The best women's cycling jerseys have come a long way in the last decade, with companies and designers (finally!) giving some time and care into the development of women's-specific kit. With a variety of options across the seasons, we've taken a closer look at the best kit for throughout the year. With options for warmth, aerodynamics, comfort or price, the market is broad and there is a jersey to fit any need.
As a guideline, most women's jerseys are cut with a relatively narrower waist area, and more room in the bust and the hips. Keeping this in mind, when cutting for women, pattern cutters are looking at 16 (16!) different measurement points, whereas for men, it's four.
Regarding material, almost all jerseys are a blend of Nylon (Polyamide) or Polyester, with a handful using natural Merino wool. Generally, nylon and polyester are both lightweight and durable synthetic fabrics that share many of the same properties, such as easy-care, wrinkle resistance, stretch resistance and shrink resistance. Nylon is normally softer than polyester and also stronger, while polyester is slightly faster drying, easier to dye and more abrasion-resistant.
For warmer days, a lightweight jersey plays an important role in moisture management rather than thicker jerseys, which are better suited as a layer of insulation paired with the best waterproof cycling jackets, but whatever the weather, we recommend starting your layering with one of the best women's cycling base layers.
Keep reading for our selection of the best cycling jerseys available to buy this year, or skip to the bottom for our guide on how to choose the best cycling jersey for you, and when you're done, don't forget to check out our guide to the best women's cycling shorts to complete your wardrobe.
Isadore Climbers Jersey 2.0
The lightest weight merino
RRP: €145 | Colours: 3 (white, black, grey) | Material: 23% Merino Wool / 77% Polyester | Sizes: 6 (XXS-XL)
The Isadore Climber's jersey is a super lightweight Merino wool blend offering, and it's a great option if you prefer natural fibres but are looking for something that can carry through hot summer days. Although they don't specify this, we also found on our tests that we were comfortable in the kit down to a 15-degree day, due to the natural thermoregulatory ability of the wool. The wool body of the jersey has a small thin ribbed texture to it, a unique weave we have only seen from Isadore. The ribbing creates movement and stretch without needing elastane: in layman's terms: the jersey is woven to be stretchy and form-fitting, it's not just a result of the materials used. Although it is wool, the fabric is thin and supple, lightweight but strong.
The fabric pulled sweat away and stayed breathable and comfortable both up- and downhill. The sleeves are a bit looser cut than others, so if you have very thin arms this could be an issue. The fully lined zip feature is a plus along with the microdot waist and arm grippers to keep everything in place. The jersey came up a bit big on us, if you are in-between sizes, size down for a snug race fit.
Maap Women's Echo Pro Base Jersey
Luxury details in a soft package
RRP: Short-sleeve €155 | Long-sleeve €165 | Colours: 5 (grape, navy, blue, light coral, black) | Material: 89% Polyamide (Nylon), 11% Elastane | Sizes: 5 (XXS-L)
The MAAP echo pro base jersey is a fantastic pick for features, fabric and feel. We tested the short sleeve jersey, and the first thing we noticed was the softness of the fabric. The lush, almost brushed body material fits like a second skin, whilst the sleeves utilise a honeycomb mesh for extra breathability. The contrasting logos are reflective, offering extra visibility, especially on the darker colours. The jersey stayed cool and dry throughout our hot weather rides. The other thing we noticed was the attention to small details. The inside of the zipper is lined with a panel to eradicate zip pressure against the skin, and the bottom microdot grippers hold everything in place.
The inside of the pocket area also utilises the honeycomb mesh, making sure the area where there is a double layer of fabric doesn't get too hot. The pockets were a tiny bit too high, and lacked a zip compartment, but other than that, a flawless garment. We were worried when we tested this black jersey on a 30-degree day, but it held up even in the Spanish sun. MAAP has taken all the technology from their short sleeve jersey and created a long sleeve version to pair with it. Minus slightly different graphics on the chest and back, the garment is 100% the same build, extending the usability of the Echo Pro Base jersey into the autumn and spring. Sizing runs small, if in doubt, size up.
Sportful Monocrom W Thermal Jersey
Unique dying process on a versatile jersey
RRP: £120 | Colours: 6 (Grey, Green, Blue, Pink, Red, Orange) | Material: 85% polyester 15% elastane | Sizes: 6 (XS-XXL)
The Sportful Monocrom Thermal Jersey is a mid-weight option great for variable temperature days. Unique to Sportful, the jersey is garment dyed. A process used widely in the fashion industry, (but not cycling). In the simplest of terms, each jersey is fully constructed, with all the hardware, grippers, zipper etc. The fabric(s) are in their raw, white fabric state. The jersey is then dip-dyed, the combination of temperature and pressure allows a unique colour absorption to the fabric. Each fabric type absorbs the colour slightly differently, making each jersey unique in that sense. It's one of the first things we noticed: a deep bold colouration that stood out against sublimation printing.
The cut is form-fitting, with great detailing on the collar: the unique use of two pieces of fabric creates a neck band that stays high and warm without being constricting in any way. The fit is ergonomic with a higher front and lowered rear area for a correct coverage whilst on the bike.
