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The 7mesh Desperado Merino Neck Warmer is very nice, very effective and very expensive.
This is the second expensive neck tube I've reviewed recently, and I personally prefer it to the (also good) Velocio Signature Collar thanks to its slightly lighter, softer and more breathable feel, but otherwise they're very similar. Then again, both are very similar to a whole host of far cheaper neck tubes, so perhaps that's inevitable (and the Velocio is actually a fiver more).
The Desperado is 47 per cent merino wool, the rest is polyester. It's thin with a good stretch to it, and well sized to fit neatly under tall collars yet bunch up for useful warmth/draught exclusion above them.
The unstretched diameter tapers gently from 44cm to 48cm, so you'd think the wide end (with the folded seam) was supposed to be the bottom. However, wear it that way and the logo is upside down, so obviously the narrower end with the 'raw edge' seam is actually the bottom.
I say 'raw edge' like that because not only do I not know what this type of stitching is really called, it turns out I'm so ignorant of sewing I can't even make the internet tell me. Basically, the edge is sewn so it can't fray, but it's not folded over into a typical seam like the other one.
Why? I don't know. Is it comfortable? Yes, perfectly. Is it as neatly and securely done as the other seams? Yes. Now leave me alone. (Tass tells me it's 'overlock'.)
The Desperado is also long enough (around 38cm) to take a central twist, fold double and serve as a useful cap. The thin, stretchy fabric works really well under a helmet, too.
As wonderful at being a tube as it is, the Desperado's real problem – as with that Velocio warmer – is that even the cheapest ebay neckwarmer is nearly as good. I have several £3 ones, and they're only slightly bulkier and less breathable in practice.
Still, this 7mesh version IS better, and it's not alone at the price: the also-very-soft Iris Merino neck warmer is £24. You can easily get cheaper cycling-specific ones, though, such as the Endura BaaBaa Merino Tech Multitube at £18.99 or the Lusso Merino neck warmer at £10.99.
This is light, slim, soft and comfortable, and works very well for winter rides of most tempos. While it's not alone at the price, it's also not enormously better than some far cheaper options – but it is, money considerations aside, a very nice thing.
Light, soft and comfortable, this is great for winter rides – as it should be for the price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: 7mesh Desperado Merino Neck Warmer
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for
7mesh says, "For a little more warmth when you need it most, the Desperado Merino Neck Warmer brings the cosy, with a Merino-rich fabric blend that's great at keeping dry, no matter how hard you're pushing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
47% Merino wool, 53% polyester
Dry and warming Merino wool / polyester blend
It's lovely, but not eight times lovelier than a £3 one from ebay.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
a) very easy and b) it got cleaner...
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's light, warm and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's top end for a neck tube.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I would consider letting somebody give it to me, if that counts?
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, though I'd say the price much too quietly.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Pretty much any way you look at this tube of light, stretchy cloth, it's a good tube of light, stretchy cloth, and it's very good for riding in. If it didn't cost quite so much it would score higher.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,