Long-sleeved jerseys are designed to cater for the shoulder seasons and deep winter: offering protection from the chilly mornings without causing you to overheat on warmer days.
Often ‘thermal’ and made from a Roubaix-style soft, fleece-backed fabric, long-sleeved jerseys may have a reinforced Windstopper front paired to a more breathable fabric at the back to allow for heat dissipation.
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Waterproofing is something you’ll find in a more winter-ready jacket. In an fall/spring weight jersey, you may find pockets lined with a waterproof fabric, and these will often be deeper – designed for stowing packable waterproofs and gilets.
There are often reflective details since low-light riding is more likely as we head into autumn.
We’ve tested both men’s and women’s long-sleeved jerseys. There are lighter options for cool autumn rides as well as more heavyweight deep winter options – you can take a look at our waterproof jackets page for advice on staying dry.
Best men’s long sleeve jerseys
Endura Pro SL II long sleeved jersey
This new version of the Pro SL jersey is made from a fully recycled mix of 80 percent nylon with 20 percent elastane.
As part of Endura’s premium range, it comes with the slimmer fit and features you’d expect, including hemless cuffs and bottom hem.
The tail is dropped enough to keep draughts off your lower back and overlap with tights or shorts for extra insulation and a silicone gripper prevents it from riding up while you’re riding. Although it is made from heavier fabric for a bit of extra insulation, it isn’t so warm you’ll boil if the temperature does rise.
Price: £89.99 / $119.99
Triban RC100 long sleeved jersey
The Triban RC100 is Decathlon’s budget long-sleeve jersey and retails for less than some brands charge for a pair of socks.
It’s made of a mid-weight, tight-knit polyester that supplies a degree of wind protection. The brushed inner traps air and is comfortable against the skin. There’s a taller collar and if it does warm-up, a full zip allows you dump heat.
The Triban jersey is comfortable and feels warm at lower temperatures but does get a little sweaty if you’re working hard, with the tight weave of the fabric reducing breathability. The only area that gives it away as a budget item is the cut. The sleeves are a touch too short and the basic, non-articulated fit leads to a lot of bagginess around the upper arm in a riding position and it bunches around the midriff.
Price: £17.99 / $24.99
Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal long sleeved jersey – BEST ON TEST
The Pro Thermal is aimed as being an outer jersey for milder fall and spring days but is also perfect as a low-bulk mid-layer under a wind or waterproof jacket for more extreme days.
It uses a polyester-based Thermal+ fabric that has a brushed wool-like appearance on the outside, and a soft, comfortable feel against the skin.
The Pro Thermal was almost perfect for riding in temperatures between 10-20°C / 50-68°F. It starts a little chilly but the fabric traps heat and does well to keep you warm after a few minutes’ pedaling. The thin and open nature of the fabric also allows it to be worn in warmer conditions without overheating too much.
Price: £149.99 / $165
Invani reversible long sleeved jersey
Invani’s clothing is designed to be worn on both sides, each having a different color.
There’s a heavier weight fabric for the front and rear panels. The sides are made of a lighter mesh for airflow. A DWR coating protects from road spray and light rain, but will be overcome should the weather worsen.
The fabric is non-fleece, making it ideal for mud season, but once it starts to cool down a bit more you may need extra insulation, so the time window when you use it might be limited.
Price: £85 / $110.99
Rapha Core long sleeved jersey
Rapha’s Core jersey offers seasonal protection without the price tag. At £70 / $100 it’s not cheap, but in comparison to the London brand’s more dedicated training options, it’s significantly less expensive. It also carries more subtle branding, although this hi-vis pink version should please even the biggest show-off.
Although it’s not designed for deep winter riding, the soft fleecy fabric paired with a brushed inner gives it a thicker profile and good protection.
It did the job for recent 10°C / 50°F morning rides and we’d be confident going down to 5°C / 41°F with a vest on top. A guard down the back of the zip stops the chill sneaking in at the front.
Price: £70 / $100
Castelli Perfetto ROS
The Castelli Perfetto ROS is a more comprehensive option, designed for winter. It gained a high score of 9/10 in Cycling Weekly’s last test.
This garment is effectively the highly acclaimed Gabba reborn, offering warmth, breathability and protection from the rain, all in one package that fits closely and is flexible without rustling excess fabric.
Price: £200 / 229.99
Assos iJ.Bonka.6 Cento jacket
At £330 / $529, it’s not cheap – but the Bonka is built to last, and we gave it a 10/10.
This is another option suited to the colder months – once autumn becomes winter. We can expect an Assos item to last for years, it’s incredibly warm and breathable to boot and even comes with an integrated buff.
Price: £330 / $529
Best women’s long-sleeved jerseys
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Le Col Pro Aqua Zero women’s long sleeved jersey
Le Col’s jersey is made from Aqua Zero fabric with hydrophobic coating for protection during wet conditions.
This thermal fleece-backed fabric offers a form-hugging fit and breathability without being restrictive. Although ideal for temperatures around 10°C / 50°F, it can last you longer into the winter season with the addition of a base layer beneath.
With its smart black design, it is stylish in its simplicity. The reflective strip at the back brings welcome visibility. However, given the ubiquity of dark kit these days it would have been nice t have a dash of color.
The Le Col does very well as a jersey for autumn and spring and will allow you to ride in harsher conditions without committing to full winter attire. For certain it’s good quality kit but you pay a premium for the Le Col name.
Price: £135 / $180
Giro Chrono women’s long sleeved jersey – BEST ON TEST
Giro has chosen a brushed-back high-loft Italian fabric for the bulk of the Chrono jersey. High loft means that the cloth is super soft and easily compressible, leading to a mixture of soft and stretchy that absolutely sets the garment apart.
While you’ll need a proper waterproof in a real downpour, Giro has used a water-repellent finish which effectively traps droplets on the surface, where they sit and roll off.
Giro’s fit is a hit with us: close to the skin and streamlined without being restrictive. The sleeves are long enough to reach the wrists with a little excess (much better than too short), and an elasticated hem keeps the jersey down. This is a great-fitting, well-performing garment.
Price: £90 / $130
Sporftul Fiandre Light Norain Top
Made from Sportful’s NoRain fabric, the Fiandre Light top sees a DWR treatment to shed light showers, and three-layer ‘Wind-shield’ panels on the front, shoulders, and upper arms in addition to a full-length zipper placket keeps biting winds at bay.
The tailored fit prevents the jersey from flapping in the wind, three large pockets allow room for plenty of snacks and waterproofs, while reflective elements added much needed low light visibility.
Price: £125 / $169.95
Castelli Alpha ROS Jacket
The Alpha ROS is well suited to the autumn months, but can also continue to serve you into winter. Our tester loved the Alpha Ros, giving it 9/10 for warmth, water resistance, windproofing and breathability. The only thing that let it down was a lack of visibility and a slightly undersized zip pocket.
This one should keep you warm and dry through the worst weather.
Keep checking back for more of our favorites as the season goes on…