Background story (scroll down for the review if you’re not interested):

Ever since a friend brought me back a yellow, cotton Colnago cycling cap from Canada a few years ago I have become a massive fan of cycling caps. At first my friend bought it for me a a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke as I had recently built up a fixed gear road bike from an old bike he had given to me just before he went away. He only knew of cycling caps as being an ironic fashion accessory for the fixie riding hipsters out there – and at that time I thought the same. A few months later the novelty of the fixie had worn off and it was sold. The cap however was still getting quite a bit of use. At first I thought it looked a bit silly, but the more I wore it and the more I learnt about the history of cycle caps, the more I enjoyed wearing it. It turns that that this simple piece of material with a flip-able brim was a very useful and versatile accessory with a long history in professional and recreational cycling.

When I went on my European cycle tour during summer 2012 I considered buying another cycle cap with a more breathable material than the cotton. However I decided against it because I didn’t have enough time to make the order and have it arrive in time before I left. Although my well-worn cotton cycle cap was a great bit of kit that I wore every single day, I did find that the cotton material was a little bit too clammy while cycle touring in the hot and humid late European summer. It wasn’t the end of the world though as I wasn’t wearing a helmet throughout my many weeks cycle touring in Europe. If it was a bit hot I would simply douse the cap in some refreshing cold water and carry on riding. As a bonus the the visor help to protect my nose and forehead from the stronger than anticipated sun.

By the end of my trip I was absolutely sold on the idea of cycle caps being a functional, practical and stylish additional to one’s cycling wardrobe, no matter what sort of cycling you’re into. I started to hunt around once more for a company that made well designed cycle caps for a variety of uses and seasons. After a lot of research and reading other reviews on the internet I came across Walz Cycle Caps (Walz Caps). Walz Caps are a small family-owned company that create a variety of cycle caps for all types of cyclists and seasons. Additionally Walz Caps also create caps for special causes, as well as  custom caps for cycle clubs, special events, businesses and anything else. I was sold! I purchased one of the sweat wicking caps as it was then approaching summer back in Australia and I knew it would get plenty of use.

Walz Caps various styles

Walz Caps various styles

Shipping was quick and easy. After picking my style (3 panel or 4 panel) and colour on the Walz Caps website it was sent out the next day and arrived at my address a week and half later. Not too bad considering it came all the way from California. Unfortunately the first cap I received wasn’t quite the best fit and the racing strip in the middle was slightly off centre. It wasn’t visible under my helmet, but I am a perfectionist and wasn’t 100% happy with it. I am glad to say that a single  email containing an explanation and a photo attached sent to the excellent customer service team had everything resolved and a replacement cap on it’s way. The replacement cap was perfect and I was a very happy customer.

My new Walz Cap!

My new Walz Cap

Pros:

  • Very friendly and helpful customer assistance (this is a major aspect for me if buying online)
  • Excellent value
  • Durable construction
  • Comes in two general sizes to suit most people’s heads
  • Well designed website with information about all the materials and styles
  • Classic style that looks great both on and off the bike (just remember rule #22)
  • 100% polyester moisture wicking material is extremely effective and comfortable (I’ve worn in in temps ranging from 15 – 42 °C)
  • Easy to wash (delicate cycle or hand wash with delicate detergent) and dries quickly – great while cycle touring
  • Slightly longer peak than generic caps means better coverage of your eyes from harsh glare, wind or rain.
  • Inbuilt antibacterial sweat band helps keep sweat out of your eyes (very hand on those hot, humid days)
  • Free shipping anywhere in USA, cheap $7 shipping for international orders (free if ordering two or more caps)
  • Easy custom/personalised options which don’t cost much extra

Cons:

  • Price may be off-putting to some (a generic cotton cap can be bought for around $8-10)
  • Some “purists” may not like the slightly longer visor or sweat band
  • The visor isn’t as stiff as I’d like, which means it isn’t quite as easy to flip up as my other cotton cap
  • You may end up more than one cap after seeing all the different colours, materials and styles 🙂

Bottom line:

This cap was definitely one of the best purchases I have made in a long time. The recent summer in Australia has been particularly hot and humid, and I can definitely say that I was very thankful to be wearing a moisture wicking cap during my daily commute or on recreational rides. Taking into account the function, quality, customer service and value for money I am happy to give Walz Cap’s moisture wicking cap a solid 9/10 rating. I definitely recommend this to my friends and colleagues who are into cycling.

I have recently been in contact with the good folk over at Walz Caps and they have offered to send through some different versions to be reviewed, including their cotton caps and wool caps. As it is now autumn in Australia, with winter edging closer by the day, I should be able to put these new caps through their paces and see how well they perform in cooler and wet conditions. Review to follow – stay tuned.

PS – Correct as of 17 March 2013, Evans Cycles have a massive 50% off sale on a limited number of Walz Caps. Just go to the website and search for “Walz Caps” to see what is left. Get in quick to score a bargain!