This is a review of two of my favorite, go-to women’s cycling jerseys – these two win top marks for style, comfort, durability, and technical features. They are the Sugoi Women’s Ruby Jersey and the Pearl Izumi Women’s Rev Jersey. 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. Both of these jerseys are available in a range of colors.
The Pearl Izumi Women’s Rev Jersey
I give Pearl Izumi high praise for their Women’s Rev Jersey, for both the design and the technical features.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Rev Jersey is one of the only women’s cycling jerseys that I have found NOT to be form fitting, which has the effect of making me look like a sausage. The Pearl Izumi Women’s Rev Jersey is tapered at the waist but only skims the body – as opposed to sticking like glue.
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I like the two-tone design and the “faux-hint” of layering, with the white bit at the hem. I find the weight of this women’s cycling jersey to be comfortable for riding from spring into fall, and I have worn it into winter with an extra layer underneath.
The color of the jersey is beautiful; as you all know I am all about the fashion. The side has a good-sized pocket. It has an invisible zipper, which helps keep the lines clean.
The zippered front makes it easy to vary your temperature as you ride. I usually zip myself up tightly in the morning and then slowly drop the zipper as I ride.
My Sugoi Women’s Ruby Jersey
My other go-to women’s cycling jersey is my Sugoi Women’s Ruby Jersey which, coincidentally, is also pink. I’m not usually a “pink” person but these shades flatter any skin tone. I wear this jersey in warm weather only because the fabric is light weight and the sleeves are slightly shorter. Like the Pearl Izumi Women’s Rev Jersey, the styling is tapered, skimming the body.
Of the two jerseys, the Sugoi is a little less athletic looking so I usually wear this if I know we will 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.
My 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.
Both of these women’s cycling jerseys are good value for money, fashionable and extremely durable. I am pretty rough with my clothes, yet both these jerseys have survived two seasons and are still going strong. I recommend both jerseys, the Pearl Izumi as a comfortable riding jersey, and the Sugoi for when you want to be a little more fashionable and less “ridey.”
Other Jerseys to Consider
Check out a wide range of possible cycling jerseys with our handy comparison chart.
|Half-length front zipper||Best Price on Amazon Right Now: Price not available|
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: $55.00|
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: $60.00|
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.|
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.
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. However, 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 manufacturers of cycling jerseys have focused so hard on keeping you cool that they have neglected UV protection. 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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