First things first: this isn’t a Rapha jersey. We’ll come back to that point in a mo. What it is, though, is a lightweight Sportwool jersey that’s versatile enough for use from autumn right through to spring.
Sportwool, if you don’t know, is a fabric that has a layer of superfine merino wool on the inner face and tougher polyester on the outside. Rapha use it a lot, so do Shutt VR and various other clothing manufacturers, and now so do new kids on the block Torm. It comes in various weights, the T6 using a fairly lightweight version (170g per square metre, if you want the tech bit), and various compositions – this one is 39% merino, 61% polyester.
The Sportwool feels soft and comfy on your skin and it does a decent job of wicking moisture away. It gets heavier than pure polyester, say, if you sweat hard, and doesn’t dry as quickly, but it does have that natural woolly texture and resists odours better than synthetics – although not as well as pure wool. That means that you can walk into a café mid-ride without stinking the place out… well, not too much.
We’ve been wearing this over the top of both short and long sleeved base layers on autumn rides and it has done a fine job of providing warmth. You get a surprising amount of insulation considering the reasonably light weight (287g) although you’ll certainly need to wear a windproof over the top in winter to keep the warm air in.
The T6 comes in a classic cycle cut – slim with a slightly extended tail, and arms that are long enough to prevent draughts at the wrists. We’ve known higher necks but found this one close-fitting enough to stop the air slinking in, while one-hand adjustable drawstrings at the waist allow you to fine-tune airflow on the fly.
The lower back pockets are really well designed, the tops of the two on the sides being slanted for easy access, and you get two zipped pockets back there too, made from waterproof fabric, each with a hole for threading an earphone cable internally. And, being Sportwool, the pockets don't stretch too far out of shape when you load them up like pure wool can. The front zip is a high-quality option from YKK with a puller that locks down so it doesn’t move or rattle, and a fold-over chinguard at the top stops any scratching under your chin.
We had a couple of slightly pulled threads on our test garment when it arrived but the build-quality is very good with reinforced pocket seams, for example, and neat workmanship throughout. Care is pretty straightforward too; the T6 can go through the washing machine and tumble dryer without any ill effects.
Okay, back to the Rapha thing. This top looks a helluva lot like Rapha’s Long Sleeve Jersey (£130). Rapha's too, is made from Sportwool, although with a higher merino wool content (52% rather than 39%) and it weighs more (366g compared to 287g). The cut is similar, though not exactly the same, as are the designs of the collar, cuffs and elasticated/drawcord waistband. The shaping of the Torm’s rear pockets looks familiar too, and so do the ring-type zip pulls and flashes of reflective material running horizontally. You even get bands running around the upper arms, although they're in the same colour as the rest of the jersey whereas Rapha run a contrast colour on just the left arm.
There are differences and, of course, no-one has exclusive rights to produce classic-style Sportwool jerseys, but the T6 does look like a Rapha wannabe product. You might be cool with that or you might not. Hey, we’re not marketeers so we don’t need to worry about it – we’re just pointing it out. And, obviously, the Torm is way cheaper, coming in at the same price as a Rapha silk scarf. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
Well-made Sportwool jersey with some neat features, a fabulous price tag... and Rapha-esque styling
road.cc test report
Make and model: Torm T6 Jersey
Size tested: Red, large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Torm say, "Protect yourself against the elements with this high caliber long-sleeved jersey. Made with SportWool this state of the art jersey keeps you running at your optimum temperature.
"As with all of Torm’s jerseys, rear cargo pockets ensure you’ve all your gadgets handy and with drawstrings and tailored cuffs, this jersey really helps you weather the storm. Reflective rear stripes also ensure you are still a visible presence in darker conditions. Regardless of discipline, the T6 is a versatile, practical jersey made to the very highest standards."
That's reasonable. The T6 is aimed at sports-orientated roadies who are after style as well as performance, and it delivers that.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe, but I'd be happier if it looked more original
Would you recommend the product to a friend? See above
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.