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The Sportful Matchy Cap is a comfy, warm and water-repellent cap for cold-weather riding. It has a good amount of stretch, fits well under your helmet and can cover the top of your ears if you want. It does cost £21, though, which makes it more expensive than most other options.
As someone who hasn't felt the need for using a skull cap in the past, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed using this – it fits under my helmet easily and comfortably and shrugs off water impressively.
Sportful classes this cap as medium temperature wear, for temperatures over 10°C, but for me this is a cap for colder days than that where just wearing a helmet leaves you a little chilly, or for wet days where you want to keep your head as warm as possible.
The polyamide and elastane cap features Sportful's 'No Rain' technology, which I found very extremely effective. Sportful describes No Rain as 'a proprietary nano-tech water-repellent fabric, with high durability and no water absorption'. And it works a treat – I found that water beaded well on the material, keeping my head dry when it rained.
The Matchy is available in black, 'red wine' and 'beetle', which I'd call dark green, colours Sportful has gone with to match its other winter cycling kit. I really like the green, though black is always a good option to have, as it's unlikely to clash with your kit. The construction quality is good too, with no stitching that could cause itching.
I've found this cap versatile too. I was able to wear it under my helmet for its primary purpose, keeping my head warm and dry, and also threw it in my bag when I went bike-packing for night-time use. It folds down small and weighs just 21g, which makes it a very handy extra.
Breathability was also impressive. I wore this on a few days where I wouldn't normally have worn something as warm as a skull cap, and surprisingly I didn't overheat too badly.
It also scored very well for comfort. The one-size-only cap covers most of your ears, or you could tuck it in behind your ears if you prefer. It came down to above my eyebrows and to the edge of my hair line on the back – giving you all the coverage you need.
I also paired it with the Oladance headphones I've been using without any issues, just popping the cap over the top. I can't comment on Shokz and similar headphones, but there are no issues with more conventional earphones.
I've enjoyed using the Sportful Matchy skull cap – and it's a product I'd definitely recommend for winter riding to keep your head both warm and dry.
Comfortable and warm, with the bonus of a highly effective water-repellent layer
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Matchy Cap
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for
MATCH THEM WITH ANY OUTFIT.
A shaped cap, perfect to wear under your helmet.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
84% polyamide 16% elastane:
No Rain technology
Nice stitching that doesn't irritate.
Kept my head nice and toasty, with good breathability and water repellency.
Snug without being tight, and I was able to fit it under a helmet easily.
Fits my head very well.
Super comfy, soft on the inside with smooth, non-irritating seams.
Quite expensive for a skull cap, but with its impressive stats I don't feel it's overpriced.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing was easy and left no damage.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept my head toasty but I didn't overheat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its water-repellent properties and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only that it's on the expensive side.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than most other skull caps unless you're going down the merino wool route.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes - for the winter
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - if they ride in winter
Use this box to explain your overall score
A comfy cap that keeps your head nice and warm, this would make a great addition to your winter wardrobe. Sportful's added No Rain water-repellent technology helps to make it a top-notch cap.
About the tester
I usually ride: Storck Aerfast My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,