Review: Primal Rhapsody 'Lifestyle' Hoodie

A hoodie is the perfect bit of kit for relaxing off the bike, especially after a long winter training ride or a cold cyclocross race. The Rhapsody hoodie from Primal Europe is designed to have a dual purpose though; it is intended to not only be great for chilling out in a casual environment, but also perfect for short rides and nipping around town on errands. On a week off the bike in South Tyrol last month, I tested it out; doing a good bit of relaxing, as well as running up a few mountains...

The first thing that you notice with the Rhapsody hoodie, is the fit. This is a product made for cyclists. It features a good body length, so that you're not left with uncomfortable gaps when you're bent over on the handlebars; the sleeves are a good length too, and have large soft cuffs to keep out the chill. Overall, it has a great slim fitting silhouette, and is very comfortable to wear.

The hoodie comes in two colour schemes, the first a stealthy grey, and the second (the one I tested) a fantastic deep blue and lime green. There is no doubt that this second colour way has got some presence! The colour isn't the only thing that would make this outer layer visible in traffic though, there are also reflective accents built into the stitching on the hood, as well as on the sleeves.

The fabric is what really makes this hoodie a dual purpose piece of apparel though. Primal have used a melange poly blended knit fabric, with SpeedMesh backing; the combination creates a jacket which is warm, breathable and has a two-way stretch. It means that unlike a traditional cotton hoodie, this will move with you and allow perspiration to escape, when you do put foot to pedal. It has a great feel, and stayed comfortable even working up a heat running up a few mountains in Northern Italy.

Pocketing comes in the form of two front hand warmer pockets, as well as a neat little zipper pocket on the left hand sleeve that is ideal for keys or an iPod. Branding is satisfyingly subtle, and the leather tag on the right hand sleeve is actually removable, if you felt so inclined.

Overall, this is a great piece of autumn apparel. Whether you're relaxing in a coffee shop, at work or nipping into town to grab some shopping, this really serves its intended dual purposes well. It is comfortable, breathable and looks the part. A great piece of non-Lycra focussed rider apparel.


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