The Nukeproof Outland DriRelease Hooded Long Sleeve is a great-looking top with its smart two-tone blue colourway and super soft feel courtesy of the DriRelease fabric. It’s great to keep on post-ride and hang around with your mates in, and you won’t even smell (much) as it controls odour - within reason.
Nukeproof has opted for DriRelease fabric for the Outland Hoodie. DriRelease is not a coating that can wear or wash out; it is a combination of synthetic and natural fibres (88% Polyester and 12% Cotton, in this case), designed to extract perspiration from your body and push it through the material to the outside where it can evaporate. It's designed to provide high-performance moisture management whilst feeling like your best soft cotton t-shirt.
The Outland is cut well with good length in the arms and slightly dropped back. It floats nicely over your body as you move around on the bike, and the sleeves have enough space for slim elbow protection. The back and front are made of the same material; whilst it looks good, it doesn't help the back breathe when you're really working hard and producing heat, worse when you are wearing a backpack. If the back was made of a lighter weight or more breathable material, it would cope better with the moisture, but it might not look as good off the bike and therein lies the compromise between a riding top and a chilling top.
So the Outland Hooded LS will get damp when you ride (hard), but it stays warm and does dry fast. You have to go through the slightly clammy backbit whilst the DriRealse fabric pulls the moisture off you and pushes it out through the fabric. It's much better than riding in a t-shirt (come on, don't do that, please), but it's not as good as wearing a more technical top with a mesh back to help shift the heat.
True, wearing a backpack always causes a sweaty back issue, and the Outland Hoodie is no worse than many Merino-based tops I have; plus, it's more resistant to plucking from branches.
I never rode with it up, so I've no idea if the Outland's hood would stay in place at high speeds, but it's stretchy enough to grip the Smith Forefront in the pictures pretty well.
As for DriRelease’s claim to neutralise body odour, I had no problem with it smelling unpleasant after a few days of riding or, indeed, wearing pretty much everyday apres activity on a week-long family trip to Wales. It definitely passed the sniff test and was still presentable to walk into bars and cafes.
I did experience an odd issue in that it held onto an odd chemical smell after its first wash, and it has taken months of washing to get rid of. It wasn’t a strong ‘fall over backwards’ smell or offensive mildew smell; it was just a slightly unpleasant chemical aroma right from that first wash with a non-bio Eco detergent.
Other users have not had this issue, so it must be down to my detergent choices and the fabric clashing. If you don’t use this type of detergent, then you’ll probably never notice it, but nothing else I own, or should I say wash, has ever had this odd smell. Very strange.
The good thing is that when riding, the smell is not noticeable, it's lost amongst all the other smells from the outdoors, your bike cleaner and stinky gloves, etc., so it doesn't affect your ride.
The Outland Hoodie costs £45, which might seem a little pricey for a t-shirt style hoodie, but it does offer DriRelease construction, meaning it won't hold onto your body odour, and it will move moisture more effectively than a regular t-shirt; plus, it's long-sleeved, and it does have that hood which can be very useful on cold nights. Compared to other LS riding tops from Madison and Altura, the price is actually pretty fair.
The Outland DriRelease Hooded Long Sleeve is a lovely top to wear on and off the bike if you are not pushing it too hard. If you get hot riding in it, it moves that perspiration through the fabric reasonably quickly as long as you aren’t wearing a backpack. Off the bike and without a pack, the top dries fast and is a useful layer to put on after doing any active sport. The cut is spot on for both sleeve and back length for riding, but it’s not so bike-specific that you’ll look odd wearing it elsewhere.