The cycling community is strong from sea to shining sea! I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Jeremy Dunn several weeks ago in good ol’ Portland during the Chris Igleheart shoot out of Velo Cult. He’s a clean cut good lookin fella. With a smile on his face and beer in hand, I walked up and introduced myself. Jeremy and I have had a small amount of interaction via social media (thanks for keeping us social internet), so It was really good to meet in person.
With that being said… I contacted Jeremy after I got back to Alabama and expressed I’d love to check out some Rapha gear, test it and put together a review. I only mentioned the Rapha Merino Arm/Leg Warmers so I could show off our newly acquired FOLLY kit throughout the winter. He said he’d get me set up… and that he did. Merino Arm/Leg/Knee Warmers as well as this bad ass Merino Hooded Top. Due to his generosity I wanted to take this review to the next level and bring in Tyler Brown to ride and shoot Rapha’s goodness.
This is easily the most stylish piece of riding apparel I own. The temperature was in the low 40’s with a wind chill pushing to the mid to high 30’s. As you know (or should), Merino wool does its job well. It does not stop the wind but holds heat. The section in the center of this top is wind proof with wool underneath. This helps keep your core temperature up and your body does the rest by distributing that heat to your fingers and toes. Neat right? Yes I agree.
But don’t worry, this top isn’t stylish at the sacrifice of function. When it gets cold, windy and dark… it has you covered. There are couple hi-vis features that will keep you seen. One up top to secure the windproof hood if you’re not in need of it. The second is with a rear pocket to house your phone/wallet/flask. If you choose to go stealth, you can stow the pink accents simply by unbuttoning them. The rear pocket hi-vis tab also has the Rapha logo that is reflective.
When I first put the Rapha Hooded Top on… I thought out loud, “this is the Cadillac of hooded tops”. It really is. The top hugs you well but does not limit mobility.
I sincerely dig Rapha. To sum it up… this top feels/looks/performs so good. And I’m a BIG fan of Merino goodness. Go to Rapha and check out other features and photos of the Merino Hooded Top. I promise you won’t be disappointed that you did. And when you pick one up, we’ll share in the glorious comfort, style and function that is this top.
Make sure to follow along on our Instagram with #follyinrapha . I’ve already posted a few snaps of the arm/leg warmers and Hooded Top. I’ll continue to do so as the opportunity presents itself.
(Editor’s Note: Big THANK YOU to Tyler Brown for his time and skill shooting these photos. He was kind enough to let me pick the ones I liked and put my own edit on them. He shot with a Fuji X100S. I uploaded the shots to my iPhone and edited with VSCO. All editing was performed via iPhone 5. Argue for your limitations and soon they will be yours. Cheers!)
RIDE x CREATE