This full-merino T-shirt is excellent quality with a couple of useful cycling-specific features, but it's not so blatantly bikey that it looks out of place when you're not in the saddle.
Vulpine haven't tried to do anything radical here. A long sleeve merino T-shirt is what they promise and a long sleeve merino T-shirt is what they deliver. This is very similar to the Vulpine short sleeved T-shirt that we've reviewed before but – and I think you might be ahead of me here – with long sleeves.
So, it's made from 100% merino wool – high end stuff that still feels soft after a few washes. You'll doubtless know about merino's properties by now but, just in case you've not been paying attention, it's very good at wicking sweat away from your body and it'll keep you warm even when it's damp. It's also naturally antibacterial so it's highly resistant to odours. Ride into town in this top and you can keep it on afterwards. Try that with some synthetics and you'll soon lose your friends thanks to the stink.
All of the stitching here is flatlock stitched so there's nothing to irritate you even if you're carrying a rucksack or a messenger bag. The washing instructions and all that other bumf is printed on the inside of the fabric so there's no tag to get on your nerves either.
The fit is slim but not skin tight and the rear is cut slightly longer than the front to keep your lower back covered when you're on the bike. I found the arms long enough to keep my wrists covered when stretched out too.
You get a single buttoned pocket around the back which is handy for a phone or wallet. There's a little Scotchlite reflective band across that pocket which catches in car headlights but it's subtle enough that it just looks like decorative piping when you're not riding.
The branding is restrained too, limited to a small, embroidered logo on the pocket and another on the sleeve.
That's about yer lot: this is a simple merino T-shirt that's very well made.
High-quality merino T-shirt with a couple of useful cycle-specific features.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Long Sleeve Merino T-shirt
Size tested: Medium, Blue
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?
Vulpine say, "Our superbly reviewed T-Shirt with longer sleeves for cool weather. Odour-free, sweat-wicking & soft, cut for cycling. Use for casual riding or as a base-layer.
- 100% Merino Wool
- Extraordinarily odour-resistant
- Very breathable
- Cycling fit
- Fast dry-wicking
- Flatlock stitching for comfort
- Rear button pocket
- Subtle reflective detail on pocket
- Embroidered Vulpine branding"
You could use it as a base layer but it's at its best for riding to work or around town –�times when you can't or don't want to get changed as soon as you finish riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Merino really is very good at wicking sweat and it's extremely odour resistant - it's not just hype.
Merino isn't cheap compared to most synthetics - and this is good quality merino. I reckon £65 is okay for something like this. The all-round quality is really high.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does its job really well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort and the resistance to odours.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can't think that anything got my goat, really.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
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.