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Findra's Caddon jersey is an all-British offering, designed in Scotland and manufactured in the UK (although the merino is New Zealand's finest). With a dropped back, thumbholes and a drawstring cowl neck, it's a stylish, lightweight and soft option for both on and off the bike.
The Caddon is Findra's mid-layer offering, although its lightweight weave means it would work equally well as a baselayer. Interestingly, it weighs a few grams less than the baselayer we have also reviewed. During the winter it was tested much more as a baselayer, but it looks good enough on its own during a cake stop in a warm cafe.
The fit is quite slim, with a decent drop at the back to keep out the chill and the sleeves with their thumbholes are more than adequate for riding in the drops.
The Caddon comes in a range of neutrals – three greys, an oatmeal and a dark navy; the slate grey review sample was easy to pair with blacks and colours alike. There is a discreet stripe at the wrist, and a subtle curve to the shape at the waist.
The cowl neck looks good worn loose, but you can use the accompanying drawstring to tighten it against the winter chills; to give you an idea, it reaches up to cover your nose, should you forget a neckwarmer on a cold day. The whole jersey is seamless, which makes it really comfortable to wear.
The New Zealand merino wool used for the jersey is deceptively light, and despite frequent washing over two months of almost daily wear, very few bobbles have developed. There are a few snags where the wool has caught, but nothing that significantly detracts from the look of the top. All in all, it's been more robust than expected from such a lightweight fibre.
Like all good merino, this jersey is great at both wicking moisture and keeping the smells at bay. Not being Lycra also makes it much less obvious that you've just stepped off a bike, if this is important at your destination.
Although expensive, the Caddon is a jersey that could see a lot of use, so the price per wear would be relatively low. It's certainly not the only fine merino with a near-£100 price tag on the market, and the British manufacture is notoriously expensive but should be celebrated.
Super-soft, lightweight jersey that works equally well as a base or mid-layer as the seasons change
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Findra Caddon Merino Jersey
Size tested: XS
Tell us what the product is for
Findra says, "The women's Caddon merino jersey is made from New Zealand Merino resulting in both high-performance layering and stylish good looks. As with all of FINDRA's tops, the Caddon is designed in Scotland and made to exacting standards in the UK.
"The Caddon features a cowl neck and thumbholes to keep you warm when the wind blows while the superfine merino helps wick away sweat and keep you feeling fresh and comfortable when the pace and the heat pick up. Perfect for cycling, this jersey features a dropped back to ensure coverage when you lean over the handlebars and the thumbhole sleeves are long to make sure no gaps appear. Equally at home when cycling off-road, running, hiking or skiing, the style and good looks will also mean you don't feel out of place when you stop off for coffee or drinks mid or post ride.
"The range of colours means you'll be able to find one that pairs with just about anything."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Top quality New Zealand merino allows temperature regulation as sweat is wicked away from your skin
Seamless design means no irritation or rubbing and a fabulous aesthetic
Women's specific design with style and performance built in.
Drawstring cowl neck allows adjustability to suit the weather
Thumbholes and longer sleeves allow for hand and wrist coverage, perfect for wearing with your favourite gloves.
Dropped back hem increasing coverage and decreasing the chance of exposed skin
Stylish looks that will take you from mountain top to cafe or bar
Machine washable so you don't need to worry about getting muddy
Merino wool won't smell like synthetic layers allowing you to keep wearing it day after day on expeditions without it smelling
Lightweight, fast drying and extremely packable, this top gives you maximum warmth to weight making it the perfect option for multi day trips.
Perfect for cycling, running, skiing, canoeing, hiking, horse riding and any other sport you can throw at it.
The seamless construction achieves a very comfortable fit. The drawstring at the neck worked its way loose during a wash.
The wicking qualities of the merino worked as promised, and it was remarkably warm considering its light weight.
The merino wool is prone to nicks and pulls, and the drawstring came loose and fell out during a wash, so keep an eye on it.
The close fit means other garments can be worn to bulk up where necessary. The sleeves are a good length and the cuffs fit tight enough to help retain warmth. The drawstring on the cowl neck allows for this to be pulled closed in chilly conditions.
The XS fitted our tall (5' 9") size 8 tester. There are no size options for cyclists over a UK 14.
Barely-there feel to it.
The merino chosen for this top is very soft.
It's not cheap, but is designed and made in the UK with high-quality Italian-spun New Zealand merino wool, so I'd say it's worth the money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It needs to be washed at 30 degrees on a short cycle, and reshaped while damp, which is usual for wool and sportswear. Following those instructions, it washed well with only occasional bobbling over two months of regular wear.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Caddon worked well as a light to mid-weight winter layer, and worked well for both upright and more stretched out riding positions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The super-soft merino and drawstring neck to keep out the chills.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd like to see it available in a wider range of sizes.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Caddon is a beautifully made, UK designed and manufactured top which is very well suited as a winter baselayer or spring/autumn mid-layer top. It washed well despite the fineness of the merino, with minimal bobbling. It is pretty pricey, but is a flattering shape and fit.
About the tester
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, leisure