The jersey kept us cool enough climbing in Andorra, and warm enough on the descent back down on a 12-15-degree day. The lightly brushed inner wicked moisture away and the raw-edged arm bands and waist stayed in place. Reinforced seams throughout give the garment a sturdy construction.
Recycled fabrics paired with innovative technology and figure flattering design
RRP: €174 | Colours: 3 (blue, coral, black) | Material: 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane | Sizes: 7 (XXS-XXL)
Velocio, the women's born brand has a reputation for great products and the Concept jersey lives up to it. Created with recycled fabrics, the low profile collar sits away from the neck, ensuring no fabric rubbing on any rides. This jersey is advertised as race fit and lives up to its category. Three different fabrics are used in the jersey; The main body and shoulders were slightly textured, while a membraneous breathable material was used throughout, including a more robust material on the back pockets, and a smooth offering over the back.
The pockets are well placed, with a protected zip pocket, and the bonded hems gave us a chafe-free ride. The zipper is actually protected/covered at the bottom waist area, a detail often overlooked.
Beyond the technical aspects, what really stood out on the jersey was how flattering it was. The use of black on the side panels and the shape of them created a brilliant illusion through the waist-to-hip area, that can be a sensitive fitting point, especially on curvier figures. The sleeves are long and snug without being too tight. It's priced on the premium side, but the value is there.
Rapha Women's Classic jersey II
A casual fit for roominess and comfort
RRP: £110 | Colours: 3 (black, navy, green) | Material: 64% polyester, 36% merino wool | Sizes: 6 (XXS-XL)
The Rapha Classic jersey was the first product Rapha launched over a decade ago, and to this day remains one of its best offerings. The merino blend jersey pairs refined and vintage styling with high-performance features. The fit on the classic jersey is relaxed (not a race fit) with more room through the waist area. This means the jersey is relaxed, without hugging the figure, and it did sit loosely as advertised around our abdominals. With one zip pocket and a longer fit, the Classic jersey is a great option for longer rides where comfort is key. It isn't the best option for the hottest of summer days, but its a great three-season jersey, with a broad range of temperatures, and stays warm in early Spring and Autumn. The bonded seams reduce chafing points. The only note is the roominess in the waist can make the pockets feel a bit on the loose side, so be sure to stash valuables in the zip compartment. Because of the relaxed sizing on this, if you are in-between sizes or unsure, size down.
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.
Castelli Perfetto Light RoS W
The best for wind and water resistance
RRP: £160 | Colours: 3 (black, pink, celeste) | Material: 100% polyester (Gore-tex front panels) | Sizes: 5 (XS-XL)
Although technically the Perfetto Light from Castelli falls into the jacket category, this short-sleeved mid-weight offering from the Italian brand can also be worn with just a base layer and is really a great women's Autumn cycling jersey as well.
With a 4/5 rating on both windproofing and waterproofing, the Perfetto is the perfect choice for mixed weather days without being too warm. Premium Gore-Tex fabric is used on the front panels and the dropped tail provides extra protection on wet or muddy days. The back panels use their Nano fabric, a water-resistant but breathable tech material incorporating silicone filaments to give it the water-repelling qualities.
The Gore Windstopper fabric is light and stretchy enough to fit as a jersey should and keeps the wind out whilst still letting body moisture release. The two rear pockets are generously sized and well-positioned, with an additional pump pocket. Castelli was one of the first brands to create this hybrid jacket/jersey with the Gabba a decade ago, and the Perfetto has refined that technology into a streamlined package. If you are looking for an all-round jacket/jersey hybrid for 10-18 degrees, the Castelli Perfetto the right choice.
Tactic Hard Day long sleeve
A great mid range option from the Girona based company
RRP: €81 pink / €108 others | Colours: 4 (pink, green, grey, blue) | Material: 83% polyester, 17% elastane | Sizes: 5 (XS-XL)
Tactic is a Girona-based brand that has been around longer than most of the pro cyclists that live in the Catalan cycling paradise. For two decades the brand focused solely on custom kit, supplying many a sportive and cycling club across the Iberian peninsula. In more recent years, the company has rebranded, creating a stylish line of mid-range gear, not only designing but fully manufacturing in greater Girona.
