Italian brand RH+ is reasonably new to the UK market but the number of people I've seen wearing it at events this year shows it's making a big impact very quickly. We've tested a fair few bits of their kit over the last few months, from helmets to jackets and bibs and next up for scrutiny is the Power Stretch jersey.
With a name like Power Stretch you're no doubt expecting something at the performance end of the roadie scale and you're not wrong. RH+ have their own rating (1-4 hexagons) for highlighting how technologically laden the garment is and it's full marks for the Power Stretch jersey.
The first thing you'll notice are the kind of rubberized stripes adorning the shoulders and side panels and this is where the jersey gets its name from. The Firedry Gold 100 fabric is naturally stretchy anyway but these stripes add a bit more and their tautness means the material returns to its original shape quickly as you move, so it works almost like a compression garment.
The whole jersey is cut to a riding shape so it feels like the proportions are all wrong until you are on the bike. Once you're riding, though, the fit is bang on with no rucking or excess fabric sitting up into the wind, and the dropped tail gives plenty of cover at the rear as well. The hem is kept in place by a deep 5cm silicone gripper and likewise for the arms.
The Firedry fabric is a very fine knit polyester (90%) and Lycra (10%) mix which feels very smooth and thin to the touch. It's designed to be breathable and quick drying, both of which it does very well even on very humid muggy days. The rear panel is more of a mesh, not a see through sort of thing just a wider knit than the rest and it works well to transfer body heat away as you're riding.
There are some neat little touches to justify the £110 price tag. For example, the small tab that sits behind the zip when it's fully done up, has little foam tabs in the style of the RH+ logo to stop the zip pressing into your neck. There is also a zipped valuables pocket at the rear alongside the usual three deep ones for all your gear. It's big enough for some keys, and a fiver but not much else. Lastly the RH+ logos are reflective plus there is reflective detailing on the sleeves as well should you get caught out in the dark.
Size wise it's typically Italian so go one up. The medium here did fit me but only just. If I was buying it for myself I'd go for the large to keep the form fit but get just a little more give.
There are a couple of downers though. Being predominately white means it marks easily and a maximum 30deg wash doesn't get a lot of the stains out. To be fair if I'd paid this much for a white jersey it would only be worn on the driest of dry days but its worth noting just in case you get caught out. The stitching was a bit rough in places to, something that had never been an issue on any of the other RH+ kit I've tested so it came as a bit of a surprise.
To avoid the marking issue the Power Stretch does come in a black version with either white or yellow highlights. The white comes in white/red, white/black and white/blue with both available right up to 3XL sizes. If you're a onsie kind of guy you can also pair up with the Power Stretch shorts to complete the outfit.
So then, opinions?
Well the fit is good (better if you remember to size up) and performance is pretty much as good as you'll find but the staining issues and above all the slightly iffy stitching isn't what you expect of a jersey costing more than a hundred sheets. The rest of the RH+ kit I've tested has been flawless so maybe this is just a bad batch. Overall if the quality control comes up to scratch the Power Stretch jersey is worth the price in terms of comfort and breathability.
A top end jersey in terms of fit and performance let down slightly by quality control.
road.cc test report
Make and model: RH+ Power Stretch Jersey FZ
Size tested: white/red, 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?
It's part of RH+'s Prologic range which is the male performance line up. That means a form fit cut and Firedry fabric for breathability, comfort and good wicking properties. It ticks all of those boxes with a good level of performance.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
. Preformed anatomic construction
. Stretch control appliqués
. Mesh ventilation
.Waist gripper with microfiber elastic depth 5 cm.
. Two-way front zipper with self-locking customized tab
. Thermoformed microfiber front zip garage
. Reflective appliqués
. 4 rear pockets, one with zipper
. Rear pocket locking system with fixed fabric insert
. Firedry Gold 100 Fabric
Hopefully a one off batch as the rest of RH+'s kit as always had excellent build quality.
The white version stains from mud quite easily.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance is good along with the fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Difficult to keep clean in the white version and some dodgy stitching.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but in black.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.