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review

Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap

8
£35.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Excellent protection for your eyes from rain and sun, and your head from rain
Deep fit covers larger heads
Positions brim low
Breathable
Good looks
Weight: 
28g

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The Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap is a great way to keep rain out of your eyes and your head at an even temperature. It's not seam sealed so not 100 per cent waterproof, but it strikes a good balance of protection and breathability. And looks good to boot.

In the history of cycling, the cycling cap – or casquette – is an ever-fixed stylistic mark. And in a triple-layer waterproof guise as we have here, one that looks on tempests and is never shaken.

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Showers Pass hails from Oregon – a state that enjoys annual precipitation of over five metres in places. Some of its jackets have been well reviewed here at road.cc, so that's the torso sorted, but what about your face – the one part of your body it's rather impractical to cover up?

The classic casquette shape of the Elite cap fits snugly under a helmet, with a close-fitting brim that can be flipped up in fair weather or pulled down over your eyes or glasses when the rain starts or the sun is low.

2021 Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap 2.jpg

Historically, casquettes were made of cotton – great for absorbing sweat to prevent it dripping into your eyes, but of little benefit in colder, wetter weather. I've been a fan of Castelli's Difesa winter cap for years – the ear flaps work a treat – but it's too warm for much of the year and not waterproof per se.

The Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap is clearly not a deep-winter choice, having no insulation or ear covering. It's one for milder days where you know the chance of getting poured on is high, and you want to keep your eyesight clear. Or where you maybe aren't planning on sweating buckets, and want to keep some protection from above – with or without a helmet on top.

I have short-ish hair, and expected the Elite cap to maybe feel a bit scratchy, less comfy than a cotton cap. Not the case. Showers Pass has developed its own triple-layer fabric, and it's comfortable against the skin. The brim is just the right mix of stiffness vs pliability, so it holds its shape, flips up easily, and doesn't dig into your brow.

2021 Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap 3.jpg

Lara found brim stiffness to be something of an issue with the £25 Sealskinz All Weather Cycling Cap, along with the brim not being shaped that well. No fear with the Showers Pass offering – the curvature is perfectly honed to bring the sides down around the edge of your eyebrows. If you're battering into a squall up the west coast of the Outer Hebrides, this is the cap you want on your face.

The one-size fit is managed by the wide elasticated band around the inside, and Showers Pass seems to have struck a perfect balance to accommodate pretty much all head sizes – I'd say it's unlikely you'll find any need for alteration. It says on the website that the fit is for heads of 24.5 inches – my head measures 24 inches and I'd say the fit is snug but not uncomfortable, and it's easy to remove. Indeed, the Elite cap was just right for five hours of Etape Caledonia in passing showers and 10-15°C.

> How to dress for autumn: find the best accessories to keep you warm

Dave rated the £45 Sportful Fiandre NoRain Cap highly, but it's £10 more for much of the same – although you do get sealed seams, if they matter. Personally I don't think it's an issue – if you're out in weather and using a cap like this to afford head protection, by default you aren't wearing a hood, so dribbles down your neck/face are a fact of life. And if you're working hard, the moisture you'll lose through sweat probably exceeds anything seeping in via unsealed seams.

I rate the Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap. Understated looks, great fit, perfectly formed brim, and wearable for many hours of hard work. Off the bike it cuts a bit of a dash – or at the very least can mask all manner of helmet-hair monstrosity. My opinion didn't alter over the brief hours and weeks of testing, and Showers Pass's warranty will bear you out even to the edge of doom (so long as it's within two years).

Verdict

Excellent protection for your eyes from rain and sun, and your head from rain

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap

Size tested: One size

Tell us what the product is for

It's for keeping the sun and rain from your eyes.

Showers Pass says: 'The Elite cap is a must-have for wet weather cyclists. This velo style cap features 3-layers of waterproof and breathable fabric and elastic headband that comfortably conforms to most head sizes. The Elite cap is perfect under the helmet so you can keep your eyes clear of rain and sun. Note: seams are not sealed. Fits heads 24.5" around.'

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

Showers Pass lists:

3-layer waterproof and breathable fabric

Seams are not sealed

Fits heads 24.5" around

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Nicely finished with a premium look/feel.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Hardly notice it when on, brim up or down. And your eyes are protected.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Still looks like new after a month of rides and washes.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Snug but not tight, as it's a one-size product some at either extreme may find it not the best.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

It's rated to 24.5. I'm 24 and it was comfortably snug. If I had loads more hair it would likely have been a bit tight.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Next to nothing.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Nice and snug no pressure points – great.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

£35 is a good price to pay for the combination of performance and looks, and looking at alternatives it's on a par with the market.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

30 degree wash along with other kit – easy to do.

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

Happy eyes and head, rain or shine.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit of the brim – nice and low.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The closest comparison would be with the Sportful NoRain cap – that's £10 more and is seam sealed, which to my mind isn't a huge bonus.

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

I was left very happy with the cap. The fit, the feel, the performance, the looks – all came together nicely. £35 isn't cheap, but compared to the competition it's quite good value.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

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

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