Ronhill's Trail Split Cap
As always, we're looking at the Ronhill Split Cap from the point of view of long distance trekking over tough terrain.
Test subject: Head circumference: 57.5cm (22.5") = Medium
Test item: 2014 Black Electric Blue (One Size)
Kit Tests: Winter, Summer
Disclaimer: None required (item not provided by manufacturer)
|Materials: Activelite Fabric (Polyester)||100%|
|Product Sizing: One Size (Adjustable Strap)||-|
|Scramble's Price on SYSTEM||£12.75|
Introduction: The 2-Cap Non-Conspiracy Theory
Caps are useful. Whether you're walking head down and headlong into driving rain or hail or require a little shelter and shade from the raging sun, that little item capable of rescuing poorly designed hoods is a practical necessity. No one at Scramble sets off without one.
Unfortunately a cap for all seasons has yet to be designed, and though annoying, there's actually a good reason for this.
Waterproof "baseball" style caps are useful for sub zero temperatures, not because they protect you from the rain and snow (though their brim does - generally they're best worn under a hood of some type), but because their fabric doesn't get saturated and freeze. Putting on a cap that's either frozen solid or just freezing wet, whether over a balaclava or not, is not pleasant in freezing temperatures and ensures you'll lose a good amount of heat and really feel the cold. I've tried it in an attempt to prove to myself only one cap should suffice for all seasons. All I ended up proving was that my waterproof (at the time, Montane Pace Cap) was actually required afterall.
It doesn't work the other way either. A waterproof cap in the heat of summer is just not breathable enough and you simply overheat. So, without the need for invoking an outdoor marketing conspiracy, as things stand, if you're out trekking in all conditions, in our view (much to our chagrin) you really do need two caps.
It's the split, Frank, it's the split!
In this short review we're looking at the cap that will likely get most use, what we'll call the 3 Season Cap, but is really the "above freezing" trekking cap.
There's not a great deal going on with a cap, but here's what we're after:
- A good sized, deep peak (brim or visor).
- A sensible and functional adjustment mechanism.
- A fabric and weave with a good balance between breathability and wind resistance.
- Something that packs down as small as possible.
Well, that's pretty much a good summary of the Ronhill Split Cap.
It's made from 100% polyester which they've given a fancy name, as outdoor manufacturers like to do: "Activelite". Basically, it's a tightly woven, very light yet impressively durable polyester. Slogging up steep slopes in extreme heat, I find I'll occasionally take it off for a moment to vent, but in general you rarely notice it on.
In cold wet weather, worn under a waterproof jacket it does exactly what you'd expect; protects your face from driving rain and hail. It gets soaked, but dries out very quickly, and when the temperature is above zero, putting on a wet cap is really not a problem.
The velcro adjuster at the back works very well and is very much a set and forget feature.
The highlight is that its peak is split down the middle so the cap can be folded up and takes up very little room in a belt bag or pocket.
None. I've had mine for around four years and nothing about it has raised my ire. The only negative I can come up with is that it doesn't work so well in wet European winters. But that's true of all lightweight running caps and it's why water-resistant softshell and waterproof caps were invented.
Conclusion & Rating
Designed for runners, the Ronhill Split Cap is an excellent lightweight and durable cap ideally suited for mountain trekkers. The balance between breathability and wind resistance is just about right; it dries out quickly and is easy to stow away. A very handy piece of kit at a reasonable price. The Ronhill Split Cap is Scramble's top pick in the 3 Season Trekking Cap category.
Rating (out of 10)
* The value score is derived from two factors:
1) Competitive Market Price (CMP). This represents our judgement of a competitive online price point if we were to stock the item. e.g. if we feel we would need to sell an item at 40% off (i.e. 60% of its full RRP) to be competitive, then our CMP score will be 6/10.
2) Customer Value Price (CVP). We then make an honest appraisal of the maximum price we would be willing to pay for the item (and we're mean). So if we'd pay 80% of its RRP our CVP score would be 8/10.
We then average the two scores to get our final value score, which in our example would be 7/10.
Last Updated: 09/05/18