For the last two months I have been more or less living in the Torre Merino Wool Hooded Zip-Up Sweater from Mission Workshop. It has been put through a lot both on and off the bike in this relatively short time. I’ve been wearing The Torre in the shop while wrenching on bikes, in a couple of alley cat races, on some urban cyclocross rides, island bike trips and blustery ferry crossings, daily errands in the city, out to the bar and even to a dinner party where Greg’s cat completely covered it in white hair…
Here is what Mission Workshop has to say about it: “The Torre is a classic fitted zip-up sweater made with a unique 380 Gram, 18.9 Micron New Zealand Merino wool reinforced with core filament stretch nylon. This hybrid fabric was developed exclusively for Mission Workshop. Merino Wool is naturally antibacterial, an excellent temperature regulator, and it draws moisture away from the skin. With nylon woven into the fabric, it has added stretch and durability, making this a garment that will be a staple for years to come.”
Here is what I have to say about it: The Torre is an incredibly versatile piece of clothing that feels and wears casual but functions like a technical garment.
The first time I donned the hoodie I was impressed with the quality of the fabric and the fit. It is soft against the skin and instantly comfortable. The body is constructed out of five panels, the fit is slim and long, and it naturally stretches with your body movements. There are two “hidden” zippered pockets, one inside the left hand pocket, and a second under the right arm pit. The zippers feel solid and aren’t visible when closed. The Torre has a very sleek and clean look to it.
After two months of wear it still looks as good as it did when I first put it on. The fabric is proving to be very durable. There are no signs of piling or wear in the usual places. The merino wool breathes extremely well which I found allowed me to wear it at a variety of temperatures. It was warm enough when leaving on a brisk morning ride, and I didn’t overheat a couple hours later when the temperature had risen. It dries quickly and stays relatively warm even when wet. My other favorite part about the Torre is that the fabric doesn’t absorb odors. You can sweat it in, cook in it, sit around a bonfire and the next day you’d never know.
Specifically in regards to riding a bike in the Torre: The slim fit is great for riding as there is not extra fabric flapping around in the wind. The hood is also on the smaller side and stays put pretty well both up or down. The hidden pockets are useful for keeping things in place while riding, and the under arm pocket worked well for stashing an ipod/phone if you like to listen to music while you ride. The only real critique I have about the Torre is the sleeve length proved to be a little on the short side for me while on the bike. I am 6’4″ and have long arms, so this most likely will not be a problem for most people, however I would have liked a couple more inches in sleeve length to cover my wrists when stretched out on the bike.
At $235 retail, the Torre is a few bucks more expensive than other comparable merino wool pieces. But it is made in the USA and the quality of construction is nothing less than impressive. The quality combined with the durability of the Torre definitely point to a piece of clothing that will last for many years.