GEAR REVIEW: FRACTEL PERFORMANCE CAPS
Fractel Running are an Australian-based performance cap startup founded by Matt Niutta. Having come across EVOSSI runner Stu on Instagram, sporting the Victory Race Vest & a Fractel Cap, I reached out having been impressed with Fractel's Instagram feed & general adventurous ethos. A few video Skype chats later, it was refreshing to discuss some of the challenges small business owners face, as well as talk innovations in the running & adventure scene & collaborations for the future.
Matt sent us a couple of their caps, the ‘Jet Edition’ & ‘Salt Edition’ so myself & buddy Gavin thought we’d take them out on a run adventure in the Surrey Hills! Needless to say, they’re cracking caps so we thought we’d review them for you.
We jumped on a train down to Leatherhead & set out on a days trail running. As someone who gets hot pretty quickly I’m always hesitant about wearing caps that’ll make me overheat. Thankfully the Fractel Caps are super soft with high sweat-wicking abilities. This helped to keep our heads cool throughout the duration of the run.
The 'Salt' Edition
Being in training for the Mt Blanc mountain race in June I’m looking for quality gear that will keep my training & racing as efficient as possible. One of the things I like most about the caps is the general fit. Once on you quickly forget you’re wearing it, probably because of the soft brim which ensures they’re no ‘pressure points’, so you can focus on the running whilst being protected from the sun.
Snug fit out on the trails
Anyone who’s run in Surrey Hills knows it’s tough! These caps were put through their paces & performed feeling very lightweight. Another handy feature is the ‘packability’ mid run - they easily fold up & can be stored discreetly.
With winter months in the UK being dark, wearing gear that increases visibility is key. I particularly like the subtle detailing on the caps which has clearly been well thought out with reflective elements so you’re seen from every angle. The sweatbands running across the rim of the caps are some of the best I’ve seen. It keeps moisture off the face even in the sweatiest of moments!
In terms of styling they’ve created a distinctly subtle range of caps which can be worn out on the trails, in an urban setting or leisurely at the weekend.
Fractel Cap in motion
At just $39.95 the caps are very good value for how well they’re made. The ethos of the brand is an inclusive community & celebration of running adventures & the caps reflect this.
If I had to be drawn to any small issues it would be fair to say that only being able to ‘hand wash’ it is it’s biggest draw back. Not yet fully machine washable, however having spoken with Matt, they’re working on the logo application for future products (improvement list!) As with all good things, you iterate along the way.
The caps can be worn by male & female runners & adventurers alike with a snug head fit & adjustable strap at the back. In all, the Fractel caps get a big thumbs up from us & it looks like they’ll be a staple piece of kit leading into Spring & Summer. If we have another 5 month roasting summer, it’s sure to be a runners favourite.