Published by Andrew on 7 March 2019
An alternative to a cycling jersey, Richard Peace reviews the Mountain Hardwear men’s arch long sleeve top.
Mountain Hardwear is a US company based in Richmond, California and has established a name for itself as a manufacturer of mountaineering clothing and outdoor apparel in general.
I’ve been wearing their Men’s Arch Long Sleeve top for the past few months on regular rides.
It’s made with a 47% Cordura nylon, 47% polyester, 6% elastane blend, with the Cordura being the most novel part of this weave mixture.
It feels comfortable but reasonably bodyhugging at the same time, so it’s both fairly aerodynamic (if you are wearing it without a jacket) and warm. It seems to do a good job of behaving how it is meant to. The polyester means it doesn't stretch out of shape at all while the elastine means it stays bodyhugging. The Cordura nylon, meanwhile, is intended to make it hardwearing and it seems to be doing a good job so far (it is used in things like backpacks and motorcycle jackets to make them hardwearing and scuff resistant).
On longer, harder rides it doesn’t feel sweaty at all, although it doesn’t seem quite as warm as softer cotton based fabrics. I also liked it as it looks ‘smart casual’ off the bike and doesn’t single you out as a cyclist, so you can cycle down to a bar or cafe and mingle without looking out of place. It also dries quickly and easily after being washed and comes in five sizes (a size smaller would probably have sited me just as well, especially should I have wanted a snugger fit).
As ever, time will tell just how hardwearing it is but so far it is fulfilling its brief very well.
About our reviewer
Richard Peace is the author of the official English-language guidebook to the Veloscenie Paris-Mont-Saint Michel bike route and the Sustrans guide to the London-Paris Avenue Verte. He also contributes to A to B magazine, Bike Europe and Eurobike Show Daily.