A good cycling jersey can dramatically improve your comfort and confidence on the bike, and there’s a plethora of choice out there – with something to suit most preferences and bank balances.
You want a cycling jersey to sit fairly close to the skin, with as little flapping material as possible. This will be more important to racers, who will be after an aerodynamic advantage.
A fabric that offers a great deal of stretch will be ideal and you’d expect it to be quick wicking and fast drying. More premium jerseys will feature laser cut sleeves, or silicone grippers at the cuffs and waist.
Traditionally, cycling jerseys have three rear pockets for storing basic necessities: inner tubes, tyre levers and a pump. Pay a little more and you often get one zipped pocket that may be water resistant to protect a smartphone.
Here’s a look at some of the best jerseys we’ve tested, and a little more insight into what to look for below.
With each jersey is a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
Our pick of the best summer cycling jerseys
Castelli Free Aero Race 4.1 jersey
The Casstelli Free Aero Race jersey made it into our Editor’s Choice selection, thanks to the aero claims coupled with comfort and quick drying properties. There’s plenty of room in the pockets, plus a fourth zipped compartment.
Read more: Castelli Free Aero Race 4.1 jersey review
Lusso Shattered jersey
Another jersey that gained a place in our Editor’s Choice awards, we loved the form fitting fit and well breathing fabric. A striking design, though the pockets did sag a little.
Read more: Lusso Shattered jersey review
Rapha Core Jersey
The Core collection from Rapha is the brand’s more wallet friendly series, but this jersey comes loaded with performance nods. The fit really impressed us, and we found it comfortable, with ample wicking and breathability.
Rear more: Rapha Core jersey review
Buy now: Rapha Core jersey at Rapha for £60
Sportful Bodyfit Pro Light jersey
A lightweight and breathable jersey that’s all about moisture control and quick drying, with an aero fit that won’t slow you down.
Laser cut sleeves with a low profile collar, three rear pockets and some reflective details on the rear.
Read more: Sportful Pro Race jersey reviewed
Also available at Amazon
Le Col Pro Hex Jersey
A pro fit jersey with light Borgnini fabric on the sleeves to keep you cool. A hidden waterproof security pocket keeps your valuables safe and an ergonomic collar promises comfort and aerodynamics.
Castelli Volata FZ Jersey
An excellent fit with a low collar, this jersey is created to fit you like a glove. It has a clean design and some great attention to detail. Castelli have added a full length zip and pockets with plenty of room.
Read more: Castelli Volata FZ Jersey review
Our pick of the best women’s cycling jerseys
Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Evo jersey
So good, we’ve recommended both the men’s and women’s fit versions. A lightweight jersey with mesh inserts to increase breathability, and an excellent fit. Plenty of space in the pockets and laser cut cuffs for a close fit.
Read more: Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Evo jersey reviewed
Craft Essence jersey
Craft uses an environmentally friendly design process and comes out with a top end performance jersey with a friendly price tag. Just be aware that the sizing comes up quite small, and the zip pocket won’t hold much more than a basic house key.
Read more: Craft Essence Jersey review
Castelli Women’s Climbers Jersey
Designed specifically for hot days, the climber’s jersey features a half length zip, with a light mesh layer beneath it – meaning you can regulate your temperature on the way up without bearing all. Called Castelli’s most technical jersey to date, it’s super lightweight with close fit mesh arm bands.
Kalf Flux Women’s jersey
A well priced jersey that fits like race kit and offers plenty of breathability. The chevron printed gripper is a nice touch, and sleeves are aero fit with laser cut ends. We marked this one down for a tight fit on the cuffs for our tester, so it’s worth trying before you buy.
Read more: Kalf Flux women’s jersey reviewed
Alé Women’s R-EV1 Rumbles Jersey
A hugely popular brand among female riders, Alé make kit that fits great, and the R-EV1 Rumbles is a performance focused utilising performance fabric. There’s a range of loud designs on offer, but we like this slightly more understated option.
dhb Blok Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey
Wiggle’s in house brand, dhb, is renowned for offering quality cycling kit at affordable prices. The Blok range provides functional comfort, with bold designs and the Nova jersey is no exception. Mesh underarms and side panels provide added ventilation.
Japanese brand PEdAL ED create some beautiful block colour jerseys, utilising super soft fabric that’s lightweight and sits close to the skin. Not the most value orientated option at all, but the delicate material feels great to pull on.
In our experience, sizing comes up quite small, so worth trying on or paying attention to the size guide.
What to look for in a cycling jersey
We always advise you to take a mobile phone out on your rides for emergencies, but you don’t want to be constantly worried that it may skip out of your rear pocket. Shallow pockets or ones that are too loose are no good for mini-pumps, while a zipped compartment and deeper pockets give peace of mind for valuables.
The fit of a jersey is important in terms of comfort and appearance. If it’s cutting into your waist with an overly tight silicone gripper, you may look like you have a spare tyre even if you don’t! A good cut can flatter and make you feel like you own the road.
We’ve seen one or two of the Tour de France riders with nasty sunburn due to mesh jerseys and a lack of sun cream. Have a think about the conditions in which you’ll be cycling and consider the thickness of material you require. A wicking material is key to ensuring you don’t end up soaked in sweat for the whole ride.