Velocio’s latest Alpha Merino Air Jacket and Concept Merino Long Sleeve jersey remind us why we love wool as a material for winter-cycling apparel. The two pieces together cover an incredibly broad temperature range, from the low 60s down to well below freezing. Both garments are available in men’s and women’s cut; with a broad size range of XXS to XXXL for women and XS to XXXXL for men.
The Concept Merino Long Sleeve jersey takes our Gear of the Year Winning Concept Merino Jersey and simply extends the sleeves. From a functionality standpoint, this is a modern piece of cycling kit with the fit and features you would expect from any other long sleeve jersey, but it’s made with a Merino wool blend that makes it feel like you’re wearing a luxurious cardigan. When I first got into cycling, some of my favorite jerseys were wool. They itched a bit, the pockets sagged, and the fit was more like a t-shirt than something resembling a cycling jersey. The Concept Merino suffers from none of those problems.
It’s a near-perfect jersey for days when I want to wear a base layer, a jersey, and arm warmers (50 to 65 degrees). The jersey’s Merino blend is perfectly mid-weight—not too thin or too thick. It does a great job of keeping me comfortable without overheating since the fabric breathes very well. Paired with a wind vest, you can extend the Concept Merino Long Sleeve’s range into the high 40s. But as always, your temperature comfort levels may vary.
When the temperature dips, the Alpha Merino Air Jacket has been my go-to jacket. The jacket has a weight and feel closer to that of a thermal long sleeve jersey, but provides incredible warmth. I wore it most recently on an early morning ride with a real-feel temperature of 31 degrees. To my delight, I was comfortable and maybe even a little too warm.
As the name suggests, this jacket uses a Merino version of Polartec’s Alpha Insulation, which is that fleecy stuff you can see on the inside front panel. Velocio placed the insulation all around the collar and all through the sleeves, the key spots for keeping out the cold and keeping in the warmth. The back of the jacket uses a soft fleece panel that lets the jacket breathe.
Velocio claims the temperature range for this jacket is from 25 degrees to 45 degrees, and they recommend using the jacket with just a base layer, adjusting the base layer based on the temperature. Based on my experience with the jacket, I am confident that the low temperature range is accurate. I typically run cold and found myself borderline too hot on a ride in the low 30s. Fortunately, the jacket features a two way zipper (which should be a standard feature on any piece of outerwear) for additional thermal regulation. It’s worth noting that this jacket is meant for both cold and dry weather conditions.
If you’re dealing with snow, sleet, or lots of road spray, we have more water resistant suggestions in our Winter Gear Guide. You can also find great advice for cold weather riding here.
You can find the Women’s Alpha Merino Air Jacket here.
You can find the Men's CONCEPT Merino Long Sleeve Jersey here.