Review: Galibier Barrier Merino Head Set

The Galibier Barrier Merino Head Set includes a stylish beanie, scarf and cardboard box (recycled), and as such is an ideal gift for a cyclist. The fabric is soft and efficient and the stitching is excellent, but the beanie-style hat can be difficult to fit under helmets.

Neck tubes are fantastic for their warmth to size ratio, so let’s start there. This one’s slightly more merino wool (55%) than polyester (45%) for a soft, high-stretch feel (according to label, not website), and all three seams are neatly flattened for added comfort. discretion.

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I found it excellent at blocking drafts, and it’s warm but not too hot and breathable. It also didn’t become noticeably waterlogged or uncomfortable when I got caught in fairly heavy downpours and (once) hail to the side, which is ideal.

This deep red is stylish enough to pop out of most jackets I think, but if you prefer there are dark green, dark blue or black pairs instead.

The hat is made of the same material with the same quality, with the same securely overlocked seams. The perfect color match is also attractive, although I just couldn’t accept the beanie style.

It’s not the only cycling beanie on the market, but the need to line over much of the hem (7cm in my case) combines with the thick fabric to make getting under a helmet potentially tricky.

Lined up, it squishes down to about 2mm, which doesn’t sound like much. But if you add that all around a 56cm head, that puts another 0.5cm on the circumference, and you need your helmet’s retention band to be even looser to put it on without catching. You may not have much adjustment; I found it very bothersome with my eyelids.

You can’t wear it unfolded because then it covers your eyes (the traffic laws don’t say specifically but I’ll say “that’s bad”), and others can’t see the big stitched logo either. It’s also bad.

It’s ideal for coffee stops, flat tires and post-ride clean-up sessions because it’s warm and much less “I BIKE DID YOU KNOW” to look at than a skull cap.

> Winter Cycling Clothing: 49 Of The Warmest Clothes You Can Buy

As a pair, they are particularly well suited for gifts, thanks to the coordinated elegance and the super trendy cardboard presentation box with its printed lining paper. It’s also recycled, so none of your rides need be a guilt trip.


Galibier kit is generally very good value for money, but it’s hard to put a number here as it depends so much on what you want.

If you want pure performance, the helmet doesn’t look like good value for money: you can get Buff-alikes and highly effective hats separately, then you can spec a shell if needed. Lusso’s Merino neck warmer, for example, costs £10.99, while its Nitelife thermal beanie is £14.99. Even if they’re not lumped together, it’s still a few pounds lighter overall.

If you want style and comfort, however – especially if you rarely wear a hat while riding – it’s easy to spend more than the cost of the helmet on a simple neckband, as with the Velocio Signature Collar, the 7mesh Colorado neck warmer or the Sportful neck warmer for women. Each of these is £30.

At a nominal price of £14.13 (half the headset’s £28.25 asking price), the hat also compares well to the solo competition. The Altura Skull Cap is £17, for example, while the Kalf Merino Beanie was £20 when we reviewed it in 2018…although it looks like it’s no longer available. Maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t want a bent visor.

Rapha’s merino beanie costs £35.


Both items in this head set are very well made, comfortable and effective, and while I found the brim of the cap bothersome with my helmets, you might not. They’re attractive and nicely packaged too – it’s a great gift for a cyclist, whether it’s yourself or someone else.


Warm, comfortable, breathable and stylish beanie and scarf set – although the former is best for off-bike use

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Brand and model : Head set Galibier Barrier Merino

Tell us what the product is for

Galibier says: “Using the softest merino wool, we present a gift box with the Classic beanie and a warm tubular scarf, for total head protection in winter.

“A recycled display box contains a lightweight merino wool multifunctional scarf. Combined with a comfortable, high-stretch beanie, for maximum defense against the cold. Ideal protection and thermoregulation. A perfect gift for yourself or someone you you love as much as you.”

Tell us a bit more about the technical aspects of the product?

Galibier lists:

505% merino wool / 50% soft spun polyester for the perfect balance of comfort and durability.

Stylish single-layer 200gsm knit beanie in a soft brushed merino wool blend with subtle Galibier logo embroidery

Produced with renewable resources and with animal-friendly treatment.

Unique size.

Rate the product for build quality:


Rate the product for its performance:


The scarf is great on or off the bike, but the hat works best with it.

Rate the product for durability:


Rate product for fit:


Rate product for size:


Rate the product based on its weight:


Rate the product for comfort:


Evaluate the product for its value:


I opted for “medium”, but… on the one hand, you can easily spend more than that for a simple choker, and those things are wool (and stylish and well-made). On the other hand, you can spend less, get both items, and have a hat that works with helmets. Cheaper separations may not be as beautiful or as impressive as a gift.

Is the product easy to maintain? How did it react to the wash?

No exits.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used as intended

The neck tube is excellent – slim, comfortable and usefully warm. The hat’s rolled-brim beanie design doesn’t work well with helmets, however; it’s best to save it for coffee stops and post-ride clean-up sessions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Excellent construction, comfortable fabric, elegant look.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The hat design doesn’t work so well with helmets.

How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on

Obviously, most items like this are sold separately, so it’s hard to compare directly, especially since it’s packaged in such a way as to make it the perfect gift, which puts it in a niche even smaller.

Looking at this purely for performance, however, there are plenty of neck tubes of similar quality that cost more than this whole combo, but you can also buy separate pieces for around £20 in total – and have a hat that’s good for riding too.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider purchasing the product? As a gift for someone, yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

They are stylish, high quality garments that fit nicely and work well. For my money the hat should be a beanie to make it easier to use on the bike, but not everyone will agree – and the beanie style looks great. Attractive recycled packaging completes the headset as an ideal gift, and the limitations are easy to overlook if you’re on the receiving end; everything else about these is awesome. Overall it’s a good package.

Age: 48 Height: 183cm Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:

I have been riding since: 10-20 years old I ride: A few times a week I would classify myself as: Experimented

I regularly practice the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking,

About Robert James

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