The Morvelo Pimento jersey uses a combination of merino wool and polyester to give cosy comfort against the skin and a durable outer layer. It's a low-bulk winter jersey that's great for layering and pretty comfortable.
- Pros: Comfortable, low-bulk warmth, should hold its shape better than pure merino
- Cons: Pricey, not weatherproof (but not claimed to be)
Morvelo is a British brand hailing from Brighton. Having started out with a range of T-shirts, today it makes some pretty cool cycling gear, using a range of technical fabrics. Here it uses what it describes as a unique Italian fabric to offer the benefits of natural and synthetic fibres. It's 40% merino wool and 60% polyester, with the wool on the inside (for comfort) and the polyester on the outside. If that sounds familiar, it's because Sportwool (used by Rapha and a bunch of other brands) has a very similar construction. But hey, it works, so don't knock it.
Although the fabric here is relatively light and low bulk, it is surprisingly cosy on colder days. The combination works fantastically when layering up, and I found I used it a lot through autumn and into the start of winter. I wore it on its own when the temperature was around 12°C, and added a baselayer and then a jacket over the top as the mercury dropped. It doesn't have any weather resistance, so if the weather is iffy you will need a top layer over it. Many modern jerseys now feature some windproofing and even water resistance, meaning you can get by with fewer layers on changeable days, but this is not one of them. That's fine, though, because you can also get very breathable and pocketable rain jackets too.
The wool inner surface feels really nice against the skin, so what are the benefits of the synthetic outer surface? It helps give greater stability to the garment, meaning the pockets don't sag and it should survive several seasons of wearing and washing without changing shape, both things that pure merino jerseys can be rather prone to. It can also be printed. Morvelo is definitely not a brand to shy away from graphics – it has a very different aesthetic to Rapha, for example.
This jersey is available in this Pimento design as well as a grey with stripes that reminds me rather of velodrome lines. Pleasingly, both are available in men's and women's sizing. If you're not so keen on the slightly faded green it's worth checking out the Stripes design.
I tested a large, as that was what Morvelo's sizing tool recommended. It generally fitted well, although I felt the sleeves were longer than they needed to be. That's not me in the photos, but you can see the sleeves bunching around the model's wrists too. Not a big deal, and I'd rather they were a centimetre too long than too short.
The details are all present and correct, with zip garage and baffle, reflectives around the back (both the logo on the central pocket and the tab below it) and the full complement of good-sized pockets, including a hidden zipped one for valuables.
We're spoiled for choice with modern cycle wear these days. For this sort of money you could buy a jersey with built-in weather proofing, but it wouldn't be as breathable or likely as comfortable as this, so there is still a lot to be said for layering. The Pimento jersey's low bulk fabric makes it a perfect choice for that, and it's just so cosy against the skin.
Harnesses the strengths of natural and manmade fibres to give a great jersey for layering – cosy yet low bulk
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Morvelo Merino Pimento jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
A luxurious highly versatile merino jersey designed to cope with a broad range of conditions.
* Autumn, Winter & Spring cycling
* A modern interpretation of merino
Merino is a much lauded fabric in the cycling world. Naturally anti-bacterial, it's odor-resistant with the fibres wicking moisture away from the body, which means it's comfortable even when wet from rain or sweat, and it's fast drying too; it keeps you warm when it's cold, and cools your body when it's hot thanks to that wicking.
However it has it's downsides. It's structurally quite weak so pockets can sag if overloaded and it can loose it's shape. Also it's difficult to "get graphical" with, leading to most brands simply embroidering a logo. Welcome then, to the Morvélo Merino using a unique Italian fabric that is 100% Merino against the skin and then supported by an outer layer of polyester we can sublimate designs onto. The best of both worlds.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Merino / Polyester from Italy
Long close-fit arms
High and contoured collar
Silicone gripper at the hem
Full length YKK cam-lock zip
Full length zip guard
3 angled deep rear pockets
4th hidden zipped pocket in side seam
Double stitched pockets for extra strength
Panelled construction for superior fit
Reflective perforated tape
Handmade in Europe
Surprisingly cosy given that it's not that thick. Great for layering. No weather resistance, but it's not marketed as having any.
Should hold its shape much better than pure merino.
Generally fits well, but sleeves are perhaps excessively long.
I'm a pretty similar shape to the model on Morvelo's webpage; the size advisor widget suggested a large and that's what I have.
The merino inner surface does feel lovely against the skin.
Not an inexpensive jersey – Morvelo is a niche brand and not really chasing budget-minded consumers.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well. It's a low-bulk jersey that is very comfortable and warmer than you'd expect (albeit without windproofing).
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, warmth, likely longevity.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sleeves are a little long on me. Personally, not keen on the slightly faded green design.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Sportwool is used by quite a few brands including Rapha, and it also uses the approach of putting merino against the skin and synthetic on the outside. The price here is similar to jerseys such as the Rapha Classic.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if it came in other designs more to my taste.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The combination of merino and polyester isn't as groundbreaking as Morvelo suggests, but it works a treat – for rides where I want to layer up, this is my go-to choice. The sleeves are a bit too long, though, and it's pretty pricey. Whether the colour/design appeals is subjective...
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.