Vermarc's Mare shorts and jersey combination is at the top end of their range. I tested both members of the Mare family and absolutely loved the way the shorts fit me. The corresponding jersey was a very similar story.
Vermarc don't go too overboard with technology names; their catalogue says that the Mare is constructed from Host Carbon and Think fabrics. What that boils down to for me is that the jersey is light, thin and ideal for summer rides. Holding the jersey up to a light shows that it is ever so slightly transparent. Don't worry though, its nothing that should raise Chris Froome "bondage skin suit photo" concerns. Once on, its as opaque as any other normal jersey.
However, what this translucency does do is manage your sweat, and manage it very well. Despite the jersey on test being black - various other colours are available if black isn't your bag - I would only start to overheat on the steepest and slowest of climbs. And that was in direct sunlight to boot. So, a pretty rare occurrence - and anyway I think most riders would overheat even with no jersey on at all in those conditions. (That is not an invitation. Only Mario Cipollini is allowed to deploy that look.)
Regarding at the fit of the jersey, I was extremely happy. The sleeves were tight - no mean feat for my stickman arms - and the chest and waist both hugged my frame very nicely. The neck, when fully zipped up, could perhaps have been a tiny bit tighter but this didn't bother me in the slightest, as the rest of the jersey is so well fitted. The medium sized jersey on test was bang on for me at 6 feet tall and 70kg.
The pockets also sit nice and tightly against the main jersey fabric, which means your precious spares will be perfectly secure even over the most cavernous of potholes. There's also a zipped pocket for smartphone/wallet/keys etc, with a headphone cable hole if you're partial to the occasional Velobeats mix while out riding.
At 110 quid this is certainly a top end jersey. Having worn some other performance jerseys - Castelli, Northwave etc - at considerably higher prices I can say the Vermarc mixes it with the big guns. If were looking for a jersey at this price point, the Mare would be very high up my list of favourites. Over the past month or so, I have been very happy riding in it, and would not change anything about it.
A performance jersey that really does perform, with the highlight being the excellent fit
road.cc test report
Make and model: Vermarc MARE Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Vermarc's online catalogue really doesnt give too much away:
"Fabric: HOST CARBON & THINK fabrics for comfort and breathability"
Here endeth their entire description for the Mare jersey.
Fortunately, there's lots more at importer Chicken Cycle's site.
Very nice. It was just that neck that could have fit me a bit better.
Brill. Kept me cool and relatively sweat free on hard efforts.
No problems on test.
Comfort was the big selling point for me.
Not cheap, but that is independent of value. Outperforms many more expensive high end jerseys I've worn in the past.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit. Especially of the arms
Colours are smart too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Maybe the neck could have been a bit tighter.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 21 Height: 182cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: On-One Carbon Whippet Single Speed MTB/Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,