Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket

9
£191.00

VERDICT:

9
10
The Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket is a very, very lovely jersey-weight jacket warm thing for cold and dry winter days
Well cut
Lightweight
Windproof
All-day warm
Versatility
No zipped pocket
Price
Weight: 
283g
Contact: 
road.cc Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in road.cc recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to road.cc recommends

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket is just lovely. Will that do as a review? It's all you need to know really. Oh. Right then. The Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket is a top that fits somewhere between a long sleeved jersey and a softshell jacket and is a lot better than both combined – it's light, fits well and is beautifully, beautifully warm for those cold days.

In the market for a jacket? Our best winter cycling jackets buyer's guide rounds up our favourite men's and women's tops at a wide range of prices.

> Buy now: Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket for £133 from Velocio

I'm a big fan of the jersey/jacket hybrid top for riding throughout the less-than-pleasant seasons and adjusting my layers underneath to suit the temperature. When you combine the comfort and close fit of a jersey with the weatherproofing of a jacket, it feels like the perfect partnership and removes the need for wearing multiple levels of garments – and the Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket has just trumped all those before it.

Velocio says its Alpha Merino Air Jacket is one jacket to conquer fall, winter and spring riding, as it combines multiple technical layers into one garment and takes the guesswork out of what to wear. Externally the jacket looks remarkably plain, coming in flat colours of this Fire Red, a green Velocio calls Deep Sea and a stone grey called Moonrock, with just a tiny Velocio logo on the front and rear shoulder and three pockets in the rear with Velocio running down the central one. The fancy stuff in this top comes from its cut, fabric choice and what's going on internally.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - shoulder logo.jpg

The Velocio jacket is available in eight sizes from XS to 4XL so you should be able to find the perfect fit. I have a suspicious and often justified distrust of clothing websites' size guides so usually plump for the Medium I've been since forever, and it's the size of this test top.

Velocio's sizing guide works on a combination of your height and weight, which is a different system to most, and it places me in the Small size but veering ever so slightly towards Medium, while its more general size guide has my chest dimensions right on the Small/Medium border.

Velocio suggests that if your size falls into an overlapping portion you should choose the smaller size for a more tailored performance fit, or the larger size for a standard fit. This Medium was more of a casual fit on me, not in a baggy and ill-fitting way because in terms of up and down and side to side the fit was perfect, it just wasn't skin-tight and so perfect for winter when layering underneath might be required. I could probably shimmy into a Small but I liked the more jackety feel of this size and thanks to the general excellent cut and soft fabric there weren't any annoying flappy bits or wind noise issues.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - back.jpg

A clue into how the jacket is constructed is in the slight colour difference between the panels. The front, shoulders and arms are Pertex Quantum Air, a shell fabric that is windproof, water resistant, DWR treated, air permeable and stretchy. The lighter coloured back panel is recycled Italian-milled fleece-backed polyester, which looks and feels just like your regular thick jersey material and it's there for mobility and breathability.

There's the standard three rear pockets with the openings of the outer pair angled down to help with reach-around fumbles. The bottoms of the pockets differ from most others in that they're pleated rather than sewn straight into the back of the jersey. This means expand out when contents are added, affording you a little more cargo space while also looking less bulgy. While they're good and capacious there's no extra zipped security pocket.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - pockets.jpg

The rear half of the hem is steadfastly elasticated with a silicone gripper to keep the back from riding up.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - gripper.jpg

There's a full-length double-ended YKK Vislon zipper with the upper tab sporting a silicone puller to help with tugging on when you're wearing gloves, a lightweight Lycra zip-dock stops chaffing on your chin and a decent baffle behind it to halt any cheeky wind whistling its way through.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - hem and zip.jpg

The collar is an incredibly generous 80mm deep at the front, and it cambers down to 45mm in the rear to save neck rub and it's lined with the internal fluffy material for extra cosies. There's a hanging loop out back.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - collar.jpg

The arms are the perfect length, as Velocio has deliberately cut them long for on-the-bike fit, so any annoying wrist gap is completely banished. The inner half of the cuffs are a lighter weight Lycra that snugs them tight close to the wrist, even on my delicate pipe-cleaner wrists, to stop chilly draughts creeping up there and to make it easy to layer a longer glove over the top. Hurrah for this.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - cuff.jpg

The Alpha Merino Air Jacket is a little bit heavier than a winter-weight jersey but lighter than a winter jacket – and warmer than both. The magic conjured up by Velocio to create this hides inside in the form of a grey and fluffy, oh so fluffy, so very very fluffy, Alpha Merino Wool insulation that lines the front, shoulders, neck and the full length of the insides of the arms.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - lining.jpg

Velocio says it provides thermoregulation for a broad range of temps without bulk – and I say it's an absolute game changer. Like cuddling a Wookiee this Alpha Merino Wool is a deep-pile fabric comprised of thousands of fluffy tufts that keep you incredibly warm without adding much weight.

It's a warm jacket that's best worn when the temperature drops towards single figures. I tend to run colder than most thanks to my spindly physique and with a thinner base layer would be happy to pull it on when things are hovering about the 10°C mark, particularly that UK damp grey 10°C that feels colder than that and sinks into your bones. Anything lower than that I'd just pull a heavier weight thermal layer on.

2023 Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket - shoulders.jpg

The first proper ride out was into a zero-degree day with added wind chill and straight into a headwind, and I felt absolutely none of it. The Pertex Quantum Air that fronts the jacket does an amazing job of blocking the wind – you really can't feel it cutting through. Even after several hours riding when you might be getting tired and a little susceptible to the chill, it was still doing a great job. This combines with the insulation provided by the Alpha Merino Wool, which protects every wind-facing part of your body, to make this an excellent jersey/jacket long sleeved top.

Its combination of low weight and excellent warmth means you can effectively remove one item of clothing from your winter layering and replace a base layer plus jersey plus jacket combo with just a base layer and Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket. This reduces the weight of your clothing and increases your manoeuvrability, as you're not wrapped up like the Michelin man. I was happy wearing this with a thick winter base layer underneath in those zero-degree days with added wind chill, a scenario that would usually have me gussied up with three layers of clothing, a neck warmer and a gilet on top for the home leg.

Its performance doesn't fall off a cliff later on in a ride when you might be getting tired and feeling the chill and it remains warm and cosy (thank you, wool!) throughout, negating the need to pop on another piece of clothing for the final bit home.

Value

The dhb Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 comes in a fair bit cheaper at £140, and is a tight-fitting top that is comfy inside with a very soft thin-pile fleece layer. It was great at shrugging off winter wind and cold in the middle single-digit figures, and the DWR coating was able to shrug off brief showers. The only issue Shaun had was with the redesigned pockets.

At £230 the Santini Adapt Multi-Jacket is even pricier than the Velocio, but Mike thought it had similar attributes. It feels like a jersey, with a breathable insulation layer, but it has the performance of a winter jacket with the Santini having the very handy bonus of being incredibly waterproof, which might make the extra cost easier to swallow.

The 7mesh S2S Jersey LS Men's Butterscotch is another hybrid jersey/jacket that's perfect for the changeable conditions of the shoulder seasons but it does come with a chunky £280 price tag. It doesn't have the warming inner of the Velocio and Hollis thought it more suited to spring and autumn but you could extend that with a suitable base layer.

Conclusion

This is, no getting away from it, an expensive bit of kit, but you can justify it by arguing that it's effectively, very effectively, taking the place of two items of clothing and it makes winter and shoulder season riding almost an absolute pleasure, which you can't put a price on. It really is just lovely.

Verdict

The Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket is a very, very lovely jersey-weight jacket warm thing for cold and dry winter days

road.cc test report

Make and model: Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the jacket 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?

One jacket to conquer fall, winter, and spring riding. The Alpha Merino Air combines multiple technical layers into one garment, taking the guesswork out of what to wear offering the warmth of a heavy winter softshell, weight of a long sleeve jersey.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Alpha Merino Wool insulation provides thermoregulation for a broad range of temperatures without bulk. Pertex Quantum Air shell is windproof, water resistant, DWR treated, air permeable and stretchy - the perfect balance of protection and breathability for a range of conditions.

Recycled Italian-milled fleece-backed polyester back panel for excellent mobility and breathability.

YKK Vislon zipper.

Three large back pockets.

Lycra cuff hem for low profile fit with or without gloves.

Extended rear hem for added protection.

Internal waist gripper with silicone stripe.

3D patterning for on-bike fit.

Front Body - 51% Recycled Nylon 49% Regular Nylon

Back Body - 100% PES

Lining - 63% PES 33% Wool 4%Nylon

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

It's a well-made and well-thought-out piece of clothing.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10

Wind resistant and very warm with very little weight and excellent on bike fit. Velocio has created one of the nicest items of winter wear I've put on.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

Wearing well so far, though the soft fabric doesn't look like it will play well to nicks, so do take care with that.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
4/10
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10

The arms are long, the rear has a good drop to it, the neck comes up high and the option to go for a slinky race fit or more casual jacket sizing is a plus.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
7/10

I'm technically a small according to Velocio's size guide, this Medium on me had a nice jackety feel to it.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
10/10

For such a warm jacket it's incredibly light.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
10/10

Fit was good, protection against the cold was amazing, the fluffy inside were so cosy, and there was no flappy material.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

Ahhh, the old cost vs value thing... It feels like a fair chunk of money for a winter top but it is incredibly warm, very light and very well made. It's also effectively two garments in one and makes winter riding quite a bit more enjoyable, so it depends on what value you put on that...

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Threw it in a 30°C wash with all the other cycling bits, coping fine.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

For a jacket combining multiple technical layers into one garment with the warmth of a heavy winter softshell and the low weight of a long sleeve jersey it did amazingly well. It has become my new favourite thing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Good fit, low weight and so very, very warm.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Nothing, the lack of a zipped pocket might annoy some though.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The dhb Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 is cheaper and more of a snug-fitting softshell that is comfy inside with a very soft thin-pile fleece layer. 

The Santini Adapt Multi-Jacket is a pricier item than the Velocio but has similar attributes in that it feels like a jersey – but with the performance of a winter jacket.

The 7mesh S2S Jersey LS Men's Butterscotch is another hybrid jersey/jacket that's perfect for the changeable conditions of the shoulder seasons but it does come with a chunky £280 price tag. 

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes – very much

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Velocio Alpha Merino Air Jacket is a wonderful bit of Winter riding kit whose jersey/jacket construction takes the place of two ordinary layers. It's amazingly light for the warmth it promises and is tailored beautifully to make cold days in the saddle actually enjoyable. What more could you want? And while it is expensive, it's not out of kilter for a product of this quality and offering so much versatility.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 180cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.  My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

Add new comment

1 comments

Avatar
arichman | 5 months ago
1 like

I have this jacket, along with many of the other polartec alpha direct jackets. It is distinct in its use of alpha wool, and not in a good way. Alpha direct is better because it stays dry. Wool is good at wicking away from the skin but in my experience that moisture is still there. Because these jackets are wind permeable, that can freeeze you solid going downhill. The synthetic alpha direct is better at what alpha direct is best at.

Latest Comments