The Sugoi RS Pro Jersey is a smart looking bit of kit, but unfortunately it falls short in terms of breathability and storage. I also found that, as is common in many jerseys of late, the sleeves are just too short for my liking.
Starting with the good stuff, it fits well enough in the essential measurements. I'm a 38-33-38in chest-waist-hip measurement, and the guide sizing at 39-32-38 is spot on. The length at the front and back was right for my 6ft frame as well.
However, what seems to be an all-too-frequent industry failing of too-short sleeves means they bunch up into the armpit, and, lacking arm grippers, they don't stay put.
Another fit anomaly – for me, anyway – is the low collar, with the zip ending in the nape of the neck. You might like a low collar, in which case this may not be an issue. There's also no zip garage, and the zip pull is very small – though admittedly less likely to be an issue on a jersey designed for warm fingerless-glove weather.
Around the hem is the obligatory silicone grip-strip, which does hold the bottom of the jersey in place. There are also two small reflective logos, but at 1x1.5in each and mostly black, they aren't going to count for much after dark, although every little helps...
Around the back the pockets are quite small and shallow, the two outer ones particularly so because the tops are angled down. They wouldn't even hold a solitary mobile phone. The centre pocket isn't able to fit my standard test of Birzman Apogee minipump (tested here) and single 28mm tube/tyre levers toolroll. It also struggled to easily fit a rolled-up gilet or shell.
The zipped valuables pocket is good, though, with a full-length zip from the bottom up and lined with what looks like sweat-resistant material, able to hold an iPhone 5 in a waterproof case. But if the centre pocket is full to bulging this is a compromised option.
Poor storage options and arm fit might be excusable or irrelevant given your load carrying needs, but the fundamental failing of the RS Pro for me is its poor breathability. Recent UK weather hereabouts has varied between 20 and 36°C, allowing plenty of chance for comparison over the last month, riding every few days for several hours.
I've taken to wearing baselayers this year, even in warm weather, even for hard training sessions. My go-to is the Lusso Dryline Baselayer, and with the Sugoi RS Pro not featuring flatlocked seams, I was concerned about comfort, as well as sweat wicking and insulation when needed.
What I found was that the RS Pro simply wasn't up to the breathability task, and I ended up with the zip undone fully for most of the ride – even in 20-25°C conditions. On a subsequent 30°C+ ride I opted just for the RS Pro with no baselayer, but again was fully unzipped for most of the ride. The sun shining on the black shoulder fabric felt particularly hot on this ride too – notably more so than other fabrics.
To put this into context: I can usually do repeated Zone 5 (ie max heart rate) intervals with zip fully closed – I run probably the coldest of anyone I know, and max out at one litre of sweat per hour even under the worst conditions and efforts (Eugh! Too much information - ed). I'm certain this perceived lack of breathability was not due to a change in my physiology, as during the same period I was testing the Specialized SL Pro jersey over a baselayer during maximal efforts, with utterly different results.
This means I cannot really recommend the Sugoi RS Pro – especially at a premium price and when the competition avoids most or all of the aforementioned failings. A shame as the matching RS Pro Bib Shorts I reviewed are really good.
Hard to recommend this jersey, with its poor breathability and other shortcomings
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi RS Pro 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?
Sugoi says: "Your century slayer. Our benchmark jersey delivers impeccable fit and performance, to keep you feeling good all ride long. Built with premium fabrics that continue to raise the bar for ride comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
An intelligent mix of mesh and icefil fabrics
Zap binding on rear pocket
4th rear pocket zips closed for added security
It's put together very well.
Breathability is poor, and storage is very limited.
Still looks like new.
Fit is generally good, although, as with many jerseys, I found the sleeves too short.
Sized up just right.
Expensive for the overall performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to wash, and still looks like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Not a lot.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The poor breathability, which made it a fundamentally uncomfortable item of clothing for performance use.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
Poor performance, especially for a premium price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling