The Prendas Meraklon arm warmers are basic but they do a good job and come at an amazingly cheap price.
They're essentially tubes of polypropylene (58%), nylon (40%) and elastane (2%) with a ribbed top and a more tightly woven cuff section at the bottom. A little more air gets through than with fleecy roubaix fabrics but they're warmer than skinny Lycra warmers – they split the difference between the two. I found them a good option for typical spring/autumn conditions.
These arms don't get heavy with moisture no matter how hard you sweat. Just a little bit of airflow keeps them dry and comfortable even on hot climbs – and, obviously, if you do start to get too warm you can just push them down to your wrists or take them off altogether.
There's no gripper inside the top – no silicone or extra elastic – but the ribbing holds them in place well. I've got long arms so went for a size large (they come in small and medium too) and they stayed up fine despite skinny cyclists' biceps, and there's plenty of stretch in the fabric should I ever start pumping iron.
These are seamless, knitted like socks, so there's not a lot to cause discomfort. I found that the very end of the warmer inside the top would tend to curl up and cause a ridge... but these cost £7.95, so who cares? Chances are that you'll get your money's worth because the fabric is tough enough to survive scrapes and rattling around in your jersey pocket with your multi-tool.
The Meraklon arm warmers are available in several different colours (black, white, blue and red), and in Special Edition versions matching the Special Edition Socks we recently reviewed featuring world champion and national champion stripes (all the same price).
Seamless synthetic arm warmers that provide a middling level of warmth at an exceptional price
road.cc test report
Make and model: Prendas Ciclismo Merkalon Special Edition Armwarmers
Size tested: xx
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?
"Made from the same versatile "Merakalon" fabric as our highly acclaimed Prendas over socks, these armwarmers offer the perfect intermediate solution between seasons when a pair of Santini Roubaix arm warmers or a long sleeve jersey is too warm.
They breathe well, are quick drying and roll up/down easily, also fold up very small so will fit in a jersey pocket with room to spare.
Made in Italy with a stay fast cuff and a construction that means that they will not slip down, they come in 4 colours.
The size S is some way shorter than the M and L and is ideal for ladies and those with thin arms although the M will usually be OK too for those who need a little more length. L is usually only required for a beefier/longer arm.
- Made in Italy
- Exclusive to Prendas!
- Multi-Season, Multi-Use
- Breathable and flexible fabric"
That's about the size of it. I don't think Prendas are making any great claims about these being luxury arm warmers. They're simple, they work, they're cheap.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
These are largely polypropylene which is good at transporting sweat away from your skin. Polypropylene can often retain odours but that has not been a problem here.
They're seamless tubes. There's a slight ridge around the top where the edge of the fabric curls over; I'd rather wasn't there but for £7.95 you really can't moan.
Arm warmers generally last ages because they just sit there not really moving much. These look like they're going to stay the distance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do what they're supposed to do: keep your arms warm without slipping.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
No seams, good warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's a slight ridge around the top of the arm warmer I could do without - but it's hardly worth worrying about.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially if they were on a budget
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, club rides, 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.