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Kalf's Merino neck warmer will keep your neck and face toasty in sub-zero temperatures, and is plenty breathable so you don't get too sweaty. For what it is, 20 quid is a bit steep, but it's durable and decent quality.
While it's called a 'merino' neck warmer it's actually a merino and polyester blend; not quite as luxurious as pure wool but it feels soft against the skin and I've found it to be durable after numerous washes. You can wear it under your chin or right over your face when it's bitingly cold, and although it's pretty thin it did a good job of blocking the achingly cold Arctic winds we were forced to endure while the Beast from the East did its worst.
There's an elastic hem to hold it in place, and I didn't find it slipped at all once it was in position. There's also a black reflective band across the top, "another visibility point" according to Kalf. Will this make a blind bit of difference? Probably not, but it ticks the safety box anyhow.
I do think that £20 is a bit steep for what is essentially a thin bit of wool and polyester: dhb's 100% wool neck warmer is £18 (currently reduced to £13.50 in the grey colour) and Endura's full merino BaaBaa neck tube is £16.99, although it's not quite as long so won't give as much coverage. Kalf's isn't a ridiculous price, though, and the burgundy version also happens to match the Kalf Merino Beanie, so with free delivery from Evans (Kalf's exclusive retailer) £40 isn't too bad to get your head and neck covered for a few winters if you look after them both.
Overall, I was happy with how the Kalf Merino neck warmer performed, and for single digit temperatures or below, its long length will be much appreciated to keep your face and neck out of the wind chill.
Functional and warm neck warmer that gives plenty of coverage, though the price is a little steep
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kalf Merino Neckwarmer
Size tested: One Size
Tell us what the product is for
Evans says, "This cosy winter riding accessory uses a soft, breathable and fast drying merino/polyester blend fabric. Designed to be worn over the lower face or under the chin – and featuring an elastic hem to make sure it stays in place"
Designed to be lightweight, breathable and soft to the touch.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Merino/polyester blend fabric
To be worn over the lower face or under the chin
Elastic hem to keep it in place
black reflective band at the top edge
Soft and pretty breathable, thanks to merino infusion.
Does what it says on the tin.
Universal fit, should be fine for all.
You can get similar options for much less.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Emerged fine afer a cool wash and half an hour in the dryer.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It did its job well and kept my neck and face warmer in very cold temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stretchy, breathable and stays in place thanks to the elastic.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's functional, pretty warm and doesn't leave you too sweaty, and I like the colour – but you can get 100% wool options for less money so it's not fantastic value in my opinion. A good 7 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.