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Best cycling jerseys: short sleeve jerseys for your warm weather rides

Castelli cycling jersey
(Image credit: Castelli)

Gone are the days when the best cycling jerseys were little more than a t-shirt with a quarter-zip, collar and some handy pockets sewn into the back to keep your tools and snacks.

Cycle clothing companies have since invested a lot of research and design into perfecting fit and sourcing technical advanced materials so that your jersey will help you perform at your best. Whether it’s material that stretches to provide the optimal fit and aerodynamics, wicking moisture away from the body keeping you cool and dry when it’s hot or to work as part of a layering system to protect against inclement conditions.

With summer in our midst, it's a good time to start thinking about your cycling kit for the fair-weather months ahead. As waterproof jackets and warm layers are shed, a jersey's task transitions from an insulation layer to a moisture management layer. 

Keep reading for our selection of the best cycling jerseys available to buy this year, use the links above to skip to your chosen type of jersey, or skip to the bottom for our guide on how to choose the best cycling jersey for you.

Best aero cycling jerseys

(Image credit: Assos)

Assos Equipe RS Aero

One of the best cycling jerseys for racers and speed chasers

Fit: Race | Colours: 4 | Material: 19% Polyamide (Nylon), 66% Polyester, 15% Elastane | Pockets: 3 | Reflective details: Yes

Superb fit
Aero performance
No zippered pocket
Expensive at RRP

When constructing this jersey, Assos has used three different materials based on specific characteristics. Assos’ Sens Classic Tex offers lightweight stretchy properties for the side panels and their Stabilizator S7 Knit forms a cooling panel and UPF30 protection on the back. The rest of the jersey uses Mini Check Tex, a 3D knit fabric that offers high levels of breathability.

The materials are bonded together to add comfort and improve aerodynamics around the waist, full-length zip and v-neck collar.

(Image credit: Castelli )

Castelli Aero Race 6.0

A race-fit, warm-weather jersey that claims to make you faster

Fit: Race | Colours: 3 | Material: 100% Polyester | Pockets: 3 | Reflective details: Yes

Breathability
Well fitted
No zippered pocket
Limited colour options

With the Aero Race 6.0 jersey, Castelli has developed a jersey that promises real-world aero gains. While this is hard to prove without access to a wind tunnel, there is no doubt that Castelli has put a lot of thought into their design and material choice.

Castelli has focussed on creating a jersey that fits close to the body while remaining comfortable for the duration of a ride. Utilising their stretchy Velocity Rev2 material for the front and elbow-length sleeves. The back of the jersey uses a 3d mesh that is extremely breathable.

A dropped tail features a silicone gripper around the hem, keeping the jersey in place while riding and allowing for optimal pocket placement.

Rapha Pro Team Aero

Skinsuit tech in a fast, comfortable and stylish jersey

Fit: Race | Colours: 2 | Material: 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane | Pockets: 4 | Reflective details: Yes

Technical materials
Well fitted
Rapha customer support
Price

The Rapha Pro Team Aero is a race jersey that owes much of its design to Rapha’s WorldTour winning skinsuit development.

To enhance aerodynamics Rapha have utilised multiple materials. The front of the jersey has a smooth texture to aid airflow over the body, this is bonded to the rear which has a napped texture to minimise drag. Unsurprisingly, the Pro Team Aero is aggressively cut and Rapha has lengthened the sleeves which may divide opinions.

It’s not all-out race orientated, three slim gusseted rear pockets offer storage for essentials, a fourth zippered pocket provides security and Rapha have added some reflective detailing to help with visibility.

(Image credit: Endura )

Endura Pro SL

Understated looks but high on performance

Fit: Race | Colours: 6 | Material: Nylon 56% / Polyester 28% / Elastane 16% | Pockets: 4 | Reflective details: No

Sorted fit
Simple styling
On the long side for riders with short bodies

While Endura is no longer participating in the world tour circuit their Pro SL range continues, offering high performance at a great price. The Pro SL jersey has a race cut that uses close-fitting lycra and with raw edge hem to keep airflow moving smoothly over the body. The design around the collar is particularly well-shaped and comfortable. The fabric has wicking qualities to manage sweat as well as UPF50 for protection from the sun.