Their long-sleeve offering, the Hard Day long sleeve jersey, features robust neoprene style grips to keep the cold air out, and the sleeves are cut on the long side, for additional coverage on the top of the hand. The neck is quite high for protection, and the cut is ergonomic, ideally comfortable when in the saddle. Tactic recommends this jersey for anywhere from between 5 to 18 degrees, depending on layering. With a thick winter base layer, it should hold up in the winter chill, (we will get to back to you in a few months and let you know). The jersey comes in at a more modest price point, even on the non-sale version. When the manufacturing is done in house, and not by a 3rd party supplier, great value for money can be delivered, as can be seen here.
dhb Aeron Jersey
Best value women's cycling jersey
RRP: €65 | Colours: 6 (blue, mint green, orange, hot pink, stonewash blue and teal) | Material: Main: 100% polyester | Mesh: 94% polyester, 6% elastane | Sizes: 7 (UK6 - UK18)
dhb is Wiggle's in house apparel brand, offering direct to consumer pricing on the behemoth online retailer's website. The Aeron jersey is an all-rounder – designed to be versatile and work for all types of cycling. It is lightweight and durable, with mesh on the back panel to wick away sweat. The wide armbands keep the sleeves snug alongside the silicone bottom grippers.
dhb treats the Aeron with an anti-bacterial treatment, which will also keep the jersey fresh between washes. The zip, although standard YKK, isn't covered or lined, which can be expected at this price point, but it does include the three rear pockets and a fourth zippered pocket.
The jersey is a snug fit, without being constrictive and is a great value-for-money choice, with a variety of colour and pattern options to suit everyone's taste.
Cafe du Cycliste Marguerite Jersey
Vintage style paired with high performance
RRP: €175 | Colours: 2 (Grey, Orange) | Material: 48% merino, 40% polyester, 12% polyamide | Sizes: 5 (XS-XL)
The Cafe Du Cycliste Marguerite jersey is a really unique offering on the market, an autumn jersey that can double as a jacket as the weather grows cooler. The technical knit on the fabric has the slightest reckoning of curtains circa 1970, a throwback style that some will love. Soft brushed fleece lines the collar, side panels and pockets, and the overall inner is reminiscent of a cosy blanket. Whilst the jacket itself doesn't have as much stretch as some others on the market, the fit is female-specific race cut, sitting close to the body and avoiding the all-too-common baggy sleeve look.
We noticed on the test that the pockets utilise extra elastic at the top, a great detail keeping them secure and 'closed' on this less stretchy garment. We were a bit worried the fabric would feel bulky on, as the nature of the texture makes it a bit thicker, but the slim cut negated that concern. The brushing of the fabric that creates the texture also creates extra warmth, a good choice for winter into spring.
The high merino content makes this jacket odour resistant as well, as merino's natural anti-bacterial properties can negate unpleasant aromas. We put this to the test, wearing the jacket on a warmer day, and can indeed confirm, at least to our nose, it smelled fresh enough to wear the next day.
Universal Colours Spectrum
Low profile and super light for hot days and hard efforts
RRP: £120 | Colours: 4 (Navy Blur, Dusty Pink, blue/pink and Navy Blue/Multi) | Material: Main: 85% recycled Nylon, 15% elastane | Mesh: 90% recycled polyester, 10% elastane | Sizes: 7 (XXS-XXL)
The Universal Colours Spectrum jersey is a 100 per cent recycled materials women's cycling jersey from the new brand borne out of popular retailer Sigma Sports. The jersey stays on-trend with current styles, featuring generously long cut sleeves with a raw finish to avoid any pressure points. The collar is mid-cut - not too high, not too low - but isn't covered with a chin guard.
The front panels of the jersey are a smooth solid material, whilst the back panels utilise a micro-perforation to increase breathability. On the test rides, the bandless raw edge sleeves held up without budging even without elastic or grippers. The low profile pocket design is well thought out, with taped seams at the top and a unique folding and pressing of the material at the bottom for a hidden attachment to the back flap and bottom banding. Even without the traditional seams, the pockets were robust and easily fit everything I needed to carry. All the product information is printed on the inside of the jersey, meaning there are no pesky tags anywhere. Reflective details and a zip pocket finish the top off.
The jersey is designed to be race fit, and the brand recommends sizing up if you want a roomier fit, although on me, the small was a bit roomy compared to the rest of the options here, so if you want a real tight, skin-hugging fit, consider going down a size.
I-RIS Himmel Long Sleeve Jersey
Technology born in the pro peloton
RRP: €129 | Colours: 2 (blue and yellow) | Material: 80% polyester multifilament, 20% Elastane | Sizes: 5 (XS-XL)
A stretchy, lightweight and long sleeve jersey from ex-pro cyclist Iris Slappendel's I-RIS brand is made for those colder days in fall or spring, or to layer up with a wind vest and base in the winter. The attention to detailing stood out: the deep-set zipper was fully protected with extra material to not chafe against the skin, and the thick elastic band with reflective details around the entire waist at the bottom held the jersey firmly in place. The zip pocket is lined with waterproof material, all details that come from her years of experience in the pro ranks.
We got our hands on an advanced sample ahead of the release of the Autumn/Winter range. It is constructed from a high wicking blend, keeping some breathability whilst having the brushed soft inner fabric. The collar and arm bands are both lined with a sturdy contrasting fabric for extra durability and stability in these key areas, and the whimsical, light coloured patterns add an extra visibility element to the darker winter day. During testing, we stayed warm and dry, and the elastic band at the bottom held everything in place.
How to choose the best women's cycling jersey
Most performance jerseys are 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, Isadore and Cafe du Cycliste 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 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.
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.
Three rear pockets are the standard for storing multi-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.
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.
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