A great cycling jersey can make your cycling an even better experience, keeping you cool and dry while efficiently wicking away your sweat. This post features a handy chart comparing 7 of the best cycling jerseys, plus reviews to help you choose the best one for your needs. We aim to help you to quickly and easily make a choice to find the best garment for your specific needs. Bonus: If there are any technical details in the reviews that you are not sure about – just scroll down to read our complete explanation of the features you should expect in great cycling jerseys.
Chart Comparing 7 of the Best Cycling Jerseys
|Half-length front zipper||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $19.99|
This jersey offers excellent sweat wicking abilities and breathability
|3 rear pockets to keep snacks, keys, and phone||40+ UPF protection to protect your skin on long bike rides||BEST FOR those trying their first technical cycling jersey, who don't want to spend a fortune. It is semi form fitting, and excellent value for money. Best selling cycling jersey of all time. Lightweight and comfortable. Elasticized hem to keep it in place. Bright and colorful options. Even available in screaming yellow. Has some reflective elements. In short, relaxed, comfy, and great value. Note: if you have a long torso, order up a size.|
|Very short front zipper, invisible for clean lines||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: $44.00|
This jersey features very good sweat wicking abilities and breathability
|1 small pocket||Not stated||BEST FOR: Women cyclists who want to combine a functional cycling jersey with style. This jersey is not excessively form fitting, and features light weight fabric and shorter sleeves. The styling is tapered, skimming the body. Because of the stylish design, it is ideal if you want to interupt your bike ride to stop at a coffee shop or a resaurant. This women’s cycling jerseys is good value for money, fashionable and extremely durable.|
|Full length front zipper||PRICE: Usually around $180. Please click here for current price on Amazon.|
This jersey rates exceptionally high for wind-proofness and breathability, and is water repellant as well
|3 rear pockets to keep snacks, keys, and phone||Not stated||BEST FOR those who are advanced enough to participate in bike racing, and who want an extremely highly rated jersey. This is a designed-for-simplicity garment made entirely of Windstopper X-Lite fabric, except for the stretchy Nano Flex inserts in the underarms. It features a Race Fit, yet it is still comfortable. Ideal for cooler weather cycling and in the rain, due to outstanding wind stopping, breathability, and rain resistance. People rave about this jersey. It was originally designed for the shoulder seasons, with enhanced wind-stopping abilities.|
|Full length front zipper||PRICE: Price is usually less than $50.|
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Offers very good breathability and windproofing
|3 rear pockets to keep snacks, keys, and phone, plus an extra pocket on side||50+ UPF protection for superior protection on ultra-long bike rides||BEST FOR those who want to keep cool while cycling very athletically. And those who aim for speedy, athletic cycling without overheating. More affordable than many of the other technical cycling jerseys, this jersey offers superior keep-cool technology. The cut is Pro Fit, which means it is designed to adapt to the positions and movements of cycling, while not bunching or flapping. Known for its cooling abilities, due to Garneau’s Airfit polyester fabric and well-placed mesh panels. Improved airflow over skin and enhanced wicking. The fluorescent orange color is super bright and noticeable|
|Full length front zipper||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: Price not available|
Offers excellent sweat wicking, breathability, and windproofing
|3 rear pockets, held close to the body by a compressive mesh band||Not stated||BEST FOR competitive cyclists who want to cycle as fast as possible. This jersey is very high-tech and aerodynamic, with excellent sweat wicking abilities and excellent breathability. It features an Aero Race fit, which means it is tightly-form-fitting, so it is ideal for serious racers looking to shave off wind drag and improve speed. Castelli’s Aero Race fabric has long been admired for being one of the fastest cycling fabrics, and this year it has been improved further. Available in bright colors with some reflective elements. If you plan on achieving your best times ever this year, then this cycling jersey is for you.|
