The aptly named Smuggler Neck Warmer from Ana Nichoola goes along with the company's recent range of female specific accessories and clothing for cold weather riding. Available in two colours, it coordinates nicely with the glove and armwarmer options, giving a more stylish twist to essential accessories.
First off, there's something appealing about a neck warmer that's a nice colour, has a good name and makes you look a bit like Dick Turpin's female alter-ego. The important thing is, though, that it's made from high quality super warm Thermo-Roubaix fabric, with a reassuringly fuzzy next-to-skin surface and that it is incredibly warm, especially for its meagre 50g weight. Shaped to cover the upper chest as well as being long enough to pull up right to the ears, the Smuggler gives a lot of cold weather flexibility. It's stretchy, soft, light and easily fits into a pocket, making it ideal for rides where you're unsure of the temperature or conditions when you head out.
In wear, it really is intensely warm, to the point where some might find it over warm, especially for hillier rides, given that it covers one of the major ventilation areas at the upper chest. That said, it's great for deep winter descents and long duration cold rides, and that same design feature means it's extra effective at keeping the heat in when needed. The fabric wicks moisture well, meaning that even if you are running a little warm while wearing it, there's no penalty to be paid in feeling damp and chilled afterwards. It's easy enough to put on and take off, although a helmet does have to be removed first.
£18.50 is pretty good value for something that's of an equivalent level of warmth and fabric quality as say, the Polar Buff, but more stylishly designed and somewhat cheaper. It should last years, too.
Looks cool and does an exceptional job of keeping you warm.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ana Nichoola Smuggler Neck Warmer
Size tested: Purple
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?
Aimed at female riders looking for more stylish technical riding kit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermo-Roubaix fabric- stretchy- fuzzy on the inside, smooth on the outside.
Long neck for versatility
Lower at the front to protect upper chest area.
Really well made from good fabric.
Does just what it's supposed to, keeps you warm! Some might find it over-effective.
Smooth outer fabric resists snagging and it's washable at 40
Light and packable. Super warm for its weight.
Soft and warm in wear and wicks moisture well.
Good quality, effective and should last so pretty good value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, colours, fabric, performance
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely. And also as a gift.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Well designed, effective and stylish neck warmer for seriously cold rides.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.