The three rear pockets are deep and provide ample space for securely storing everything needed on a ride. To keep your valuables accounted for there is a zippy pocket as well.

Endura's Pro SL is available in six simple colours and is available in a Lite version for when it's really hot or a long sleeve for when there's a bit of a chill.

Best lightweight cycling jerseys

Best cycling jerseys - Katusha Superlight

(Image credit: Katusha)

Katusha Superlight

A versatile, warm weather jersey that will stand up to the needs of a WorldTour pro

Fit: Race | Colours: 8 | Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane / 63% Polyester, 37% Elastane | Pockets: 3 | Reflective details: Yes

Comfortable in the hottest of temperatures
Reflective detailing
Laser cut sleeves
No secure zipper pocket
Be aware of the smaller-than-average fit

Katusha is best known for its former title sponsorship in the WorldTour. The brand remains at the top of the sport, sponsoring athletes such as Andre Greipel and Alex Dowsett of Israel Cycling Academy. 

The Superlight jersey is rather self-explanatory in its purpose, it's designed for the hottest of days and the rigours of the WorldTour, and there is reflective detailing throughout, adding to low-light visibility and thus, the versatility of this jersey.

The Superlight is made from two versions of Katusha's 37.5 mesh, which Katusha says uses active volcanic sand particles embedded into the material to remove moisture. The front panel uses traditional 37.5, which is designed to keep the body at the perfect temperature and humidity. The underarms and back panels use 37.5 superlight mesh, which allows for greater airflow and moisture management. 

(Image credit: Le Col)

Le Col Pro Air

Le Col’s Pro Air is a jersey that is suited to the hottest of summer days thanks to its extreme levels of breathability

Fit: Race | Colours: 2 (mens), 3 (womens) | Material: 100% Polyester | Pockets: 4 | Reflective details: No

Extremely breathable and lightweight
Not hard wearing
No UV protection

Le Col has designed the Pro Air for those who ride in temperatures around 20 to 40 degrees. Maximum airflow is achieved using an open weave mesh which channels air and wicks moisture away quickly to help maintain a comfortable body temperature, this also results in an extremely lightweight garment.

The Pro Air features the same aggressive aero focussed fit as Le Col’s thicker Pro version as well as three rear pockets with a fourth water-resistant valuables pocket and silicone grippers.

(Image credit: Sportful)

Sportful Bodyfit Pro Evo

A versatile, warm weather jersey that will stand up to the needs of a WorldTour pro

Fit: Race | Colours: 5 | Material: 85% Polyester, 15% Elastane | Pockets: 3 | Reflective details: Yes

Versatile fit
No secure zipper pocket

Sportful may have designed the Bodyfit Pro Evo for the rigours of the WorldTour but that doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable for club runs and training rides.

Sportful haven’t gone for an all-out aero fit - for that, they have the Bomber jersey - however, the BodyFit Pro Evo still sits close to the body thanks to highly stretchy shoulder material that hugs the top of the body. A low v-neck collar features minimal stitching to add to the all-day comfort of the jersey.

Silicone detailing and elastic around the waist holds the jersey in place while laser-cut lay-flat elastic cuffs stop the sleeves from riding up.

Best cycling jerseys for inclement weather

Rapha Classic II

Rapha’s popular Classic jersey, updated and improved, but it’s merino construction lacks the breathability of race-focussed jerseys

Fit: Slim | Colours: 6 | Material: 64% Polyester, 36% Merino wool | Pockets: 4 | Reflective details: Yes

Comfortable
Rapha customer support
Not as breathable as racier jerseys

Rapha’s first jersey, the Classic, saw much success over the years and the Classic II promises some key updates to an already popular design.

