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.
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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
Le Col Sport Jersey II £95
The Le Col Sport Jersey II has been designed to provide a more comfortable and relaxed fit when compared with the more race orientated options in the Le Col family.
Coming in both male and female fits, the light and breathable jersey strikes the balance between close fitting enough so as not to flap on the bike, but also offers has room for a large lunch stop! The high pockets to provide plenty of space to stash tools and snacks too. We did find the fit quite relaxed in the women’s version so you may want to size down compared to your normal kit size.
Read more: Le Col Sport Jersey II review
Buy now: Le Col Exclusive sports Jersey at Wiggle for £64.00 or from Wiggle USA for $73
Rapha Pro Team Jersey £120
Rapha’s re-visited Pro Team jersey sits between the Pro Team Training jersey and the Pro Team Aero jersey, with this one dual fabric design giving you more room for a more relaxed position on the bike.
Available in male and female fit, the a lightweight jersey is ideal for long summer rides thanks to it’s comfort, attention to detail and supportive pockets. Some might find the the arms a little loose, but for hot weather it’s a great light choice.
Read more: Rapha Pro Team Jersey Review
Endura D2Z Aero jersey £150
Endura has worked with Simon Smart of Drag2Zero, using the Mercedes Formula 1 wind tunnel to test the Endura D2Z Aero jersey, ensuring that it has the fastest performance at a range of speeds.
It says that the design is optimised for speeds between 32kph and 50kph. So Endura claims that it’s a jersey that would work as well for a sportive rider looking for a new personal best as for a road racer going for the sprint.
One for anyone looking to pick up some free speed, when buying premium priced jersey.
Read more: Endura D2Z Aero Jersey review
Invani reversible short sleeved jersey £80
The Invani reversible jersey works well to give you two colour options for the price of a single sided jersey. It’s very well made with quality fabrics and detailing.
In theory you can get two days riding from the same jersey, but in reality, you’ll probably want to wash it after each ride rather than wear it for multiple days at a time.
A good option for travelling when you have limited packing space.
Read more: Invani reversible jersey review
Cafe du Cycliste Micheline jersey £127.00
The Café du Cycliste Micheline is the brand’s lightest weight summer jersey. The main panels are made of a fine mesh material that provides plenty of airflow. It’s very stretchy too, but sufficiently opaque that you could wear it without a base layer when it gets really hot.
At 130g it’s a great lightweight piece of kit and the colour option is perfect for hot days, just be aware of sun cream stains on the collar and cuffs, but there’s five colours to go at, so you can always buy more.
Read more: Café du Cycliste Micheline review
Santini Redux Jersey £145.00
As is common with aero jerseys it has a low cut collar, although it’s not as aggressive as the Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey and the Santini Redux doesn’t have the same high cut waist as Rapha’s.
No doubt about it, the Santini Redux is a tight fitting jersey that fits well and has all the slippy attributes you’d expect to see on an aero jersey.
Read more: Santini Redux Jersey review
Castelli Climbers 3.0 jersey £90
Created specifically for racing in the high mountains in the heat of summer, Castelli say the Climbers 3.0 jersey is light, ideal for dealing with moisture transfer and has good aerodynamic properties too.
Our pick of the best women’s cycling jerseys
Lusso Fade short sleeve women’s jersey £65
Based around Lusso’s R1 Style Breath, the Fade jersey aptly named after it’s colour detail, means there is a large range of colours to choose from if the fade options clash with your bike.
The jerseys offer a pro fit with plenty of breathability built in for hard fast rides in hot weather, while still promising 50+ UV protection.
Weighing just 111g, for a size small, there’s very little bulk, while three large and one small pocket keep it practical. This level of performance rarely comes at a price tag quite so friendly.
Stolen Goat Epic women’s cycling jersey £95
Stolen Goat has combined the very on-trend fade print with the sort of material that (race) cyclist’s dreams are made of: it’s soft, stretchy and the close fit creates a QOM ready aero silhouette.
At just 108g for a size extra small, it’s barely there, but be warned: the delicate material does show up anything you’re wearing underneath, and pocket space was not high on the agenda here. If your looking for a performance orientated jersey that’s highly breathable the Epic is just the ticket.
Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Evo jersey £90
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 £60
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
Kalf Flux Women’s jersey £70
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 £110.00
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 £50
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.
PEdAL ED Hane Lightweight jersey £150
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.