|Full length front zipper||Price is usually less than $120.|
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Offers very good sweat wicking and breathability
|3 rear pockets to keep snacks, keys, and phone||Not stated||BEST FOR spring and fall cycling, as it resists wind and light rain. This jersey combines windstopping abilities in the front with water resistance on the back. Windstopper 150 panels will protect you from the wind, while water-resistant Nano Light panels on the back will protect you from light rain. This garment aims to be a combo short sleeved cycling jersey/jacket, protecting you from wind and rain while allowing you to generate your own heat without getting soaked in your own sweat (thanks to good breathability). The cut os form fitting. The jersey has some reflective elements and comes in bright colors.|
|Half-length zipper||PRICE: Best Price on Amazon Right Now: Price not available|
Offers very good sweat wicking and breathability. Features Select Transfer Fabric for maximum breathability
|3 rear pockets to keep snacks, keys, and phone||Not stated||BEST FOR commuting, and for stopping at the pub on the way home. This jersey features Select Transfer Fabric for maximum breathability. Pearl Izumi describes the cut as Relaxed Fit. Available in bright yellow with reflective elements if you value high visibility, or in more subdued colors if you don’t. If you are an average cyclist looking for a great cycling jersey with a relaxed fit (so you can stop at a coffee shop without feeling too out of place), then this would be a great choice for you.|
No. 1: Pearl Izumi Select Quest
The Pearl Izumi Select Quest Jersey is one of the cheapest garments you can buy that performs as a technical cycling jersey. It is high-tech, with great sweat wicking abilities and breathability. Pearl Izumi describe it as semi-form-fitting, which in reality translates into lightweight and comfortable, yet sporty. I don’t like the sausage wrapped in cellophane look, so this works well for me.
This cycling jersey has a UPF factor of 40+, to protect your skin from the sun during long rides. In front it has a half-length zipper. It includes the standard three back pockets to carry your keys, snacks, and phone. The colors are good without being what I would call “over the top.” Personally, being an average cyclist, I never want to wear a jersey that makes it look as if I am pretending I just did the Tour de France last week (not that anyone would believe me!) But I do like bright colors, and this one is available in a screaming yellow. Plus, it has some reflective elements.
The Pearl Izumi Select Quest Cycling Jersey checks all the bases for what most people are looking for in a cycling jersey, which is why it is pretty much the best selling cycling jersey of all time. If you are looking for your first technical cycling jersey, you cannot really go wrong with this one. It would also make a great staple in almost any experienced cyclist’s wardrobe. Note: if you have a long torso, order up a size.
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No. 2: Sugoi Women’s RS Pro Jersey – Stylish and Functional
This is one of Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist’s favorite women’s cycling jerseys. She likes it because it is not excessively form fitting. The Sugoi Women’s Jersey features light weight fabric and shorter sleeves. The styling is tapered, skimming the body. Because of the design, she likes it because it still looks good if she wants to stop for a snack or a glass of wine. The design is slightly mandarin inspired with a small stand-up color, and the white piping on the neck and sleeves is really eye-catching. Her only complaint is a minor one: that there is only one pocket and it is pretty small, but it also has an invisible zipper so that the lines are clean.
In sum, this women’s cycling jersey is good value for money, fashionable and extremely durable. Maggie is pretty rough with her clothes, but this jersey has survived two seasons and is still going strong.
Related Post: Two of the Best Women’s Cycling Jerseys: Pearl Izumi and Sugoi
No. 3: Castelli Gabba 2 – a Great Choice for a Cycling Jersey
The Castelli Gabba 2 Cycling Jersey has an interesting history. Basically, it is designed for the shoulder seasons, with enhanced wind-stopping abilities. But wait – there’s more! It all started when pro cyclist Gabriel (Gabba) Rasch designed a jersey that could be paired with Castelli’s Nanoflex Arm Warmers. Castelli called it Gabba, and it was a great success, and so now we have the new, improved, Gabba 2.
