SCIMITAR RECYCLED NECK WARMER
40g £ 12.00
The Scimitar Recycled Neck Warmer is a multi-use garment, which can be worn in a variety of ways to protect the neck, head and face from chill, the sun, wind, sand and other elements. Versatile and comfortable to wear, it's much better value than some others I've tested at this price point and also looks good, sans bike.
Pros: Lightweight, versatile, extremely comfortable.
Cons: Single colour.
OK, so polyester is unlikely to get pulses racing but there are varying different grades and qualities. In common with a long-standing favourite, this is available in a wealth of colour schemes, aside from our stealthy smart grey.
Measuring a reassuringly generous 47x26cm (long and wide, respectively), this particular blend is 130gsm weight and employs "Quick Dry" wicking technology, so promises to regulate temperature, evict wearer generated heat and indeed, soggy Skyfall, swiftly.
Though lightweight, it feels like a premium grade fabric should. According to Scimitar, the neck warmer can be worn no less than 16, yes sixteen ways. My defaults have been face-mask, neck warmer (obviously) and "hat"/headscarf. It can also be worn as a headband, say when on the indoor trainer.
Temperature Regulation: 3.75/5
Polyesters come in different grades and the texture can vary, from the distinctly synthetic, the very soft and tactile. I'm pleased to report Scimitar have gone the latter route. Seams are flat to the point of being invisible and I haven't been remotely conscious of them, regardless which way, or how long I've worn it. Our Feb/March test period has presented a useful range of temperatures and weather.
When the mercury tumbles to the lower end of single figures, I'm reaching for a slim-line thermal skull cap, or a "waterproof" cycling cap to plonk beneath my lid. However, between 1 and 3 degrees, I've been able to blast along the backroads and let rip on some long descents at 30mph plus without succumbing to those painful "ice cream" headaches.
Talking of which, the tog weight means it's blocked out intrusive wind noise and actually enhanced, rather than impaired my hearing and ultimately, road awareness and conversation/interaction. At the other extreme, when it has wandered into the low teens, the fabric has kept things temperate.
Wicking Prowess 3.75/5
Not on par with a high-end Merino example in my collection. Nonetheless, I've never exceeded that faint mistiness and I have a generously thick shock of hair. In an attempt to loosely replicate hot summer/spring conditions, I've whirred away on the turbo trainer with the heating around 25 degrees.
Plenty of rider generated coolant but again, the fibres kicked in quickly and from there on, things never became uncomfortably clammy. Wearing it headscarf/bandanna fashion was the most effective means of keeping sweat from my eyes and off the bike.
Odour Management 3.75/5
I've worn ours for approximately 21 hours, without washing. A mix of 2-hour rides, indoor training and a few all-day outings for good measure. Even with an anti-bacterial strip, a good quality cycling cap, such as Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux-Paris Race Cap or Prendas Ciclismo Lisboa Waterproof Cycling Cap is in wallpaper stripping, green mist territory compared to Scimitar's Neck Warmer. The thinner materials obviously help but up until this point (provided I'd left it to air on the clothes horse, or out on the line) it remained socially acceptable. Bodes well for touring and similar long-haul applications.
Washing Care 3/5
Doesn't require anything specific. Instructions recommend 30 degrees, and though I've stick to this, I've also tossed it in with the civilian wash at 40 degrees-minimum detergent and it's emerged completely unscathed. Obviously swerve the drier. Bargain on it line drying in around 20-25 minutes, a little longer in the airing cupboard.
Cheaper than a market leader, more expensive than some other patterns. However, performance rivals the former and fabric quality is a good notch or so higher than a couple of store branded versions I've used long-term. Get beyond this of course and the sheer versatility means it's going to pay for itself countless times over (so long as I don't lend to a friend/acquaintance!).
At the other extreme, with some sewing skills and a scrap, summer weight jersey, thirty types could make their own.
However, aside from customisation/satisfaction, there's not much in it, when time, labour and electric are factored into the equation.
The Scimitar Neck Warmer is much more than this. Performance and versatility see it rival, (though not out-perform) some long standing favourites. It'll offer some additional warmth in cooler weather, protect the wearer from sun stroke and similar during the hotter months.