In the past few weeks I’ve run reviews of products for cool weather cycling. Once you find a way to keep your hands and feet warm everything else is a piece of cake! I always ride with some sort of cycling cap under my bike helmet—in the summer I use the Headsweats Shorty Cycling Skull Cap to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and in late fall and early winter I wear the Pearl Izumi Barrier Skull Cap to keep my head warm and my ears from freezing.
The Pearl Izumi Barrier Skull Cap is a soft, windproof and water-resistant insulated cap that provides excellent moisture transfer (i.e., it doesn’t trap water). It is also thin enough to fit comfortably under your helmet—even if you have a pony-tail (OK, I don’t have a pony-tail myself but obviously it will work).
This cap is constructed of two polyester panels. The panel that covers your forehead and ears is made from a windproof Barrier fabric—it is meant to be snug against your head to keep you warm and protect you from the wind. The rear of this cap is made from Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. Thermal fabric—it will keep you warm without causing moisture buildup under the cap. This cap also has a couple of reflective elements for low–light visibility, but if your helmet is on no one is going to see it anyway. This cap is only sold in one size and should be suitable for most people. However, if you are petite it is going to be too big and if you have a large head it is going to be too tight.
The Pearl Izumi Barrier Skull Cap is only available in one color (black) and retails for $30 and if your local bike shop does not have it in stock you can get order one from Performance Bicycle, Bike Nashbar or Amazon.com. By the way, this cap is also great for skiing or cold weather running. If you are looking for something with to protect you face from the wind, I would suggest the Seirus Combo Clava (it is a fleece lined balaclava).