This is a designed-for-simplicity garment made entirely of Windstopper X-Lite fabric, except for the stretchy Nano Flex inserts in the underarms. It rates exceptionally high for wind-proofness and breathability, and is water repellant as well. People tend to rave about this cycling jersey, finding it to be comfortable despite the race fit, and amazingly good at protecting you from wind and rain. Some cyclists have found they can manage shoulder season cycling without a jacket, which of course makes your life simpler and your ride faster!
No. 4: Louis Garneau Lemmon Vent – a Superior Choice
More affordable than many of the other technical warm weather cycling jerseys, the Louis Garneau Lemmon Vent cycling jersey offers superior keep-cool technology. Garneau describes the cut as Pro Fit, which means it is designed to adapt to the positions and movements of cycling, while not bunching or flapping – no matter what cycling position you choose.
This cycling jersey is known for its cooling abilities, thanks to Garneau’s Airfit polyester fabric and well-placed mesh panels. The Airfit fabric has woven cells on the inner face of the fabric, to improve airflow over your skin and provide channels to wick moisture away from your skin. Airfit is designed to not stick to your skin.
If you like to be super visible, the fluorescent orange color is super bright and noticeable. A UP factor of 50 gives great protection from the sun during long rides. In front it has a full-length zip. The Louis Garneau Lemmon Vent cycling jersey has the standard three rear pockets, plus an extra, angled pocket on the right for easy access. If you plan on speedy, athletic cycling without overheating, then this cycling jersey is for you.
No. 5: Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Cycling Jersey – an Aerodynamic Choice for a Cycling Jersey
The Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Cycling Jersey is a serious garment for competitive cyclists, being very high-tech and aerodynamic, with excellent sweat wicking abilities and excellent breathability. It is described as a aero race fit, for which read tightly-form-fitting, so this jersey is perfect if you are a serious racer looking to shave off wind drag and improve your speed. Castelli has gone for what they call a virtually-second-skin fit. They don’t call it Aero Race for nothing. Castelli’s Aero Race fabric has long been admired for being one of the fastest cycling fabrics, and this year it has been improved further.
The front of the jersey is made of Castelli’s Velocity fabric, which is a featherweight textile made from closely woven fibers. Basically, the idea is to propel air over your shoulders and back. On the back, extremely breathable 3D mesh fabric wicks moisture away from your skin to evaporate.
In front, the Castelli Aero Race 5.1 Cycling Jersey has a full-length zipper. This cycling jersey has the standard three rear back pockets to carry your keys and racing fuel – but the pockets are held close to your body by a compressive mesh band. Plus, it comes in bright colors with some reflective elements. This jersey resoundingly checks all the bases for what competitive cyclists want in a cycling jersey. If you plan on achieving your best times ever this year, then this cycling jersey is for you.
Related Post: Do You Need a Cycling Jersey?
No. 6: Castelli Perfetto Light Cycling Jersey – A Combo Cycling Jersey
The Castelli Perfetto Light cycling jersey is ideal for cycling, as it combines windstopping abilities in the front with water resistance on the back. Windstopper 150 panels on the front, shoulders, and sleeves will protect you from the wind, while water-resistant Nano Light panels on the back will protect you from light rain. This garment aims to be a combo cycling jersey/jacket, protecting you from wind and rain while allowing you to generate your own heat without getting soaked in your own sweat (thanks to good breathability).
Castelli describes the cut as form fitting. The jersey has some reflective elements and comes in bright colors for high visibility, such as the bright red in the picture. In front it has a full-length zipper. It has the standard three back pockets.
If you plan on cycling without the added bulk of a windshell or rain jacket, then the Castelli Perfetto Light cycling jersey could be the best choice for you.
No. 7: Pearl Izumi Ride Select Tour – a Relaxed Choice for a Comfy Cycling Jersey!
The Pearl Izumi Ride Select Tour cycling jersey features Select Transfer Fabric for maximum breathability. Pearl Izumi describes the cut as Relaxed Fit (two of my favourite words in cycling gear).
You can buy this cycling jersey in bright yellow with reflective elements if you value high visibility, or in more subdued colors if you don’t. In front it has a 13 inch half-length zip. It has the standard three back pockets.