The forward-fit cut has been tweaked to be more comfortable and a new softer RPM150 Rapha Performance Merino material is now bonded rather than stitched to make the jersey more streamlined. By using a merino based material the Rapha Classic II can breathe well when it’s hot while still offering insulation when the temperature is cooler.

Rapha has reworked the pocket design to improve the stability of loads and features details such as a secure zipped pocket with reflective detail and a pump loop.

Le Col Pro

The Pro is Le Col’s fastest ever jersey and is suitable for cool summer days thanks to its thicker construction

Fit: Race | Colours: 3 | Material: 81% Polyester, 19% Elastane (Spandex) | Pockets: 4 | Reflective details: Yes

Comfortable
Zipped waterproof pocket
Warmer fabric than other aero jerseys

Le Col has been to the wind tunnel and claims the Le Col Pro jersey is the most aerodynamic and fastest jersey they have made.

Made in Italy, the Le Col Pro has a close race fit and uses a thicker 4-way stretch fabric for the body and a lighter weight material to improve ventilation on the sleeves. The use of thicker material than other aero jerseys makes this an appealing option for those cooler summer days. Silicone grippers are used to keep the sleeves and hem in place when riding.

Three low profile rear pockets offer storage as well as a fourth waterproof pocket with a zip for valuables. A big reflective strip up the middle of the rear pockets should help you stay visible.

Castelli Gabba 3

Almost synonymous with poor-weather jerseys, the Gabba will keep you comfortable when the heavens open

Fit: Slim | Colours: 4 | Material: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane(Spandex) | Pockets: 3 | Reflective details: Yes

Weather resistant
Expensive

The weather isn’t always sunshine so it’s important to have a jersey that will keep performing well even when the clouds roll in. This is where the Castelli Gabba 3 comes in.

Made from Gore Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric the Gabba 3 offers superb wind protection and a water-resistant finish to protect against showers. This doesn’t come at the sacrifice of breathability or mobility thanks to Castelli’s NanoFlex technology.

The tail of the Gabba 3 is extended to provide a storm flap to protect from wheel-spray. Even the pockets feature drain holes in case the weather gets very unpleasant.

How to choose

Material

Most performance jerseys will be constructed from a synthetic material such as nylon or polyester. These materials offer superb wicking and breathability to move sweat away from the body so it quickly evaporates leaving you dry and comfortable when you are working hard. Thin mesh style materials are incorporated to maximise breathability where it is needed the most, such as under the arms, which further helps with cooling. High levels of stretch both two-way and four-way can be engineered into synthetics for a perfect close fit to reduce bunching and maximise aerodynamic properties.

That's not to say natural materials such as merino don’t have their advantages and companies like Rapha have been developing high-performance merino-based materials that are still extremely breathable and well-fitting. Both soft and hardwearing, merino will keep you warm even when soaked and the natural material resists odour build-up. Thanks to these properties, natural fibres lend themselves well for long days in the saddle where comfort trumps super aggressive aero designs.

Fit

Fit is key so it is important to choose a jersey that suits your intended style of riding. An aggressive race fit is designed to be ridden in the drops and to cut through the air with maximum efficiency. They feature shorter torsos and longer arms to optimise fit while in a more aggressive position. Slim-fit jerseys are a little looser and longer to improve comfort for longer rides or relaxed coffee runs.

Zips

Almost all jerseys use a full-length zip so when it’s very warm the front can be unzipped to help regulate temperature. To reduce irritation a flap on the collar houses the zip so it doesn’t rub while riding.

Storage

Three rear pockets are the standard for storing tools, snacks and anything other mid-ride essentials. There are variations on this with some companies adding a loop to secure a pump or a handy fourth secure zipped pocket to keep valuables.

Visibility

Finally, reflective details improve visibility when riding in poor light. This might not be a consideration when choosing race orientated wear, but for riders who are going on all-day epics and training rides, this is an important aspect to consider to help keep you safe on the road.

Of course, having a well-fitting jersey is key, but looking good is also important. Jerseys are available in a wide range of colours and patterns to suit all rider's style whether you want a subtle classy look or want to stand out from the crowd.