Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey review - smart, warm and not too expensive
An excellent choice if you're looking for a new winter jersey that will keep you warm and reasonably dry
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The Le Col Pro Aqua Zero LS jersey is a very good autumn or spring jersey capable of tackling even the worst of weather – as long as you are keeping the body working.
Water repellent quality not as high as other products
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Le Col has done a great job with its Pro Aqua Zero range. When we put it through some challenging conditions it did what we needed and more. It is comfortable, warm and well fitting, what more do you need from a jersey?
It isn’t always super cold during the winter and often keeping warm in wet weather when you have training rides planned requires something a little different from your clothing.
A generic long sleeve jersey won’t quite cut it. Instead Le Col have put together a high quality jersey in a range of colours that not only provides warmth, it also looks smart and stylish too.
Here's what we thought after a few rides in the jersey.
Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey: construction
When handling the jersey, it’s easy to see straight away that it is very much a three-season jersey capable of doing just what you need in early spring, fall and throughout the colder, harsher weather you might encounter in winter.
It’s made from a soft but thick lycra material which is lined with a thermal fleece fabric and feels extremely comfortable against any exposed skin.
Despite its thickness, the material isn’t so bulky that it isn’t breathable and the zip has a storm flap at the top to protect your chin.
It’s cut for an aerodynamic, racing fit with a dropped tail to protect your rear from the elements. Its three deep pockets provide more than enough room for any spare food or gels as well as your phone. The middle pocket also features a reflective strip to boost visibility – there is also a bright orange and a bright yellow option to further assist with this, you're not limited to only black and navy colourways.
The big selling point with the jersey is that it is made with Aqua Zero fabric with hydrophobic rain protection added to it to help with water repellency. Together, these two components make up a great combination, especially as the Aqua Zero fabric (which is a tightly woven Italian fabric) is stretchy and water repellent in itself.
Topped with a gilet or light jacket, you’ll be able to take this further into the colder parts of the winter without much issue.
Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey: the ride
I tested out the Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey in the recent cool autumnal mornings, and with a heavy helping of fog, mist and rain. It instantly put the jersey's water repellent qualities through its paces.
Unlike the Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey, any dampness whatsoever was kept firmly at bay, with the moisture in the air gathering on the outside of the jersey and began to bead before simply evaporating as I lifted the tempo of the ride.
The temperature was around seven degrees on my Wahoo when I set off each morning and the jersey was sufficiently warm that I didn’t need to add a gilet and was fine with just a long sleeve base layer underneath.
As well as keeping out most moisture, any that gathered on the inside of my jersey through sweat quickly dried and evaporated too. I found that the jersey was also windproof, keeping me nice and toasty throughout the duration of my rides.
The pockets are sufficiently deep enough that they easily provide enough space for plenty of food and other ride essentials as well as a spare pair of gloves if you need them during any longer training.
I also received plenty of compliments from other riders who said that the jersey also looked as good as I told them it felt.
When I found myself out in the middle of a downpour, I found that the water repellent qualities that were sufficient for the mist and drizzle started to become overwhelmed – to the extent that I needed to pull my rain jacket on over the top.
With that said, once again I noticed that the jersey was extremely quick drying and when the sun came out I was then more than warm enough and didn't find myself struggling in a damp jersey.
This is just to underline that although this jersey is water resistant, it isn't actually waterproof. To be fair, Le Col doesn't claim that it is, but if you misread the "Aqua Zero" part of the product name and think that you are getting hold of a completely waterproof jersey, you might be disappointed.
During most autumnal rides, you'll probably be just fine with the jersey and a base layer underneath. But once winter hits it will be worth taking a packable rain jacket in your back pocket.
That's where I found that the jersey slightly faltered compared to a product like the Castelli Perfetto ROS long sleeve jersey – which had much superior water resisting qualities, despite also not being a hardshell jacket.
Whilst there is no doubt that the Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey is an outstanding product, I would be ranked behind the Castelli Perfetto for that reason.
Le Col Pro Aqua Zero long sleeve jersey: value and conclusion
The jersey is incredibly warm and well-fitting, ensuring that the wind-chill doesn’t sneak in and bother you during autumnal and winter training rides.
It both looks and feels excellent and is by a longshot one of the best winter jerseys I have ever seen or owned. Whilst it won’t keep you completely dry in a heavy downpour, you will find that the quick drying qualities of the product will ensure that once the sun comes back out you will be dry in no time.
Like all Le Col jerseys I've used, the sizing is spot on and something they deserve a lot of credit for.
If you’re looking for an excellent three-season jersey, then this is is certainly a contender. Although just bare in mind that like I’ve already mentioned, once you’re into the deepest darkest parts of winter, you will need a jacket over the top.
The jersey will cost you £170.000 from Le Col’s website if you’re based in the UK or $200.00 in the USA. That may seem steep for a long sleeve jersey, but it does pack some good tech and has a very comfortable fit. As mentioned, the Castelli Perfetto ROS long sleeve jersey does perform a little better in the wet, but this comes in at $249.99 / £220.00.
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Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. Alongside his day job, prior to starting with the team, he wrote a variety of different pieces as a contributor to a cycling website, Casquettes and Bidons, including interviews with up and coming British riders.
Back in the day, Tom spent many summers visiting family in the South of France, catching the Tour de France from the roadside wherever possible. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Tour, and he hopes to ride the white gravel roads himself in the years to come.
Away from cycling, Tom’s interests include following football and researching First World War history.
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