Take a Ride on the Style Side


In this world, there are hoodies, and then there are hoodies and this, my friends is a hoodie*. Sure it looks like something from Banana but it’s Outlier’s new Merino Wool hoodie. That means that you can wear it in the mixed fall weather and unlike cotton it’s not going to get you cold when the weather turns damp. Unlike fibers from bushes or chemicals, wool insulates when it’s cold and wet.

At $225 it costs about as much as a high-falootin technical fabric garment, but doesn’t make you look like a Christmas Tree lightbulb when you walk into a coffee shop.


On those occasions when I tried to use a hoodie on the bike, the hood acted more like a cold air scoop, funneling damp cool air right to my core.  That, or it just blew off my head.

So I don’t even try to use hoodies for riding anymore.  I much prefer a thrift store Pendleton.  While not fancy merino wool, the one I bought the other day cost 1/15th the cost of this hoodie.  They come in all sorts of designs and all different thicknesses, perfect for layering.  Combine it with a wool cap, and what else do you need for fall riding?  Nothing I say!  Perfect!  I wear them year round in every condition.  And if they wear out, who cares?  I’ve never spent more than $22 on one, ever.

I hope to one day live the life where a 225 dollar single garment doesn’t seem absolutely ridiculous. 

Now that I think of it, no, no I don’t.

This hoodie is hot.  My boyfriend wants one.  Maybe I’ll buy it for him if he’s very good!  Who’s had experience with Outlier clothes?  Are they as high quality as they seem?

Outlier is stingy with the samples and I haven’t worn this. Travel-testing the new [Shak Hoodie from Ibex](http://www.ibexwear.com/shop/product/1317/3336/mens-shak-fz-hoody) and it’s an outstanding garment—worn it nonstop for 6 days and counting—and it costs $160.00.

Ibex is a good company making a lot of solid merino stuff, haven’t tried their hoodie but I’m sure it’s quite nice. Ours costs more because we use a higher grade of merino, the same grade they use for their next to skin pieces. We think it’s worth it, a bit more money for a much softer and practically scratch free fabric.

We have an unlimited 6 month return policy, we cover shipping both ways, so anyone can try it and send it right back if they don’t think it’s worth the price. Pretty much nobody has so far…

Also as a note I think the first “h” is missing in the “http” part of the link above. Correct link is: http://outlier.cc/2009/10/classic_merino_hoodie.php

hah, that link doesn’t work too well either… let’s try again.


Wow… take 3:
<a href=“http://outlier.cc/2009/10/classic_merino_hoodie.php”>Outlier Merino Hoodie>

@emor, try wearing the hood under your helmet when it’s really cold.

I really wish Outlier would figure out how to get their prices down. My Ibex, next to skin, merino layer cost me $90 and retailed for $110. You can find a good merino wool layer, of varying weights, for around $50 on clearance (often last year’s model), from different manufacturers, without too much trouble.

I honestly think a hood on a cycling garment is just dumb. I don’t want that flapping around when I’m bombing a hill at 30 mph in traffic. Tucking it under your cycling cap or helmet cuts into your vision to the sides, and urban cycling requires as much situational awareness as possible.


$60 - 90 for a cycling cap? That’s just ridiculous. Even Rapha doesn’t charge that kind of money.


Thanks for the comment—there isn’t a higher-grade Merino than the Shak at 17.5 with it’s unique stretch weave. Your cost are more likely higher because of volume than material—also see the Icebreaker guys are even Hincapie that’s doing wool now as well. More wool the better, as we said, we’d like to get this stuff on test to know if it’s worth the extra coin.


You’ve got a thin skin layer for $90. And this is a hoodie that’s got pockets, zippers, etc and while $225 might be high, relative to one stiched layer of skin warming isn’t that far off in price. There’s more than triple the material and work.

This isn’t designed for the same utility as racewear clothing either.

Hey abe, we’re also happy to review it.

I can’t speak for the hoodie…but my experience with the Outlier summerweight shorts suggests that the clothing is VERY well-made from top-quality materials.  Sure, I have a couple of minor quibbles with one of the features, but was impressed with the overall fit and construction.

+1 for wearing the hoodie hood UNDER the helmet.  Works like a charm in temps too high for an under-helmet balaclava or ear protectors.


That certainly keeps the hoodie on my head, but it does not solve the “cold damp air scoop” quality that, for me, is the real problem.

Wool caps work better for me.  When it gets “really” cold here in Seattle, I add a wool scarf to cover my neck and really seal in the body heat.

I was perfectly warm last winter riding to work on 20 degree mornings, and my entire ensemble was stunningly low tech and cheap, the whole shebang costing less than a single high tech garment.  Of course, I’m “poor” and don’t mind looking like a bum wearing a mishmash of vintage and army surplus wool, all heavy and scratchy like the dickens.

I can’t wear a hoodie on the back at all—it’s not going to vent and constrict and arguably unsafe for visibility. I don’t know that anyone does. It’s caps.

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