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London-based Isobaa got in touch with me recently, asking whether I’d be interested in reviewing some of their gear. They said their range isn’t strictly “cycling wear”, but they have a lot of keen cyclists in their team and they love to wear their gear as they ride. “Perfect,” I replied.
At Discerning Cyclist, we’re not bothered about “cycling clothes”, we love to find great looking gear that is a pleasure to cycle in. So, it’s fair to say that Isobaa’s introduction had me intrigued.
Isobaa sent me two pieces to check out, the Merino 200 Zip Neck Hoodie, which is what this review’s covering, and the Merino Wool Insulated Jacket, the review for which you can read here
Isobaa Men’s Merino 200 Zip Neck Hoodie
The Isobaa Men’s Merino 200 Zip Neck Hoodie is made from soft, breathable, and naturally moisture-wicking merino wool. It features a zip-neck design for easy temperature regulation, a fitted hood for added warmth, and a zippered chest pocket for secure storage on the go.
- Very cosy
- Slim fit
Merino Zip Neck Hoodie/Base Layer
The first thing to make clear about the Isobaa Merino 200 Zip Neck “Hoodie” is that it’s not your typical hoodie. I mean, it does have a hood, so yeah, it’s a hoodie. But it’s a lot thinner than your conventional hoodie. It’s a very light, very thin and very slim fit piece – which probably edges more into the realm of base layers.
And don’t get me wrong: this is not a criticism. It’s a beautiful top.
It’s been a staple of my wardrobe for the past few weeks now and I’ve found it perfect for commuting on cooler days. With a t-shirt underneath and the hoodie on top, this will keep you nice and warm, while also letting some air reach your skin so you don’t get to sweaty. And it actually works great in tandem with the Merino Wool Insulated Jacket to keep you extra snug.
One of the great things about Merino wool – as you may well be aware – is that this is an incredibly practical material: it keeps you warm when you’re cold and breathes well in warmer climes, so you don’t overheat. It also dries extremely quickly and is naturally odour resistant – so it doesn’t kick up a pong after a few wears. In this instance, the Merino wool in use is 200gm 18.5 micro Superfine 100% Merino – if that really means much to you.
As I mentioned previously, this hoodie is very much slim fit – which I like as it gives you a cosy feel, although you may see your lunch bulge if you overindulge!
The sleeves are also very long which is perfect for riding as they don’t ride up your arm. And there’s also thumb loops, which can provide some very welcome warmth to your hands and wrists on nippy days – and, again, adds to the cosy feel.
And although Isobaa say this isn’t officially a “cycling piece”, they do a good job of hiding it, thanks to the drop tail hem which gives you some extra rear coverage when you ride.
What’s more, the underarm gusseting and flatlock stitching all help to prevent chafing.
This may not be a cycling top, but it’s a top that’s definitely perfect for cycling – as well as running, hiking, skiing and everyday life.
Of course, an item of this quality doesn’t come cheap with a £105 price tag. But for that price, you’ll get yourself a slim-fitting hoodie/base layer that is perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities on chillier days.