by Nathan Ward
I walked into Café Dawn, the choice coffee shop in Salida, Colorado, and the woman behind the counter, said “Nice hat!” I was sporting my new brown tweed wool cycling cap from Walz Caps. Now, Salida is a cycling town, so not everyone everywhere is going to consider a cycling hat a fashion statement, but I’ll take it where I can get it.
I recently picked up three Walz cycling caps. They make me feel a bit retro and funky, like I’m about to ride up the Col de L’lzoard in the 1926 Tour de France. The hats come in either 3 or 4 panel designs and some have racing stripes and ear flaps for cold weather. Walz also makes custom caps in team colors, embroidered or personalized with silk screening.
The hats I chose include the 100% wool tweed hat, a racing stripe moisture wicking model and the eco-friendly hemp-wool mix. Walz took my order and sewed them for me right here in the USA. Imagine that, a real American-made product – nice!
After wearing all three for a couple of months, here are my thoughts.
Eco-Friendly (MSRP $29.99) 4-Panel Olive Green Hat The eco model hat is made of 45% hemp, 40% wool and 15% lycocell. I know that “lycocell” sounds like some horrible thing, but it’s actually a regenerated cellulose fiber made from dissolving bleached wood pulp. That means the hat consists of all natural fibers and that is cool. This hat feels good on my head.
100% Wool (MSRP $24.99) 4-Panel Brown Tweed Hat I like the classic look of this wool hat and so far, it doesn’t show any wear at all. Plus, girls at coffee shops like them. Admittedly, I haven’t cycled in this hat any farther than just around town. Part of the reason is that I have a shaved head and the pure wool made my bald head itch a bit. For chrome domes, I don’t think it would be the most comfortable wood hat, but if I had hair on my head, I think it would be great.
Moisture Wicking (MSRP $17.99) Green with White Racing Stripe Even though I’m partial to natural fibers, this is the hat I wear when I’m riding hard. It’s not just because the racing stripe makes me feel fast, but because the hat weighs very little and wicks the sweat from my skull. It fits easily under my helmet and keeps the high altitude sun off my skin. The moisture wicking hat is made of 100% polyester and unfortunately for the planet, it works really well. Walz also makes a cotton/poly blend hat. You can throw either of these in the washing machine so they’re easy to keep fresh.
Walz is owned by Michael Gilstrap who bought it from his aunt. She made welding caps, but one day a welder asked her to make a cycling cap. One order led to another until business was all cycling and little welding. Michael came on board to help out, then bought the business. The end result is a fun line of quality, long-lasting cycling caps.
Cool things about Walz:
- Made in the usa.
- 2 sizes – not one size fits all.
- Fit well. Long-lasting.
Contact Walz at www.walzcaps.com or760-683-9259