The Rapha Winter Base layer is a merino (you must not say wool. It’s merino) turtleneck, available in black or charcoal.
I’ve had this for over two years as well, and it is one of my go-to pieces for cold weather riding. The turtleneck is long enough that you can pull it up over your jaw and protect your lower face and entire neck, yet loose enough that it doesn’t feel like it’s choking you.
I’m perpetually amazed by how warm this is. I find myself wearing fewer and fewer layers each time I ride with it. On the coldest of days, on a road bike, on an exposed, windy road, I can wear this layer with a light winter riding jacket over it and be warm and comfortable. If you start getting too warm, you can unzip the jacket a bit, and it is amazing how fast the merino air dries with a little blowing wind. If you’re getting sweaty, the merino keeps you insulated even when wet. (If you’re riding more slowly or stopping frequently…i.e. some Fatbike rides, more layers are needed).
As with my other Rapha pieces, I machine wash this, inside-out, cold water, extra rinse, and air dry it. It hasn’t shrunk a bit, and still looks as good as the day I bought it. Durability has been excellent.
I still like Gore base layers with windstopper material…but what I’ve found is that if I have a good jacket on, I really don’t need a windstopper base layer. Windstopper base layers are most useful when it’s transitional weather and you wear one under a regular jersey. If it is cold or wet enough to demand a jacket, I’m finding that
wool merino is a better choice for base layers.
Once again, it’s perfect kit, and I have no regrets or complaints. A medium fits me perfectly.