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dhb Merino Long Sleeve Jersey review

3 Apr 2018

A comfortable, warm and breathable jersey that offers merino feel without the pricetag

Cyclist Rating: 
Light, breathable, technical, comfortable and affordable
Merino tends to soak up rainfall

Merino wool is one of the surprise hits of mother nature, in the cycling world at least. The expensive fabric offers a naturally warmth, wind-blocking quality, as well as breathability while feeling fundamentally soft and comfortable to the skin. 

With that in mind merino makes for a stylish but functional spring or early winter jersey material, but has traditionally been pricey. So it was exciting to see dhb experimenting with the material at a more affordable cost. 

Firstly the science – while merino sheep may look as though they’re graced with thick hair, each strand of wool is less than a third the diameter of a strand of human hair, at under 24 microns. 

Merino does possess a minor natural waterproof quality, but dhb has added more to the jersey material to fight wet conditions. 

By blending merino with nylon and Polypropylene, the jersey has a wicking property that means that the merino doesn’t deform and become irritable against the skin, instead water moves to the outer surface of the jersey. While it may seem like diluting the main ingredient, it is a process which has added quality and cost to the jersey.

Buy the dhb Merino Long Sleeve jersey from Wiggle

Wrapped in wool

In practice, that advantages are palpable from the outset. The jersey feels soft on the skin, and offers a natural insulation that might otherwise require slightly bulkier fabrics containing a windstopper membrane.

In terms of breathability, the Merino jersey does indeed seem to breathe with the rider. That’s aided by a panel at the rear which has a breathable mesh, which is a thoughtful touch to keep the back and neck from overheating. 

When going for hard efforts it doesn’t become too hot or constrictive, but has the versatility to stay warm when just rolling gently.

For me, in terms of temperature range, it did a very nice job around 6-16° (though I am a little fonder of the cold than most). It does fall a little short when the temperatures creep down to deep winter temperature, including a particularly snowy ride where the temperature plummeted down to -2°.

Similarly, though dhb has added some waterproof material, the wool does tend to grow heavy and slightly sag when damp. While merino is a magical material, it’s no rival for the more technologically advanced DWR treatments and Gabba-like water-resistant fabrics on the market. For those conditions, dhb offers garments like the Blok Windproof Softshell.

Fitting choice

In terms of fit, merino will never offer the tight racey cut and fit of an aerodynamic or racey jersey. The Merino jersey does sit nicely over the upper body, and an elastic hem with silicon grippers keeps it on the waist neatly. 

It tends to feel a little baggy over the shoulders, and the pockets are slightly cavernous and loose, but none of it detracts from the generally pleasing fit. Though personally I might opt to size down slightly from my regular choice - opting for a small instead of a medium for a snug fit.

As spring gently emerges from the haze of winter, the Merino jersey has increasingly worked into my regular rotation of outfits. 

That said, perhaps I’m a little skeptical about the general use of the material, and at the risk of a random rainshower I tend to opt for windproof and water-resistant jersey-jacket hybrid accompanied by a base-layer. In terms of looks and comfort, though, on a dry day the Merino jersey tends to win out.

It’s certainly good to see dhb dabbling with premium clothing and materials, and the Merino jersey is definitely a good sign of things to come.

Buy the dhb Merino Long Sleeve jersey from Wiggle


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