The Craft Verve Glow is a decent performer for those who like a more relaxed fit when on the bike. It's in its element at this time of year, as the nights are beginning to draw in, with a plethora of reflective detailing but also various materials to help breathability while the temperature is still warm.
The Verve Glow is manufactured from four different fabrics to do its best to keep you cool. The front panels use a tight knit mesh which is close to being see-through; it certainly lets plenty of air through to keep you cool even on those really muggy days when a breeze is hard to find.
Under the arms you get a much more open style mesh to let body heat escape, which, as you can see in the side-on photos, covers quite a large area.
The shoulders and side panels use a more traditional style of Lycra, with a slightly thicker version used for the back panel. Both feel to have quite a high elastane content, as across the shoulders and round the back the jersey feels quite fitted. The front panels don't seem to have such a close cut, which means in use the Verve Glow doesn't feel as tight as a racing jersey, but it isn't exactly baggy either. If you like a more relaxed look it should appeal, though it does feel just a little odd.
One thing I will say about all of the fabrics, though, is that they don't resist odour well at all; this really is a wear once and wash garment.
The jersey is available in three colours, the blue you see here, fluoro orange or black, with the first two standing out brightly in the daylight. The silver reflective strips actually blend in with the jersey too, which means that the Glow doesn't scream high-vis commuter top. These aren't just some token reflective tabs on a pocket either, we are talking a decent strip of coverage on the rear right hand pockets and the same on the opposing side of the chest. You also get a stripe on each cuff.
As for details, you get a full zip which comes with a Craft logoed fob which is easy to grab hold of while riding, should you need to move the zip up or down for temperature control. Top and bottom you get a zip garage to stop irritation at the neck or fabric wear on your bib shorts.
Three pockets at the rear offer a decent amount of storage for those ride essentials, even if they are a little bit saggy. For heavier items such as a mobile phone or pump the material could do with being a little more taut.
You do get a fourth zipped pocket for storing cash, keys and so on – something that I really miss if the jersey I'm wearing doesn't have one. Inside the middle pocket there is also a hole for headphone cables.
In terms of value, the RRP of £60 seems just a little expensive, especially when comparing it to one of the latest jerseys I've tested, the very good PBK Scala, which is a tenner cheaper. We've also seen lots of other very good jerseys at around the Verve Glow's price, including the Kalf Flux Chevron which scored 9/10.
The Craft isn't quite as nicely finished as those two, with the odd stray thread here and there, plus the fabrics don't feel as soft against the skin as the PBK. The cut of the Verve Glow is a little mismatched too; as I mentioned, the close-fitting rear and relaxed front panels just feel a little at odds with each other.
Overall, the Verve Glow is a decent enough jersey, it just feels like it needs a bit of refinement for it to all to come together.
Excellent reflectives for this summer-cum-autumn jersey, but the fit could do with a little refining
road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft Verve Glow 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?
Craft says: "Verve Glow Jersey is designed for those who ride hard on a regular basis and who prefer to be seen when speeding across the landscape. Reflective details on the chest and at the back make you extra visible. In addition, technical fabrics with great stretch combined with bodymapped mesh panels provide efficient moisture transport and cooling for optimal performance."
The Verve Glow offers decent performance for warmer weather and I'm impressed with level of reflectives.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Craft lists these features:
Fabric 1: 91% Polyester 9% Elastane, Fabric 2: 81% Polyester, 19% Elastane, Fabric 3: 100% Polyester, Fabric 4: 95% Polyester, 5% Elastane
Stay Cool offers excellent cooling and freedom of movement during workouts in warm conditions.
Protects against strong sunlight, UPF 50+.
It sized up about right according to the size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed up fine after each ride and it's easy to look after. A simple 30-degree wash cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Breathability is pretty good and the reflectives are well placed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cost is a bit high.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, it's a bit pricey.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe, but there's a lot of competition at this price.
Use this box to explain your score
I'd say the biggest drawback with the Verve Glow is its price; when I first picked it up and put it on I'd placed it around the £40 mark. For that money its all-round quality and fit would've been about right; it's good, but doesn't do enough to justify an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
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.