Rapha Hooded Top Review : First Impressions

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The other day I pedaled over to the Rapha Club here in NYC and tried really really really hard to not spend all of my money. Well you know how that goes. I've been eyeing their Merino Hooded Top since it's release and knew it would be an amazing piece to add to my kit. So I bought it and this is what I have to say so far. [portfolio_slideshow id=1148]

- The sweater runs large. I normally wear a medium and walked away with a small after trying both. Make sure to check out their measurements before ordering.

- I love the fit and the merino is extremely soft.

- There is a button and flap that holds the hood down when not in use. I ripped the button the first time I tried taking the hood off. It actually tore a small hole in the merino as well! This is a big design flaw on Raphas end and not a manufacturing mistake. The first thing that ran through my head was how much money I spent and that I have to return this sweater. The problem is that even if I returned the sweater for a replacement the same thing would have bound to happen again. So I just sewed the button back on. The funny thing is that behind the button on the inside of the sweater there is a reinforcement tab but Rapha doesn't sew through it but uses it as a cover to hide the stitching. I sewed through it and now the button is stronger than it was before. Problem solved.

- There is a windproof panel on the front of the sweater that works great in the low 30's.

- The merino hoodie retails for $220 which is pretty gnar but once you go Merino it's kinda hard to go back to anything else.

- The merino is pretty thin which concerns me a little as far as the longevity of the product goes. I don't think it can take the same abuse as my Chrome Merino Cobra hoodie.

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Here is the info form Rapha :

"Windproof hooded top for city cycling

An innovative, mid-weight outer layer that uses an ingenious mix of fabrics to create a top that offers high performance with contemporary, urban styling. Windproof front panels keep out chills when riding, while the fully-fashioned 100 % merino body and arms keep you snug on and off the bike. The jacket also features clever details such as a detachable hi-vis tab and a roll-up hood.

Key features: Overlaid with windproof fabric on front, sides and shoulders Fully-fashioned construction for more luxurious fit Stowable windproof hood Two zipped front pockets Patch pocket on rear Detachable hi-vis tab"

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In conclusion my first impression is quiet mixed. Rapha's Hooded Top is fucking dope but it's also quiet delicate. I can already tell that this isn't the kind of merino hoodie you'd want to be wearing all the time. Am I bummed about that? No not really.

Thats my First Impression. Take it or leave it.

Learn more about Rapha's Hooded Top here.