In the modern age of high-tech fabrics and marketing buzzwords, wool sounds decidedly old-school. Yet it remains one of the best materials around for cold weather riding because of its superb overall warmth (even when wet) and resistance to odour.
Portland, Oregon-based upstart Wabi Woolens’ long-sleeved jersey is built from 100 percent heavyweight 13oz Merino wool that is sourced from New Zealand but knit and sewn in the US. Compared to modern wool blends such as Sportwool, Wabi proprietor Harth Huffman says his pure wool blend is denser, warmer and more resistant to wind and water, but it does require more care; machine washing is a distinct no-no.
Attention to detail is clearly a priority here: the stitching is among the burliest we’ve come across and all key stress points are heavily reinforced. A double layer of fabric around the neck straddling the partial zip provides some extra warmth and three rear pockets (plus one zippered pocket) provide plenty of stowage space.
The colour palette is subdued and riders who regularly crack out the matching team kit even on easy recovery days probably won’t find something to suit them. But if classic is more your style, this might fit the bill and we’re certainly looking forward to giving the Wabi jersey a thorough run-in as winter looms.
It’s priced at US$140.