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Made from an impressive 97% merino wool, this is a mid-weight, full-zip jersey/jacket with appealing good looks.
On putting it on, the first thing you notice is how soft it is, shortly followed by how good it looks and how generous the sleeve length is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not unduly long, just long enough to be useful on the bike for even women with longer arms. The cut of the jersey itself doesn’t skimp in length either, so taller ladies should check this one out. The cut is contoured but not neat, and probably best suited to training rides and casual outings rather than events where every second counts. A subtle pattern on the shoulders and rear pockets lifts the design nicely.
It would happily do double duty as an outer layer with a sleek base layer underneath for really cold days, but on its own its one of the most comfortable spring/autumn or cool summer morning jerseys I’ve ridden in. It’s by no means windproof, so if it’s a breezy day, you might want to consider a gilet over the top, but for reasonably still days with a little bit of a bite in the air, it’s a superb combination of warmth and moisture management. There was no feeling of stickiness, nor was I chilled at any stage in the ride.
In addition to the decent body and arm length, there is a small zipped MP3 pocket on the upper arm, two good sized rear pouch pockets, and a hem gripper stops the jacket from migrating while you ride. Pretty much the only niggle I had with this jersey was the neck. It’s a jersey that you’d at least want the option of zipping all the way up, and the height of the collar is fine, it’s good and cosy, but it’s really rather narrow. I don’t have a particularly chunky neck, yet I found it sufficiently tight when done up that it was too restrictive to wear that way. A shame, as other than that, it’s a great cool weather riding top.
A good cool weather top, let down by the tightness of the neck when zipped up fully.
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Make and model: Smartwool Women's long sleeve jersey
Size tested: M, Brick red
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?
Aimed at filling the seasonal gap in riding clothing.
Good choice for spring/autumn and chilly mornings.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
97% merino wool 3% elastic
2 rear ergonomically angled pouch pockets
1 small zipped MP3 pocket on upper arm
Full length zip
Well made but not 'lovingly crafted'
Excellent chilly weather performance, but mostly limited to still non-windy conditions.
If well cared for an washed appropriately this should last for years.
Very comfortable indeed apart from the tightness of the neck when zipped right up.
Should last a long time so a sound investment, provided you ride all year round.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well in slightly chilly conditions. Could easily be used as an outer layer over a base layer for colder weather too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cut, looks, comfortable fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tight zipped neck.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if the neck is made slightly less tight.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they have a particularly slender neck.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Great top for chilly conditions, ideally suited to taller ladies, but let down by a tight neck opening when fully zipped
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.