The Santini Origine Long Sleeve Jersey is a well made, comfortable top that is great by itself above around 7°C, and a strong middle layer for colder conditions.
- Pros: Breathability, wicking, comfort, light weight
- Cons: No windproofing; pricey
The Origine is Santini's transfer jersey, with the Italian company describing it as 'engineered to maintain thermal balance for the autumn days' and putting the temperature range between 8 and 15°C. Given the huge variability in temperatures in the UK at this time of year, it could be the ideal layer.
Santini has used Pirenei material throughout the jersey and it's remarkably soft and stretchy compared with most other colder weather jerseys. It is also surprisingly thin given the thermal qualities it possesses; if you stretch it a bit you can clearly see light through it, for instance. It feels closer to a thin T-shirt than a traditional jersey material, and is really soft and comfortable against the skin.
Despite this thinness it has a decent level of insulation. I wore it comfortably by itself down to around 7°C, and with a thin windproof layer on top it was comfortable down to around 4°C without any real issue. This is very impressive given how lightweight it is, and suggests Santini has made a good choice with this material.
In addition to being a good insulator, the jersey is also impressive for breathability and wicking. I found that it performed at a level above what I would expect for a long-sleeve autumn jersey. Even when I was putting in a real effort towards the top end of the temperature range, it wicked sweat quickly and kept me comfortable. The full length zip also helps, so even if the temperatures rose unexpectedly I simply unzipped to keep cool.
Unsurprisingly, given the density of the material used and the breathability it offers, this jersey is not windproof. It offers a bit of protection, but I found that after I was kept comparatively comfortable while putting an effort in going up a hill in 8°C, when it came to getting down the other side, I needed to put on a gilet or jacket to protect from the wind. Santini is pretty clear that this is the case though, and this jersey is not designed to act as an outer layer in these situations.
However, another positive of Santini's choice of material is that its thickness (thinness) means it sits well underneath a windproof or softshell layer. I used it under a simple windproof layer without issue down to around 4°C and it also worked nicely underneath a full softshell jacket to -3°C. The only reason I didn't use it in colder conditions was because there were none. It makes it a really versatile option, acting as a great midlayer in freezing conditions and a good out layer in more moderate temperatures.
Fit is closer to performance than casual, but it's certainly not restrictive or aero. This is helped by the natural stretch in the material, which is also useful given the variety of thicknesses in under layers I used for different temperatures.
It also has some decent design features, including silicone gripper around the bottom, which kept everything well anchored even when riding without anything in the pockets, three main pockets on the back and an additional zipped compartment on the central pocket, plus double thickness collar and cuffs to help keep out the cold and with comfort – there was certainly no chafing.
The jersey comes with a price tag of £99.99, which is perhaps a bit steep given the lack of windproofing. However, I would say that given its impressive breathability and wicking, it isn't wide of the mark. Jim was impressed with the wicking and breathability of dhb's Blok jersey at £55, though it too lacks windproofing. If you want to keep the chills out, you might consider Sportful's R&D Strato, which has a windproof front – but it's another £20.
If you're in the market for a performance transfer jersey, I'd say you could do far worse than the Origine. I was really impressed with it throughout the review period. I was initially fairly sceptical given that the material feels so thin and soft, but with its breathability and thermal qualities, these concerns were quickly shown to be misplaced. Perhaps it could do with being a little more windproof, but aside from that Santini has created a really strong performing transfer jersey.
A really strong performing autumn/spring jersey that is both insulating and breathable
road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Origine Long Sleeve 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?
A jersey to be used in milder conditions as an outer layer, or a decent middle layer in colder temperatures.
Santini says: "Engineered to maintain thermal balance on autumn days. Made from Pirenei, a material that is light and soft on the skin"
This is a pretty accurate description, given its thermal qualities and the characteristics of the material used.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fit - The Origine long sleeve jersey is made of Pirenei material that is light and soft on the skin. Jacquard silicone elastic waistband for excellent fit and to help keep the jersey in place.
Performance - The Pirenei polyester blend is so light you'll barely notice you're wearing it, yet it is warm and breathable. The fabric used is warmer and has much better wicking properties than typical thermofleece. The large triple back pocket is perfect for holding everything you want to take with you. 3D reflective logo at the back for added road visibility.
Comfort - Engineered to maintain thermal balance for the autumn days. The collar and the back are made in Blizzard. Perfect with a light jacket in case the temperature suddenly drops.
Durability - Long-lasting fabrics that will look and perform as new after hundreds of rides and washes. Designed and manufactured completely in Italy by our world-leading production staff.
Well made with strong stitching; a good material choice.
Performed well, especially in terms of breathability and wicking.
Washed it several times without it showing any signs of wear, and the strong stitching and material choice suggest it's likely to last a long time.
Fit was good: not too tight, not too baggy.
The large I tested was as expected for an Italian brand.
Really light for an autumn jersey at only 260g.
Really soft material plus excellent breathability and wicking. Santini is onto a winner.
Not cheap, but about what I would expect for something of this quality.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy: it's been through multiple 30 degree washes without an issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, good breathability and wicking plus great insulating qualities.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The material choice was really good: soft and thin, but also impressively insulating.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could perhaps do with being a little more windproof.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Really good autumn/spring jersey that works just as well as an outer layer in milder conditions or as a breathable middle layer when the mercury drops.
About the tester
I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.