women, or just anyone whose head it fits

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.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Castelli Viva Women's Cap looks a lot like most other cycling caps, in that it's made from cotton and sports the same sort of peak, shaped crown and elasticated section at the back, allowing it to qualify for its 'one size fits all' status.

We asked Castelli what makes this a ladies' cap, and they came back with this: "The Viva Cotton Cap is a Unisex option, sizing is the same as men's hats with a lot more elastic movement on the rear."

The black cap is decorated with a broad rainbow band that more than faintly resembles the World Champ's rainbow banding, but with two of the colours switched (it's not MY fault if people henceforth assume I'm a champion in hiding!). It is a good looking cap.

I did find that the Viva fitted better than other caps I've tried in the past, from a variety of manufacturers. It seemed deeper at the back, allowing for the greater quantity of hair that most women have over male cyclists. It fitted a treat under a helmet and kept my head pleasingly warm and dry without overheating, in all sorts of weather.

So, I've no idea what makes a women's cap, but surprisingly the Viva did suit my head better than most.


A well designed cap for women, or just anyone whose head it fits. test report

Make and model: Castelli Viva cotton cap (ladies)

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?

Aimed at women.

Manufacturers don't say a lot about why it's "made for women" but it does seem to fit better than some other caps I've tried.

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


Elastic at rear

One size fits all

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Nicely finished and good soft, but rugged cotton.

Rate the product for performance:

Did what it was suppose to very well.

Rate the product for durability:

Not going anywhere in a hurry.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Very light indeed and perfect for a jersey pocket.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Surprisingly comfortable.

Rate the product for value:

On a par with most cycling caps.

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

Very well, both under a helmet and for hiding helmet hair.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, fit, weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, if I knew they wouldn't be riding with me.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A good value, well performing cycling cap.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,


Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

Add new comment


Giusto | 11 years ago

I used to ride with Rapha gear but got frustrated with their fit. Now I ride Castelli and the only difference I find... is the fit. You can't tell Rapha from Castelli by quality or perfomance.

Metjas | 11 years ago

is it windproof? water repellent?

Giusto replied to Metjas | 11 years ago
Metjas wrote:

is it windproof? water repellent?

It is screenprinted cotton so no, it is not.

David Arthur @d... | 11 years ago

Nice stripes

Latest Comments