While the beanie looks like it is designed to be roomy, it's a bit of an odd shape, having lots of volume in length but not that much stretch across. The result is that there's a lot of extra unused hat at the top, which is a touch bulky under a helmet, while the main body of the hat is definitely neat for all but fairly small heads.
The 2in turn-up 'cuff' does help take up some of the slack in the top, but not all of it, and it makes the hat even neater across the forehead when it was already on the snug side before turning up. It is possible to fit it under a helmet but it takes a bit of shuffling because of that extra fabric.
My head is 55cm and the sizing bracket suggested by Galibier for this is 53-61cm. The upper end of this would definitely struggle with the width.
Having two layers, it's extremely warm. I actually found it too warm under a helmet (although not sweaty), but those with less hair may enjoy the extra warmth. The merino/synthetic mix does mean that it wicks moisture better than just plain merino, while still having some of the technical elements of wool that make it a good hat – in particular, it's warm even when wet.
It fits nicely in a jersey or jacket pocket for rest stops, and given the extra volume at the top it might suit this purpose best.
All in all, it's not a bad price, but thanks to the slightly odd shape it's a better choice as a rest-stop hat for occasional under-helmet use than a specifically under-helmet hat. Even then, only if it fits your head shape.
Warm, soft, and cool looking, but a bit baggy up top for under-helmet use and a neat fit at the bottom
Make and model: Galibier Bedoin Lightweight Beanie
Tell us what the product is for
Lightweight warm, breathable and moisture wicking hat for cold weather use on and off the bike.
Galibier says, ' Our BÉDOIN Lightweight Beanie will keep your head warm and comfortable, this winter and next.
'Made from a SportsWool/Polyester mix, our Lightweight Beanie is soft feel and comfortable next to the skin. The Ultra tight knit will beep the wind out and you warm and focused, whatever the weather. The beanie is luxuriously warm and yet highly breathable to keep temperature perfectly balanced even when the going gets tough. The two-inch earband can be folded up to help regulate body temperature, as well as to provide some stylish versatility.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Materials: 20% Merino Wool, 80% Polyester
Merino wool fabric blend
Ergonomic design with elasticated hem, for the perfect fit
One Size Fits Most 53-61cm
It is also worth noting that although the hat itself can be machine washed (at 30 degrees), the longevity of wool mix increases with careful hand washing
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Nicely made and finished and nice quality fabric.
Rate the product for performance:
Good levels of warmth but the baggier top part makes it less useful as an under-helmet skull cap.
Rate the product for durability:
Nicely made and washes well.
Rate the product for fit:
Baggy at the top and yet quite neat across the width/around the temples. OK if your head shape suits.
Rate the product for sizing:
One size only and it's on the neat side around the temples/bottom of the hat for me.
Rate the product for weight:
Pretty low weight and very packable.
Rate the product for comfort:
If the shape suits then it's comfortable off the bike, but too much excess fabric to make it comfortable under a helmet, and larger heads will find the bottom on the snug side.
Rate the product for value:
Not bad value for a merino mix hat that looks quite cool off the bike, but could do with being more useful on the bike too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well. Easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed OK – warm and moisture wicking – although a bit bulky under a helmet and a bit snug across the temples on me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks, nice soft merino mix fabric, warmth, price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too voluminous at top to be comfortable under a helmet, but also neat around the bottom, so a tricky fit.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not a bad price – a few pounds cheaper than the all-synthetic Altura Skull Cap at £16.99 and a few quid more more than the Lusso Thermal Skull Hat at £9.99. Those are designed to fit closer to the head and are more helmet-friendly, but they lack the extra breathability and cosiness of the merino content of the Galibier.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was OK.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, the fit was not ideal for my head.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, if they had the right shaped head.
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a well-made hat with a nice cosy feel, but the baggier top section makes using it under a helmet less than straightforward, and the neat fit across the temples means it's only really suited to smaller heads.
Age: 48 Height: 1.65m Weight: 77kg
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Unfortunately what is great for one person is not for another. I have various pairs, Ale, Assos, Castelli and Giordana; my preferred being Giordana...
"Why do people care so much about other people wearing helmets?"" You got it the wrong way round.
Walked over the bridge at lunchtime today and the council have made changes at both ends. The middle bollard has been moved back to make a...
I do believe that the British road racing scene is dying, and even if it wasn't it would become untenable even with better funding and volunteering...
Forgot to do my bloody team for Milano San Remo. For some reason I thought the race was Sunday. In a Catholic country! Doh!...
A glut of 25,000 bikes being auctioned while the market is in a downturn should mean fairly low prices.
If you do reduce the entry size does that make the revenue situation worse with less entry fees? Possibly some set up costs are fixed so not a...
What kind of cat do you have, Simon?
They just need to grow the back half of the case a bit, slip in a bigger battery and call it the Fly 6 Endurance (probably up the price by 25 quid...
Is this the journalistic equivalent of gogglebox? Hasn't this person had their 5 minutes of fame now?