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These Orro Arm Warmers are comfortable, light chill-fighters with some nice extra details, but they do seem to come up slightly small.
Dagnabbit, where did summer go? One day we're sweltering even at 8am and a week later it's cool enough for thermal baselayers – and arm warmers, such as these from Sussex bike brand Orro.
It was 16°C when I set off this morning, and I was glad of a baselayer and these arm warmers, which are made in Italy from a brushed-back 'Roubaix' style Lycra. I was still comfortable in them two hours later even though the sun had come out and my Garmin optimistically read the temperature as 23°C.
They roll up to about the size of a fist, so it's easy to pop them in your jersey pocket when the day warms up. That does mean they don't provide lots of insulation; they keep the chill off, but when it gets down to around 10°C it's definitely going to be time for a proper thick long-sleever.
There's not really much you can add to the basic idea of arm warmers, but Orro has come up with a couple of pleasing details. There are little reflective tabs near the wrist to help with visibility when signalling, and the top cuffs have a pattern of tiny silicone dots to help hold them up.
That wasn't necessary with my size M samples, though, which were very snug. I don't have especially big arms, but I'd probably have been better off with size L, the largest Orro offers. These samples fitted my partner's 17-year-old daughter who's as lean as you'd expect a teenager to be who mostly eats cereals and has just gone through a growth spurt to 178cm.
Those silicone dots are printed on very thin fabric that's a bit of a pain to get in place as it tends to roll over.
A less important niggle is that the labels are quite large and stiff, therefore a bit uncomfortable. You're supposed to cut them off, though, as indicated by the dotted line and scissor symbol, so go right ahead and do that, they'll be a lot comfier for it.
Unlike some, there's no water-repellency here; these arm warmers are just for keeping you warm.
You can pay as little as a tenner for arm warmers and as much as £50, so the RRP of the Orro warmers is right in the middle. They're actually £23.99 at the moment from Orro and Wiggle/Chain Reaction. That's a decent price because even if they don't have the water-resistance of spendier arm warmers, they're nicely shaped and the reflective tabs should be more durable than the printed-on reflectives of many rivals.
Anyone who's noticed that the mornings are getting too chilly for bare arms but wants to carry on using their favourite short-sleeve jersey for a bit longer.
Good arm warmers with reflective tabs, but sized a bit snug
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Orro Arm Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Keeping your arms warm in the shoulder season.
Orro says: "ORRO Arm Warmers are crafted to provide an effective defensive layer that stays in place while riding, yet is easily stowed in a jersey pocket when no longer required. The articulated fit is ergonomically designed around the posture of the arms in a range of riding positions. Silicone micro dots on the comfortable wide cuff apertures grip to the limb without constriction. For added durability the reflectivity is incorporated into the stitching of the wrist seams as tags, rather than being applied as flat heat transfers which are liable to break up over time.
"A pair of warmers is a popular kit choice as they provide the rider with the option to switch up coverage mid-ride. Used in conjunction with our windproof gilet these form an ideal kit combination for extending the use of short sleeve jerseys into spring and autumn."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- 86% Polyamide
- 14% Elastan
Designed in England. Made in Italy.
Tidily stitched. One seam isnt flatlocked but it didn't seem to matter.
Decent chill protection, but not intended for deep winter or wet conditions.
Well shaped but very snug; I don't have even remotely muscly arms, but the size M samples were verging on tight.
They came up small. If mail-ordering I'd be ordering my usual size and the next one up and sending one back.
Brushed-back Lycra is very cosy.
Bang in the middle.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Perfectly happy with being washed at 40°C. The instructions say 30°C but it's a reviewer's job to take these risks so you don't have to.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Light and easy packability combined with the right amount of warmth for autumn mornings.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing's a bit snug.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're more expensive than dhb's £18 Regulate Thermal Arm Warmers but comparable to Specialized's Thermal arm warmers at £30, and to the Endura FS260-Pro Thermo Arm Warmers at £24.99 as you'll actually pay £23.99 for the Orro warmers. But Decathlon's Van Rysel Cool Weather Arm Warmers make them all look silly at just a tenner. However, they don't have reflective tabs, so you may well feel a bit of extra visibility is worth £14.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, unless I get a massive gas bill this winter, in which case, I'd buy the Van Rysels.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's nothing exceptional or outstanding about Orro's arm warmers, but the reflective tabs are a nice touch that pulls them up to 'Good'.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
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, mtb,
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.