This Vulpine Long Sleeve Merino Polo is the long sleeved sibling of the Vulpine Polo shirt reviewed here. What we have is a smart casual collared jersey made from 100% merino, the natural, sustainable fabric that grows on some special deluxe sheep that probably live on bling farms featured on MTV, maybe, possibly.
Merino has qualities that are perfect for cycling, it is comfortable and soft and wicks sweat away from the body very well, it regulates heat and as an added bonus it does a really good job of not getting stinky. Oh, and it doesn't really need an iron either, sounds like a perfect fabric for blokes too. Pretty amazing stuff but so to is the price for such luxurious natural fibres crafted into a a small run of natty cycle tops; it all adds up.
The top gives a little bit more room than the equivalent sized t-shirt but it has a slim cut and complements one's body shape very well. It has a slightly longer back to it to hide your bum cleft when hunched over your handlebars and also keeps the chill off. The long sleeves are long enough to still meet your wrists when your arms are stretched out avoiding the cuffs riding up your arm while you are pedalling annoyance.
Nice details like the Vulpine branded buttons and the contrast Vulpine green stitching on this battleship grey top are a proof of investment. The pockets are pretty special too, one on the chest and one on the back above your hip both with hidden magnetic magic buttons and an embroidered Vulpine logo on them being the only branding on this top, keeping the aesthetic clean and subtle.
The back pocket flap has a reflective strip across it which is a nice touch and does a good job of catching car headlights. I wouldn't go stuffing anything heavier than a wallet in the back pocket or it will pull on the shape of the polo and the front pocket is pretty much just for show unless you want to look like you have one odd shaped boob.
Although this top does a great job of keeping your body climate-controlled don't expect to take it out on a training ride, build up a sweat and for it not to show. What the merino does is get rid of those unsightly sweat patches rapidly and disguise any 'odour cyclisme'. This pong relief quality makes it an excellent top to cycle to the pub in or on your daily commute as an under layer or top layer as it looks genuinely smart .
Yes you do pay a premium for what the equivalent high street chain might bang out a long sleeved polo top for but they don't support your sport and you won't feel as special either and at £85 you will find that you get a lot of use out of this top and maybe the saving in your laundry bill might pay off?
A good looking, smart casual top with nice detail and features.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Long Sleeve Merino Polo
Size tested: Medium, Grey
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% New Zealand Merino Wool
magnetic fastening pockets
reflective strip on rear pocket
Really nicely put together. No loose threads or cheap buttons.
It does what merino is worshipped for.
You will wear this until it rots which will be a long time from now.
with no venting, this top can get warm when worn underneath another garment. It is a midweight material.
Merino, the wool that keeps on giving. Soft and comfortable. The flat lock stitching further reduces any scratchyness. Only someone like the singing detective might find this top itchy.
It is from a small, British, cycling apparel manufacturer not a generic re-labelled high street so it is going to be more expensive but worth it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If it didn't show sweat then you wouldn't need to wear a performance cycling top on a sportive. It does however so it is worn on pretty much every other type of ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
it is super comfy and works well at moderating your body heat and it looks dead smart.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It still shows if you are sweaty.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Indeed, maybe 2 in a sale.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A smart casual top that can be a sports casual top that performs well as a sports top looking well casual.
About the tester
I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Kinesis Convert 2 geared work horse, Look KG241 skinny whippet
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back