Rapha, a name synonymous with roadies, spandex, tights, and..well, you get the idea. However, they've started to sneak in a couple of commuter friendly offerings over the past few years; from sleek button ups to jeans, they've been tossing us commuters a bone here and there, and the bone landing at our feet was the Merino Button up.
The shirt has no pockets, more of a dress shirt in disguise with a basic flat front. This minimalist look is in line with Rapha's other commuter designs where they are very well thought out, straight to the point designs. Which is a nice change of pace from some other gear you'll find and keeps your wardrobe diverse.
In the past we've tested other 100% merino shirts, and over time they tend to wear holes after continuous use, not the case here, the merino has held up very well for over a year of commutes, long day rides, as well as a few hikes. The shirt gets softer as well, but doesn't sag as other merino shirts may do.
The Rapha team added some nylon on the shoulders, which beads water during a light sprinkle. If you get caught in a heavier rain, you'll at least have piece of mind when your shirt is soaked but you are warm and toasty until you reach your destination, and as merino does, it dries pretty quickly.
The shirt is solid, it's no frills, as most commuter shirts have pockets on the chest or on the lower back, Rapha keeps it simple, it's a great layering piece that does a great job of keeping your core warm, and when coupled with a wind/waterproof jacket, you'll find yourself reaching for it often in various weather.