If you are an average cyclist looking for a great cycling jersey with a relaxed fit (so you can stop at a coffee shop or restaurant without feeling too out of place), then the Pearl Izumi Ride Select Tour cycling jersey would be a good choice for you.
Technical Features of Great Jerseys
Why Do You Need a Cycling Jersey?
Yes, you could cycle in a five-dollar tee shirt. In fact, I did that all the time as a kid. But then, I was mainly just riding around the block, or down to the beach. Plus, my standards were incredibly low back then! You see, the problem with cotton is that it does not deal well with sweat. Cotton hangs onto sweat like white on rice, so that if you are doing a long bike ride, you will soon be soaking in your own sweat. Even if that does not bother you – if a breeze gets up (because of weather or because of your own speed) – your sweat will get cold, and then you will get cold. Your shirt will get heavy and may start to chafe. All of this is just not going to help you to cycle well.
Cycling jerseys are technical garments that use lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable while cycling, so you can cycle further and faster.
What a Great Cycling Jersey Does
A great cycling jersey will wick sweat away from your skin to the outer side of the fabric, where it can evaporate. A cycling jersey made from a breathable fabric will keep you dry and cool no matter how long you ride, or how hot the weather is. This means that a good cycling jersey is an essential part of any cyclist’s wardrobe once the weather warms up.
Why Are Some Jerseys So Expensive?
Once you start looking for a cycling jersey, you will quickly realize there is a vast range of prices. Why? Well, the higher prices are usually for more technologically advanced fabrics that will wick sweat better and keep you cool and dry better.
Some cycling jersey are Lycra; other cycling jerseys are made from woven synthetics for a less shiny look. There are even some cycling jersey made from very lightweight wool blends.
Better features will also push up the price. For example, you can expect to pay more for better fit, styling, and features. Full-length zips work really well for cooling, but some cyclists don’t like them. A good compromise is to look for a cycling jersey with a half-length zipper, such as our no. 1 and no. 6 choices, the Pearl iZUMi Select Quest and the Pearl Izumi Ride Select Tour, respectively.
The classic design with three rear pockets is the most common for cycling jerseys, but some also have a small zipped pocket for valuables, or a side pocket to keep something handy, such as your phone.
Protection from UV Rays
It’s great to get a tan while cycling, but you do not want to be laying the groundwork for future skin cancer as you optimize your cardiac health on your bike. So really, if you plan to spend hours in the saddle, you should be looking for a cycling jersey that offers you some protection from the sun. For the longest time cycling jersey have been so focused on keeping you cool that UV protection has been completely neglected. This was a problem, seeing as we basically offer our backs up to the sun when we cycle. Now, however, a lot of manufacturers take this into account by making clothing that is designed to protect you from the sun.
Get a Jersey Fit that Matches Your Cycling Style
If you are racing, you need a tight-fitting jersey that does not flap in the wind. Most of the wind drag when you are cycling is caused by your body (which is a whole lot larger and heavier than your bike), so keeping your body as aerodynamic as possible makes a lot of sense.
On the other hand, if you are touring, and stopping off for picnic lunches along the road, you can no doubt live with a more relaxed fit. Similarly if you want a cycling jersey for commuter cycling that won’t make you feel embarrassed if you suddenly decide to meet your partner for a drink or dinner on the way home – relaxed would be better.
How to Care for Your Jersey
Sweat will settle into the fabric of your jersey, creating bacteria, which creates a bad smell. So it is best to wash your jersey after every ride. However, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. To prevent the jersey from deteriorating rapidly, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s advice on laundry temperature and techniques.
Also, avoid using a tumble drier. Allow your cycling jersey to dry naturally. Cycling clothing dries quickly!
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I know you haven’t tried any of these for very long. My recent experience with Pearl-Izumi is that their products are cheaply made and bizarrely designed. I hope the jerseys are better, but I’ll never buy another Pearl Izumi product.
Average Joe Cyclist says
I would like to reply, but not quite getting your point here?