The Santini Redux Short Sleeve Jersey performs well as the mercury begins to climb with excellent cooling and a figure-hugging aero fit, but this comes at a price.
When I was sent this jersey I looked outside at the 6 degrees day and the rain that I'd ridden to work in and thought that this was going to be a difficult review. However, three days later I found myself out in the Kent hills in 28 degrees – which was prime reviewing conditions for this jersey.
Santini has sold this jersey almost exclusively on its ability to keep you cool in hot conditions, with the Italian company giving it a 5/5 for breathability and anti-UV protection. You only need to look at the famous picture of Chris Froome after he'd tested out the latest Team Sky mesh speed suit in 2014 to realise that one without the other is a recipe for disaster.
Breathability on the jersey live up to the marketing: it's exceptionally good and I found that even when I was midway through a regular long slog of a climb I was surprisingly cool, with sweat being wicked away quickly keeping the jersey dry to make sure that this cooling effect was maintained. Santini recommends this jersey for rides between 18 and 35°C and I'd concur: I tried it at around 13°C and it certainly would have been nicer to have a little more insulation.
It is also UV protective, which is proven by the tan lines on my arms; because this is an aero jersey the sleeves are elongated, and when wearing a brown T-shirt the day after my ride I realised I looked like a tub of Neapolitan ice-cream. This is impressive because the material is so thin, with breathability being such a key design feature, but Santini has still managed to incorporate UPF 50 protection.
Helping with breathability is the full zip, so if you do end up getting too hot despite its breathability you can just unzip and let in more air.
Santini markets the Redux as an aero jersey, with the fabrics wind tunnel tested, and there are some strong design features to reflect that such as the collar-less element, which also stops irritation around the neck, the silicone grippers at the bottom of the jersey which stop it riding up, and three laser cut pockets at the back.
Santini must have recognised that the material used throughout most of the jersey would probably be a little too thin for the pockets, so a thicker fabric is used here, with slits cut close to the top for access. Although not the largest, the pockets are big enough for everything I need on a hot ride, and to be honest the kind of rides you'll do in this jersey probably aren't those where you'll need to store larger things like jackets or even arm warmers.
As the fit on the jersey is designed to be as aero as possible, it is form fitting with an impressive amount of elasticity in the material meaning that, although tight, it isn't restrictive. Sizing is as you would expect from an Italian brand, with the large I tested being similar to a medium in UK or US brands.
One thing that does count against the jersey is that the high breathability and well-thought-out design come at a cost: an RRP of £135. Okay, it's £5 less than the Rapha Pro Team Aero Jersey, but it's £35 more than the Castelli Aero Race 5.1. However, if you are in the market for a lightweight, hot weather, aero jersey, this is certainly up there with the best.
Overall I was really impressed with the Redux Jersey; it has very impressive breathability, kept me really cool, and has some very well-thought-out design features. Price is definitely going to be an issue for many, as a short sleeve jersey for over £100 is steep, but performance-wise, if you are in the market for a high-end hot-weather aero top you won't be disappointed.
A very good hot weather jersey with cooling and UV protection, but the price is hard to swallow
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Redux Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
A lightweight jersey designed for the hottest rides.
Fit - Lightweight, extremely aerodynamic and UV resistant (UPF 50+). Thermowelding instead of stitching creates perfect airtight seams that streamline the airflow around your body. Joint cut shoulder construction for maximum range of motion.
Performance - The secret to the Redux is it's Prey fabric construction with Flow fabric inserts which are stretchable yet maintain compression in order to reduce the wrinkles and minimize 'flapping' even at high speeds. The structure of these fabrics is very compact with a large amount of very thin threads, in order to minimize the passage of the air flow trough the fibres between the fabric and the skin. Instead of external pockets, it features a triple inner pouch with an almost invisible thermos-sealed laser cut opening.
Comfort - Redux materials will keep you cool while you ride through the hottest heat waves. The Flow fabric doesn't just let your body breathe, but actually channels heat away from the body for more efficient cooling.
Durability - All fabrics are sourced and assembled in Italy. 100% handmade guaranteeing long-lasting quality even after hundreds of rides. Each garment undergoes vigorous quality controls and will last a lifetime.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ULTRA-COOLING DESIGN Prey and Flow fabrics are light, fast drying and UV resistant.
SUPERB FIT Elastic grip on the waistband and thermo- welded cuffs.
EXTREMELY AERODYNAMIC Follows the contours of your body like a second skin. Fabrics chosen after extensive wind tunnel testing.
Well made with strong stitching throughout and a clear understanding of material used with the thicker material on the pockets.
Very good; it kept me cool in very hot (for Britain) conditions while stopping me getting burnt.
As a lightweight jersey this probably won't survive a crash, but nothing to suggest it won't survive normal use.
It is form fitting but with the elasticity in the material it isn't restrictive at all.
Fitted as I would expect an Italian large to fit.
Really comfortable to wear thanks to how quick-drying and breathable it is.
There is no getting away from the fact that this is a very expensive jersey, but it does perform very well.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, just chuck it in with everything else at 30.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: it's comfortable, cooling and protects against the sun which is exactly what it's designed to do.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability is incredibly good and managed to keep me cool on long climbs in the heat.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It is expensive, though there's a lot of technology in the fabric.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes (after a bonus).
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It is a very strong performing hot weather jersey that kept me impressively cool and comfortable despite the heat. The price is high, but it's a very good jersey that deserves an 8 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: 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 helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
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.