Review: Devold merino tops

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Devold Active zipneck

Devold Active zipneck

In my search for the perfect cycling jerseys, I’m exploring a number of options, but most of them involve merino, one way or another.

Devold is a another Norwegian outdoor clothing company, so one suspects they know a thing or two about staying warm. They’re also a merino specialist.

The items I chose were by way of experiment, but also in view of what was available in the Sportpursuit sale. I was sadly too late for an Active zip-neck top in raspberry, but I did manage to get these two in ‘strawberry’ and black, plus this Sport crewneck style in ‘watermelon’.

Devold Sport top

Devold Sport top

The Sport crewneck is in pure merino and weighs 190gsm. This makes it rather heavier than my usual Eddy tees from Finisterre, which are 160gsm, but lighter than my  Fiske pieces from Finisterre, which are 240sgm.

The Active zip-necks are in a merino-poly blend, with a poly liner, and weigh 205gsm, slightly more than my Woolpower zipneck top.

But the items have a very different feel. The Sport top feels like conventional merino – nice and smooth, quite heavy in the hand, slightly sturdier than my Finisterre merino-poly mixes, and more reminiscent of the older (and much preferred) pure merino that Finisterre used to product.

It has a highish crewneck and long attached cuffs, which make it far warmer than an Eddy, and it’s also much longer – on my 5’2″ frame it comes below my bottom, so gives a lot of added warmth. there are lots of seams on the back, which you can’t see here, but their purpose defeats me – I think it’s just to create panels of different colours that look interesting.

It’s not a stylish garment – I wear my Eddies every day, as outerwear and as base layers and one reason is that the cut is very flattering. But the Sport makes a better base layer and gives more coverage.

I wore this top in the way I wear my Eddies at this time of year – as a base layer under a fleece poloneck – and it’s very comfy to wear all day. For cycling it was fine under a Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline jacket, keeping me nice and snug in 14-degree weather with some gusty winds. I’ve also been sleeping in it, as is my usual habit with teeshirts, and it’s very comfortable and not hot or sweaty. So, full marks there.

Devold Active zip neck

Devold Active zip neck

The Active zip-necks are a completely different kettle of fish. Massively more technical, they are a blend of 80 per cent merino and 20 per cent polyamide, with a ‘Thermocool’ lining.

I’d expected something like the Finisterre merino blend, which has the same percentage breakdown and feels like pure merino, but these garments are extremely lightweight, and feel slightly slippery and cool to the touch, especially the lining. In fact, they feel more like synthetic than merino. Their stated weight is 205gsm but due to the fineness of the fibres, they are much thinner than you would expect.

The smooth Thermocool lining is very pleasant against bare skin, and the garment also has panels of mesh under the arms to eliminate sweat. Once again, they are very long, keeping your kidneys and bottom warm.

These are very useful tops for sports and as baselayers, due to their technicality, though they’re not so good for everyday wear unless you’re going for a specifically sporty look. One thing they lack is a zip garage, which is a bit of a shame as I do prefer to wear the neckline up like a poloneck rather than down like a turtleneck.

But overall, impressive technical garments with many features that should please anyone living an active lifestyle. They are not specifically designed for cycling, but are long enough to suit a forward inclined position.

I got my Devolds from Sportpursuit, in a 64 per cent-off sale. Their normal price is around 89 euros for the Active tops (which seems reasonable) and 80 euros for the Sport (which seems a bit steep).





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