Condor's Merino Arm Warmers are a no-frills design, made from a soft and cosy mix of merino wool and Lycra. They're ideal for cool mornings and chilly descents, but not so good if it rains.
To be honest, I was expecting them to be a bit prickly and itchy, but this was absolutely not the case. They pull on easily, stay in place without any silicone bands, and are easy to remove on the go. They offer light compression thanks to the Lycra content, though I guess this depends on the size of your arm...
They have a tube construction, with no seams along their length, and absolutely no shaping or contours. This lack of shaping doesn't affect the comfort; they fit well and do not bunch up at all. They're generous in length, too. The upper and lower hems are really well sewn over so fraying is highly unlikely.
The warmers fitted well under a long sleeved jersey – no seams or panels making them ideal for this; they mimic the sleeve construction of many baselayers.
Aesthetically they are pretty understated: no reflective features or splashes of colour. A simple Condor logo is sewn into the fabric around the wrist. It's pretty sizeable, though grey probably isn't the best choice in terms of visibility.
Performance-wise, on cold, dry days I cannot knock the warmers. At the first hint of a chill in the air I normally have a long-sleeved jersey on. These warmers meant that, on such days, I could actually stay in a short-sleeve jersey with a thicker undervest and my arms didn't feel the chill. They were easy to pull down while riding and rolled up small enough to tuck comfortably into a rear pocket.
Unfortunately, they do not like damp weather. No surprises really, given that they are made primarily from wool. Once wet they were reluctant to dry out and felt clingy, cold and heavy against the skin.
Overall, although these perform outstandingly on dry days, insulating you from chilly air, they are a little pricey given the no-frills design and the limiting qualities of the material.
Perfect fit and superb performance on cool, dry days but a bit pricey given their lack of versatility
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Condor Merino Arm Warmers
Size tested: Small/Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Condor says: 'These warmers wrap your arms without bunching, they have a tight knit that holds well and breaks the chilly wind on cool mornings and long descents.'
They are certainly warm and do hold their position well.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Naturally odour resistant.
* Fitted comfort, no silicone grippers
* Easy to layer over
* Folds smaller than a roubaix warmer
* Two sizes
Very tidy lower hem that won't be prone to fraying. Seamless along the length of the warmer and a neat, silicone-free, upper band. Quality!
Keep you warm on cool, dry days. Not so great if they great damp, though.
They've held their shape and there's been no give in the material so far.
Perfect length (I tested the small/medium) and light compression along the full length, with no panelling.
No prickling or itching, and no gathering – surprisingly comfortable for a garment without any panelling.
Bit of a high price for a no-frills garment that is limited to use in dry conditions.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Ideally wash on a 'merino cycle', but otherwise the usual 30-degree cycle, using non-bio detergent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great on cooler, dry days. Don't use if there's a chance of rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warmer than the average arm warmer!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fact that they were only useful in very specific weather conditions.
Did you enjoy using the product? When I got the chance, yes!
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they lived in Spain and wanted a warmer solely for descending or chillier rides…
Use this box to explain your score
Very good at keeping you cosy and warm on a cool, dry day or a chilly descent, but I've marked then down because the material limits use, in addition to a higher than average price tag.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
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: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off-roading too!