Santini Colore Long Sleeve Winter Jersey review

Santini's well-made, well-performing thermal jersey is simple but effective

Santini Colore jersey
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Santini Colore Winter Long Sleeve jersey, with its simple construction and use of a single thermal fleecy fabric in a single colour, has an appealing authenticity about it. It performs well in mid season temperatures, it’s comfortable, stylish, good quality, well made – in Italy – and durable, so I can certainly recommend it.

For
  • +

    Comfortable

  • +

    Insulating

  • +

    Breathable

  • +

    Good quality, durable fabric

  • +

    Nicely made – in Italy

Against
  • -

    Some may want more technical features

The Santini Colore long sleeved jersey (opens in new tab) is a comfortable, stretchy, fleece-lined garment that despite the ‘winter’ designation is actually ideal for spring or autumn riding. Its temperature range is quoted as being 8-15°C, which I would say is exactly right. It’s not waterproof or windproof, so in wetter or chillier conditions it would need a shell over the top.

Santini Colore Winter Long Sleeve Jersey: Construction

Santini has kept the construction simple and traditional, using a single thermofleece fabric throughout. There are no technical features such as panels made from different materials, water repellent coatings or an ergonomic fit.

There are four colour ways available, all single block colours that are in keeping with the jersey’s simplicity.

Santini Colore

The collar and the cuffs are both doubled over to add extra insulation, and with their stretchiness they hug the wrists and the neck, keeping out the draughts effectively.

The full-length zip has a large, tactile, Santini-branded puller that handily locks in place when flat.

Santini Colore

There are three rear pockets in the usual configuration – but no zipped valuables one – and the bottom hem has the expected silicone strips to keep it in place. There are discreet reflectives at the rear.

Santini has three fits – Sleek, Slim and Classic. The Colore jersey is Classic, meaning it’s more relaxed than the first two, but I found the size medium fitted me (178cm, 69kg) reasonably closely, with enough length on the sleeves that the cuffs stay put when reaching forward to the hoods and with the slightly dropped tail there’s enough coverage at the rear when on the drops.

It comes in seven men's sizes and six women's sizes (there are also different colours for the women's sizes), and Santini's measurement chart on its website is accurate so you can find the right one.

The ride

Santini scores the Colore out of five for its various properties, and breathability gets top marks. Obviously it’s hard for Santini to be totally objective about its own jersey, but I have to agree that in its optimum operating temperature range it’s perfect for hard riding without getting sweatlogged. It also dries very quickly and doesn’t hold onto moisture.

Clearly such good breathability means it’s unlikely to be very wind resistant, and Santini awards itself three out of five in this area, which again is fair.

For insulation it gives itself four: that’s harder to call. Under a hardshell jacket I found it extremely insulating. As long as wind can’t get through it, the fleecy back does a great job of trapping warm air. So again, a fair assessment.

If it’s not obvious by now, I really like the Santini Colore jersey. It’s the kind of versatile garment that gets a lot of use, both as a layer and on its own when it gets warmer.

Santini has got the cut and the fit right, the unfussy design is stylish and easy to live with, and the quality of both the fabric and construction are high. I’ve already worn it a lot since the end of last year and it’s been through quite a few wash cycles, so I can confirm it’s durable too.

Value

At £90 it’s not the cheapest long-sleeved jersey out there, but it undercuts other thermal jerseys from the premium brands such as the Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey (opens in new tab) at £150 and the Castelli Cubi FZ (opens in new tab) at £100 . The Altura Icon (opens in new tab) is cheaper at £59.99 but we weren’t so keen on the looser fit.

I always like that Santini clothing is made in Italy, and very nicely too. Maybe Santini are being too modest to score it themselves for value, but for me it does pretty well all things considered.

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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.


In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.


What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.


And the vital statistics:


Age: 53
Height: 178cm

Weight: 69kg