I really like La Passione's Summer Jersey Checked Ottanio, mostly because of the look but also because it's simply a very good summer top, and there's little to dislike. Make that nothing; okay, a few niggles. It's one I'd reach for on hot summer rides – and cooler ones with a baselayer underneath – because it looks bright and fresh and does the job.
Larger ladies will be disappointed, though, as it's a pro-fit, made-in-Italy number, and large is the largest option – and in typical Italian style it ain't massive. The fabric at the front and rear is quite stretchy, but the mesh panels up the sides less so, and the zip would snag if required to do up without holding the two sides together first, making it an awkward two-handed, fingers-and-thumbs job at times.
The sleeve cuffs/hems are pretty tight too – and very, very grippy. They're a single strip of tiny silicone-dotted stretchiness and they stick absolutely in place once on; they're so grippy and sticky that actually getting them on and into the right position requires more effort than 'normal' sleeves. Sharp tan line lovers will love them.
The hem of the jersey stays in place well too, but it's a different method: two thin lines of silicone on an inch-deep elastic strip all the way round, from one front zip edge to the other. I did find myself occasionally trying to pull the rear down, but that was more to do with the cut than it riding up; I'd like a bit more length at the rear – though this might be down to it being 'just big enough' on the sizing front (the pics make it look really tight!).
Up top, the collar is comfy, despite the lack of a zip garage – something I didn't notice while riding – and I like the contrasting fabric. La Passione really has scored on the looks front for me. (It's available in lots of other colours too; this blue goes really well with the Summer Bib Shorts I'm modelling – review to come.)
The three rear pockets, in traditional layout, are pretty deep compared with some of my other jerseys, and they hold loads. I really didn't need that gilet and arm warmers on my ride to Imber, Salisbury Plain's 'ghost village', last week, but they tucked in with ease, along with my emergency rain shell, peanut butter sarnies, flapjack, phone, the usual stuff (inner tubes were in my seatpack)...
La Passione does say it's 'perfectly suited for road racing' and 'aggressive lead-outs' and I can't imagine why it wouldn't be – but it's equally impressive for summer day rides in a two-up breakaway from domestic chores.
Lovely bright, fresh styling and good summer performance at a good price
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione Summer Jersey Checked Ottanio Women
Size tested: Large
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?
La Passione says: "Women Summer Jersey Checked Ottanio is a strikingly elegant Pro cut jersey, which for sure will leave you visible in the peloton. Available in a refreshing and striking color, and created in a timeless, stylish design from three Italian made fabrics, with micro mesh side panels providing excellent ventilation and moisture-wicking, the jersey has a close-fitting aero cut specifically created for women. Arms, stomach and back silicone grippers helps keeping the jersey fitted and tightly in place when on the saddle. The Summer Jersey Checked Ottanio is perfectly suited for road racing, aggressive lead-outs and thrilling rides wherever your bike leads you."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
La Passione lists these features on its website:
Made in Italy
High stretch, close-fitting Pro cut
Three Italian made fabrics
Longer sleeve length with Grip 400 printed arm grippers
Micro mesh side panels for contoured fit
Reversed full length zip with Cam Lock puller
Silicon chest gripper
Three reinforced rear pockets
3M Scotchlite rear reflective stripe
Main fabric: 85% Polyester / 15% Elastane
Side mesh: 83% Polyester / 17% Elastane
Back fabric: 78% Polyester / 22% Elastane
Permanent wicking treatment
SPF UV 50+ sun protection factor
The only flatlock stitching is across the bottom of the pockets, and attaching the hem.
Some tiny snags in the fabric above the right-hand pocket, which is the one I access most while riding, but otherwise it all seems robust.
Slim race-cut, no flapping... no hiding places...
I wore a Large and there wasn't much room for error – but it's the largest option (and it's probably meant to be 35.4-37in, not 47...). I'm in between 36 and 38 and not overly endowed.
From website: SIZE GUIDE
Our Jersey is a close-fitting Pro cut.
If you're looking for a standard fit we suggest you size up.
Chest 30.7 - 32.3" | Waist 23.6 - 25.2"
Chest 32.3 - 33.9" | Waist 25.2 - 26.8"
Chest 33.9 - 35.4" | Waist 26.8 - 28.4"
Chest 35.4 - 47" | Waist 28.4 - 29.9"
I wore this a few times before looking at the price, and with its style and made in Italy tag, was expecting it to be more expensive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Bung in the machine at 30°C. A couple of marks in the white stripe at the back haven't come out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a lightweight summer jersey that's comfortable on hot days, holds plenty in its pockets, and looks the business.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The looks. Other things appeal, too, but mostly I really like how it looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The zip can be quite stiff to do up from the bottom, and had me cursing a few times; and the grippy sleeves like to grip while you're putting it on and trying to pull them up into the right place.
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
I'm particularly taken with the look of this jersey – which shouldn't be discounted! – and in every other respect it's a good jersey that does its job well. I'd really like to give it a 9 but those few niggles knock it down a mark.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.